You only get one first time . . .
From driving tests to relationships, Valentina Bell thinks she’s a failure, with a big fat capital F. At this rate, she’s certain she’ll be a virgin for ever. So Lena’s friends plan Operation: Popping the Cherry to help her find the perfect man first time.
Yet somehow disastrous dates with bad-boy musicians and fabulous evenings with secretly in-the-closet guys aren’t quite working out how Lena planned.
Soon Lena’s avoiding Operation: Popping the Cherry to spend time with comforting, aloof Jake, her best friend’s older brother, who doesn’t make her feel self-conscious about still clinging to her V card. But could Jake show Lena that sometimes what you’re looking for most is right by your side?
A Forever for the twenty-first century
Interested? Gliterary Girl had a chat with author Aurelia B. Rowl about her new release and her career. Make sure to check out the links below.
GG: Hi, there! Thanks for spending a little time with Gliterary Girl today. We’re happy to have you on the site. Your latest novel, Popping the Cherry, is out now. What can you tell us about the book?
ABR: Hi, and thank you for the warm welcome; it’s lovely to be here. Popping the Cherry is a coming of age story, featuring a girl called Valentina—Lena, for short— as she struggles to handle peer pressure and the expectations of others, whilst constantly battling with her own conscience, her desire to conform, and whether to follow her heart no matter what. It’s also about losing her virginity and some hot guys 😀
GG: How did you develop the idea for Popping The Cherry? Based on anyone you know?
ABR: Popping the Cherry was one of those wonderful instances where an idea for a story appeared in my mind fully-fleshed out from beginning to end, even down to the title. The character names came soon after and I wrote the bulk of it in just six weeks.
GG: How long have you been writing? Would you tell us a little about your career so far and what you look forward to in the (near) future?
ABR: I probably shouldn’t say this, but I still feel like a bit of a fluke when it comes to my writing career. I am an avid reader, but had never considered writing until an idea for a story wouldn’t leave me alone. So, on October 18th 2011, I sat down and created Aurelia B. Rowl, even before I’d written a word, and then had to learn fast. Less than two years later, I have just had my third publication, I have three more stories under contract, and I have so far managed to avoid the rejection rite of passage. Yay!
GG: What are your favorite types of stories to write? Do you ever stray or tend to stick with young/new adult romance?
ABR: Funnily, this is my third release but it’s also in my third genre and all three have wildly different word counts. Popping the Cherry is my first YA/NA novel, and it is a cross between ‘chick-lit’ and contemporary romance. Christmas is Cancelled, my debut novella from last December, is a Christmas-themed contemporary romance. For One Night Only is a more…um…*adult* romance, and the short story is featured in a military-themed anthology called Serviced but is published under my other pseudonym. They are all heart-warming tales, with a lot of soul-searching, and they are all contemporary.
GG: What have been some of your favorite books from the past year or two?
ABR: Oh, now that’s tough! I read a LOT when I’m not writing so I have a lot to choose from. I’ve read over 360 in the last two years, but here goes… I cannot get enough of the Chicago Stars series but some of them are tricky to get hold of in the UK, so it’s taking me longer than I’d like. I devoured the Hunger Games series, and I was very late to the Twilight Saga party but I loved them so much I read the entire series three times back to back in the space of a fortnight. I also love the Morganville series, and Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series, and the Witchblood series, and the House of Night series, oh, and the Peachville High Demons series too… Um, I could be here all day so perhaps best to move on.
GG: Favorite book/author of all time? (That’s a tough question, you can cheat and answer vaguely!)
ABR: Argh, no way…that last question was tricky enough! Okay, I’m going to jump straight in and say my favourite author is Susan Elizabeth Phillips because Match Me If You Can made me laugh so hard, I spent the next ten minutes wiping tears off my face, and my favourite book is actually a series, but it is my all-time favourite and I could read it again and again (and have done so!), and it is of course, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
GG: What can you tell us about your writing process?
ABR: I consider myself a bit of a novice when it comes to writing, and I am still finding my own style. It turns out that I have naturally fallen into something called the ‘W-plot’ which helps me plan a project but still allows a great deal of flexibility. Quite often the first thing I come up with is the title – or at least a working title – and then I fire up Scrivener. From there, I create four folders: Act 1, Act 2 (part 1), Act 2 (part 2), and Act 3. I add in my ‘islands’ starting with ‘trigger event’ and going all the way through to ‘climax’ and that’s when the brainstorming begins, writing down any possible idea for a scene or event or character trait etc.
GG: Any unique writing quirks? Good-luck charm? Certain setting?
ABR: I wish! I am a mother of two young children so often have to write ‘as the bullets fly’ as well as working weekends and late into the night. My youngest has now started at school full-time though, so I am hoping to get into more of a sociable routine.
GG: Let’s put the author-hat down… Tell us something about you the person! (Pets, family, hobbies, etc.)
ABR: I live on the border of the Peak District in the UK and am surrounded by lush green hills, but am only a short trip from Manchester city centre so I have the best of both worlds. I finally got it right when I met my now husband ten years ago, despite living at opposite ends of the country, thanks to mutual friends and annual reunions. We got married on Valentine’s Day seven years ago and started a family soon after, so our son is six (and two-thirds) and our daughter is four (she doesn’t care about the two-thirds bit yet). We also have a mad mutt that we rescued him from a shelter when he was about six months old, and he’s been with us coming up nine years now. Family life fills up the bulk of my time, and it’s wonderful spending so much time together. My writing or reading occupies the rest of my time but I always try to squeeze in chats with friends, too, and very occasionally get to go for a night out.
Thanks again for chatting with Gliterary Girl!
For an excerpt and trailer for Popping The Cherry, please see: www.aureliabrowl.com/popping-the-cherry.html