Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, J. Hughey, and her characters from Eruption: Yellowblown™ Series Book One. It’s a fantastic new adult contemporary romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Boone and Violet.
How did you first meet your writer?
Violet: I was having a great sophomore year when Yellowstone erupted and screwed up the whole North American continent. J. Hughey thought my life spiraling the drain made an entertaining story.
Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
Violet: Absolutely not. I’m a nobody from the boondocks in Indiana.
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
Violet (with a sidelong glance at Boone): The romantic scenes, though I wish there were more, if you catch my drift.
Boone: She’s blaming me for the lack, in case you didn’t catch that.
Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
Boone (reaches out to hold Violet’s hand): This story is told in a series, and my last few scenes in Eruption don’t play out the way Violet wants them to. Not really my choice either, but I had some family responsibilities to put first. That was hard for all of us.
Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?
Boone: I get the impression all her heroes infiltrate her waking dreams—whomever she is writing at the time gets center stage.
Violet: Eww. I had no idea she thought about you. That crap better stop because I don’t share.
What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Violet: I like to ride my bike and snuggle with Boone.
Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?
Boone: This is a tough book to slot. It’s definitely New Adult, and there is a strong romantic thread, but there’s friendship and family dynamics, as well as dystopian and apocalyptic influences too.
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
Violet: Those last scenes Boone mentioned earlier.
Boone: Yeah, those, but I’d rewrite some of the backstory too. I waited too long to make a move on this girl.
Violet: Really? (They kiss.) That’s so sweet. Can I now say I told you so?
What is your least favorite characteristic your writer has attributed to you?
Violet: At the beginning I’m sort of immature and…I don’t know…self-centered. Nothing like a global disaster to snap you right out of that!
Boone: I’m a little too cautious, maybe overprotective of people I think I’m responsible for?
Violet: For sure.
Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
Boone: I’m not sure it’s a secret. I want to be a dad. Relax, Violet. I’m talking about some day. Years from now.
What do you do for a living?
Violet: He’d better talk first while I recuperate over here.
Boone: My family has a cattle ranch in Nebraska and I’d planned to go back there after college. Of course, the volcanic ash dusting it right now may kill that idea.
Violet: Funny question. I have a mental list I’m keeping of professions that survive a global disaster. If I ever get the opportunity to get a real job, I’m gonna pick one of them.
What is your greatest fear?
Violet: Well, this is sort of pathetic, but I still worry about him leaving.
Boone: Not gonna happen, babe. You know that.
What do you wear when you go to sleep?
Boone: Boxers if it’s warm. Sweats if it’s cold.
Violet: Tank top and shorts or pants.
Boone: She rocks a tank top.
What is your most prized possession?
They share a look, then answer together: That picture.
Who was your first girlfriend/boyfriend and what do you like most about them?
Boone: Next question.
Violet snorts back a laugh: Yeah. Not answering that.
What do you think is your strongest attribute?
Violet: Wait, I want to answer this for him. He has a strong moral compass. That sounds dorky, but what I mean is you can always count on him to see the right thing to do and then actually do it, even if it’s hard.
Boone: And Violet is independent, in the best ways. The first time I really talked to her, she was out on a bike ride, alone, at the beginning of her freshman year. She felt like riding and off she went. I mean, she had GPS and someone knew where she was and all that, but she can be fearless at times.
Violet rolls her eyes: He thought I was lost.
What are you proudest of?
Violet: I’ve been able to help my neighbors by bringing the mail on my bike from the Post Office. It doesn’t sound like much, but when communications are spotty, a letter or magazine can mean a lot.
What embarrasses you?
Boone: Most embarrassing shared moment ever. Violet’s mom walking in on us when we were making out on the couch.
Violet: Like, really making out. Nothing will ever top that for embarrassing.
What is something no one knows about you? Why do you keep it a secret? And what would happen if everyone found out about it?
Boone: There’s something about me in one of the future books, something I want to do with Violet. I can’t really talk about it here but I hope she doesn’t freak out.
Violet: Seriously? You’re going to say something like that then make me wait for the scene in the book? Seriously.
What do you find most appealing in men/women?
They point to each other, then laugh.
What do you find most unappealing in men/women?
Boone: I don’t like it when someone is interested in me more for what I am —like being quarter back or what my last name is—instead of who I am.
Violet: I can’t really describe it, but I either have chemistry with someone or I really, really don’t. Can’t fake it.
What do you like most about where you live?
Violet: We have fresh springwater. And that’s pretty damn important when the world is trying to end.
Boone: I like almost everything about our ranch. It’s home and I miss it. My family’s been there since the 1800s and we’d really like to go back.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Sunday?
Violet: Neither of us is very good at lounging around. If we’re trapped inside, we’ll find a project in the house or at least read books beside each other or something like that.
What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?
Boone: I remember fall afternoons and nights, riding home in the backseat from midget football games. Dad would talk to me and my brother about our games, and Mama would promise us a big dinner when we got home.
If you knew a zombie apocalypse was coming in one week, what would you do?
Violet: My family has this disaster thing nailed. We’d build a fence around The Perch—that’s our house—and figure the rest out as we went along.
Boone: Buy ammo and make a spear or lance or whatever one of those things is you can stab somebody with from a distance. Hopefully they’re the slow zombies and not those fast, climbing ones.
How do you react when people sing “Happy Birthday” to you in a restaurant?
Boone: That has honest-to-God never happened to me. My mom always did our birthdays at home.
Violet: I hate crap like that.
Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo, what would it be and where?
