Lisa: We’re so pleased to have author S.M. James joining us today on the tour for their new novel That Feeling When. Welcome, S.M.! Let’s start things off in a personal way: tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
SM: Well, there’s a lot of uncharted territory here, so picking one thing is kind of hard. What most people don’t know is I have an almost chronic need to be liked. I love all people, so when someone puts up a barrier between us, it just makes me work harder. It’s a kind of ‘love me or I’ll break you’ mentality.
Lisa: What’s your favorite scene in That Feeling When, and what makes it a fave?
SM: One of them is for sure when Archie and Landon film Archie’s audition video for the dance academy he’s hoping to be accepted to. It’s the first time Archie’s boundaries really come down, and we finally get a glimpse into Archie being confident in his own skin.
Lisa: Would you care to share an excerpt from the scene with us?
Excerpt: I’ve done a ton of research on video auditions so I’m not completely unprepared. Maybe two sets, one classical, and one modern, to show them my diversity?
I wipe my palms on my shorts. At least they’re black, and my t-shirt is white and plain. This is it.
No rehearsal, no costuming or lights. Man, I’m going to be a laughing stock. I snort and brush my hair back from my forehead. There’s no way to fix it, I just need to focus on the moves, and hope they’ll be enough to get me through.
I’m good. I know I’m good.
I close my eyes and breathe in to the count of ten, before slowly releasing it all.
This is it.
I nod to Landon and the red light blinks on.
Hesitating is for the weak.
I throw myself into it, anticipating the music, and pushing myself to get the moves right. Making sure I have good extension, perfect posture, and the right height in my jumps.
I mess up the first few times, and there’s sweat running down my back when I finally get through a full set I’m happy with. I’m panting and hot, and when Landon switches off the camera and steps out from behind it, I’m too exhausted to be embarrassed or self-conscious or any of that.
“That was … wow.”
I laugh a little and drop to the floor. “’Preciate it.”
“I mean it.” And he’s looking at me in a dangerous way. The kind of way that would send my heart racing if it wasn’t already worked up.
He closes his eyes and turns away. “I’m really sorry to rush off, but I have to go.”
“You off to kill some monsters?”
He laughs and the scar on his cheek dimples. “Yeah, something like that.” He nods at the camera. “I’ll get that sent today, it’s all handled.”
“Landon …” He waits for the rest but I’m not even sure what I wanted to say. “How the hell do I repay you?”
“Don’t worry about it, I owe you one, remember?”
“One?” I tease. “I’m sure we agreed on two.”
“Aw well … I guess I’ll just have to stick around a little longer.”
He grabs the camera and leaves, and I just sit there smiling like a loon. A little longer, huh? I can live with that.
Lisa: Thanks for sharing that with us! Have you ever written a line, paragraph, or passage, and thought, “Darn, that’s pretty amazing, even if I do say so myself”? What was it?
SM: Not when it’s written, but occasionally I’ll go back and look over something I haven’t read in a while. There have definitely been times when I stopped and checked the work’s mine, because damn I didn’t remember writing that.
Lisa: Let’s talk tropes: do you have a few favorites that you enjoy both writing and reading? If so, what are they and what makes them your faves?
SM: Friend-to-lovers is my favourite to write (and read), followed closely by enemies-to-lovers. Being able to explore the romantic tension, and making your characters really take time to fall for each other beyond the superficial, is a lot of fun to experiment with. And when I’m reading, I get so emotionally invested in the characters when they build up a friendship first, that I’m basically yelling at them to ‘SUCK FACE ALREADY!’
Lisa: What book are you reading right now?
SM: I’ve just started Riding with Brighton and so far, it’s living up to the hype. Both Jay and Brighton are really interesting characters with a lot of chemistry. It’s so addictive it’s the kind of book I would binge read if I had the time.
Lisa: How long did it take to write your first book, and what was the most difficult part of the writing process (i.e., dialogue, plot or character development, pacing, etc.)?
SM: For my first book, it took a few months. And then YEARS of rewrites. I ended up signing with my agent on that one, so it wasn’t time wasted, but I’ve come a long way. These days (depending on how heavily booked I am with editing clients) I can write a 70k book in a month to ten weeks.
Lisa: What’s the best piece of writing/author advice you’ve received that you’d pass on to someone else just getting started in the business?
SM: Oh, man. Read. And then read some more. Read books in your favourite genre, and books you normally wouldn’t pick up. Read books on craft and story structure, and once you’ve done all that, read books in the genre you plan to write in and takes notes on what works, and what gives you emotion, and what completely sucks you in. After that, don’t police your writing. Just write. Everything can be edited later on.
Lisa: Who designed your cover art? What was the process like, from beginning to end, coming up with the design?
SM: Story Styling Covers Designs. I basically told her the genre I was writing, and other covers in the genre I really loved, and the four she’s made for me so far are perfect. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Lisa: If you had to choose between becoming a superhero or supervillain, which would you choose and why?
SM: I mean, both just seem like a lot of work. Can I be a casual bystander instead?
Lisa: Haha. Sure. Where would heroes and villains be without us regulars?
If James Corden invited you to Carpool Karaoke, what song(s) would you sing with him?
SM: I Wanna Be Better by the Bleachers. Oh, man, the amount of people I’ve freaked while driving is fun because that song just makes me lose my shit.
Lisa: If you could travel back in time, with all your years of experience and wisdom intact, what advice would you give to your teenage self?
SM: You’re a mess, but you’re having fun, and it all gets so much better. Your teen years are the time to make all of the mistakes.
Lisa: Thanks so much for dropping by, S.M., it’s been great chatting with you!
And readers, don’t forget to check out the details for S.M.’s giveaway below.
About the Book
Title: That Feeling When
Author: S.M. James
Publisher: May Books
Cover Artist: Story Styling
Genre/s: YA, LGBT, contemporary romance
Length: 343 pages
Release Date: September 16, 2018 (Available now in paperback)
Add on Goodreads
Blurb: Dance Academy reject, Archie Corrigan, resents the stereotype guy ballet dancers are gay. Because he isn’t. At all. Forced to reassess his life goal at Camp Crystal Cove, it’s by sheer dumb luck he meets Landon Summers, who turns everything Archie was sure of into chaos.
Poor boy turned teen heartthrob, Landon Summers, is the name on everyone’s lips. With his unexpected leap to fame, his agent advises him to keep his bi status on the down low. Not a problem! Until Landon meets Archie.
Their unexpected friendship leads to an inevitable kiss, but their moment is caught in high definition and used as fuel for blackmail. If the truth gets out, Landon’s career could be over, and Archie will be forced to acknowledge the one thing he’s fought to deny.
But how do you go back to your average life once you’ve experienced That Feeling When … you’re finally happy?
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited: Amazon US || Amazon UK
About the Author
SM James in an Australian author who writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters. While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee. Member of SCBWI. Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBT+ characters.
Social Media Links: Blog/Website || Facebook || Instagram
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the Tour
Hosted by Gay Book Promotions
1 thought on “Interview and Giveaway: That Feeling When by S.M. James”