Title: Finding Slope (Taking Flight #2)
Author: Erin Brown
Publishing Date: March 10, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
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A spring break ski trip turns into the reunion Willa and Dan never saw coming.
After months of not talking, Willa and Dan run into each other at the last place they thought they would—a ski lodge in Colorado. Neither of them expected to see the other during spring break, and certainly never expected to meet their ex’s new college friends.
Dan sees this as his last opportunity to win Willa back and wants to make the most of the week together. He knows that they can make long distance work, and when he hears that they may both be in New York for the summer, he’s more determined than ever to convince the girl of his dreams that they should try to have a relationship again. Third time’s the charm, right?
But Willa isn’t sure if that’s for the best—they broke up for a reason, after all, and if they did get back together, the deck is stacked against them. They’re still going to different colleges, they’re still long distance, and they still have no idea how to make that work.
But then again, when Willa is honest with herself, she knows that she wants to spend time with Dan. That she wants to see where the week in Colorado may take them. That she wants them to end up together. She just isn’t sure how—or even if—that’s supposed to happen.
In this Taking Flight novella, set against the snowy, stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Willa and Dan have to face the truth about their relationship and decide if they want to run back up that slippery slope together, or go their separate ways.
Welcome to Girl meets Books, Erin! It’s great to have you here.
I’m so thrilled to be here! Thanks for having me.
Your readers have met Willa and Dan in your previous books, what made you decide that they should finally get their own story?
Since writing Taking Flight, I knew that I’d have to write more about Willa and Dan. I set out to resolve their storyline in Making Headlines, but as I was writing, I realized that instead of resolving it what made sense was to dissolve it. But I hated that. So I decided to write a novella that would continue their story.
I love second-chance romance. What was it like writing that kind of story for these two characters? Were they ‘cooperative’ with the way to wrote the plot or did they have their own say, so to speak, that you never expected while writing this book?
I initially had a lot of problems writing Finding Slope. I couldn’t figure out a scenario that worked for them to meet up/run into each other/be in the same place so that they could deal with their feelings. Then it dawned on me—spring break. Once I figured out the setting, everything else fell into place pretty neatly. Though, I will say, there are times that the reader will probably find my characters uncooperative!
As a fellow reader, what do you think should be found in a romance book with this kind of story? Do you have any expectations in terms of character development, conflict resolution, and ultimately the tough road towards the HEA?
I gravitate toward a sense of reality when I read. If a character is going through something I’ve been through—or that I can relate to on some level—I’m able to connect to it in a way that I can’t when characters’ story lines are tied up with a pretty bow. I like when things get messy, I like being caught off guard, and I want the characters to have to work for their relationship. Because, if we’re honest, that’s how life is. Yes, it’s nice to escape for a while with a story that’s total fluff, but I tend to forget about those books pretty quickly. It’s the ones that really capture the hard work that love requires that I remember, so I try to bring those elements to my own books. Besides, I think if the characters have to work for it, the HEA is so much more satisfying!
And as a writer, was it easy or hard to write second-chance romances? Because you have all this history between the two characters, some your readers know, others you may have just used as reference while building their characters. And somehow, everything should (or should not, either way) work out in the end.
I had a bit of a tough time grappling with Willa and Dan’s history, and figuring out exactly how they would deal with one huge aspect of their past relationship. In the draft I sent to my editor, the oh-so-awesome Tara, I actually glossed over this issue because I was having so much trouble with it. But, of course, she called me on it and I had to sit myself down and figure out how these two would work this out. I won’t lie, there were days when I was like, “Why am I even writing this? There’s no way they’d work this out!” But, love requires forgiveness. And though that is sometimes a really, really hard thing to give someone who has hurt you, it is possible. Once I realized that, it all fell into place.
As a reader, I think conflict makes the story. That’s the bottom line. How do you decide the limits of the conflict that you write into the story? This seems like a very interesting topic to get into the writing process of authors. (I tried writing short stories back in college and later and conflict is one, if not the hardest, of challenges that I kept on facing.)
In the words of Mean Girls’ Cady Heron, “The limit does not exist!” Conflict drives plot, whether it’s conflict between characters, within a character, or thrust upon a character. One of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve been given is, “When you’ve think you’ve gone far enough, go farther.” That can be applied to all sorts of things—awkward scenes, sad scenes, sexy scenes, hilarious scenes—and can definitely be applied to the overall conflict. I think the hardest part, though, is to make sure your character(s) really face the conflict head on when the time comes in a way that is true—you can’t cheap out on your reader. So when you decide to make your characters go there for sake of the plot, you have to make sure that you are prepared to take them there emotionally.
Can you share with us, your readers, some of your future projects?
Sure! I’m working on the next books in the Taking Flight series
(editing one, and getting ready to start drafting another during the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo
), as well as very slowly working on a couple stand-alone projects—a YA contemp and my first stab at an adult contemp.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit, Erin!
It’s been my pleasure! Thank you so much for having me. Happy reading, and happy Friday!
Erin Brown is a writer, Whedonite, Whovian, yogi, HGTV addict, and connoisseur of The CW’s TV line-up. She learned to ski at the age of twenty-four and is definitely a skier of the Dan variety. She was born and raised in Arkansas, and lives in Singapore. She is the author of Taking Flight and Making Headlines: A Taking Flight Novel. You can follow her on Twitter @erinbrownwrites.
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an e-copy of FINDING SLOPE: A Taking Flight Novella!
More Erin Brown on the blog:
Making Headlines (Taking Flight #2)