We're all in for a treat!
I love learning how various stories came to be, what the inspiration was, the catalyst for it all. And today, Jessa Russo is stopping by to share about DIVIDE.
Welcome, Jessa :-) Take it away.
How DIVIDE came to be:
Well, it’s simple, really . . . I was driving.
And then, “SQUIRREL!” Only, in this case, it wasn’t a squirrel, but a shiny new idea.
It went a little something like this:
I want to do a fairytale redux.
Which one? I’ve never read any. Have they all been done?
*thinks about covers I’ve seen, like CINDER’s pretty cover*
Psssst . . . Beauty and the Beast.
But, how can my Beauty and the Beast be different?
OMG! MY BEAUTY IS THE BEAST!
*commences crazy grinning and more nodding*
So I started the story. And then I read the original Beauty and the Beast.
Later on, after I’d written most of the book and was struggling toward the end of NaNoWriMo 2012, my critique partner (the amazing Tamara Mataya, author of recent release JUST BREATHE <---shameless plug) read what I had so far and said something like, “Oh wow, I love this Dr. Jekyll thing you’ve got going on here.”
Hmm . . . actually, that is an underlying theme of the book. I should expound on that. So I did.
Then I read the original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
And so DIVIDE came to be, and we all lived happily ever after.
Or, well, not quite. Because then I had to query. *dies* Then I got my awesome agent. *yay!* Then we had to go on submission. *dies again* Then, after a lot of “We just signed something similar” and “Oh, sorry, we’ve signed all the fairytale retellings we want” . . . I had to accept the fact that I may have missed the boat on retelling classics.
But, as disappointed as I was—I’d thought FOR SURE this book was going to be my ticket into traditional publishing—I believed in my book, in my characters, and in my ability to tell their story, so I decided that it wasn’t DIVIDE’s time to be shelved.
I self-published—with the support of my agent, of course.
And that, my friends, is how DIVIDE came to be.
***I really love how DIVIDE was born!***
From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.
After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.
As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson.
Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish.
Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her.
Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.
Jessa Russo believes in fairytales, ghosts, and Jake Ryan. She insists mimosas were created for Sundays, and that’s not up for discussion. She’s obsessed with the great city of New Orleans—where she’s collected too many beads to count, eventually married her sweetheart, and visited graveyards they don’t include on maps.
She’s loud, painfully honest, and passionate about living life to the fullest, because she’s seen how abruptly it can be taken away.
What began as a desire for reading and writing young adult paranormal has bled into stories of all kinds. From fantasy to pre-dystopian to erotic contemporary, Jessa’s stories always include romance, though she’s given up on pigeonholing her work into a category or genre box.
Jessa was born and raised in Southern California, and remains there to this day with her husband (a classic car fanatic), their daughter (a Tim Burton superfan), and a Great Dane who thinks he’s the same size as his Chihuahua sister.
ENTWINED, the final installment of Russo’s Ever Trilogy, will be released later this year, as well as CHLORINE&CHAOS, an erotic contemporary romance (writing as Parker Jameson).
Do you have a fairy tale you've considered giving a new lease on life?