Monday, February 9, 2015

"Help Me Move On" by Angie Hemmings

Help Me Move On
(The Southern Ties Series Book 1)
by Angie Hemmings

Help Me Move On, the first book in The Southern Ties Series by Angie Hemmings, is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Ally Dunn is a small town girl with big dreams planning a wedding that would never happen. Ally’s life revolved around being Eric’s wife … until she watched his best friend Isaiah step off that plane, his arm in a sling and Eric's casket behind him. Her grief consumed her, their last conversation not one filled with love but an argument over her favorite flower. He knew her favorite flower, he was just busy … fighting for his country. Isaiah made a promise to Eric, he would keep Ally safe even if that meant saving her from herself. Isaiah takes Ally away when her grief becomes too much but their return brings about something she never expected.  
When Ally meets Colton Walker she knows her life will never be the same. She never planned to move on from Eric, the mere idea of moving on would send her into a panic. How do you move on from the man you loved, the man who shared your dreams, who made your heart feel whole? But Colton doesn’t push her, he doesn’t pressure her, he gives her everything she ever needed and he does it effortlessly.
Falling in love with Colton was like taking her next breath; she didn’t have to think about because it came naturally … only a cloud hangs over Ally. Isaiah trains her in Krav Maga, Eric trained her in gunfire. Colton sees all of this, asking the one question she can’t answer, why? Why would a woman who lives in such a small town need to know such aggressive self-defense? Isaiah vows to keep her safe, going so far as to track her every move … but why?  
Surviving Eric’s death almost killed Ally, the hole in her heart never truly healed until Colton. Falling in love with Colton was easy, fighting for her life when everything she thought she knew was wrong … that was a completely different story.

Interview With the Author
Hi Angie, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Help Me Move On.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Sixteen plus.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I was driving around Pilot Mountain, this rather unique looking mountain, and I started thinking about small towns and how everyone I ever grew up with wanted to get as far away from their small town when in reality small towns are kinda awesome.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
The idea came first. This small town girl who gets caught up in the moment. She's so caught up in planning this perfect life that has no price tag that she loses track of what's important.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The first part. The very first chapter when she's sitting at that funeral watching the only man she has ever loved being placed in the ground knowing that their last conversation wasn't one of love but rather a fight. How many times have you had a fight with someone you love not thinking that that could be the last time you ever saw them again? You think that you'll get a second chance but what happens when that doesn't happen? How do you live with yourself knowing the mistakes you made and knowing you can't take them back?
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I want my readers to come out from this book happy and glad they read this book. So many times I've read a book and been frustrated at the end and I took an entire year to perfect this book so that hopefully my readers will be as happy as I am.
How long did it take you to write this book?
I spent a year making sure this book was perfect. I nitpicked this poor book to death and then I nitpicked some more.
What is your writing routine?
I always start with a song that fuels the story that I'm writing. With Help Me Move On that song was "Holding Out For A Hero" as sung by Ella Mae Bowen. There were many other songs but this was the central theme to the story.
How did you get your book published?
I considered traditional publishing until I read several articles on LinkedIn by some indie authors and I decided I liked the idea of going against the curb and being independent in my writing and publishing.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Don't feel like you have to bend to everyone else's demands because at the end of the day all that really matters is that you're happy with the work you're putting out.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read. I read a lot of romance, and then when I'm not reading I'll watch mindless comedies to clear my mind ... yes, that probably sounds weird but it works.
What does your family think of your writing?
It depends on who you ask. My husband is my entire world and he's supported me from the very beginning. He told me to take a year off and focus on writing and he told me if I wanted to make this my career then he was happy with that.
Does all my family think the same thing? No ... I've had many a disagreement over my decision to take a year off to write, but at the end of the day I'm doing what makes me happy and writing makes me happy.
That's great, Angie. Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I had the kind of childhood that people don't believe when you talk about it. Parents who didn't drink or party or smoke for that matter, where dinner was served every night at the same time, and you always went to bed knowing that you were loved. We went to family reunions each year, we went to church every Easter, and we got Pringles in our Christmas stockings every single year (a tradition I have kept with my own children). To a lot of people it's weird to get Pringles in your Christmas stocking but see my dad was a Wise Potato Chip man and we could have whatever chips we wanted (growing up that is) but they had to be the Wise brand. So on Christmas morning when we woke up and Santa brought Pringles it was a really big deal. Silly I guess, but that was a really fond memory and every year when I buy Pringles for our stockings my husband gets a good laugh.
Sounds like you had a great childhood! Did you like reading when you were a kid?
I read more as I got older. A lot of the books I read came from my sister. Robin Cook is one of the first authors I remember being addicted to. I started with Outbreak because my big sister was reading this and I had a thing where I wanted to be just like her (not that I would have ever admitted that) and, once I read that, I pretty much devoured whatever I could get from him.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but I wasn't ready until this last year. I wrote my first book when I was a teenager and I remember rereading it and thinking that I needed to live more, to experience more before I could really write the way that I wanted to write. I was right. After I met my husband everything I ever thought I knew changed, and my writing changed because of that.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
I was sheltered as a child to the extent that I was completely ignorant to more things than I really care to admit to now that I look back. But I'll say this much, as sheltered as I was, I was observant and, even though I had a stable childhood, I learned a lot from my mother and her life which has influenced one book in particular.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Nicholas Sparks because he's one of the few writers who can make me cry with just about every book I read. E. L. James because she broadened my perspective on female sexuality. Stephenie Meyer because she wrote the first series that I read so many times I almost memorized the books.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I have dedicated readers and I hear from them all the time. My readers are the reason I write and the reason I keep publishing, because they're happy with what I'm writing, and if they want more then I'll give them more.
The #1 thing lately I've been getting is what made me want to write and I answer the same each time I'm asked this. I love it. Writing makes me happy and I may not be the next Nicholas Sparks but I am Angie Hemmings and I'm happy with being just that.
That's a great attitude, Angie! What can we look forward to from you in the future?
Every six months I'm planning on releasing another book from The Southern Ties Series. I may be an independent author, but I'm determined and, as long as my fans want more, I plan on giving that to them.
Fantastic! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today, Angie. Best of luck with your future projects.

About the Author
Angie Hemmings is a self-proclaimed romance addict. Her love for romance began at an early age but after years of reading romance novels she found herself wanting more which led to her first novel. She's originally from Mount Airy, a small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and she loves the art behind creating a new story. Getting lost in the romance, the struggle between her characters is what makes Angie Hemmings continue her work and writing is what she loves.