Interviewed by both Char & Pat

Part One

Rad-Reader:  First let me say a good story.  How did you come with this storyline?  Did someone you know go to a school like this or you?

Aviva:  Thank you.

May of 2016 I ran into a friend that I had not spoken to in about ten years. She was in her cups and started talking to me about “the one that got away.” He was a man, from Europe who she went to business school with. It was clear to me that they had wide cultural differences that were keeping them apart and that was the impetus for BECKONED. I combined her story, with some of my own, and that was the match.

Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with Angela’s character?

Aviva:  In Part 3 (From Los Angeles with Love), someone asks Angela why she wanted to write children’s books. That story is one from my own childhood. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, and a voracious reader, but as a multicultural, educated, modern woman, I don’t read many characters that relate to my personal experience, so of course, I wanted to create someone that resembled me demographically-speaking. I wanted to create a character so that when young women like me ask “where are the characters that look like me,” they could point to my books.

I also wanted Angela to be a woman that was alluring/attractive without her looks being the most important thing about her.

Later in the interview, I talk about Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks…Angela is fascinating the way Stevie Nicks is…it’s not her looks that are enticing, it’s her whole persona. She doesn’t follow the rules of life like everyone else does. She lives life on her own terms and that’s exciting to Soren…enthralling even.

Rad-Reader:  I take it you’ve been to Barcelona by the way you described it so well to readers, is that true?  If so, how did you like it?

Aviva:  Yes, I’ve spent a lot of time in Barcelona and traveling in general. If you go to AvivaVaughn.com, it’s all about FOOD | BOOKS | TRAVEL. Those are my three passions.

Barcelona is my favorite city in the entire world. I have an almost erotic love for it. It’s sexy. My favorite non-urban environment in the world is Joshua Tree, specifically the northern end. It looks like a Zen rock garden for giants and it’s the only place I’ve ever experienced true silence.

Rad-Reader:  What did you want us to take away from the story of Angela and Soren’s story?  Because Soren wasn’t in this first story too much.  Except toward the end.

Aviva:  I can’t answer this question without giving the end away…but I can tell you that I wanted to explore the passion of a consuming, confusing, young love. The second thing I wanted to explore was how cultural differences affect relationships.

Rad-Reader:  Soren felt something early on but did nothing to encourage a relationship at all why?   He didn’t have, game but she never gave him the reason to think she was looking for that, so why?

Aviva:  I always love in Jane Austen stories how lovers misinterpret the initial signals because they are just so nervous around each other. Both Angela and Soren misinterpret each other in the beginning because they are overwhelmed by how they feel, and this is compounded by the fact that she isn’t around that much anyway. She’s only in Barcelona a handful of months and she’s constantly traveling. Compound that with the fact that Soren is studying his ass off because the first semester of business school is a KILLER. It’s just not good timing.

But that’s what makes it so exciting when they reconnect in London. Second-chance love is always thrilling because there is a desperation born out of “I’m not going to mess it up this time.”

Rad-Reader:  Why was laughter such a foreign thing for Soren?  What that because of the indication we were given that his dad was strict? 

Aviva: Laughter isn’t a foreign thing to him; it’s the unrestrained freedom that is exemplified by Angela’s laughter that is foreign to him.

Soren comes from a very homogeneous society. Denmark is a wonderfully progressive country, but there’s not a lot of variety. Angela is like a phoenix to him, exotic and fiery. His life is very orderly and certain. He’s never had to fight for anything, he knows his path. She makes him feel alive and spontaneous. She’s exciting.

Rad-Reader:  Soren seems really insecure and out of his comfort zone with people in general but especially women.  Is he an only child or first born?

Aviva:  He’s only uncomfortable around Angela. He’s a bit reserved, but he’s not insecure at all. The scene where he and Angela run into Thomas illustrates that, and you also see it with Karim later on.

Rad-Reader:  Was Thomas’ character someone you had in your original draft or did you decide to add him to your story?

