Friday, May 15, 2015

Meet author Adrian J. Smith, author of "Memoir in the Making"

Good afternoon folks!  Today is an exciting day as I am participating in author Adrian J. Smith's blog tour for her rising star novel, "Memoir of the Making."  Adrian was so kind to stop by and chat so I'm also including an interview as well.  So sit back and enjoy the ride.

“You can’t control your heart no matter how much you try to."
                                                                                              Ainsley Jacobs, "Making of a Memoir."

Ainsley is bold, assertive and usually knows exactly how to accomplish her goals.  However, she suddenly realizes that something quite new – is drawing her into uncharted territory. Quickly, a raging passion arises within her as she yearns to reach out for this new found desire…love!

Inside, Meredith’s heart is broken and hardened by years of pain due to a horrendous breakup. Her temperament comes off as standoffish toward some, yet, toward most, she boasts confidence.
A very interesting secret of Meredith’s is disclosed and leads to surprising circumstances.   

“Memoir In The Making” is touching and the characters are dynamic. This story is not a simple “woman-meets-woman hook-up” formula.  It’s a refreshing read with impressive depth, with just enough sizzle to make it exciting. Interactions with other people, and descriptions of scenes, etc. – truly contribute to this well rounded story.
While reading, you will experience an array of emotions.  For example, I felt anger at a particular point – then passion and intrigue at other times.  I had to remind myself that this was fiction.  I found myself obsessed, thinking about the characters even while I wasn't reading. 
Author, Adrian J. Smith – creates the points of view clearly, making the dialog, etc. flow easily and sets the pace to an unrushed, completely thought out plot. 
To find out more, go get the book. 
Thanks to Ena Amanda for inviting me to this tour – and for introducing the wonderful Author, Adrian J. Smith to me – and to you.  

Wait!  Don't go yet!   Down below we have more about Adrian as well as our giveaway.  My interview with Adrian is just after the "Giveaway."

Title: Memoir in the Making
Author: Adrian J. Smith
Genre: F/F Romance
Release Date: May 1, 2015

The first day of her junior year in college was supposed to go off without a hitch. But when Ainsley Jacobs sat in her memoir class with a professor she’d never had before, her life took an unexpected turn. She couldn’t get her well-dressed professor, Meredith Frenz, out of her head.

Meredith had lived a lonely yet comfortable life for the past fifteen years, and despite flings here and there, she had no desire to jump head first into a relationship, especially one with her student. Despite all her thwarted efforts, Meredith was determined to keep to herself and push Ainsley away.

Forbidden love is often the most attractive.

Love has its own agenda weather we like it or not. Love does not see gender or age. It does not care what your occupation is. Love is more powerful than you or me. If there was ever a story to remind us of that fact it is Memoir in the Making. ~ Amazon Customer
I really enjoyed this book, the author did a great job of keeping the reader engaged and wanting to see Meredith and Ainsley's relationship overcome each characters own obstacles and insecurities.~ Amazon Customer
The author did a great job of taking you into the characters heads and showed us that sometimes you just have to have faith.~ Amazon Customer

Meredith stopped short when she saw Ainsley sitting at one of the benches just before the library. Her heart skipped a beat, and she made to turn and walk more quickly to the sociology building. Instead, Ainsley caught her gaze and stared back, her face not giving away any emotion. Meredith looked at her briefly then closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. She had fifteen minutes left before the meeting began. What the hell, she thought.
“Ainsley,” she said and sat next to the young college girl on the bench. Ainsley’s jean-clad thigh brushed against her own, and heat sank into Meredith’s body. Meredith ignored it and risked a glance in Ainsley’s direction. “Everything all right? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Yeah,” Ainsley said, her voice cracking on the word. She cleared her throat and tried again. “Yeah, everything’s fine. Just waiting for my friend.”
“Ah,” Meredith answered. “You know, junior year was my hardest year, and not because of school work. I sincerely hope yours goes much better.”
“How did you know it was my junior year?” Ainsley asked, her brown eyes widening when she turned to look at Meredith.
“Roster sheet,” Meredith said and shrugged. “They give us a whole lot of information on our students.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Are you sure you’re okay? There’s a change from ten minutes ago when I saw you.”
“I’m fine. Promise.” Ainsley rolled her eyes, and Meredith noticed a blush creeping into her cheeks.
Oh, Meredith thought, now it makes sense. I’ll have to watch out for that one. It wasn’t completely out of the blue for a student to have a crush on her. Meredith straightened her back and looked around, suddenly glad they were sitting in public where the rest of the world could see, not that she thought Ainsley would try anything. It was just easier that way.