Boone: I thought about getting a copperhead on my bicep. That was our college mascot. I’m glad I didn’t since it seems sort of trivial now.
Violet: Yeah, my parents wouldn’t let me get ink when I was younger and now I don’t know what I’d consider relevant. I haven’t even had a haircut appointment in months, so getting a tattoo seems almost beyond comprehension. Come to think of it, that knocks beautician and tattoo artist off my prospective profession list, too!
Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
Violet (smiling): Oh, there’s definitely a sequel in the works. And let me say, it’s worth the wait.
I’m in the middle of the perfect college semester, hundreds of miles from Mom, with an awesome roomie and my freshman crush finally becoming a sophomore reality—Hotness! I’m figuring out calculus, I’ve got both hands on the handlebars and the wind of freedom in my hair. What on earth could slow my roll?
How about if the Yellowstone volcano erupts for the first time in 630,000 years, spewing a continuous load of ash (crap) all over North America? Think that’ll put a kink in my bicycle chain?
Make that kinks, plural, because here’s a scientific fact I’ll bet you didn’t know. Nothing ruins the perfect semester like a super caldera. Now that I’ve made you smarter today, maybe you can tell me how to keep my life cruising in the right direction—no to Mom, yes to roomie, double yes to Hotness!—during a global disaster?
My lame name is Violet and, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not hanging from the side of a cinder cone on the last page of this trauma, but there’s definitely more to come. Unless, of course, humans become extinct and then there’s not. Duh.
Text to Mia:
OMG I saw BR. Hotness.
My shaking fingers barely managed to switch my phone to silent as Dr. Potter hoisted his computer bag onto the table at the front of the classroom. Geology 101 at 9AM on MWF. First class of the first semester of my sophomore year, and one of the larger courses at Western Case for a couple of reasons. Number one, it was considered the least painful choice to fulfill a science requirement, and number two, since last spring Dr. Potter’s Teaching Assistant had been Boone Ramer, giving a whole new meaning to the class’s nickname “Rocks for Jocks.”
There were a lot of girls who would do anything for a closer look at Boone Ramer, including get up for a nine o’clock class.
Boone had been the first student I’d met last year. He worked as an RA—a Residential Advisor—meaning he lived in a dorm and helped the guys on his floor with whatever. I’d wrongly viewed his assignment to a men’s floor in my freshman dorm as a blessing. Over the course of the year I’d realized it was a total, total curse.
Anyway, on that first day of my college career, he’d greeted me and Sara and our parents right at the door of North Hall. Mom tried to play it cool, but she’d nudged my arm, thinking exactly what I was. Hotness! Only she probably thought in old-person lingo, like Oh, isn’t he a sight for sore eyes.
“Hi, I’m Boone Ramer,” he’d said. He shook hands with all four of us as Dad introduced us.
I wasn’t real big on makeup or fashion, but I’d at least glossed my lips and slid the clasp of my medallion necklace to the back of my neck before I’d gotten out of the car. Of course, Hotness treated me like every other noob passing through his assigned door.
Directions to room.
Deliver printed schedule.
Move on to the next.
All the girls watched him during freshman orientation. I tried to figure out why as I stalked him myself. Despite my mom’s nudge, movie star handsomeness didn’t quite capture his aura. He had greenish eyes, a solid six-foot body, and dark blond hair in an athlete’s clipper cut with the front spiked. At the hamburger and hotdog cookout on the quad the first night—with a vegan alternative meal for those who wanted it—he wore a short-sleeved collared plaid shirt that would have been totally uncool on anybody but him. He stood to one side talking to his RA comrades while us kiddies got our food and sat in folding chairs, eight to a table. The other guys wore T-shirts and polos blaring high-end mall store logos while Boone Ramer slammed it out of the park in blue and yellow plaid his mother had probably bought him at…well, I didn’t even know where you’d go to buy a shirt like that.
Now, a year later, I saw him holding Hoag Hall’s front door open for some girls who’d dressed for success the first day of class. My armpits got really sweaty, like they did every time I’d thought about him this summer, which had been pretty often.
Pathetic, since I’d intended to forget him after realizing his words in February had been kindness, not truth.
Six months of rejection didn’t stop me from smoothing my hands down the legs of my shorts when Boone, irresistible as always in a dark green T-shirt with a little V at the neck and faded plaid shorts, walked in the classroom carrying a stack of stapled papers. My first syllabus of the year, no doubt. Why geology, why, why, why, with him as TA and Mom’s college degree in it? And why did I sit in the second row like a geek? No one sat in the front row so I was a total, total geek.
With his papers delivered to the lecturer’s table up front, he walked directly to me, as if he’d known I was there. Like, maybe, he’d been watching for me like I’d been for him. My face felt hot as I sat up in my seat.
“Hi Violet,” he said with the awesome smile that showed off his blunt jaw.
Buy the Book:
J. Hughey knows what a girl wants. Independence. One or two no-matter-what-happens friends. A smokin’ hot romance. A basic understanding of geological concepts. Huh? Okay, maybe not every girl is into geology, but J. Hughey is, and in the Yellowblown™ series she combines her passion for a timeless love story with her interest in geeky stuff to help Violet Perch get a life, despite an ongoing global catastrophe.
J. Hughey also writes historical romance as Jill Hughey, and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two teenaged sons. She works as a business administrator and can sing really high.
Connect with Jill:
As a special treat, J. Hughey will send a beaded bookmark decorated with Eruption and Yellowblown charms to one randomly chosen commenter with a continental U.S. mailing address. Anyone who wants some nifty paper bookmarks can send an email to email@example.com with their US mailing address.
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!