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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon Blog Tour/Author Interview and Giveaway!

Welcome to my tour stop for Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon.  This is an adult romantic comedy and  the tour runs February 24th- March 7th and will consist of reviews, guest posts, interviews and more. You can find the full schedule on the tour page.

Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon

Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.
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* Author Interview *

1) Who is your favorite author and why?

I have so many, I can’t just pick one. It totally depends on my mood. I fell in love with Shakespeare when I was fourteen—the layers in his work are limitless, the themes timeless. My favorite is Titus Andronicus—terrifically shocking and horrible and fantastic all in one big juicy, meaty pie. But I’m all over the map with my favorites, from the classics (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice … *swoon*) to contemporary geniuses (John Green’s Fault in Our Stars). And I read in virtually every genre, as evidenced by this list: Suzanne Collins, Libba Bray, Chuck Palahniuk, Kenneth Oppel, Laini Taylor, Barry Lyga, Andrew Davidson, Don Winslow, Marian Keyes, Walter Mosley—that covers everything from dystopian to YA to thriller to middle grade to gritty crime fiction to romantic comedy. Impossible to pick just one!

2) Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My older sister Michelle (RIP) was born with cerebral palsy. She couldn’t use her hands to hold a pencil, so she had a sky-blue, electric Smith-Corona typewriter. I loved the way the keys felt under my fingers, the sound the keys made as I typed, but I couldn’t just type endless lines of gibberish. Why not write a story? I learned to read at four (thank you, Dr. Seuss and Sesame Street!) and once I figured out how to load the paper by myself, I could steal time on Shell’s typewriter if I wrote silly stories. The first one was about a dentist. I think. That was a long time ago.

3) Do you want to try different genres or just stick with one?

I write YA as Jennifer Sommersby and romantic comedy as one half of the Eliza Gordon team (my husband and I cowrite the Eliza Gordon projects). I love stretching myself to try different genres, even if no one will ever see the finished product. I have a dystopian/plague story in the works, as well as a middle grade. One of these days … with any luck. And lots of time.

4) How did you come up with the title?

People ask me this a lot and I always chuckle. To be honest, it just popped into my head! As Hollie started to take shape, we wanted to make sure that her love of animals (except Yorkies and demon goats) was a theme running throughout the story. At first my agent didn’t like the title, but once the story was done, it was clear that Must Love Otters was an apt fit. I’ve seen comments online where people can’t quite figure why we’d have a romantic comedy named after an animal—what the hell is this book even about? But once folks read it, they discover the intention behind the title and everything falls into place.

5) Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I always learn something during the writing process—about craft, about people and character, about whatever topic I may have to research for the project. We LOVE doing research, so when we decided to include otters and other Pacific Northwest flora and fauna into the story, we conducted comprehensive research to incorporate the most accurate info we could. Although Brigand Bay and Revelation Cove, BC, aren’t real places, they’re based on actual locales along the BC coast. All of the creatures named in the story, from the sea otters (Enhydra lutris) to the birds, orca, cougar, geoducks, purple starfish, clams, and crabs, all of these beasties can be found along our gorgeous coastline and within the province. It really is a gorgeous place to live.

Once the research phase is complete (if it ever is), the learning doesn’t magically cease. Writing is learning—it’s always about deepening your understanding of the craft of story, of building believable characters, and studying the masters to have a solid grasp of structure. And with every book, every rewrite, we learn something new. There are things about Must Love Otters that I would change if I were rewriting it today, but that just means I must learn from those “mistakes” and implement the solutions into future projects. I’ll say it again: writing is learning!

6) Do you have any advice for other writers?

In my day job, I’m an editor, so I am often exploding with advice, unwanted and otherwise. My best advice, though? Writing is rewriting. And like I said above, never stop learning. I see a lot of writers, especially now with the changes in the publishing model, who knock out a novel or two or three, they find a modicum of success, and they continue to exhibit the same tendencies over and over again. Their writing stalls; they do not grow as writers. Sure, they have readers who won’t mind their dirty little habits, but with each subsequent project, there is a certain amount of respect that should be paid to the process. I don’t understand how people finish a draft on Sunday night and hit publish on Monday morning. I think that cheats readers, but more importantly, it cheats the writer out of learning an essential part of this craft: rewriting.

Writing is no different from painting or sculpture or dance—you have to continually strive to improve. Some people really fight this and are convinced that they’re doing perfectly fine without any editorial or critical help. Which is their prerogative. I can’t save the world. But as I always tell the writers I work with, “In order for your book to grow, you must let the ego go.” The day I learned to let go of my ego as it relates to my writing, I opened myself up to some amazing growth. It was like a new day.

I think the last bit of advice I’d give to writers is to read. Read everything. Read it all. Read across genres. Read stuff that makes you uncomfortable and stuff that you don’t understand just so you can see how different people manipulate language. It’s an old adage, but reading widely can do much to inform one’s own writing.

7) Who designed the cover?

The fantastic Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations did this cover and has the proof ready for our next project. I can’t wait to share that!

Thank you very much for the chat. I hope your readers enjoyed our time here today—and be sure to find us online to share your own wildlife stories! We love hearing from readers.


About this author
Eliza Gordon is a husband-and-wife team of controlled chaos who writes stories to help you believe in the Happily Ever After.


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1 comment:

  1. I do think that the title fits, but even before I read it I was thinking that it sounded like a fun read. In combination with the adorable cover and the book description, I knew it was a must read!
    Thanks for hosting a tour stop!


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