Elizabeth Barone

Author of:

Rad-Reader:  Why this storyline?

Elizabeth:  I know became a single dad, literally doing a 360 with his life in order to care for his infant child. I have several single mom friends, and I think society is pretty good about cheering them on, but we so rarely celebrate single dads. Watching my friend make so many sacrifices and even ultimately pursue his dreams because of his child got me thinking. I had this college student with a little girl suddenly yammering in my head, and I just had to know how that guy made it work.

Rad-Reader:  How did Max’s mom and dad expect him on such short notice to have him be able to do a 360 and puff care for himself and their grandchild Chloe?  Especially when they carried him all that time?

Elizabeth:  Max’s mom tells him flat out that she’s in her sixties and she’s done with the family thing. She wants to pursue her own path, rather than do for everyone else. She also senses that Chloe isn’t seeing Max as a father figure, so in her own way is trying to help.

Rad-Reader:  They seem to want to do the whole tough love with him but they did it in a way that caused damage to the family as a whole.  What were they thinking?

Elizabeth:  Their hearts are in the right place, but their tact is totally questionable. As baby boomers, they see things a lot differently than people in Max’s generation do. "Get married and have a family" was sort of that generation’s M.O.—even if neither side of that marriage unit is totally in love. Max has to juggle his family’s meddling with his own desires and, of course, Chloe’s best interest.

Rad-Reader:  They displaced him from his home with their grandchild but never called to see if they were okay or if they were living in a good neighborhood.  Were they still angry with him for getting his ex-pregnant and what it looked like on them?  Or they wanted to make a man out of him?

Elizabeth:  Again, it’s back to that baby boomer tough love. His parents care about their son and granddaughter, of course, but are busy running a law firm and starting a completely new business. It’s up to Max to figure it out the way they did when they were starting off.

Rad-Reader:  When Riley mentioned the ad what was she thinking?  Thought she was the responsible one? 

Elizabeth:  Riley and Max have a humor-driven kind of friendship. Since she was just joking, she’s totally horrified when Max takes her joke seriously. She begs him to reconsider.

Rad-Reader:  As the story progressed we see Riley become more forward with her feelings or is it just flirting?  Max does it too.  Did she have an interest in Max and he in her at any point?

Elizabeth:  Unfortunately for Riley, Max has never had romantic feelings for her. She’s always had a crush on him and hoped that he’d eventually notice her, though.

Rad-Reader:  By the end of the book Riley and Max are not as close and she is very bold and sexually forward at one point in the story about being with him even.  Why the drastic change in her?  Max didn’t even like it about her.  Was she competing with Savannah in her own way for Max’s attention?

Elizabeth:  Just like Max, Riley is growing up too, and going through her own metamorphosis. She’s just trying on another set of wings, so to speak. She and Max have always had a joking friendship, and she uses that as sort of a defense mechanism for her true feelings. Max, of course, is totally oblivious.

Rad-Reader:  When he met Savannah the tattoos threw him but he never asks her about them.  Why?

Elizabeth:  One theme I really wanted to tackle with this novel was people’s assumptions about appearances. We all like to think we aren’t judgmental, but subconsciously we are. We have to train ourselves to do better. For a few years, I worked at a jewelry counter in a department store. I love tattoos and am always getting more, so I displayed mine loud and proud while at work. It was always jarring to me, how even people my age would eye me openly with mistrust and even disgust. It just goes to show; our society has a long way to go.

Max doesn’t hate the tattoos, per se, but they are skulls and he doesn’t understand them—until later, when he asks her about them and she explains.

Rad-Reader:  Savannah never comes right out and says where she got or gets all that extra cash she had in that drawer she had.  Where did it come from?  From the art or her parents?

Elizabeth:  Savannah explains what her relationship with her parents is like; she makes all of her money from commissioning paintings.

Rad-Reader:  Will she start working with her art more or will it be too hard while Chloe is around?

Elizabeth:  That question is answered in a spinoff series, the South of Forever series! It’s now available at http://elizabethbarone.net/south-of-forever/

Rad-Reader:  Why is Savannah so secret about things?  The morning after…Christmas morning she was acting odd why?  She was avoiding him and not making eye contact?

