Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blog Tour - Between Boyfriends - Review and Author Interview

Today I have the pleasure of being a part of the Between Boyfriends blog tour. Author Sarka Miller graciously agreed to answer my interview questions. Read on for the interview, and my review of her hilarious new novel!

Interview:

Me: I like to do ten-word posts on my blog. Can you describe the story of your book in exactly ten words

Sarka: Brokenhearted 20-something Jan Weston learns about self-sufficiency, independence and friendship.

Me: What is the theme or the message of your novel, and how did you incorporate it into your writing?

Sarka:   My novel, Between Boyfriends, is about finding yourself and making a life independent of relationships, expectations and your past. My main character, Jan, did not receive love and support as a child. She did see plenty of examples of materialism and judgment from her wealthy parents. In her teen and early adult years, she acts spoiled, competitive and rude to everyone except her boyfriends. With boys, she becomes weak, needy and vulnerable. She jumps from relationship to relationship looking for fulfillment.

Many young women follow this path, making poor decisions with men and blowing off their friends, their careers and their own needs while forcing relationships. This never leads to happiness. Between Boyfriends explores a better way.

Me: What did you enjoy most about writing this particular book?

Sarka:   I loved getting inside Jan's head and exploring what made her tick. I had a lot of friends who were boy crazy, never single for more than five seconds. It was really fun to not only figure out why this happens but how to evolve this thinking. Plus Jan is hilarious with her crazy mix of naivete, hope, negativity, compassion, pain, insecurity, and desire to change.

Me: If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?

Sarka:  I think Blake Lively or AnnaLynne McCord would make a great Jan. AnnaLynne would be an amazing Nichole too. It is hard to find any redeeming qualities in the book version of Nichole, but I think she could be more likeable in a movie version. Sarah Paxton would be hilarious in that part as well. Alexis Bledel would be a sweet Lisa. I see someone like Renee Olstead as Becki, or maybe Christa B. Allen. I have no idea who I would cast as Juan. I have a very clear picture in my head of what Juan looks like and I just can't quite match that up with an actor.

Me: What inspired you to become a writer? Are there any favorite authors or books you can name?

Sarka:   I always loved reading when I was a kid and writing short stories. As I got older, my love of writing never went away. I preferred to read fantasy when I was younger. I lovedThe Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I adored theChronicles of Narnia and still do. As an adult, I still read fantasy, particularly series with a strong female protagonist, such as the Merry Gentry series and the Sookie Stackhousenovels. I love chick lit too. I, like most of the world, was introduced to the genre by Helen Fieldings' Bridget Jones books. I then fell in love with Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series and since have read most any chick lit book I can get my hands on.



Review:
Between Boyfriends is a very tightly written and witty novel. Sarka Miller has a very irreverent sense of humor, and I mean that as a high compliment. She is not afraid to write about flawed people, and her main character Jan is the perfect example. I once read that it's okay to make your characters unlikeable as long as they are compelling, and Jan is definitely compelling. She is selfish and spoiled, but underneath that is a genuine desire for self-improvement, and a heart that grows with affection for her friends. And by the end of the book Jan is likeable as well, she just needs to undergo her journey of self-discovery, and face hardships like (gasp) having to get a real job and being without the wealth and privelege she has been accustomed to her entire life. Jan's friends, Lisa and Nichole, are also complex and compelling. I especially enjoyed reading about Lisa, who was born a middle child but lost both of her siblings in a car accident. This is an example of how even in a funny novel, Sarka Miller wasn't afraid to mix in darker subjects of loss and heartbreak.

Although the title would suggest this is a book about finding a man, it's really a story of finding yourself, and doing so with the support of female companionship. If you've been waiting for your next chick-lit read, look no further! Between Boyfriends is just waiting for you!

9 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Laurel, thank you so much for your wonderful review. People who post reviews of Between Boyfriends on Amazon can enter to win an iPod Shuffle! Get a FREE copy November 2 on Amazon. I am also giving away a signed copy of "Motor Mouth" by Janet Evanovich (author of the Stephanie Plum series). Just leave comments on posts about my blog tour as BRN2SHOP9 did above (comments must be left by November 4). Get all the details for both contests and more on my blog (please see the rules for each). http://betweenboyfriendsnovel.blogspot.com/2012/10/current-giveaways.html

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  2. hey its me following you to be in the contest for the book or picture, i hope you get this and hope i am doing this right, maybe let me know
    thanks

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    1. Hi Helen. This is exactly what you should do. Just leave a comment on each post for my blog tour. This is stop #2. I see you posted on the Books & Tales blog too for stop #1. You've got it :)

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  3. I really loved finding out more about Book Boyfriends, and the thoughts behind the writing. I could picture it more in my head with the 'film question' and characters as actors - it just sounds brilliant. x

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  4. I was here!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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    1. Glad to have you in the running. You just need to leave a comment just like this one on the other 15 blog tour stops, and then a final comment on the original post that you would like to be entered by midnight Nov 4. Thanks and good luck

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