Where We Left Off
By J. Alex Blane
Crystal: Today as part of this Write Now Virtual Book Tour, I have the opporutnity to ask J. Alex Blane a few questions. Welcome, I'm so happy to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
J. Alex: My name is J. Alex Blane. I am the author of, Where We Left Off, which is actually my first novel and one that I am extremely humbled by and proud of. I live in what is noticeably one of the smallest states in the US, Delaware, but I love it. It’s quiet enough, small enough and at the center of everything. Oh and did I mention there are no taxes here, so something that costs .99 cents is actually .99 cents. Okay, I’m sure none of that was really important so let me get serious. I am a husband to my college sweetheart, a father of a three and a four year old and somewhere in between being pulled in the many direction of life I sat down to finish a book that I began nearly nine years ago. I’m often asked, why did it take so long to finish and whether or not that’s usual for a writer. For me, I was 24 years old when the thought came to me, and although I had written a paragraph of what was then, the first chapter I was nowhere near mature enough to understand fully what I wanted to write. I hadn’t lived enough to authenticate the concept. Life was my greatest inspiration in writing Where We Left Off. Not all of it was good and neither was it bad but as I grew up year by year and matured, I realized that I’d change. I understood more, I comprehended more, I’d lived. I’ve always loved writing, and had a fascination with developing the art of using words creatively to say everything that I felt. I can only hope that as you are reading ‘Where We Left Off’ you get just that.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
J. Alex: One of my favorite scenes in, Where We Left Off, is from chapter 13. After writing the first, I guess I can say, 12 chapters and probably creating a bit of distain for Mason’s character based on the type of person he is this chapter was one progressing into the story that began to show another side of him. In part of this chapter Mason realizes that after his first date with Sydney he actually didn’t want to spend the rest of the day without her. He makes an offer that not only challenges her comfort level but his as well in a way that opened the door to an experience within a single touch that laid the groundwork for everything. The fun part about this scene is showing Mason’s guard down, him dancing the line of actually being different than he was used to but at the same time showing Sydney’s fear being nothing more than the type of girl he was used to. Their interaction is pure, and their dialog is both humorous and real. This was indeed a scene that made me smile at the end.
Crystal:Where did you come up with the idea for Where We Left Off?
J. Alex: Real life events to be honest with you; the ideas for Where We Left Off were inspired by true events. Have you ever gone through or experienced something and asked yourself “what if…?” That was kind of what happened with me and thus the beginning. I remember having this weird feeling when I woke up one morning; I had to be about twenty-two years old. I felt like although I was moving I had no control over anything I said or did almost as if I were a spectator trapped inside of my own body, actions and thoughts. It was a very uncomfortable and scary feeling but one that started everything. Now keep in mind initial draft was nowhere near what it has evolved into today but it was a start. From then and until I finished, life, experiences, and people became my further inspiration, people I have known, relationships I had been in, hurt that I had experienced. Writing this novel gave me not only an outlet of expression but it also provided a level of closure within some of my own personal issues. I was fortunate to be able to create and intermingle so many interesting characters and elements within their lives to create this story.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
J. Alex: At the moment I am actually entertaining the idea of writing Where We Left Off into a stage play. I’ve been approached by a number of readers who have expressed a lot of interest in seeing how this could be depicted on a stage but more than that interested in having the message brought to life in the same manner. In addition to that I am currently working on the second novel within this series. While I am unsure of how many novels will be in the series that is still ‘untitled’ I can tell you there are at least two others in the works.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
J. Alex: I really don’t have a concrete routine I following when I’m writing. Depending on the mood of a scene I may listen to music which usually helps me channel and properly depict emotions. Other than that, if it’s within my control I’ll find somewhere quiet, dimly lit and comfortable. As a writer you will also find that you will right on nearly anything, anywhere when that inspiration bug hits. Thank God for smart phones and the notepad app.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research this book or any other?
J. Alex: For, Where We Left Off, I had to do quite a bit of research for a number of reasons. I think this was more so because I wanted not only the characters and the stories line to seem authentic but I also wanted to the settings, the times of sun rise and sunset, the weather and the geography to be realistic and relatable. I wrote a scene that briefly spoke about Philadelphia during the winter season. I could have easy just said “it’s cold” but I want the reader to be able to pull the words off of the page and feel the air and see the beauty as if it were right in front of them. I wanted them to experience that part of Philadelphia during that season the same way I did. The same went for the setting in the South and Delaware, which was the main base of the story.