Elizabeth:  Max is your typical guy; he’s a little oblivious to things that I as a woman would feel hurt about. Since it’s Christmas and the day before he’d mentioned going to see his family, she’d sort of hoped he would invite her along. Men!
Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…

Max:  Ryan Guzman

Savannah:  Victoria Justice

Riley:  Genesis Rodriguez

Riley:  Willa Holland

Nicole:  Emily Osment 
Rad-Reader:  What song out now best describes your book?
"It Was Always You" - Maroon 5

Elizabeth:  Confession time: I don’t really listen to the radio. Usually when my husband and I are running errands, we’ve got the mp3 player plugged in and basically binging whatever band we’re currently obsessed with. I have a whole playlist dedicated to this book, though (and playlists for all my other books)! Listen here:   Spotify

I think the song that most captures The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos:
"Warm Water" - Banks 

Rad-Reader:  When did you know writing was what you wanted to do?

Elizabeth:  Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to write. But I always kind of figured it was out of reach, something I’d have to do on weekends for fun. I didn’t think it was something I could actually make a career out of. Then I got sick with autoimmune arthritis and couldn’t work a "normal" job. It was almost as if the universe was shoving me—hard—toward this path.

Rad-Reader:  How long did it take you to get your first book published?

Elizabeth:  Occasionally, when I was still working a nine to five type job, I’d submit a story somewhere. One of my blog friends and writing buddies was self-publishing and doing pretty well with it. She was always writing about her experiments and it was so fascinating to me. In 2011, I decided to self-publish a story that had been previously published in a literary magazine, and that was it. I was hooked.

In the meantime, I’d submitted another novel to a contest. The prize was a publishing contract I didn’t expect to win, but it ended up being a quarterfinalist, which was pretty cool. I decided screw it, and self-published it in late 2012.

I continued self-publishing and, in 2015, got picked up by a small press. They closed their doors this spring, so I’m back in the indie author game now. In a lot of ways, it’s felt like coming home.

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project?  When will it be coming out?

Elizabeth:  Right now third book in the South of Forever series is in editing. I’m planning on releasing it this summer. I’ve also started a new series. My production schedule is growing by the minute. It’s amazing because not too long ago I was in a pretty bad episode of depression (I have PTSD), and couldn’t write anything. Now I can’t shut my muse up. ;)

The best way to keep up with what I’m working on is to sign up for my newsletter. Click here: http://eepurl.com/iUQp1

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?

Elizabeth:  My books are available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and all other major retailers. Readers can also borrow my books through Overdrive; you just have to ask your library to add them to their catalog.

Rad-Reader:  Where can they find you on the Web?

Elizabeth:  Where you can find me:

Author Website: http://elizabethbarone.net

Blog: http://thecrazychronicles.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/elizabethbarone

Facebook: http://facebook.com/elizabethbaronebooks

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/elizabethbarone

YouTube: http://youtube.com/elizabethbarone

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/elizabethbarone

     Thanks for being with us.  Your book causes us to think that is for sure I know it caused my hubby and I to talk.  We have grown children and we have been on the other side of this where you know you have to allow your children to grow up but you don’t want to see them fall.  Yet, tough love is sometimes the only way to make it work for the long term.  You can see results for them and you.  So thank you so much.
      Coming from a Hispanic family I laughed a lot when she would go off in Spanish and him just cracking up.  But I could also relate to him for getting angry for being questioned for not speaking the language that was his grandparents.  My mother got punched at school for speaking Spanish and then when she got home got in trouble for speaking English so she speaks Spanglish.
     I didn’t even know that she spoke Spanglish until I was a Sophomore in high school and this guy I liked told me.  I was like yeah right.  Then when I listened I couldn’t even believe it.  I was able to follow along and never noticed.  She never wanted to teach us Spanish since we were in America and English was the mother tongue.  Therefore, no confusion.  Yeah, no but who knew.  Pros and cons for both sides.  Now my daughter who is 15 is taking it and is a whiz at it and loves it.  God I hope she can continue in that vein and becomes so well versed in it that it is second nature to her.  So, yes your book had a lot going on so to say it was just a love story it was not.  So thanks again for answering some of my FANGIRL questions and for being here.  Come by and visit again anytime.  You are now a 1 Rad-Reader Misfit!

Char J

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