Lex Chase and Bru Baker on Writing Together and ‘Some Assembly Required’ (authors guest blog and giveaway)

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lex Chase and Bru Baker here today to share with our reader something about their latest novel, Some Assembly Required and the process of writing it together.  Welcome, Lex and Bru!

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Hello, everyone! I’m Lex Chase and I want to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here today as a part of the Some Assembly Required blog tour! What is Some Assembly Required, you ask? It ís a fluffy meet-cute I had co-written with Bru Baker about two dead guys who meet in the afterlife in CASA, a big box affordable home furnishings store, which happens to be purgatory. And you say, “That’s a thing?” Oh, yes. Yes, indeed. And you never knew you needed it until now.

In this post, Bru and I have done a two-part interview. She got me to chat over at Open Skye Book Reviews, and now I’m putting her in the hot seat over here.

Bru and I come from radically different backgrounds as writers. She writes fluffy feel good contemporary that makes you feel warm and cozy on the inside. I write sci-fi/fantasy with guys that kiss as well as kick ass. I’m in my element writing elaborate battle scenes, bloodletting, beheadings, and body counts. As I always say: Its never a party until something explodes into a magnificent fireball.

So, Bru has joined me as I ask her a few questions!

What was the scariest part about writing more paranormal for you?

Bru: I am utterly terrified of worldbuilding. I have mad respect for writers who can do it well, but I’m not really one of them. So it was a relief that Some Assembly Required is kind of paranormal-lite, with a gentle introduction to the ghostly aspects and a contemporary feel for Benji and Patrick’s actual relationship. As much as CASA is its own character, we really didn’t bog the book down with too many detailed explanations about how purgatory worked. And every time you would go off on a worldbuilding tangent or try to work in a detailed paranormal storyline that wasn’t necessary, I would reel you back in, even if it meant literally sending texts that said things like ‘You can’t make that explode.’ You did manage to work in a few bits of massive destruction, but at least our beloved CASA was still standing at the end of it.

What did you dread most about going in a more paranormal direction or co-writing? (Did it come to pass?)

Bru: I hate paranormal books that are just retreads of old standards, and I was anticipating it being really difficult to put our own spin on a paranormal plot. That fear fizzled about ten seconds into our first brainstorming session because it was clear you felt the same way I did. We worked hard to come up with something that was different and interesting, and I’m really proud of it.

I was also worried about whether or not our writing would mesh, but it worked out better than I could have hoped. Our styles really do fit together perfectly.

I’m a planner, you’re a pantser. How did you feel when I gently (okay not at all gently) tried to steer you in creating an outline together? What is it about planning that makes you break out into hives?

Bru: Oh, man. So you have to understand, my idea of planning something out is writing a synopsis. We’re talking a few paragraphs that give the general arc of the plot and that’s about it. When we started writing Some Assembly Required there was this spreadsheet with multiple tabs and character summaries and chapter summaries that were more detailed than I usually am with an entire book synopsis…yeah. It was so far outside my comfort zone, but it was absolutely what we needed for this book.

We also wrote linearly, which is a first for me. I write more organically, hopping around and writing whichever scene is in my mind that day. I generally go into a book knowing a few key scenes and the plot arc and the rest just falls into place as I write. So having the action in every chapter nailed down was hard for me, and it led to a good deal more writer’s block than usually have, but you were always there to talk me through it.

You write such adorkable, sweet guys. What is it about the ‘Goody-Goody Guys’ that get you going?

Bru: I love banter and connections that go deeper than just physical attraction, and I’m almost always a fan of the slow build. So I need my characters to be well fleshed out and real with flaws and dorky moments they can bond over together. In Some Assembly Required, Benji is 100 percent sweet and goofy, and it was fun to write someone who isn’t bogged down with a lot of angst. I tend to have sweet characters with stormy backgrounds because I like to write about how they work through things and come out the other side stronger and more sure of themselves.† But I also need to connect to them and have the reader connect to them, and that’s harder to do when the character is a big jerk. And you can’t have witty banter when both characters are terse and uninteresting. So…dorky characters FTW.

You do realize, we wrote a book about dead guys meeting in the afterlife in a home furnishings store. And no one stopped us. Do you think we need we need adult supervision?

Bru: Well, we kind of do have adult supervision in the form of our editor at Dreamspinner Press, and she’s egging us on after not only encouraging us to write this book but also accepting our three-book proposal about a paranormal online dating service run by a Djinn. So I think we’re absolved of all blame here. It’s really her fault.

Question for you guys! Did you ever do something outside of your comfort zone? Did you enjoy it? Or vow to Never.†Do.†It.†Again. (Mine was going on Splash Mountain at Disney World. NOPE.)

Tell us and don’t forget to record your entry on the giveaway widget!



Genre:
†Contemporary Paranormal Comedy
Length: Novel
Published:†February 8, 2016
Publisher:†Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63476-810-8
Buy:DSPAReAmazonBarnes and Noble

Blurb:

Everyone wishes they were dead when wandering the purgatory of a home furnishings store, but these guys actually are.

Benji Goss is the quintessential good guy. When his boyfriend dumps him and moves out, Benji obligingly keeps the catóeven though heís allergicóbecause his exís new place doesnít accept pets. Heís always joked the cat would be the death of him, but not in a way he expects when a feline mishap crushes him under a DEL TORO bookcase.