Aviva:  Thomas was always a part of the story because I needed him to keep Angela and Soren apart in Barcelona. Kind of like Frank Churchill in Jane Austen’s Emma. If it weren’t for Frank Churchill, Emma would not have as much tension as it does. Thomas creates tension. He’s the REASON they are a second-chance love.

However, in the first draft, Thomas was even more of an asshole, and one of my readers said, “He needs some redeeming qualities or it isn’t believable.”

In many ways BECKONED is a modern spin on Jane Austen’s EMMA and Pride and Prejudice. Even my language choices and POV style are indicative of this. 
Rad-Reader: I guess it's just hard for me to understand, you refer to Jane's work as if all the world knows Jane Austen and really I don't...as most of my readers know before I got sick I really hated reading.  Couldn't sit still long enough.  I became a reader when forced to bed for lack of energy. Jane was not a part of my reading.  I've seen some movies base on her work does that count?  I'm really sorry. :-(

Rad-Reader:  When Thomas and Angela go to dinner it is very obvious that he is hiding something.  Does Charlene know the truth?  Any of the guys?

Aviva:  Angela believes the best in people. She’s not a suspicious person. The world is an interesting, beautiful place to her. She’s kind of na├»ve like that, but not in an annoying way, just in a trusting way.

No one knows the truth about Thomas until after Angela goes home to the States.

Rad-Reader:  Didn’t the way Thomas was throwing back drinks give her concerns more than him supporting his parents and it being stress?

Aviva:  That scene is based on a real experience of mine. Just like Angela, I’m not a drinker. The first functional alcoholic I met, I really couldn’t tell he was drunk at all, and so even though I noticed he had a few drinks, I didn’t think anything of it because he acted totally sober. Angela is totally like me in that way: she isn’t a drinker and so she isn’t’ familiar with what’s normal or not normal when it comes to consuming alcohol. Plus Thomas is a large person, so it’s even harder to know how much is too much with him.

Rad-Reader:  Was it difficult to write about each character with them having a different personality but also nationality?

Aviva:  Not really. I’ve traveled a lot and I have close friends from all over the world. Nationality is just another thing to consider…another facet of a person. It adds depth.

Rad-Reader:  All the different places and things that Angela wants to do while in Barcelona have you been to any of those things or have friends?

Aviva:  Yes, I’ve been to all those places :^) I’ve seen the penis-shaped pool with my own eyes:^P

Rad-Reader:  Hubby said when they got back to Soren’s apartment no guy in his right mind would leave the girl he has been crushing over with a guy he doesn’t even like.  Especially, Karim.  Why did Soren?

Aviva:  People do weird and unexpected things when they aren’t sure of how the person they admire is feeling. Remember that Angela kissed the guy in the club earlier AND she’s in London to see Thomas. Soren doesn’t know which way is up at that moment.

And tell Hubby that I had that exact situation happen to me once :^)
Rad-Reader:  Hubby said then you were with the wrong type of guy!  You deserve better.

Rad-Reader:  It’s like Soren knows what he should do to help the relationship along but he falls short.  Like when Angela was sitting on his lap in the car.  He could have just held her at the very least.  Why didn’t he?

Aviva:  He didn’t want to pop a boner.

Rad-Reader:  Why did she feel obliged to Thomas?  It wasn’t like he was paying her way to London or even for the first night he inconvenienced her.  Plus, he never met her the first night.

Aviva:  It was her “rules.”

Rad-Reader:  She told Soren she was waiting for him to make a move.   When in reality she went up to Thomas and asked him out and not Soren.  Why?  Was it because Thomas liked to dance and do the things she did?

Aviva:  There was a conversation between Angela and Charlene where she says that if Soren doesn’t give her any indication of his feelings, then she’s going with the “sure thing.”

Rad-Reader:  Why was Soren being such a tease about having sex?  Every time they get close he backs off.

Aviva:  He doesn’t want to be Angela’s rebound screw. He wants it to be beautiful and loving and he feels that can only happen after their emotions have had some time to develop.
Rad-Reader:  He couldn't it be a rebound screw when they were not a couple when she left? She wasn't coming back for Thomas. That was the thing.  He was just offering his home as a place to stay since he would be working so much.

