Hello readers! Welcome to New York Times bestselling author-duo Erin Watt! I had the amazing opportunity to have a chat with Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick to talk about their newly released novel “One Small Thing”. I am a huge fan of Erin Watt so I am totally fangirling out over this! I am so incredibly excited to share this Q & A session with you all!
So come on over and have a seat with us.
Interview with Erin Watt
Please tell us a little about your upcoming novel One Small Thing:
One Small Thing is a story about forgiveness, second chances, truth, and acceptance. The hero and heroine each have their own demons, and their secret friendship helps them both in different ways.
How did the idea of One Small Thing form?
We knew we wanted to write a standalone story with a forbidden romance and second chances element, and after a lot of brainstorming we came up with One Small Thing.
Beth’s character in One Small Thing has an affinity for animals- especially dogs. Do either of you have any pets? If so, what kind? And what are they like?
Jen – I have a Doberman. She’s 100 pounds of sweetness. Doberman’s are called Velcro dogs because they always want to be around you. If I leave my office, she’ll come with me, following me around the house.
Elle – My black lab Morgan is the best and I adore him! In fact, he makes an appearance in One Small Thing ?
Chase’s character mentions to Beth in the story that you should look for the small things, or moments, in a day that are good- things that you’re grateful for. What is one small thing are you grateful for in your lives?
To name just one wouldn’t do justice. We’re thankful for our families, our friends, and our readers who allow us to do what we love – write!
What is it like to work on a story with another person?
It’s awesome! We have so much fun as we write and plot the stories, and we love being able to bounce ideas back and forth to each other throughout the process.
Authors all have their own, unique style of writing- what are some of your personal talents (or strengths) that you bring to your collaborative stories?
Elle has a really playful side that she uses to write fun and witty banter between two characters, and Jen has a wonderful way of getting to the heart of a character and writing internal dialogue to create realistic character development.
How did you two first meet? (I’m a sucker for BFF stories!)
We first ‘met’ online because we were both part of the romance writing community. We started talking football (our first love!), and that turned into discussions about writing (and plotting Paper Princess). We met for the first time in person in New York and had a BLAST!
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what genre and artists?
We both usually need silence when we write. Though we’re believers in the idea of the “soundtrack of life” sometimes we need the quiet to focus.
I’m a HUGE fan of fun facts! What are two random and interesting facts about each of you?
Jen – I’m a huge BTS fan and if I have spare time I practice calligraphy. Pens and inks are my second favorite hobby behind reading.
Elle – I play multiple musical instruments, and I used to record funny made-up songs with my friends.
What’s coming up next from you (individually and together)?
Jen – I am releasing WANT YOU, a romance that comes out July 1st. It’ll be available through Kindle Unlimited and features a taboo story about a woman who falls for her protector.
Elle – I will be releasing the first book in the Briar U series, THE CHASE, in the next couple months. It’s the spinoff to the Off-Campus series.
I have been a HUGE fan of Erin Watt ever since the sensational release of “Paper Princess”. The Royals series has an honorary spot on my endless bookshelf, and it never ceases to make me smile when my gaze happens to land upon their titles. It just so happens I consider Reed Royal to be one of my “book boyfriends” (sorry Ella!), so I must ask…
How did his character come into existence? Which one of you created this perfect, deliciously sinful, and oh-so-irresistible young man?
It was a bit of both of us, actually. Through our chats and brainstorming, we came together to create the deliciousness that is Reed. ?
Thank you a TON for doing this interview, Elle and Jen!! <3
Thanks for having us!
If you haven’t already, check out my review of One Small Thing. “It is a deep and meaningful love story that was crafted and built from a subtle, melancholic place and flourished into something enduring and lasting and real.”
One Small Thing
by Erin Watt
Published by Harlequin on July 1, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Dating & Sex
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author duo of The Royals and When It’s Real comes a sensational new novel about a girl falling for the one boy she should never have met…
Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems like a small thing, just for her.
Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…
Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.
Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.
Review of One Small Thing
One Small Thing is a standalone novel by New York Times bestselling author-duo Erin Watt. The story follows Beth, a high school student who-for the past three years-has been sheltered and monitored closely by her parents after the sudden, tragic death of her older sister. However, her desire to finally break free from their over-protectiveness leads her to a party where she runs into another high school student- Chase. Chase has just been released from a three year stay in juvie due to his involvement in Beth’s sister’s death. His desire is to start fresh and to make sure he is never put into a position where something unfortunate may happen. When he and Beth meet, the metaphorical sparks fly and they push all the darkness aside that has been clinging to them for years and lose themselves in each other.
One Small Thing is definitely one of the darker, heavier novels written by Erin Watt. Despite the controversial foundation that was created at the beginning of Chase and Beth’s relationship, the story held the subtle humorous notes that are present in previous novels. Beth’s ability to look beyond Chase’s actions the night her sister died, and recognize that he made a tragic mistake made her an instant favorite of mine. She struggled deeply with her conflicting emotions throughout the story- her love for her sister, her forgiveness of Chase, her frustration with her parents, her fear of being judged by others for feeling something for Chase, etc. Chase had his own metaphorical demons to contend with- his guilt over Beth’s sister’s death, his experience in juvie, his feelings for Beth, his own guilt for putting Beth in a position to lie to friends and family about their closeness and involvement with each other, and his belief that he should continue to atone for what occurred in the past.
