Author: N.G. Jones
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: March 16, 2015
SynopsisIf… Someone hadn't scarred my face. I hadn’t followed my dreams to LA. That tweaker hadn't attacked that homeless guy. I hadn't invited a stranger over for Thanksgiving. I hadn’t fallen in love. If I hadn’t lost him. ------ If… I hadn’t gone for that drive. I saw the world like everyone else. My “genius” wasn’t slowly destroying me. I had just walked away before I could ever know her. She hadn’t ignited the spark. If the spark didn’t ignite the madness.
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ExcerptHer cries looked like shards of glass, a sour flavor assaulted my taste buds, my fingertips felt like they were being pricked with needles. They would not snuff her light, they would not dull her laughter. She was the only thing in this world that connected me to my old self. Suddenly I cared again, if only for that moment. Those sick fucks would not hurt her. My numbness was mangled from the inside with a fury that detonated like a bomb. I didn’t even feel the knife as it dug into my flesh. That girl, for some reason, I couldn’t shut it off with her. I saw her just as vividly as I used to see everything. She made me want to create again. That was dangerous. Far more dangerous than anything these stupid muggers could have done. I had to keep the desire at bay or else I would lose control. Because my art destroys the people I care about. It turns me into a monster. Up until that point, the redheaded girl who shined like a beacon in the mist was an empty threat. There was an invisible barrier, where girls like her didn’t see guys who lurked in alleyways. I was safe from her ability to break through to the parts of my brain that had been made dormant through copious amounts of medication. Yet, somehow, there she was, seeing me. Glimmering in the dark alleyway like some sort of guardian angel that I didn’t want. I tried so hard not to exist, but she was forcing me to. She was forcing me to partake in life. I wanted to die, but she forced me to live. And I wasn’t happy about it.
Hi Nina! Thanks for taking the time to sit and speak with me. We have just a few questions….
How did the idea of IF come about?
Actually, about a year ago, I made a snarky facebook post about how if I hear one more person complain about rich heroes, I will write a book about a young ingenue who falls in love with the guy who lives outside of her building. Then my joke quickly fleshed out into a story. I added the aspect of mental illness because unfortunately, that is one of the leading causes of homelessness. The system currently has hard time dealing with this issue and many people who do not have a good support system or who have trouble dealing, end up on the streets
Do you relate to any of your characters in any way?
Sure. As someone who makes a living off of the arts, there is a lot of sacrifice that has to be made in order to follow that calling.
Do you write a little bit of yourself into any story?
Maybe a little. Usually if the character has a sense of humor I do. But at their core, each character is a distinct person who makes choices very specific to their personality. Many of these are choices I would not make myself.
Do you write a little bit of your husband into any of your leading men?
Haha. So physically many of my leading guys fall in line with that physical type. Ash doesn't, but he would totally be someone I would probably oogle if I was twenty.
Anyway, very specific traits I write that happen to be similar to my husband, not because I am trying to emulate him, but because I find those traits attractive in general. I like strong men (I am bullheaded, so I need someone who can handle that). But kindness, humor and intelligence are important to me too. I know that regarding DEBT and the Strapped Series, people may not see as much kindness, but even those men turn out to have a kind side to them. But no, my husband is not like Tax or Taylor.
Are any of your books based off your relationships in real life?
No. However I would say the closest would be Heath and Sadie from Gorgeous Rotten Scoundrel. My husband and I are competitive and smart-asses and we have a loving rivalry.
Where do you do your best writing?
I mostly write at home. Location doesn't matter, just that I am in a mental zone. Cats could be shooting laser beams in my living room and I wouldn't notice if I am in the zone.
What’s the weirdest time that inspiration has struck or an idea has taken root that you just had to write down?
The shower. It's not that the shower is weird, it's that I wrote the ideas on the shower wall in lipstick that is. I blame Pretty Woman for inserting that idea into my head as a youth.
Do you have a favorite scene or character that you have written thus far?
Oooh, that's way too hard. My characters are so different.
How does Nina unwind?
Loaf and watch TV. If it's nice out, going for a walk.
What’s the best gift a fan has ever given you?
A toss up between boot cuffs and homemade cake pops.
What is harder to write: dark erotica scenes, emotional scenes, or the funny scenes? (we tried to cover all your books there)
I would say emotional are the most complex. In order to write one, I have to be in that mindset, express the emotions as if they were happening to me.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I know this is going to sound egotistical, but I don't really have someone who inspires me. I mean there are plenty of inspirational people who do amazing things, but as far as motivation, I am 100% intrinsically motivated.
If you could give one word of advice to a new author, what would you say?
Hmmmm, the climate has changed to much since I came out just a year and a half ago. I would say this: If you are self-publishing, it is a business. That means you don't just write, you market, you build a brand. So be prepared to devote time to all those things because rarely do you just hit publish and the book flies off the digital shelves.
Secondly, be professional and kind. Don't be a friggin' crybaby. If someone doesn't like your book, they don't like it. Put on your big girl crotchless thong and bitch privately to your friends. Don't rant, don't complain, etc. People see enough bitchin' and moaning in their life, and they don't need to see it from you. Also from a psychological perspective it might feel cathartic, but over time it breeds more negativity (this is proven in studies). If you are pissed, write it out (don't pub it) and sleep on it. Most of the time you will delete it later because that's all you needed to do--get it out.
If you could jump into your story and give Ash any advice, what would you say?
I would say that everything will be okay and he deserves love.
Which one of your stories is nearest and dearest to your heart? I think that would be If. It is the most realistically relatable in my opinion, though it is somewhat magical.
What’s next for Nina?
I am going to take a mini break, but I believe next will be a two book series. That's all I can say for now ;)
Where can fans meet you?
In person: Cleveland Author Event and Passion in Portland. Online, I am pretty accessible. I have a facebook group called I Heart Nina G.'s Books and I'm just hanging around.
I want to preface this review by saying this. I don't connect with NA books. It's hard for me to stay interested because I need heat, I need steam... So..that being said. I had a really hard time connecting with this book. For me there wasn't enough angst or drama..or steam in the first half. It felt really drawn out and I just could not stay interested. I ended up having to skim through the 2nd half to find out what happened to our characters. Now, I'm not saying it's badly written or anything like that. It's just not my genre. However, the second half I liked. The first half, not so much. And I hate saying that because I love this author and all her other work. This one just wasn't for me. I can still respect the story line, the plot, the way she writes, and the way she had the story evolve over the years for our couple.
I gave it 3 stars
About The AuthorNina G. Jones is the author of the bestselling novel DEBT, the Strapped Series and the erotic romance, Gorgeous Rotten Scoundrel. She wants to say something clever here, but all her good material goes into her characters. Nina currently resides in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and two crazy Boxers. Her first new adult romance, If, releases on March 16th, 2015 under the moniker N.G. Jones. Nina LOVES connecting with readers. You can connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, or email her through her website, NinaGJones.com.