January 26, 2016

Melissa Gorzelanczyk's ARROWS is being released today!

Congrats to Melissa on the launch of her book! Arrows is a stunningly inventive mix of contemporary romance and mythological drama--one that twists the love-at-first-sight conceit into knots and uses it to question the assumptions that underpin so many love stories.

The Story
People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.

Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma andDanny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.

A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?

The Reviews
“This tale of Cupid meets teen mom is unique . . . for fans of fantasy fiction and mythology, such as Aimee Carter’s ‘The Goddess Test’ series or Rick Riordan.”
--School Library Journal

“A sweet high-school twist on Greek mythology with added substance about teen parenting and breaking out of a bad relationship."

"A great mythological take on love, heartache, and teen pregnancy."

The Interview
Q: Where did you get the inspiration for your book? 

Two places. One, my friend Nate brought up the idea of cupids working behind the scenes making people fall in love--and that idea shot me straight through the heart. From there, imagining the plot and characters kept me up at night. I knew I had to write Arrows.

Second, the question, "Why do some people date such jerks?"

Q: Describe your writing process, from idea to final draft.
Idea: I start out by writing the jacket-flap copy for my idea, which helps me figure out what kind of story I want to write.

From there I focus on ...
  • Characters: I hand-write at least three pages about a character to get to know them, and at this stage I don't force anything--I let them surprise me.
  • Using Google, I search photos until I find the perfect match for how I'm envisioning my character, and save this in a file. I look at those photos everyday before writing.
  • Playlists: I make one for each main character. (One of the songs for Aaryn was "Guilt" by Nero. On Karma's list: "Clean Getaway" by Maria Taylor and "White Blank Page" by Mumford & Sons.) 
  • Plot/deepening: I keep The Plot Whisperer Workbook by Martha Alderson handy throughout my drafts. This book helps keep my plot, character motivations and energetic markers in place. 

Q: Tell us about your journey, from finding an agent to publication.
I met my agent, Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson, on Twitter. We participated in #PitMad, a pitch party hosted by Brenda Drake. Within 10 days of Carrie favoriting my tweet, we'd agreed to work together.

She and I worked through two rounds of revision. I went on submission the beginning of January, and a week later the remarkable Wendy Loggia of Delacorte Press bought my book.

Q: Why would someone want to buy your book?
Arrows is a book I imagine people taking to the beach or opening on a snowy day. It's a story to pick-up when you need a dramatic, roller-coaster narrative that keeps the pages turning. A book that's hard to stop reading!

So relax. Have some sort of slushie or spiced latte in hand. Listen to the ocean, or snuggle up in your comfiest blanket and let this love story sweep you off your feet.

Q: What are your favorite books? What are you reading now?
This is the hardest question! I grew up loving Nancy Drew and Anne of Green Gables. Today I love everything from Strange Places by Gillian Flynn to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell to Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.