by AJ Pine
While it’s true that I want my readers to fall in love with my words, the characters I create, the worlds I build—I also hope we can connect on another level. A more personal level.
A…pop culture level.
Yes. I’m that author. The one who likes to sneak her favorite things into her novels to see if, maybe, a reader might share an affinity for The Vampire Diaries…#teamdamon
Or Gilmore Girls…#teamjess
Or maybe even…The Monkees. #teamdavy
Sometimes I might share a love for a certain book. My first novel, If Only, is framed with quotes from one of my all-time favorite books, E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View. My hero in that book, Noah, is a die-hard fan of The Great Gatsby, while my heroine, Jordan, is a British literature fangirl, especially when it comes to Jane Austen. Here’s a little secret…I was an English major in college. I’m a former English teacher and current librarian. My love of all things books cannot help but seep into my own stories.
My new release, Three Simple Words, uses a bit of a Wizard of Oz parallel. From the nickname my hero, Wes, gives my heroine, Annie, to a yellow-brick apartment building to both characters realizing they read the same copy of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their journey to an ending worthy of a romance novel is not without its hiccups on the way to the Emerald City.
This doesn’t mean that my stories are overflowing with pop culture references or that I intend to force my favorite things on a reader who might not have ever seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. The references are always minor and contribute to the story in a way that any reader will be able to relate, whether or not they share the same fandom as me.
But, if I do happen to mention the episode of Gilmore Girls called Swan Song, and a reader recalls this particular scene, it’s like the tiniest of secret handshakes. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s okay too. We’re still friends, and the story will still make sense. (But GG is on Netflix just in case you were wondering)
Bottom line, it’s the story that counts, first and foremost. But just in case you want a jump start on what I might reference in a later book, I’m a huge #captainswan shipper. You never know. Killian Jones may be due for an appearance in a book sometimes soon.
Three Simple Words
by A.J. Pine
Release Date: October 17, 2016
I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love.
So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like he never did before? Or that he’s agreed to do a signing at my bookstore on such short notice? Because despite all his adoring female fans, I kind of hated his book.
The last time I saw Annie Denning, she was a senior in high school, three years older than me and way out of my league. Now I’m her last-minute date to a wedding, and what started as a night of pure fun has turned into something more real than either of us anticipated.
Annie is my muse. When I’m with her, my writer’s block fades away, and the words finally flow.
The only problem? She wants the fairy tale—her very own happily ever after—and anyone who’s read my book knows the truth. I just don’t believe they exist.