They had their food before she said anything. Adam was shoving his face full of breakfast, and Ainsley was just moving hers around the plate. She had no idea how to open the conversation, but she better do it soon otherwise Adam would do it for her.
“I have a problem.”
“What is it?” he stopped eating and grabbed her hand, his face so serious.
She felt guilty for making him worried so quickly. Ainsley shook her head. “Not like that. Remember last week when we were talking about your economics prof?”
“Well…I like…I like one of my profs.”
“Ainsley! You scoundrel.”
“It’s not funny,” she said, smiling. “It’s not just this simple crush either. Or at least, it doesn’t seem to be. I can’t get her out of my head.”
“Who is it?”
Ainsley narrowed her eyes and looked around the restaurant, hoping to see a student so she wouldn’t have to tell him. When no one was there, she leaned in and whispered, “Meredith Frenz.”
“Your Memoir prof?”
He whistled and sat back in the booth, looking at her and shaking his head. “She’s one hard bitch.”
Ainsley pulled a face, tinning her lips and puffing out her cheeks while narrowing her eyes at him. She knew he’d say that. The rumors about Meredith Frenz as a professor were not of the highest quality. Though learning had never been in question; it was her grading methods and expectations.
“I can’t stop thinking about her.”
“Yeah? Maybe you should…you know…” he wiggled his eyebrows at her. “Older woman and all.”
“Really? That’s your advice. Go ahead and do it.”
“Why not?”
“For one she’s my professor. She affects my grade. Two, she’s my professor! I mean really, I couldn’t.”
“Couldn’t or wouldn’t? I think, in all honesty, if it’s something you want to pursue long term then try and do it. But I wouldn’t touch it if this is just a booty call thing. That with profs who aren’t into it can be very dangerous.”
“Yeah,” Ainsley said and sighed, finally taking a bite of her hash browns. “I just can’t get her out of my head.”

Adrian J. Smith, or “AJ” as she is often called, has a generous and soft heart. She loves to rescue stray cats and dogs, as well as those who just escape. Her hoard of animals currently includes two cats, a dog and a fish, but no children as of yet. She’s passionate about LGBT et al rights, women’s rights and children’s rights.

AJ loves to read and write lesbian fiction, simply for the fact that strong women make her swoon and when two are involved her knees turn to jelly and she falls head over heels in love. AJ travels around the United States, and sometimes the world, gathering up stories for her novels. Currently, she lives in the middle of nowhere of the middle of nowhere and is rather difficult to find except on the internet, where she spends a lot of her time. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here is the interview!

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the write, no surprise in the reader.”

                                                                                                                        Robert Frost

What is “Memoir in the Making” about?

Memoir in the Making is a love story of all love stories. It’s not traditional in the sense that there’s a significant age gap between the two main characters, and then even more non-traditional in the sense that the age difference doesn’t really cause many issues.
Meredith Frenz has been teaching creative writing for close to fifteen years at the university, and Ainsley Jacobs is a writing student, taking her first memoir class from Meredith. Their worlds collide most unexpectedly for both. Their past issues come up to haunt them and mark the decisions they make, but love prevails against all odds.

This is a story about two people who fall in love even though they shouldn’t, even though it’s not easy, and even though they don’t necessarily want to.


What or who inspired you to write “Memoir in the Making?”
Ha! I got mad. That’s why I wrote this book. I’ve written lesbian fiction for years, and I don’t write romance, in fact, I get a lot of comments of “there’s not enough romance in this book.” Which is what ticked me off. None of my other books are romance, so why expect it, right? Anyway, I got really mad one week, and I decided to write something where people couldn’t say that and shove as much cheesy romance into one book. Well, that’s not what really happened, but it is a romance novel with an Adrian twist, meaning non-traditional.
As for the rest of the inspiration, I sort of modeled it after the university I went to for my bachelor’s degree. I wasn’t a creative writing major, but I took writing classes, and I took a memoir class, which was my favorite. No, I did not have this amazing love affair with my professor or anything like that (I’m not as cool as Ainsley). But the LGBT on campus group was one we had, albeit with differences in how they were organized.


