Romance writer T.S. Krupa drops by to talk with us about her novel On the Edge:
On the Edge (genre: fiction/contemporary romance; length: 318 pages)
Andy Parker is a war widow raising her fifteen-year-old daughter on her own. Hayden Grace dreams of becoming a professional snowboarder, and Andy is doing everything she can to make that happen. When Hayden Grace’s passion begins to falter, Andy is at a loss for how to re-inspire her daughter.
Andy does her best balancing Hayden Grace’s competition, practice, and school schedule with her own work schedule and mountain ski lessons. But work starts to demand more from Andy; providing an opportunity that will turn their lives upside down. But is it too good to be true?
Soon, mother and daughter find themselves in Aspen for Hayden Grace’s first national competition when a chance encounter brings Andy into a passionate, unexpected romance that could change everything. Will Andy be able to find the happiness she deserves?
Andy is a single mom raising a teenage daughter and the widow of an American serviceman. How did you get in the head of that character?
My father is a military man; I know the sacrifices he made for our family and our country, but also how that shaped the dynamic of our family. I wanted that foundation for Andy. At the same time, I noticed many of my friends starting families and the struggles of being a parent, how tired they constantly were. I couldn’t image doing that as a single parent, and so I talked to a lot of my friends about their struggles and fears. I tried to take all these elements into account in shaping Andy–she needed to be strong and independent, but I really wanted her to feel “real” and relatable to the reader.
A lot of this book deals with loss, loss of love, of stability, of job, of friends, of trust. Is this the “edge” referred to in the title?
Yes! In life we deal with so many things–people, emotions and situations. At any of these intersections we have options on how to deal with, cope with and move on from it. Andy could have just as easily crumbled under the pressure of raising a child alone; she could have moved in with her parents in New Jersey. Hayden Grace could have given up snowboarding, vowing never to try the sport again. I wanted to show how life can push so hard, push us to the edge–then how do we respond. It was also fun to make this a tag line of one of the characters to show that someone people live their best lives always balancing on that proverbial edge.
What was your inspiration for using snowboarding culture as the backdrop of On the Edge?
This was completely my own interest. I am a HUGE fan of the Olympics and the winter games are so much fun to watch. I snowboard (a bit) and ski, so I have such an appreciate for how hard these sports are and how easy pros make them seem. Snowboarding is something I found interesting. I started with the idea of a celebrity snowboarder–under what circumstances would an “average” person meet and interact with them. I needed to understand that world. I knew it was a risk. I tried to balance the details to give the reader just enough to understand but not enough to make it a “snowboarding book.” I was adamant that the cover not be an action shot of a snowboarder so that people would pick up the book and give it a chance.
Should fans expect to see more of Hayden Grace, Andy and PW?
Yes, I started writing the sequel but got sidetracked with some other projects so I hope to come back to it. I think that they have a lot more to tell in how they interact with each other and goals they want to achieve. This was such a fun world to play in as a writer that I really look forward to revisiting these characters.
You aren’t what KEMPS would term a typical romance writer. How would you describe your style and how did it develop?
I have always had my own style… I write stories I want to read. When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t even realize I was writing a novel, it was just a means to get a story out of my head. So I didn’t stick with a genre or the guidelines that some people believe you have to follow to be labeled one way or another. In this day and age, people are more about tearing down the labels and redefining what things mean; I feel that way about my books.
I grew up reading everything and anything, and I guess that varied reading style has influenced the way I write because overtime I have learned to blend together things I liked the best about genres to create my own place in the fiction world. I did not feel the pressure to be specifically defined by one label: fiction, romance, contemporary women’s literature, etc. This has not been without it’s challenges, but its freer to write when you don’t have to meet a specific formula or type of ending or have this character be this or do that. I hope the readers enjoy the stories just as they are.
This reader says WE DO! KEMPS thanks T. S. Krupa for stopping by and giving us the low down on her snow down adventure novel On the Edge!
Kate E. Stephenson is a freelance communications specialist whose business encompasses content writing, comprehensive editing and quality resume services. Lexicon is her brainchild, a blog all about Language—insight into today’s job market and hiring tips, book releases and reviews, and general folly concerning the many mysterious facets of the English language and human communication. Be sure to read more about Kate, check out a full listing of services, and enjoy her columns here on Lexicon and on Kate.Book.com!