One thing I enjoy about my reading life (and my viewing habits) is that I fall in love with a wide range of texts. I love Charles Dickens and Sophie Kinsella, Masterpiece Theater and The Bachelor, The New Yorker and US Weekly. My latest audiobook pick, A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley, lies solidly on the “Stars – They’re just like us” side of the continuum. If you need a bit of summer frothy fantasy fun, this audiobook could be right for you.
The Story: Joanna Price jets off on her honeymoon only to crash land on a deserted island with her “caveman” seat mate, Connor. The two co-exist, scrounging wild fruit and ocean snapper. And, predictably, Joanna feels the inevitable heat of attraction, even as she worries about the fate of her husband, who sat a few rows away from her on the plane. The island survival arc is only part of the story. Isley takes us through the aftermath – Joanna’s next career move (she’s a book editor and writer – loved that!), the fate of her husband, and the resettling of her island monkey pet. Yes, parts of it are pretty silly, but also fairly compelling – much like a Bachelor finale marriage proposal, am I right?
The Recording: Many reviewers on Amazon like Tami Leah Lacy’s narration. I didn’t care for it. It seemed unnaturally slow, and I decided to listen on the 1.25 speed setting.
The Bottom Line: This is pure escapist, fairy-tale fluff. If you’re craving that type of read, give it a go!
As I listened to the book, I also found myself wondering about Isley’s life as an indie author. She graciously provided me the audiobook and also agreed to answer a few of my questions about her writing and routine.
Give us a glimpse of a “day-in-the-life” of an Indie writer.
It varies a lot. My favorite days are those when I’m inspired and write thousands of words, the worst are those when it takes me three hours to write half a page. My routine is simple: I like to catch up with publishing news during breakfast—see my list Publishing World on Twitter. Then I sit at my desk and depending on which phase of a book I’m into I can either write, edit, work at formatting, or promote. Right now, with a few books out, it’s a mix. I just completed the first edit of my fourth book, Love Connection. I’m writing two other books. And I just published my first audiobooks so I’m doing a bit of promotion for those too. Everything gets mixed up with mundane tasks at home.
Who provides your feedback? Do you work with an editor yourself?
When I finish a first draft, I do three to four rounds of self-edit. Then I send the book out to a few trusted beta-readers who provide me feedback on the plot, but not the form—grammar, typos, etc. Then I do two rounds of professional editing with two separate editors and finally hire one or two proofreaders to catch the last few typos hidden in the text. For my first book I did just one professional edit and thought I was in the clear, big mistake! You need as many eyes as you can afford.
I noticed that Joanna Price is a career woman with ambition, but she also seems to embody a “traditional” notion of womanhood, wanting marriage, babies, and performing a fairy-tale version of femininity at times. Could you talk about that balance a bit?
Again, this is very personal. I think every woman needs to find her own balance. Feminism to me means liberty to choose. We can be career women—with or without kids, stay at home moms, not moms, married, single…it doesn’t matter. The choice is finally ours and ours alone and we should respect and support other women’s choices. Working moms shouldn’t shame stay-at-home moms for not “doing it all”, stay-at-home moms shouldn’t shame working moms for not devoting enough time to their kids, and neither should shame non-moms.
What books are on your nightstand right now?
The new Harry Potter, I couldn’t resist.
Me neither, Camilla! I’ve got that on my nightstand right now, as well!