Author Name: Jude Sierra
Book Name: What It Takes
The connection was instantaneous.
Mere moments after Milo Graham's family relocates to Cape Cod, he meets Andrew Witherell—launching a lifelong friendship built on a foundation of deep bonds, secret forts, and plans for the future. When Milo is called home from college to attend his domineering father's funeral, he and Andrew finally act on their mutual attraction. But doubtful of his worth, Milo severs all ties with his childhood friend. Years later, the men find themselves home again, and their long-held feelings will not be denied. But will they have what it takes to find lasting love?
Pages or Words: 274 pages
Andrew gladly lets Milo drive his car; he hates driving, especially when he can play radio DJ and watch the scenery go by. He looks at Milo: the way the fading light before dusk changes the tone of his skin; the way the muscles of his arms stand out and his lips curl as he sings along, awfully, to the radio. Milo smiles at him and Andrew flashes a brief one back, wonders how obvious he’s being, and looks back out the window at the slipping sand that spills onto the road and the ramshackle businesses along the road.
“So what got this bee in your bonnet?” he asks suddenly.
Milo shrugs. “You sound like my grandma.”
“Awesome; I like her. Let’s focus.”
“So... okay.” Milo clears his throat and his fingers tighten on the wheel. “I um, think I have something to tell you. But I’m—”
“Is everything okay?” Andrew interrupts, scanning his memory for any signs of additional distress Milo might have displayed in the last few months.
“Yeah. Well. I mean, um… whatever. But I—”
“What? You’re worrying me.”
Milo sighs and pulls into the parking lot of a restaurant with a giant crab on the roof. “I can’t do this and drive.”
“Okay,” Andrew says slowly, then unbuckles his belt and turns to face him. Milo’s face is a little drawn.
“So, I think I might be gay,” Milo blurts. “I mean, I know. I know I am.”
There’s a full minute of silence in the car while Andrew tries to work the words out. Static screeches in his ears, fleetingly numbing his reaction. Focus. He has a few seconds to control his face, to tamp down that sprout of irrational hope seeding despite the chaos, and be ultimately supportive.
“Um.” Andrew licks his lips and tries to pull himself together. That seedling wants to grow into something bigger, and he can’t let it. He looks at Milo’s face, which has morphed into something more vulnerable and worried. Hope is a hollow bell in his chest, ringing loud and dissonant; he wants to vibrate out of his skin with the inappropriateness of his own reactions. This is about Milo, not him. “You aren’t worried that I’m mad or something, are you?” he manages to say.
“I don’t know. Um, your face is doing... a thing,” Milo replies.
Reflexively Andrew puts his hands to his cheeks. His fingers are cold. Okay, so he definitely doesn’t have his face under control. “No, I... wasn’t expecting it, that’s all.” Andrew’s brain, sometimes faster than his mouth, is careening backward. “Maybe I should have had a clue.”
“Well, for starters, you kissed me back.”
Buy the book:
IP Web Store: store.interludepress.com
Apple iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/what-it-takes/id1059511076?mt=11
All Romance eBooks: (Pending, will send to you tomorrow)
Meet the author:
Jude Sierra began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read "pool+tv." She first began writing poetry as a child in her home country of Brazil, and is still a student of the form.
As a sucker for happy endings and well-written emotional arcs and characters, Jude is an unapologetic bookaholic. She finds bookstores and libraries unbearably sexy and, to her husband's dismay, is attempting to create her own in their living room. She is a writer of many things that hope to find their way out of the sanctuary of her hard drive and many that have found a home in the fanfiction community.
She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Writing and Rhetoric and managing a home filled with her husband, two young sons, and two cats. Her first novel, Hush, was published in 2015 by Interlude Press.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Jude Sierra author of What it Takes
Hi Jude, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
1) Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than any others? Love? Action? Romance? Tragedy?
Thank you for having me!
I think that emotionally heavy and difficult scenes can be a real challenge, because you never want to step into melodramatic, clichéd or trite. Which is hard to do. When you’re trying to convey pain or anger, it can be really tempting to tell instead of show, and showing can easily cross that line. I have to work and rework those scenes. I often have to remind myself not to overwork scenes and to trust the reader.
2) What do you think makes a good story? Honest, complex, flawed people. Earned happy endings. If it’s a romance or love story, tension and chemistry and a good build up – I love when I get the nervous anticipation flutters when I’m reading that build between characters.
3) Do you hear from readers much? What do they say? I love hearing from readers! I try to be as accessible as possible, and readers can always contact me with questions via my blog. After Hush, most of the readers I spoke to had the same question – and it was a great question which I hope to have the chance to address in another story one day, should I be so lucky. I’m blessed to come from fan communities where author/reader interaction flourishes and is the bedrock of the community. I’m spoiled in that way. As people begin to read What it Takes, I do hope to hear from them. There’s lots to unpack with these boys and why things happen the way that they do. I’m definitely here for a chat.
4) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Gosh. Unpublished I think I have maybe 5? I am writing my third, titled Idlewild, with Interlude right now, so that would be about 8 original fiction novels. I have to be honest, What it Takes is my favorite. It is just so, so close to my heart. I have never cried – from sadness and intense happiness – like I have writing this story. It was a hard journey that involved a lot of personal soul searching, but it has been so worth it.
5) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to read, I read like a swarm of locusts, devouring everything in my path. I love, love, love playing board and card games with my kids. I enjoy school quite a bit, especially my cohort and getting to spend time with them. And when I have time, which is not often, I love to watch particular TV shows with my husband. We’re fans of The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The Voice. We can be intense introverts who need recharge time, and one of the things that works for us is recharging together.
Where to find the author:
What It Takes will be published by Interlude Press on January 14, 2016. Connect with author Jude Sierra at JudeSierra.com, on Twitter @JudeSierra, on Goodreads at goodreads.com/Jude_Sierra, and on Facebook at facebook.com/JudeMSierra.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27829994-what-it-takes
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Art: Nelli I
Cover Design: C.B. Messer
Tour Dates & Stops:
21-Jan: Molly Lolly, MM Good Book Reviews
Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press web store gift card + WIT ebook; plus__5 eBook editions of WIT