Monday, May 21, 2012
Any Other Night, by Anne Pfeffer - Interview, Update and FREE!
A couple of months ago I read and reviewed a lovely book, then titled “Loving Emily,” by Anne Pfeffer. I saw the other day that Anne has re-titled her book, and provided it with a new cover. It’s now known as “Any Other Night,” and this is the new cover photo. Changing your title and cover isn’t something you see every day, and I thought it would be interesting to get Anne’s perspective on the change. Here's my q and a with Anne!
So, Anne, what’s up with the new title and cover?
“I'm really happy with the change. I've felt for a long time that the old title and cover emphasized the romance part of the book too strongly, when in fact it's a coming of age story about the sixteen year old protagonist, Ryan. I love the new title – Any Other Night – because it evokes that weird element of chance in life, how one little decision can change everything. And it implies regret, that feeling of 'coulda, shoulda, woulda' that Ryan was living with during the story. And it's also the first three words of the book.”
That makes sense, and I agree with you about the novel’s true focus being on Ryan’s journey. Not gonna lie, though, I thought this had some sweet, sweet romance going, and by the end, I was loving Emily too.
So I hear a rumor that you are doing a free offer of "Any Other Night" on Kindle Select, through Tuesday? Where can people go to get in on that (Ed. Note – this is an awesome offer of a really good book, go get it and spread the word!)
Thanks, Fred, for loving Emily! She's a controversial character, which is fine, but I thought it made the title a little ironic. Any Other Night is available through Amazon.com and will be free until midnight May 22. The content of the book Loving Emily is unchanged; just the title and cover are new. Here's a link to the Amazon page
Can you tell us about your next project, which I understand is titled, The Wedding Cake Girl? I am intrigued by the title – does she make them or eat them?
"She makes them—against her will! The Wedding Cake Girl is a contemporary Cinderella story complete with a colorful, quirky island setting, dangerous deep sea diving adventures, a family of billionaires, and lots and lots of butter cream. I'm polishing the final version right now. I was planning to self-publish immediately, but an agent wanted to see the manuscript. So I may send it to him, which will delay things a bit."
Does this mean you are thinking about not doing the indie thing any more? It’s been a while since Any Other Night came out. Are you happy with the process?
"It's been seven months since Any Other Night was published – I guess that's a long time in the indie world! I loved self-publishing my first book and was looking forward to doing the same with The Wedding Cake Girl. But I went to a writer's conference where an agent saw the beginning of my manuscript. He wanted to read the full, so I've decided to send it to him. But that's a long way from getting an offer of representation! We'll see what happens."
Here’s my original review of the novel now known as “Any Other Night.” Please, do yourself a favor , and if it’s no longer available for free on Kindle Select by the time you read this, trust me, it’s worth it!
This book was a pleasure to read and experience. The story starts with MC Ryan so smitten with his lovely classmate Emily that he tells his life long friend Michael (boys don't do bff's, sorry) he'll have to drive himself to Emily's sweet sixteen party. That's because Ryan is intent on arriving early, to maybe have a chance at conversing with Emily before she gets swept up in the festivities. When Michael does finally arrive, trashed with his scuzzball new friend Chase, Ryan tries to help his friend out, despite his egregious party manners, but things don't work out and Michael drives off alone. Cue the music for uh-oh, some bad stuff is about to happen. When it does, Ryan blames himself, especially his desire to be with Emily, for Michael's death. Ryan has some other issues to deal with too. His parents are emotionally and physically absent, leaving Michael and his charming twin second grade sisters alone most of the time with their surrogate parent, Rosaria, the housekeeper of their Hollywood mega mansion (I hope she has help, this sounds like one of those places where dusting is a full time job!) Academically, he's in a bit of a slump, and he gave up on tennis after Michael's earlier overdose drove an even deeper wedge between Ryan and the fam. Speaking of tennis, Michael's brief encounter with Chrissie, the cute aspiring actress who works in the club pro shop, has left some complications. Ryan sees helping Chrissie as a way to redeem himself for failing his friend, but things get complicated. As his reluctant relationship with Emily deepens (he doesn't deserve to be happy, when M is dead!), the conflicting commitments he's made pull him in different and demanding directions.
Not that many YA books like this (a family drama, coming of age with romantic overtones) feature a male protagonist, so that is a refreshing change. It's always great, to me, to know what the guy is thinking, they are usually so opaque, and to be left wondering what is on the girl's mind. Ryan is a great character, he initially comes across as a little too good to be true, but as you come to know him you begin to understand where his maturity and seriousness have come from. The way the romance develops with Emily is sweet and tender, and yes, very intense. The supporting characters are interesting, well developed and real feeling (Emily's father, especially is quite the piece of work), and contribute to the rich immersive world the author creates. Seeing Ryan find his way as he tries to do the right thing (and it's not easy sometimes to figure out what that is!), is touching and draws you deeply into the world of the story. This is really a wonderful book, and I urge you to give yourself over to the pleasure of enjoying it!