Release Date: July 7, 2015
Thanks for visiting today, Mila! Congratulations on the release of your debut book. The blurb sounds really interesting and I’m looking forward to reading the story.
Because this is your first novel, we aren’t yet familiar with your work. How would you describe the type of book you write?
Mila: You know, I’m actually hesitant to over-generalize – we only have a sample of one, yeah? But I think, going forward, the kind of book that I put out will always have some kind of big, sociological ideas at the core of it – hazard of the day job. In this one there’s a fair amount of stuff about social class, about what it means to be from somewhere, about how your past shapes you, about what sex and romance are supposed to mean to us at this moment in time. I tend to like my heroes a little quiet – I’ve never liked loud men – and not quite broody but… thoughtful? I hope my stories are a little funny, and honestly, I’m a pretty happy person, so I think they will always feel warm and homey and, I hope, comfortable. I am a big fan of comfort in romance.
Do you write the same type of story you like to read?
Mila: Not always? And I’m glad you asked this question because I feel less weird about that now. I think the ideas stuff, yes – I like that stuff in everything I do. But I like reading sci-fi a lot, and generally “warm” and “comfortable” aren’t big features over there. One thing I really tried to do in this book was to write a romance that didn’t even pretend they weren’t going to end up together, that set them up to fall together so neatly that most of the tension of the story was about how it was going to happen rather than if it actually would. Those are stories I don’t see very often (and now I know why: they are hard as hell to write) but I would read the hell out of them if I did.
What was the inspiration for this story?
Mila: The Big Chill. Really – I wanted to write a reunion story and I must have seen that movie 100 times and I wanted that sweet, comfortable, ensemble-y feel. Is that too facile an answer?
Aaron and Nik have a past. Are you able to share any secrets about the couple with your readers?
Mila: The sharing of secrets is actually a big part of the book; it’s part of what screwed them up the first time, so a lot of their past comes out as part of the story. One thing I didn’t manage to shove into the book was as much as I know about Nik’s family, largely because it just wasn’t interesting enough to share.
When you’re not writing or hot on the book promo trail, how do you like to spend your time?
Mila: I work a lot, and I really LOVE my job, so that’s not as awful as it sounds. Otherwise, honestly, I’m looking to shut my brain down a little bit. I love television way too much, and it’s a great age for story-telling in TV, so I spend a lot of time with knitting in my hands and the TV on. I have kids, and they are teenagers and so alternate between being really fun and completely obnoxious (I’m sure they’d say the same about me), and so at least half the time I really enjoy hanging out with them. We have a great group of friends who are all giant nerds like us, so we spend a lot of time just hanging out at our dining room table with whoever has come by, eating whatever looked good at the farmers market that week, and talking about what we’re reading and watching and looking forward to.
What are you currently working on?
Mila: I’m not. At all. J I feel like I should be ashamed to admit that, but I really believe in allowing for a proper fallow period between big projects – it’s been my experience that jumping directly into the next thing ends in misery for me. There are little tiny shoots poking through, though. This book is very definitely new adult, and that’s a period of life that I really enjoy exploring and that comes very naturally (I spend a lot of time looking at undergrads), but I’m toying with going a little younger and poking around the edges of YA. We’ll see – I honestly have no idea what’s next, and for me that’s the most fun part. Once I get locked into something new I’ll be chafing at the boundaries of it, and that’s its own kind of fun, but for now I’m still full of possibilities, and for all we know, I could be on the precipice of a moment of genius. WHO EVEN KNOWS?!
When New York-based memoirist Aaron Wilkinson gathers with his high school friends to marry off two of their own, he is forced to spend a week with Nik, the boy who broke his heart.
As they settle into the Texas beach house where the nuptials will be performed, Nik quickly makes his intentions clear: he wants Aaron back. “He’s coming hard, baby,” a friend warns, setting the tone for a week of transition where Aaron and Nik must decide if they are playing for keeps.
Aaron finishes the song and Stephanie snatches the mic out of his hand, crooks her finger at Nik and launches them into a reprise of their performance of “Dancing on My Own” from the homecoming weekend they all spent here at the house back in senior year. Stephanie still has questionable rhythm and tragic pitch—she loves to sing, which is why they have a karaoke machine in this house, but it’s one thing she will admit she doesn’t have much of a gift for—but there’s a reason Nik majored in music at The University of Texas, and his voice has come a long way.
Somehow, this deliberate throwback to a memory that was never anything but happy seems different than what Aaron has just done. He sits on the sofa, flanked by Alex and Jasmine, hating them both a little for participating in it even while he smiles. Nik dances—how can you not, with this song—but he still watches Aaron, gives him a little head-tilt during the chorus, and it’s charming and devastating and infuriating.
Jasmine leans to murmur, “Oh, I see how it is.”
“Oh, shut up.”
“You might not be desperate, but I’m not sure about him. He’s coming hard, baby.”
Rafflecopter Prize: One $25 Interlude Press gift card. Five e-book copies of ‘The Luckiest’
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About the Author
Mila McWarren grew up in Texas, but has happily made her home on the East Coast for the last decade. In her day job she works as a social scientist and has spent the last 10 years developing her fiction writing online. She lives with her husband and their two kids. When she isn’t using working, writing, or hanging out with her family, she likes knitting and watching television, because they go together like peanut butter and chocolate, two of her other great loves.
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Tour Dates & Stops: July 7 – July 20, 2015