Hello, readers! This week, I’m featuring the awesome New Adult novel that my boss, independent book editor Lorin Oberweger, co-wrote with Veronica Rossi. But before you ask: No, I’m not getting paid for this, and no, this was not at Lorin’s prompting. We’re about free will here at NGP! I do genuinely adore this book, and I think you will, too.
BOOMERANG centers on bright-eyed and bushy-tailed millennials Mia and Ethan, who are competing for the same dream job at the office of Boomerang, a swanky new dating site. Which would be okay, except for their wicked attraction to each other and Boomerang’s strict no-dating policy.
Here’s an interview I did with Lorin on the novel, which will be released on July 15. Enjoy!
How did you and Veronica Rossi create the concept for this novel?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Veronica for several years now—as an editor—and we’ve become really great friends. During a Skype chat, we decided it would be awesome to work on a project TOGETHER, and hashed out a few concepts based on alternating points of view.
One of the things I’ve learned from years of putting on workshops, as well as working with hundreds of writers, is that you can’t underestimate the importance of setting a novel in an interesting/fun/unusual environment. So, we actually started with the offices of a dating website and the idea of a rivalry for a position and built from there.
Why is BOOMERANG different from other New Adult novels out there?
New Adult is such a young genre that I don’t know that I’d make any particular claims about how we’re different from what’s out there. I will say that it’s gained its popularity as a genre for a reason, and I think some of that reason is that the demographic wants to see itself reflected in an authentic way.
What was important to me as an author was to create characters in their twenties who were smart, generally confident, ambitious, and funny. I’m a ways past the millennial gen, but I reject the prevailing notion that you’re all just self-obsessed, entitled goofballs. And I wanted to write about characters who were like the twenty-something girls and guys I know.
I also wanted to write about characters who wanted something other than just one another—though obviously that’s a propulsive element in the story, as it is in any romance!
How did you come up with your heroine, Mia Galliano? Did you draw on personal experiences?
Yes, Mia is probably the most “me-like” character I’ve ever created. Only younger and with awesome hair. But her worldview, sense of humor, a lot of her longings and perspective are definitely similar to my own.
Beyond that, she just appeared in my mind pretty fully formed in terms of her voice and her personality. Again, she’s a little bit of a tribute to all the fantastic young women I know and maybe to the younger self I wished I’d been. (Not that I’m so old; I mean, really!)
The Jewish stuff definitely comes from my family. Her mother’s name is a combo of my mom’s first name and my dad’s middle name. There are lots of little touchstones for me in Mia’s outlook and in the circumstances of her life and then all kinds of elements that surprised me as they emerged.
Both Ethan and Mia are very driven and focused. Do you think that’s an important trait for readers in this age group?
Yes, definitely. Like I said, it meant something to both Veronica and me that our characters wanted something from life, in addition to being driven crazy by one another. I think it’s an authentic reflection of the people we know. My hope is that readers of all ages recognize themselves in these characters, but we especially want to feel we’re getting it right for readers of the age of Mia and Ethan.
What are the most important themes in this book for you?
For me, it’s about the idea of people making choices about who they love, not just being the passive recipients of whatever love comes their way. I think both women and men sometimes operate out of a fear of being alone or out of need to feel “acceptable’ by virtue of being in a relationship.
Not that the story puts such a fine point on this, of course. It’s entertainment, first and foremost, but there’s a pivotal scene in which a character challenges Mia about her passivity in her romantic life, and I think it speaks to the story’s theme for me.
Why do you think those will resonate with your audience?
I hope that the book entertains them and makes them laugh, first. It still makes ME laugh after many, many readings! And I hope they’ll find people to love and admire in Mia and Ethan.
Beyond that, I think we all understand a drive to find our place in the world—creatively and/or professionally. These two characters are at the cusp of all that, figuring out who they are, what they want, and what’s worth sacrificing to get there.
Also, I think we’ve all had terrible, hilarious dating experiences. So getting to explore that under the auspices of “mandated dates” assigned for the job allowed us to have an awful lot of fun with something that can be…well, a lot of awful!
This book is part of a trilogy. Have you and Veronica started writing the second installment?
Oh, yes! We’re plugging away at book two—REBOUND—right now. It’s due June 2, and will likely be released by the end of the year!
Anything else you’d like readers to know or take away from this novel?
I think I really will leave that up to you. What’s really important to Veronica and me is how readers respond. So, you tell me!
And I did! Read my review here.