Guest Author: Colleen Hoover
I wrote Slammed just over two years ago, and it was the first novel I ever wrote. Writing was something I’d always wanted to do, but I never thought it was something I’d be able to do successfully. I’ve always loved writing poems, short stories, and even getting creative with my blog posts and Facebook statuses. It wasn’t until November 2011, when my 7-year-old son was in the cast of a local community theater play, that I started my first full-length novel. I had to bring him to play practice for three hours a night, so I would kill time by doing the two things I enjoyed most other than writing: listening to The Avett Brothers or watching YouTube videos of people performing slam poetry. That’s when I had the idea to write a book that included my two favorite things.
It was actually a lyric in an Avett Brothers song that finally gave me the push I needed to write my first book, so it only seemed fair to use the book as somewhat of a tribute to my love for them. The lyric is “decide what to be and go be it” from the song Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise. I carefully selected lyrics to be placed at the beginning of every chapter that I thought related to what was going on at that point in the story. In addition, the characters perform what are called slam poems, or spoken word poetry, throughout the story.
I know what you’re thinking: What does this all have to do with bridging the gap between music and fiction? Well, I received such an overwhelmingly positive response to the inclusion of slam poetry and Avett Brothers lyrics in Slammed, that it gave me the idea to take it to the next level. My next book, Maybe Someday, centers around two characters in their early twenties who write music together. As the characters complete a song, readers will have the opportunity to actually listen to it. I teamed up with musician Griffin Peterson, who wrote eight original songs to accompany the book. Music has been so influential in the development of my writing career, and we’re both so excited to share this project with readers and see their responses to the concept. The book releases March 18th, and you can learn more about the project by clicking here.
Fun Fact: The main female character in Ugly Love, which releases August 5, is named Tate. TATE is the acronym for my other favorite band, The Airborne Toxic Event. The main male character’s middle name is Mikel. Mikel is the name of the lead singer from The Airborne Toxic Event.
Colleen Hoover is the author of five New York Times bestselling novels. Her first series was published in 2012 and includes Slammed, Point Of Retreat and the companion novel This Girl. Her second series, published in 2013, includes the #1 NYT’s bestseller Hopeless and the companion novel, Losing Hope. She has released a free novella, Finding Cinderella, as a thank you to her readers for their continued support. The novella is a companion to her Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone. Colleen lives in East Texas with her husband and their three sons. Colleen is doing a giveaway every single day for the year of 2014. You can follow Colleen on Instagram and Twitter @colleenhoover, Facebook at facebook.com/authorcolleenhoover, and her blog at www.colleenhoover.com if you want the chance to win some awesome swag this year.