Snarky loner Patrick Bryant is in such a rut he barely remembers the life he used to lead. The last thing he recalls is being decapitated by a DEL TORO bookcase in a freak accident. As a spiritual CASA resident, he haunts the aisles of affordable Italian furniture, assisting fellow spirits in moving on to their final destinations.

When Benji appears in the CASA cafÈ, Patrick considers the naÔve spirit just the man to cure his boredom. Benjiís relentless optimism chips away at Patrickís sarcasm, making him question if thereís something beyond what he can see. But the heart is like CASA furnitureóthereís always some assembly required.


About the Authors:

madison_parker_MG_4269-WEB

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “Weíre all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of sweeping cinematic adventure,depending on how she feels that day, Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If you’re going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, and she unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldnít last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Lexchase.com


Bru Baker got her first taste of life as a writer at the tender age of four when she started publishing a weekly newspaper for her family. What they called nosiness she called a nose for news, and no one was surprised when she ended up with degrees in journalism and political science and started a career in journalism.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now works in reference and readers’ advisory in a Midwestern library, though she still finds it hard to believe someone’s willing to pay her to talk about books all day. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether itís creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

www.bru-baker.com
Facebook
Twitter


SAR_Giveaway_BannerWe’re giving away two $25 USD Amazon Gift Cards to two lucky winners! Will it be you? Click on the graphic to enter!

Did you ever do something outside of your comfort zone? Did you enjoy it? Or vow to Never.†Do.†It.†Again.


Blog Tour Stops:

2/8 – The Novel Approach and Release Day!

2/9 – Gay List Book Reviews

2/9 -†My Fiction Nook

2/10 – Love Bytes Reviews

2/10 – Divine Magazine

2/11 – Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Tea House

2/11 -†Open Skye Book Reviews

2/11 -†Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

2/14 – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

2/17 – Joyfully Jay

19 thoughts on “Lex Chase and Bru Baker on Writing Together and ‘Some Assembly Required’ (authors guest blog and giveaway)

  1. Yes, but never by choice. It’s mostly school presentation or something like that.

    Like

    • I’m an extroverted introvert. It sounds so odd, but I function just fine in public speaking scenarios yet I just want to stick my head in the sand and hide. LOL

      Like

  2. I have a bad anxiety of heights and I once walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. Never again – the crowds, the cars rushing by and the height freaked me out. I will stick to driving across it.

    Thanks for the post.

    Like

    • When I was super young I walked across the Golden Gate with no issues. Now as an adult I’m terrified of heights! The one that always gets to me is flying. Because I get in my head of we are cruising along at 30,000 feet and there is nothing below us. Like the miracle of science is keeping us in the air. I’ve got in my head to pretend turbulence is like hitting a bump in the road and I take comfort in that. Juuuusssst don’t think about that’s not a road we’re on.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a fear of heights and I’ve done somethings that have put me in high places. I’ve never done it by choice and I don’t think I’ll ever really put myself in a high place if I was on my own.

    Like

    • Fear of heights is actually quite common! When I look from down below at something I’m like eeeehhh doesn’t look so bad. And then I decide how bad can it be? And when when I do it I’m like OMG NONONO. It was the same damn deal with Splash Mountain. I was with Charlie Cochet and a friend and I was SUPER excited to do it. And then when it was our turn I was like ……..uuuuuh oh. Charlie assured me it would be okay every step of the way. The drop at the end of the ride wasn’t even the worst part! It was the double drop in the DARK! My stomach just sank thinking about it! LOL

      Like

  4. I moved across the country from everyone and everything I knew to take a temporary job once. It worked out pretty well.

    Like

    • Well that’s good Jen! When I went to college out of state for the first time, I was terrified! But I ended up loving it!

      Like

  5. Congratulations on the release and looking forward to reading it! I have a fear of the water that I can’t see my feet in. My brother got his license to fly and took me up. Crossed every lake he could freaking find!

    Like

    • That is quite an interesting fear! I admit I’m likewise scared of water where I can’t see the bottom. I also have a mild fear of the ocean. I live in a beach town, and I’m totally not a beach-goer. There are things in the ocean that can kill you! Nooooope!

      Like

  6. My best friend in college talked me into going to a nude beach. I was so uncomfortable, I hated it. Also the day turned really windy so it was COLD! So I vowed to Never.†Do.†It.†Again!

    Like

  7. I’ve done many things out of my comfort zone, and some of them had as a result some of the better experiences of my life… Although some others I deeply regret. All in all, I think it is always worth it, because going out of your comfort zone may help you discover many interesting things, about other people and about yourself.

    Like

  8. I have a huge fear of heights. Standing on a balcony, I have to back up to the door and don’t want to move unless it is to go inside – it feels like I am sliding toward the railing. So I challenged myself – starting off with rollercoaster rides. Then I flew a small plane and later (unknowingly pregnant) I did a tandem skydive. Wow. Never again because it did not work. I still am petrified of heights.

    Like

    • Forgot to add that I was shaking so much, but it was for people outside my office and was a good learning experience. I did volunteer to do another one but that was a few years after that.

      Like

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