What was the deciding factor for your book title?  Did it just come to you or did you try different ones?
Interesting question, especially for this book. Normally book titles just come to me and I go with it, but this one did not. Like at all. I sat there for weeks trying to pick one. I called it “the MILFy thing” for ever and ever, and it’s still even labeled that on my computer.
I wanted a title that encompassed the book, which related to how they met. I was hesitant about keeping it as “Memoir in the Making” because it sounds like a memoir non-fiction book instead of a romance fiction novel. But I loved it too much to change it. There was quite a bit of discussion with my two closest friends about it and with my publisher in terms of keeping it or changing it.
Ultimately though, that’s what this book is. It’s Ainsley’s memoir in the making. It’s Meredith’s memoir in the making. And since both characters are heavily into the writing, and that’s a central part to the book itself and I can see them writing their own memoirs some day, I wanted to keep it and let it sit as it was.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main characters?
I modeled Meredith after Mary McDonnell. Yup, I said it. She is what I imagine Mary would be if you combined a few of her characters: Laura Roslin for the strength and loneliness, the coming to know herself late in life, the career oriented; Sharon Raydor for the compassion, the drive, the ability to work in an environment where she can’t fully be herself; Stands with a Fist, for the passion and risk taking and doing what needs to be done for love.
For Ainsley, she’s a bit more modeled after me, sort of. She’s also got parts from a few friends of mine from high school and college. I wanted her to be strong even though she was young, someone mature beyond her years. Most people don’t think twenty-year-olds know much about the workings of the world, but Ainsley clearly does. I also wanted a character who wasn’t afraid of much, who was young enough in terms of knowing the world that she was still very much willing to take a lot of risks (which is so not like me at all).


Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  If so, did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?
I did loads of writing when I was in school. I was also no way good enough to actually win awards. Wait, scratch that, I think I won a thing in middle school where my poem about 9/11 ended up in the local newspaper. My mom probably still has a cutout of it somewhere. I still haven’t won any awards for my writing, and it’s not something I really expect or instinctively want. I don’t measure my writing up against awards, and there are far better writers out there than me. For me, the thrill of writing is to be a part of a story that I wouldn’t normally be a part of, to become a character that is so vastly different than me, to take on traits I know I could never have in the real world.

Was there anyone, in your life who was an inspiration for you to write?   If so, what did they do?
Honestly, probably my memoir professor. She was my prof for other classes too, but yeah. She taught me a lot about writing, about how to be creative in writing. She also taught me about the very pesky comma splice (so yes, that scene in the book is real and so very true. I was that student who couldn’t master it for months). My professor was someone who saw the diamond in the rough, not just in the words I wrote, but in my personality, and she made sure I was able to explore my abilities in any way possible, and she was very supportive when I wanted to try something outrageous and beyond the comfort zone of the majority of the class.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you elaborate on what has worked for you?
Be as authentic as you can possibly be. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my short time on this planet, it’s that hiding and not being who I am serves absolutely no purpose. Whether it’s in writing, in what you read, in how you act toward others or how you think about yourself.
If anything, Meredith and Ainsley are two prime examples how to live authentically, whether at the start of life or somewhere in the middle.

Which crime series do you follow (TV, cable, or book)?  What do you like about the number one main character?
Ha! Major Crimes!! Gotta love me some Mary—strong, independent, hard but with a soft side. I also love Law & Order: SVU, and the original. Lennie Briscoe was my hero for many, many years. I actually don’t read many crime books, surprisingly. But I worked with law enforcement for about four years, so it’s hard for me to watch shows or read books that aren’t as authentic to what true police work is like. I get the need for freedom and stretching the truth a bit, cops do it all the time when they tell stories anyway, but to solve a case in an hour just isn’t reality.

Who was the author or creator who won your interest in the supernatural?
J.K. Rowling. I loved how the story was in our world yet wasn’t. It was a fantastic blend that kept it relatable and interesting for me. I wasn’t much of a reader as a kid, so any book that kept my interest beyond page one was a huge cause for celebration. The Harry Potter series did that. The pace of the novels was quick enough to keep me thinking and wondering, which is also something I need in a book.

How do you deal with publicity, both good and bad?
I haven’t run into much bad publicity. I tend to be reserved on what I’ll say, but I will also say something. I have a bit of a sharp tongue, but it works to my advantage sometimes (some people just don’t see it coming). I try to stay as authentic to me as possible, and if that means something bad, then it’ll happen and I’ll deal with it. Good publicity is all the wonders, and while I might not seem gung ho on the outside, I guarantee I’m probably jumping up and grinning like a fool on this side of my computer, oh and messaging my two good friends. There’s a lot I won’t say in the public sphere, but instant messenger with close friends is such a blessing in those cases.

