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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Guest Post and excerpt: Twelve Months of Awkward Moments By Lisa Acerbo

Twelve Months of Awkward Moments
By Lisa Acerbo

Blurb
Dani can’t wait for senior year at college. A straight-A scholar whose anxiety is a daily struggle, being awkward, introverted, and studious has become a way of life. She vows this year will be different. It’s time to move beyond her comfort zone, but that’s not easy.

Dani’s wild roommate and handsome best friend hate each other; her crazy family won’t leave her alone; and a new job forces her to be social. Unfortunately, when college romance finally calls, Dani is unable to answer thanks to a stalker who has her all tied up.


Publisher: Torrid Books
Publication Date: August 30, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Page Count: 234
Book are available for pre-sale on Amazon.com at goo.gl/4zKLpn
Book are available for pre-sale on Barnes & Noble at https://goo.gl/UJC2vw
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Excerpt:
There was never supposed to be a fairytale chance that I’d be the one in serious trouble. I’m the studious introvert. The college student who actually went to school to get a degree in something I love. The rule follower. The good girl. The last one asked to the party.
Evil doesn’t care when bad things happen to good girls. Someone like me isn’t supposed to have a stalker, a man who makes panic track through me like a virus, a man who devours me like the cat in the Grimm fairytale. But here I am.
I try to twist my head away, his palm smashes into my face, hitting my cheek and ear. Pain rings through my head. He draws back, knowing I’m trapped in my own living room. Dread coils in my stomach. Nausea ripens like week old bananas.
“This is what you want.” He spits the words. “This has always been what you wanted from the first day we met. I hate when women play games. For a while, I believed you might be different, but you’re not.”
He inches towards me again, his fist raised, clenched and trembling. I’m unable to speak. I gag on my breath.
“Or is this what you want?” His hand squeezes my arm so hard, I yelp. One small part of my brain realizes this might be my last chance to act. A sob escapes as I rip my arm away and run. But where can I go? I’m terrified of what follows.
  “Damn it, Dani! There is nowhere to go. What do you think you’re trying to do?” His voice is placating and whiny at the same time. Time slows as I sprint from the living room to the bedroom. My thoughts flee back to my ordinary life a few months ago.

Author Interview with Lisa Acerbo

What inspired Twelve Months of Awkward Moments?

Stories from friends and family inspired me to address the subject of anxiety in students. Twelve Months of Awkward Moments, and the main character Dani took shape after learning about different people’s daily struggles with anxiety. The more I spoke about the topic, the more anecdotes I heard. Anxiety at the high school and college levels also seems to be on the rise, and schools need to deal with it effectively. The National Education Association (NEA) article, The Epidemic of Anxiety Among Students, does a great job discussing the severity of the matter (http://neatoday.org/2018/03/28/the-epidemic-of-student-anxiety/).

 I hope Twelve Months of Awkward Moments starts a conversation on the topic. While years of teaching gave me a unique perspective, Dani is a fictional character even if some of her adventures are based on my personal experience with anxiety and stories my daughter told me about her time at college.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

To stay sane, a writer must try to find some sort of satisfaction in every part of the writing process, even the parts that are less enjoyable. For me, revision has always been that challenge.

I’m fine the first three, four, five times I revise, but then I stop seeing mistakes and create new errors throughout the book. I am a person who cannot self edit. Ever. At all. After Twelve Months of Awkward Moments was accepted for publication, the revision process really began. The editors at Torrid are amazing, and they made revision much less of a chore. I also take breaks from writing to read. The only way to improve the craft is to read, write, and then repeat the process. Read. Write. Repeat.  If all else fails, reach for a large glass of wine, grab a chocolate bar, ride a horse or a bike, or find a furry friend to cuddle with. My foster dogs have saved me from certain insanity many times.

Is there a time of day or night when you're most creative?

Coffee fuels my writing mornings. Coffee is the only thing that keeps me going during the day. All day, every day. By evening, I’m a zombie. After a few too many morning cups of coffee, some articulate thoughts enter my mind and I attempt to jot those down. Unfortunately, they don’t always travel from brain to computer keyboard in a coherent manner.  Once my dogs get up, they whine until I pay attention to them.

What audience are you targeting this book at? 

The book is classified as “New Adult” because the protagonist is a senior in college. I wrote it with older high school students and college students as my target audience. College is a time when students take on additional responsibility and independence, and that can exasperate stress and anxiety. The main character Dani makes mistakes throughout the novel, and the reader can see the connections to her anxiety, but she grows from those mistakes, learns from them, and ends up stronger. 

Dani’s Top 5 Playlist

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under the Bridge

Sometimes having anxiety and feeling different from other people isolates Dani. This song helps her understand that everyone feels lonely and alone at some point. It’s important to acknowledge the feelings but also move beyond them and find a bright spot to focus on.  This is the song Dani plays on repeat.

Praying – Kesha

The backstory to this song, Kesha overcoming years of challenges, reminds Dani that she is in control of her own life and can bring change. No matter how tough things seems, there is a way to continue forward. Praying shows her that everyone, even the most successful people, face daily challenges.

Give Me Love – Ed Sheeran

We all look for the person who understands and accepts us, faults and all.  Dani is searching for someone willing to love her for who she is.   

Unwell – Matchbox 20

Similar to the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song, Unwell helps Dani recognize that other people struggle to cope with illnesses and anxieties. The song helps her accept herself and appreciate the fact she is not alone.  

Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson

Ending on a positive note, Dani plays this song when she needs to step back, take a deep breath, recite her manta, and relax.  It sometimes takes a song to remind her to appreciate the little things in life like her mother’s French toast or banana pancakes. 

Bio: Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct instructor at a local community college. Her previous novels have been published through a variety of indie presses. She has a short story “Carnivorous” coming out in October as part of an anthology titled Carnival of Nightmares. When not writing or teaching, she spends time with her family, friends and pets. She also fosters dogs to help them find their forever homes.

Contact Lisa Acerbo at laft100@gmail.com
Blog: Lisaacerbo.com
Twitter: @Apocalipstick_
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laft100/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.acerbo.5
Simon & Schuster: http://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Lisa-Acerbo/148949388

1 comment:

Lacerbo said...

Thanks so much for helping me launch my new book, Twelve Months of Awkward Moments. I love questions. Find me at Lisaacerbo.com.

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