Rad-Reader:  What’s the reason you decided to break this book into parts instead of a series or a standalone?  And really what are the differences in what that means?

Aviva:  BECKONED is a serialized novel in my opinion. I did it that way because if it were a single book, it would have been about 1,000 pages. I felt like it needed to be available in “digestible” chunks.

I have no idea about the difference between series and standalone. I think that’s just a matter of opinion. I read books called “standalone” all the time that you can’t fully understand without reading the one before or after it. I just wanted to be honest with readers about the fact that they would need to read the entire series to get the whole, satisfying story. Personally, I like series. If I fall in love with a character, I want to see how they change. There’s nothing sadder than a brilliant one-off in my opinion. I’m always thinking “but then what happened?”

Rad-Reader:  Do you know how many parts there will be?

Aviva:  There are four main parts, but I have an idea for a prequel (six years before) and a follow-up (fifteen years later.) Sometimes I feel like it should have been five parts, but cest la vie.

Rad-Reader:  Being an Indie author has it been a struggle to get this storyline out there?  Or do you find people receptive to the book?

Aviva:  I’ve really just been focusing on writing the best book I can, and making the story one that I would want to read. I’m not thinking about the rest of it really. However, reading the reviews have been amazing. I love hearing that it touches people. It lights me up inside!

Rad-Reader:  In the other books do you have Soren’s character’s personality changing or staying the same?

Aviva:  All of my main characters change (including Thomas) over the course of the books. In fact, if I do the follow-up I’m planning, Thomas’ character might just be the most interesting one. 

Rad-Reader:  Hubby liked the Italian restaurant that they went to in London.  The way you described the meal are you into cooking?

Aviva:  Food—cooking and eating—are my first love. I’m constantly cooking all types of food.

Rad-Reader:  The recipe at the end of the book is that your creation?

Aviva:  Yes it is! Did Hubby try it? I actually had an ex of mine told me he still makes it on special occasions.

Note from Pat: 
Thank you for letting me read your story.  Good luck in your future release’s and travel’s
Thank you.  Thanks, Pat!

Part Two

Rad-Reader:  What was your reasoning for ending the first book the way you did?

Aviva:  Two reasons: First, the book was getting really long and it felt like a good length. Secondly, Soren and Angela had been through a lot, so it was nice to leave them on a happy note.

Rad-Reader:  Has Soren ever been with a woman before?  Because I’m starting to wonder if he has ever even had sex before.  He seems to understand how to please them and tease quite well though.

Aviva:  Danish people are very open about sexuality, and Soren has had plenty of sex (in my mind.) He just doesn’t want to mess things up with Angela…he likes her too much to do that.

You’ll see in Part 3 that he’s very experienced.

My experience has always been that the more a man cares for a woman, the more careful he is about how he proceeds. He doesn’t want to scare her away.

Rad-Reader:  There seemed to be no closure in book one.  Why did you choose to do it that way?  Will there be any closure in this book?

Aviva:  Is there ever closure in a relationship? Relationships are always evolving. Any “closure” is just a moment of calm before the next storm; an illusion.

Rad-Reader:  Why does Soren need to own Angela? 

Aviva:  Soren is an island…he doesn’t need a lot, but he needs Angela. When he meets her, he realizes that her energy is what’s been missing in his life. She’s like oxygen to him or food to a starving man.

And he’s kind of melancholy. He’s not depressed or anything; he’s just lived a boring life until he meets Angela. She infuses him with life.

Angela is a classic extrovert. Soren can never be everything to her the way she is to him. She needs a lot of stimulation, which is part of why she has so many friends and is always traveling. The world is a fascinating place for her and she wants to see it all.

The song choices I made for Soren explain everything (in my opinion.) Bleed to Love Her by Lindsey Buckingham is Soren’s main theme, and Ain’t No Sunshine is the song for the end of Part 2. He doesn’t want to “own” her. He just doesn’t want to go back to life before her.