If I could recommend anything to writes that base their stories in real cities and states, do a little research if that isn’t the state that you reside in because it helps to make your story more relatable and “authentic”. I remember when I did my first draft in 2004; the story and the characters were all based around and living in New York. When I really sat down to finish I realized, wait… I don’t know that much about New York to have an entire story centered on it. In addition to that I knew it would take me more time researching the areas that I wanted to spend. I made the conscious decision to write from where I knew and within that research what I didn’t.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
J. Alex: I’d have to say my first favorite is definitely Zhora Neale Hurston. After reading her book There Eyes Were Watching God, I was hooked into the art of telling a good compelling story. Recently I’ve really enjoyed reading Nicholas Sparks’ novels although I’d have to say Safe Haven is probably one of my favorites from his many works.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
J. Alex: This is a very interesting question. I would love to jump into young adult, Science fiction and fantasy. I think within that genre your imagination I really limitless and what you can and can’t do doesn’t really straddle the line of believable and realistic as much as it does with tradition Fiction. It’s funny because I mentioned early the notepad app in smartphones and how helpful they are for writers. I think I have at least 30 to 40 separate notes on scenes that would make for a good YA Fantasy novel. One day (laughing), one day.
About The Book:
Some memories you do your best to forget. Others you wish you simply had the opportunity to remember. Mason Everett found himself in the center of both, as he felt the warmth of an autumn sun graze his face through the tinted windows. A successful Real-estate developer, Mason had his picture perfect life. He was young, handsome, wealthy and single. No stranger to keeping relationships at-arms-length he tries to avoided them at all costs living tirelessly by one rule: Never again let anyone close enough to hurt you–
Until he found himself falling for Sydney McCail, a young woman he met at his brother’s wedding. In the midst of a developing relationship Mason’s past begins to surface causing him to push Sydney away in fear of her finding out a secret he’d kept hidden for most of his life. In the wake of a tragic accident she finds what she thought she knew was only the beginning, and what happens from there leaves them both searching for answers to a single question in what turns out to be a startling outcome. Where We Left Off.
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: J. Alex Blane; 1 edition (February 9, 2013)
Genre: Christian Fiction/Romance/Suspense
About The Author:
J. Alex Blane is an author whose debut Novel “Where We Left Off” was his first break in the literary world of fiction romantic suspense, but definitely not his last as he is currently working on both his second & third novels within the series. A Multi-Media developer by trade; “J. Alex Blane is a talented man whose creativity is exceptional!” – Katrina Coleman (Amazon).
Since Alex could remember, it has always been his dream to write a novel. After nearly eight years of deciding to put a single ballpoint pen to a piece of paper he finally finished placing the last period at the end of the last sentence and introduced readers to Where We Left Off, a story that has evolved into something to this day he will say he never expected and in some cases transcending the definition of its genre.
Alex currently resides in Bear, Delaware with his wife and his two children where they share a small home just right for him to sneak off into a little corner and write more of what he loves and where he is currently at work on his next novel. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Nu Upsilon Chapter in Wilmington, Delaware, a father and a husband. Alex loves to tell a good story, but more than that he loves to make you feel as if you are right there as it’s happening.
Amazon ebook: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AVIF4L6/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B00AVIF4L6&link_code=as3&tag=revibycrys-20
Tour Hosted by: WNL Book Tours www.wnlbooktours.com
Author Tour Schedule: http://wnlbooktours.com/j-alex-blane/
J. Alex Blane has done a great job on his first novel. Where We Left Off is an interesting story that I found to be enjoyable and entertaining.
Mason Everett is the very typical playboy leading the rich playboy lifestyle. He's quite content running his successful business and spending time with the ladies. When he meets Sydney McCail at his brother's wedding something changes in him. All of a sudden Mason finds himself wanting to spend time with just Sydney and he wants to spend a lot of time with her. Their relationship moves slowly, so much unlike his normal relationships with woman. I enjoyed watching Mason take his time to get to know Sydney and fall in love. This is one of those relationships that is just special right from the start.
I don't want to give too much away, but I will tell you that there is some drama that plays out that really kept me turning pages. I could not help but wonder what was going to happen next.
I really liked Sydney, she a sweet girl that has not had a lot of male relationships in her life. She has been too busy with everything else. She has a lot of faith in life and God.
Mason has a troubled past that is just heartbreaking. I'm not going to tell you about this part but I will tell you that is explains a few things about his behavior. It also shows how his faith has been shaken.
As I write this review I feel so many things I would like to share with you but then I would spoil this interesting story for you. If you enjoy stories about bad boys finding the right girls then I think you will enjoy this story. Also if you enjoy stories of true love honestly being able to withstand just about anything I think you will enjoy Where We Left Off. I truly enjoyed this story and found myself with a few tears now and then while reading. I also found a few moments of joy and a nice feeling at the end.
I was given the opportunity to read this book so that I may share my thoughts with you during this blog tour. As always it has been my pleasure to share my thoughts with you on Where We Left Off.