by Patrice Locke
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
Tracy Price has a documentary-style life until rockstar Jesse Elliot rewrites her script and takes the wheel to drive her crazy.
In her quest to find a writer missing since the 1930’s, Tracy thinks she has discovered exactly how to handle her new relationship. But she may be listening to the wrong voice.
Then Tracy and Jesse find out they’ve both been keeping some big secrets, and the truth may ruin everything.
Will sharing the missing writer’s story open both their hearts?
Jesse lunged toward me. It was too late. I had already launched. He reached out but didn’t connect. Instead, I broke the trajectory of my upper body by grabbing him at chest level and sliding down. He was pushed backward into the table, which stabilized our ungainly host-parasite tableau. He softened my landing so that physically I was fine, but my pride was ready for intensive care.
Heaped at his feet, like a demented penitent, I hugged his knees, my face pressed flat into his thighs. I might as well stay down. What’s worse? To stand up and face you, or remain here, nestled between your legs? What do you think? Then, the finishing touch: I erupted into nervous, snorting laughter. He guessed there was no serious injury.
“It’s nice to see you, too. You are okay, aren’t you? Can you stand?” He reached for my arms to unwrap them from his legs and help me up. I jammed my eyelids together to conjure up a do-over, but no such luck.
I would have to deal with it.
He held my elbows in his hands. “I guess we were both in a hurry to see each other.”
I do appreciate your attempt to lighten the mood, but you are standing SO close. I can feel your body heat. Or is that mine? By the way, you smell tart and fresh, like a lime.
I stared at his shoulder. My dignity meter was stuck on empty.
“Enthusiastic greeting. Thanks for that.” He was blatantly amused.
“It was nothing.” I stepped backward to regain a semblance of independence. Don’t mock me. But, you did go to all the trouble to bring your hair. And your eyes. I might forgive you for witnessing my disgrace. That hair.
Patrice Locke – Why I write the kinds of books I do
Romantic comedy satisfies two of my biggest urges – first, it allows me to give everyone I write about a happy ending.
Second, I can make my characters the kind of clever we all wish we were in real life. They can engage in quick-fire “effortless” banter that’s not effortless at all, the repartee most of us never think of in the moment. Personally, I’m only clever way after the fact. And in real life, you can’t call someone and say, “Remember when you said…? Well, what I should have said was…” Well, I guess you could do that. But involuntary commitment would probably follow.
I also enjoy having my characters behave the way I never would in real life. It’s invigorating. For example, when heroine/narrator Tracy meets rock star Jesse she is blindsided by her over-the-top reaction to him.
From Chapter One of Exit Signs, Tracy thinks:
This was a teenage crush. But how could that be? I was over thirty. It was ridiculous and mortifying, and I had no idea how to behave. I wished I’d had a middle school crush or a movie star idol, anything that might have prepared me for this full-blown physical infatuation. But when I was younger, I was much too mature for this sort of thing.
He raked some strands of his blue-black hair away from his forehead. The hair fell right back onto the shoreline of his face like a wave on a beach. I thought of the cliché movie scene where the action cuts to an agitated ocean to symbolize sex. I cleared my throat, and ordered myself to get a grip.
Instead, I surprised us both by asking him my name. “Tracy Price?”
“Yes.” He confirmed my identity. “It’s nice to meet you.”
He was all-business; I was all over the place. (End of excerpt)
I especially enjoyed writing the relationship between narrator Tracy and her best friend Randi, like the following exchange when Randi tries to warn Tracy about her crush on Jesse.
Excerpt from Exit Signs.
“I’d like to think he’s quite nice,” I said. “Though at times, I don’t think he is. But it’s not intentional. I don’t think. He gets distracted. But he’s a good person.”
“He’s not. Wake up and read the blogs. He’s a preening pretty boy prancing around.”
“That’s an exaggeration. Wait, did you say preening pretty boy?” That and the word ‘prance’ set me off.
Randi wanted to get back to business. “This is serious.”
I leaned back in my chair and nodded for her to continue. “I’m all ears.”
“And quite a bit of mouth . . . anyway, he sucks the life out of people. Remember what he wrote about his wife? He’s a tool, like a hammer and you’re the nail. Better yet, he’s the screwdriver and you’re getting . . .”
“It’s his ex wife. And where do you get this stuff? You should write ads for Home Depot.”
“Trust me, you need somebody to tell you these things because you’re heading for disaster. And I’m the one who’s going to have to suffer through your pain, so for my sake, will you snap out of it now? Call him and tell him to eat shit and die.”
“Or maybe something less aggressive? ‘Please eat something mildly nauseating and take a long nap?’ You’re being hard on him. He hasn’t done anything.”
“Except burrow into your brain and disconnect logic and sanity. It will end in suffering.” (End of Excerpt)
The bottom line is, I like to create complex characters and then get inside their heads to see how they react and what they say in specific, difficult situations. That’s what I aim for. I didn’t know I was writing romantic comedy until I finished my third book. I tossed the first two because I decided they didn’t work. Then I became obsessed with the third, “Exit Signs,” which Soul Mate Publishing released at the end of September. I like all the characters in the book, even the dragon-like boss. I enjoyed every minute living with them in my head.
Thank you for having me on your blog!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
As a journalist, Patrice Locke wrote a lot of stories with unhappy and even tragic endings. Facts are facts, and a writer doesn’t mess with facts.
But fiction is another world. Patrice began writing novels, where she could control the endings and make them as happy as she wants. The best thing about fiction, she says, is having time to think before her characters speak, so they can say the things most of us only come up with after the perfect moment has passed.
She loves to write, read, and watch romantic comedies where life always turns out the way it should. Her only obsessive relationships are with semicolons and Oxford commas.
Though she doesn’t like to brag, Patrice is an award-winning artist. She won a gold and diamond watch when she was 13 for decorating a turkey drumstick bone to look like Batman. Alas, that was her last recognition in the fine arts.
Patrice lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the blue sky is brilliant, the air is thin, and the vistas are breathtaking. She is none of those things, which is one reason she enjoys living among them.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/bypatricelocke/
Patrice Locke will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.