Despite all the turmoil and controversy surrounding their burgeoning relationship, Chase and Beth are able to connect on a level that far exceeds the tender, sweet juvenile love that is often seen in novels in this genre. The melancholy tones weave perfectly with their relationship, making their feelings stark, real, and meaningful. Beth was exactly what Chase needed to realize that he was more than the sum of his past mistakes, and Chase was exactly what Beth needed in order for her to understand her parents, and herself, when it comes to their way to heal and grieve.
One Small Thing was a beautifully written masterpiece about star-crossed lovers who find the strength to grow from their grief and forgiveness while seeking solace and understanding in each other’s company. It is a deep and meaningful love story that was crafted and built from a subtle, melancholic place and flourished into something enduring and lasting and real.
Five stars for One Small Thing!
From a young age I was captivated by love and romance- I was the girl who was enraptured with films like The Princess Bride and Beauty and the Beast, and later- Pride and Prejudice and Titanic (though the ending on this last one made me realize how much I prefer HEAs). Eventually, I got swept into reading, but those were more along the lines of fantasy/adventure and mystery series like Nancy Drew, as those were the books my parents purchased for me. What I noticed is that I tended to latch onto the romance aspect of the story, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it was (such as the subtle hint of feelings between Nancy Drew and Ned). Eventually, I needed something a little more.
Thankfully, my Mom was an avid romance reader and her bookshelves were brimming with stories from a few different subgenres- primarily regency, western, and a few contemporary romances. I’m not sure what made me grab this particular book off her shelf, maybe it was because my thirteen year-old self was going through a “cowboy” phase (I was addicted to the movie Young Guns and listened to country music on repeat on my Walkman) – but the second my gaze fell upon Diamond Spur by Diana Palmer, I just knew it was “the one”. I had snatched it off the shelf, tiptoed to my room, locked myself inside, and dove into the story…and then didn’t come out of it for HOURS.
I had been well, and truly, hooked.
And have been ever since.
Nowadays, there is hardly a subgenre within the world of romance I wouldn’t read. It doesn’t matter if the story takes place on the stormy seas aboard a pirate vessel, the glittering ball rooms of the regency-era, the primitive tundra of the 19th century Western United States, the boardroom of a CEO’s enterprise, a white-washed spaceship 20 light years away, or in the isolated town of a shifter colony- if the story has believable characters, a compelling plot, chemistry that feels natural and not forced, then I’m going to read it…
Because if you strip the scenery away and focus on those two (sometimes multiple people if I’m reading a well-written reverse harem) people, it leaves behind just pure and raw emotion. Love is something beautiful, something to be cherished and revered- because it literally is one of the most remarkable feelings.
Maybe that’s why, initially, I would get so upset when people accused me of reading “smut” books, trashy novels, and “garbage”. I was told I needed to read “real” literary works of art. I needed to read “real” books as opposed to “fake” books that provide me with “unrealistic” expectation of love, romance, and relationships. I didn’t understand why anyone would depict something so beautiful in such an ugly, twisted way.
Of course, I didn’t listen to them. I continued to read romance.
And I began to realize a few things:
1. The people that were putting me down for reading romance novels probably were in more need of reading romance than I was.
2. Love isn’t just about passion- it’s about acceptance and growth as well. The heroines I read about did not need a man to complete them. Nor did the hero need a woman to complete them. It was more of a mutual self-discovery. Take for instance- a magnifying glass. Sometimes you need this glass in order to see the words more clearly on a page, that way you can better understand what it is you are reading. This is basically what the characters were doing. They were each other’s magnifying glass- they helped each other discover parts of themselves they may have inadvertently been skimming over- and through that discovery they grew as individuals.
3. Romance novels are filled with strong female protagonists. I can’t even tell you how many female role models I encountered in my sojourn through these literary portals. I never encountered a heroine who “fainted in fright” every other page and was in constant need of saving by some perfectly kempt hero with an overly-inflated ego. There is always an equal balance of “saving”-whether physically, mentally, or emotionally- between both the hero and heroine.
4. Romance novels make me appreciate the world a little more. I have heard people say they escape the awfulness of the world by diving into a book. I lose myself in the pages for the pure wonderment of experiencing a little magic every day- and when I come out; I notice all the truly beautiful things about life. For example, the older couple sitting by the river together watching the sturgeon in all their creepiness leap out of the water, or the two women holding hands as they walk down the street- oblivious as to how enchanting they look while shooting loving looks each other’s way, or the couple tossing discreet glances at one another as they pass a couple with an infant.
5. Romance novels are about human connection. Love, friendship, kindness, understanding, compassion, and empathy- the stories have it all. These are feelings and emotions that make people truly remarkable. I like to think that maybe, just maybe, if more people read romance novels rather than spinning them into something shallow and ugly, that the world would be a more tolerant and beautiful place.
6. Passion is OKAY to enjoy and not feel ashamed about. Maybe “okay” is too blah of a word to toss in here- feel free to LOVE the passion occurring in the novels. My toes tingle every time the heroine and hero kiss. And when that hero whips his shirt off and the metaphorical gloves are thrown down and you know they’re rearing to go…well, let’s just say I’m cranking the air conditioner, grinning like I just snuck a cake into my room without the kids seeing, and mentally fist bumping the heroine for getting some mind-blowing some-some. La petite mort is proof that there are some “deaths” we humans can recover pleasurably from *wink*.
One of the best decisions I ever made was to sneak into my Mom’s room and pick that book up off the shelf and read it. Romance novels have literally changed my life for the better. So, to all the romance authors out there who are weaving such remarkable tales and sending them out into the world, so that people like me could read them- THANK YOU! You truly are amazing.