Living in the Shallows
by Tani Hanes
GENRE: New Adult/Romance
Aileen is a bilingual music student with a chronic case of poverty. She gets a dream job as an interpreter for a boy band making a movie in Japan. Having spent her life as a sheltered, shy only child in the rarefied world of classical piano, she is utterly unprepared for this new world, these boys and their frank physicality and openness. Theo, especially, the known playboy and unrepentant flirt of the group, makes her uncomfortable in a way she’s never felt before, and ultimately Aileen, or Tinker Bell, as she’s known to the boys, has to decide if she’s ready to leave the sidelines and become a participant in her own life.
“No, don’t do that, little one, not yet.”
“I fell, right?” I asked. “Teddy came in, he was drunk, he said—he said some things, you got mad at him—” I looked up at Gethin, “Matty hit him, then I ran over to them and tripped and hit my head on the edge of the table.”
“What?” Matty exploded. “Tinker Bell, Theo hit you! He was aiming for me, I mean, I assume he was aiming for me—” this with another glare at Teddy, “but he took a swing as he was going down and he hit you in the face, bloodied your fucking nose!”
“Dammit, Matthew, of course I was aiming for you!” Teddy shouted. “Why would I want to hit her? You’d just clocked me in the face! She just got in between us at the wrong moment, and I was going down at the time, that’s why I swung so low! Don’t you think I’d cut my own arm off before I’d hit her?”
“Actually, I think he hit me in the jaw,” I said, again reaching for my face. “Could you take a look?” Geth leaned in, turning my head gently so he could see.
“Jesus Christ, she has a cut, just under her ear, along her jawline, a pretty deep one, too,” he said, horrified. “Guess we didn’t notice it with all the blood from her nose, but this looks awful.” He turned and looked at Teddy, and his silence was worse than any words he could have spoken.
“What’s wrong with you?” asked Ronan tearfully to Teddy.
Interview with the characters
We always hear about how awful touring is, how grueling. What’s the best thing?
Ronan: Probably being with the lads. Sounds so fake, but they’re really like me brothers. I only have tons of crazy sisters at home, so, yeah, being with the boys is great fun.
Gethin: I’d have to agree. All evidence to the contrary, life on the road can get lonely, and it’s nice to have that bond to fall back on.
What do you do during your “down time”? When you don’t have band related commitments?
Matthew: What’s that, then? (Laughter from the boys). No, seriously, I love to go back to Scotland and just see my family and friends, my granny. My parents and sister are doctors, they have very busy lives, and it’s nice to just be with them, away from the madness.
You guys are unusual in that, from the very beginning, you’ve written all your own music. Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Theo: You never know where inspiration will hit, honestly. Sometimes it’s something that’s happening in your life. Sometimes it’s something thats not happening, that you want to happen, or miss, you know? Like hoping you’ll meet someone special (teasing and laughter from other boys).
Well, I’m sure there are plenty of ladies who would love to make your acquaintance. Have you ever considered leaving the business? What would it take for you to actually quit this life?
(General hubbub from all the boys)
Theo: No, I can’t imagine doing anything else, if I’m honest. I feel like, other than being a husband and father (ribbing from the others), this is what I was meant to do. Of course, I’m not like Matty, for example, who’s so clever, and could’ve been anything (more laughter from the boys); like, his entire family is full of doctors, seriously! Or Geth, who could’ve inherited his family sheep farm, right, mate?
Ronan: I’d be a gamer. (laughter) What? I’m good at it! And our Geth would just be a guitar player for another band, he’s that good. (sounds of agreement)
So someone mentioned something earlier about meeting someone “special”; you’ve been asked this before, but what are you looking for in a girl? Or woman, I guess, since you’re all in your twenties now?
Matthew: Well, someone who’s smart would be nice. I don’t know how the other lads feel about this, but I love when I talk to a girl and she gets all my references right away, when I don’t have to explain everything?
Ronan: Yeah, Matty does like an intelligent woman, don’t you, bro? Unlike some others I won’t mention, who seem to go more for quantity than quality, maybe? (Theo punches Ronan in the arm, makes as if to leave)
Theo: You know, I used to know the answer to this. It was all the usual stuff; smart, like Matty said, funny, easy-going. Funny is really important, all that stuff is, but lately I’ve started to really think about this, and all I can think of is that I want someone who can fill in the spaces in my heart, you know? Like I’m not exactly sure what’s missing, but I’ll know when I meet her. (teasing from the other boys)
Gethin: What’re you saying, Theo? You looking for someone who’ll “complete you”?
Theo: Stop making fun of me, you wanker. (turns to interviewer) Geth is just a completely shallow and unsympathetic person, you have to realize.
As of the filing of this report, all boys are single, and preparing for their tour to Japan, where they’ll be filming a documentary about life on the road.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
My name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51 year old substitute teacher. Im from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I’m punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I’m very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn’t spell “acoustic” for 40 years. I’ve wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don’t wait as long as I did, it’s pointless, and very frustrating!
Amazon buy link:
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Tani Hanes will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.