So TRUST THE FOCUS, my male/male New Adult romance with Berkley/Intermix is beginning to make its way into the hands of reviewers (it releases 3/17), and I have a couple of things I’d like to say about it.
I wrote most of this book in November 2013 during Nanowrimo. I’ve said this before, but at the time, I had no agent. No book deal. And I really didn’t think I was ever going to get one. I was growing depressed about my journey, tired of the rejections and the general feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I was working on a book that I liked but didn’t love.
And then Justin began talking to me. He’s the main character in TRUST THE FOCUS. The story is told through his eyes. You only get to hear from Landry in blog posts. At first, Justin talked kind of quietly, and then he got louder. And louder. Until he was screaming his story at me. And so I started writing. I write fast normally but with this book, I wrote FAST. JusLan, as I affectionately call them, mean so much to me personally because of what they did for me at that time in my life. By the time I reached the end of their story, I had an agent and a three book deal for the series I’d been querying since the summer.
I’m not sure I would have gotten there without JusLan, to be honest.
So I love their story because of what they did for me. And then I also love their story because of them. I want to be clear that this is very much a New Adult book. They are twenty-two year old boy-men and it shows. They make mistakes. They are impulsive. They are struggling with who they are. You won’t find self-assured men in this book because that’s not realistic. TRUST THE FOCUS is a coming of age book about a twenty-two-year-old struggling with his sexuality, his grief over the loss of a parent, and the uncertainty of his future. I think we all had a little bit of Justin in us when we were that age — this confusion over who we are and who we want to be.
If you want some visual inspiration for TRUST THE FOCUS, I have a Pinterest board here.
I typically don’t have play lists for my books. That’s just not how I write. But JusLan sure had some songs that inspired me while I wrote:
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Coheed and Cambria
Samson by Regina Spektor
Alone Together by Fall Out Boy
Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
Born this Way by Lady Gaga
And that’s about it. I’ve received some amazing support for this book so far and I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart. Thank you. Thank you thank you. 🙂
You can preorder JusLan here.
And add to your Goodreads here.
Thanks for taking a chance on my boys. <3