Have you ever done volunteer work for an animal rescue agency?  If so how was the experience for you?
I have! I worked with Operation Kindness in Carrollton, TX with a youth group. I sadly didn’t get back there like I would have loved, but it was a great experience, for both me and the kids. I love animals, through and through. They’re so precious to me. So to be able to go and just take a dog on a walk is an amazing experience. I actually went back to Operation Kindness months later and adopted my pitbull puppy, who’s not really a puppy anymore.

What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least fave?
My favorite part is being able to create something out of nothing, to be able to use my hobby and share it with others. I never thought I would be published—I gave up on that dream once I hit college. Go figure, but it happened, and I love almost every minute of it. My publisher is fantastic in that I have pretty much freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want.
Thus far my least favorite part is bad reviews. Ha-ha, not really. My least favorite part, honestly, is probably when I see drama going on in the author world. It sucks. I don’t understand or see why people have to get their panties in such a wad. It hurts not just those involved in the argument or dispute, but those surrounding it. It hurts the community of readers and more.


Where would you go for your dream vacation?  Would you ever use that location as the main location for a future story?
Right now it’s Ireland. We keep saying we’ll go there for our honeymoon, so maybe it’ll happen in the next year or two because we really need a honeymoon. I’m not sure if I would ever use it as a location in a future story. I tend to keep my locations (specific wise) as vague as possible. In terms of description, I’ll add that in loads. I don’t like to name cities because then it locks people into thinking that it couldn’t happen to them, that it’s a story about someone who lives so far away and could never be something near them. Although, it is highly amusing when people guess where I’ve based some of the location after, like really amusing, and then I go “How did you do that!?”

What is in the works next for you?  If you can’t share, I totally understand and respect this.
I’m actually working on a secret project. Yay! So I won’t share that one. Anything I’m writing now won’t be released until 2016, which is SO FAR AWAY! But for this year, I have a new crime novel coming out in June, and I have a new urban fantasy novel coming out in October that I’m editing right now. I’m excited for both, but the urban fantasy has my very first vampire in it, and she’s a bit manipulative, and such a risk-taker, but it’s okay since she can’t really die anyway.
Me:  Now you already have my interest.  I want to know what the secret is.  LOL.  Keep us tuned.

Here is another exciting excerpt from “Memoir in the Making”.

She looked down at Ainsley’s feet before locking gazes with her. “I hope you have fun tomorrow.”  

“I will.” Ainsley grinned. “Pride parade is always a blast.” 

“It certainly is,” Meredith muttered. 

Ainsley grabbed her jacket from the hook and swung it over her shoulders and arms. She buttoned it up and was just about to tie it, but Meredith stuck her hand out and stopped her. Instead of saying something or letting go like she intended, Meredith kept her fingers on Ainsley’s. She rubbed her thumb against the back of Ainsley’s hand, reveling in how soft her skin was.

Everything slowed down. Meredith felt her chest rise and fall with each breath and heard Ainsley’s in response. Her heart thrummed along in her chest, and she licked her lips as they were dry. Meredith finally raised her gaze and looked at Ainsley, a blush on Ainsley’s cheeks.  

“I could get fired for this, you know.”

“I know.” 

Meredith’s breathing quickened. She wasn’t quite sure what to say anymore. Words had escaped her for the first time in her long life, and she was at a loss. Ainsley reached up, cupping Meredith’s chin and forcing their faces closer.

“I don’t care,” Meredith murmured before their lips pressed together.

Stepping in closer, Meredith wrapped her arm around Ainsley’s waist and brought their bodies together. All thoughts left her as she focused only on the feel of Ainsley’s mouth against hers. She was so soft Meredith was afraid of breaking her. Ainsley shuffled forward, forcing Meredith to take a step back. She didn’t know where they were going, and she didn’t care.


I want to thank Ena Amanda for telling me about Adrian’s blog tour.  I had a blast participating and can’t wait to hear how you all like Adrian’s book, “Memoir in the Making.”  Like you read in my review, I enjoyed the story very much and am looking forward for a sequel.   This book has been receiving a lot of great reviews on Amazon, including mine so take a look.


It has been great having you all here and I want to thank you for stopping by.  Her work is phenomenal and you are going to love it.  If you haven't signed up for the giveaway, go back up  and click the "giveaway" tab that is just above Adrian's interview.  For more about her, check out her links below:


Until next time,

Before you go take a look at my links:

#enlighteneddesire  Join in the conversation on Twitter.

Stay tuned for my Enlightened Desire book trailer.  Coming soon!

Printed With Permission.