Rad-Reader:  At first, I was getting upset with Soren’s character but now who I am really getting upset with Angela.  For allowing Soren to get away with his frustrating behavior.  His behavior, is it a control thing or a belief from when he was brought up, by his father’s off behavior?

Aviva:  I’m glad BECKONED makes you “feel” something. I like those stories best. When I watch GONE WITH THE WIND or read an Edith Wharton book, I am super frustrated the whole time. But that’s life!

People do weird things when they are super attracted to someone. I remember this guy that I had off the charts chemistry with and one day I said to myself, “I don’t even like or respect him, so why do I keep putting up with his B.S?” The answer was: chemistry. Intense physical chemistry can be very confusing and overwhelming, and it’s a big part of the theme of books 3 and 4.

Rad-Reader:  Why does Angela keep making odd choices for herself?  First, Thomas, she knew he had a drinking problem but she allowed herself to turn a blind eye.  Now Soren is an odd duck who likes total control under the label of caring for her.  Why?

Aviva:  CHEMISTRY. Plus, Thomas and Angela are only together for a month. It’s an extremely short period of time…and it took her a bit to recognize his drinking problem because she had never experienced that before.

Rad-Reader:  Soren has so many hang ups on how their relationship should look and be that he is forgetting it is a two-person thing.  Does he really know what love looks like?

Aviva:  He’s never felt this way about a woman before and it’s making him a little crazy. Hasn’t that happened to you? I know it’s happened to me!

Rad-Reader:  Angela in her own head has said she loves him.  She keeps making these choices without looking at the total picture clearly.  Why?

Aviva:  She’s really spontaneous. Haven’t you made choices without looking at the total picture before? Haven’t we all? She’s young and likes to “do first, ask questions later.”

Rad-Reader:  In some ways, Soren is worse than Peter with the way he manipulates Angela.  Doesn’t like her guy friends, changes her clothing, changes her luggage, wants her at his beck and call.  Don’t you think?

Aviva:  I wanted to explore this idea that manipulation can be very subtle and even attractive…this will come out more in 3 and 4. However, Soren and Peter are vastly different in one way: Peter KNEW he was manipulating Angela; he did it on purpose; Soren doesn’t.

Rad-Reader:  I can’t believe Soren allowed her to leave feeling the way she did after spilling her pain.  Why did he do that?

Aviva:  He’s shell shocked from the last couple of days they had. He feels like he doesn’t know where he stands with her. He’s stuck in his head. He’s Dr. Spock like that. He wants to evaluate, do a cost/benefit analysis. The Peter thing just throws him for a loop. Plus…she’s about to get on a plane. What can he REALLY do at that point?

Rad-Reader:  She is so open to a certain pattern of man.  This book seems like it went in one giant circle.  Can you explain what I’m missing?  Because she is back at square one with Soren.  I know for me I would have cut him loose.  Too many mind games.  Change my mind.

Aviva:  I love how in TWILIGHT Stephenie Meyer explains that Bella is Edward’s “singer” which means that she is unique from every other human because her blood “sings” to him. It gives this paranormal reason for why he is wildly attracted to her.

Soren and Angela are wildly attracted to each other. They need to see this through…. There’s no way Angela is cutting Soren loose yet. The fact that he’s denying her sexually is so enticing.

I guess their relationship has three phases in these books: Phase 1: they meet and are uncertain of each other’s feelings
Phase 2: certainty of attraction but uncertain of emotions
Phase 3: certain of emotions but uncertain about what it means.
Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…

Angela:  Kristin Kreuk

Charlene:  Rhianna

Soren:  Jason Lewis

Thomas:  Chris Hemsworth

Marco:  Giulio Berruti

Aviva:  My Pinterest boards 

Angela:  OMG, you are brilliant! I’ve never heard of Kristin Kreuk, but she would be an excellent candidate. I’d prefer someone with a little more meat on their bones, personally. I’ve always said America Ferrera’s body, brains, and feistiness with Jessica Alba’s smile and more Asian look.

Charlene:  I love your pic of Rhianna, but Charlene’s in her early 30’s. Kimberly Elise 

Soren:  I’ll take me a side of Jason Lewis any day of the week, but I actually see Chris Hemsworth or Henry Cavill more. I see Soren as thick and manly, Jason Lewis is too model-ish for

Soren: Chris Hemsworth: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/666955026037307997/

Thomas:  He’s a lug. A rugby player looking type.
Marco:  A young Stanley Tucci https://www.pinterest.com/pin/666955026037485646/

Rad-Reader:  What song best describes your couple or your books as a whole?
Soren’s for Angela
“I Shall Believe – Sheryl Crow”

Angela For Thomas
“Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato”

Angela for Soren as she left for LA
“Like I Love You – Brett Young”

Soren when Angela was getting on the plane.
"I've Been Loving You - Marc Broussard"

Aviva:                                 Soren for Angela 
Bleed to Love Her by Lindsey Buckingham 
Angela is to Soren like Stevie Nicks is to Lindsey Buckingham. Love and heartache go hand in hand. I wanted BECKONED to be a “real” story: messy, beautiful, and exciting.

Angela for Soren
"I shall believe by Sheryl Crow"

Angela for Thomas:
"Black Horse and Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall" 

Soren for Angela when she leaves
"Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers" 

Angela for Soren when she leaves
"Rolling in the Deep by Adele"

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?

Aviva:   I don’t know yet. Since I’m Indie pub, BECKONED is still consuming me because I want to set it up for print, but I haven’t decided if I want to change the covers…or maybe add a scene here or there. I’m sure I’ll publish something new in 2018, I’m just not sure what yet. I’ve actually got an idea for a series based on one of Angela’s best friends, Dalia Dolorosa, but I also have a RomCon I’ve been working on. I really don’t know yet.
Rad-Reader:  In keeping with the book, what is your favorite food?

Aviva:  Chinese.

Rad-Reader:  Your favorite Dessert?

Aviva:  The mousse crema Catalan from tragaluz (in Barcelona) with a glass of the Isle of Jure scotch. The combination of creamy caramel flavors mixes so nicely with the throat-scorching oily-feel of the scotch.

Rad-Reader:  Your favorite beverage?

Aviva:  Water. I love room-temp water. LOL. I prefer to eat my calories.

Rad-Reader:  What did you want to do when you grew up or was an author always your dream?

Aviva:  There was never one thing. Everything interests me. I think that’s why I like books and writing so much. I can explore everything by reading and writing.
Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?

Aviva:  Right now I’m only on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. As I said, I’m still figuring this stuff out so I’m going slow. I’ll probably go “wide” in 2018 and be everywhere.

This link goes to the correct Amazon marketplace depending on your readers country of origin.
Part 1: SmartURL.it/BeckonedLondon
Part 2: SmartURL.it/BeckonedBath
Part 3: SmartURL.it/BeckonedLA

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

Aviva:  AvivaVaughn.com

     Thanks so much for being with us.  We are so happy that you got to see your dream come true.  It was an interesting book and it did get the juice flowing when came to the discussions about Soren that is for sure, Hahaha.  We love books that make us talk to the characters and cause us to really talk to each other about what were they thinking.  I really get the juices flowing that is for sure.  
     But when you have been married like we have right out of high school as best friends and we are close to that forty year mark than not.  We realize that we see the world and relationships differently than most.  And that's okay that is what makes the world so interesting.  
     We can't wait to see how they progress as a couple to see if they stand the test of time. We enjoyed the recipes too.  Again we are interested to see what you have coming up in the future. You are now a 1 Rad-Reader Misfit too.
Char & Pat ;-)


  1. Thanks Char and Pat! It was fun discussing BECKONED with you...and yes, watching the Jane Austen, or Stephenie Meyer, movies definitely counts.

  2. Sorry just saw this. Haha! Thanks, I felt so happy movies could. :0)


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