By Laia Feliu.
We are very happy to welcome Heather Garvin to The Reading Corner to discuss her upcoming release Crossing the Line, out December 6th!
High school may have been three years ago, but Claire Ackerman and Aiden Lewis know each other more than they’re willing to admit. Their past created a tie between them that neither thought they’d have to acknowledge again, and when Claire unknowingly storms into the bar Aiden frequents in their hometown of Beacon, New York, they’re both thrown off by the sudden reunion.
A lot has changed since high school.
Aiden is shut off from the world, and Claire has just had the rug ripped out from under hers. But even though he finds her a little uptight, and she finds him a little rude, the pair end up on a train to Florida together regardless. Claire gets on board as a way to celebrate her newfound independence, and Aiden joins because, even though he swore he’d never go back to Florida after what happened, he’s worried about the girl from high school that he could never fully forget.
The two have a plan, and they have rules, but things don’t turn out how they expect.
Because rules are made to be broken.
And even the boldest of lines are meant to be crossed.
Hi Heather! Let me start by saying that I loved Crossing the Line! I am a big romance reader and second chance love and enemies to lovers are some of my favourite tropes.
Crossing the Line‘s characters embark on an unexpected journey together, one that will bring back memories and stir old feelings. How did you come up with the idea of sending Claire and Aiden to Florida together?
I’ve always loved the idea of writing a cross-country road trip. I’m a sucker for the lighthearted fun-loving girl who drags the guy with the perpetual raincloud into the light, and that’s exactly what Claire and Aiden are. Being from Florida, I’m most comfortable writing stories that happen here, and it’s a perk that Florida offers such a fun setting for romances!
As I mentioned, your book has two of my favourite tropes: second chance love and enemies to lovers (although Claire and Aiden were never truly enemies, where they?). If you could only read one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh, I love enemies to lovers! That’s definitely my favorite!
One thing that really stood up to me has the relationship between Claire and her ex-boyfriend Garret, and how awful and gaslighting he was to Claire. Was it important for you to show a toxic partner, in juxtaposition with someone loving and caring like Aiden?
Absolutely, and I think it was important for Claire to notice the difference, too. Aiden may not always be a walk in the park, but he tries, and that’s more than I can say for Claire’s ex. I also think that how Claire handled her breakup was important, too. I really wanted to emphasize how unappealing Garret became once she caught onto who he really was. No pining after terrible exes!
Both Aiden and Claire have had terrible partners and role models in the past, how do you think that trauma affected their lives and the beginning of their relationship?
It definitely gave them a common ground to build on—not only their pasts, but the way that they were both determined to rise above it. They want to be better, and that’s one of the things I love about them.
At The Reading Corner, we champion diversity and inclusivity in the book world, giving the spotlight to female, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC authors. What has your experience been, as a female author, in the publishing industry?
I truly feel lucky to be a woman in this field. If I were writing a different genre, I may feel differently, but I love being a woman writing romance for a primarily female audience. Growing up, I was never interested in “girly” things. Now, as an adult, this outlet has given me the opportunity to tap into my femininity in a unique way and connect with other like-minded women while doing it. What could be better?
How did you come up with such interesting characters? And how is your process of getting to know them well enough to write a great story about them?
When it comes to my writing, I’m what they call a “pantser.” So, I don’t do a lot of planning when it comes to my stories and characters. Because of this, they seem to get rounded out as I go, and many times, I’ll end up rereading the early chapters during editing and have to change things because their actions or dialogue don’t match who they ended up becoming. When I plan out too many details, the writing starts to feel like work. I love letting the story and characters develop as I go, learning more about them every step of the way!
Crossing the Line is an incredibly heart-warming book, with characters that care for each other and have been through very tough moments in their lives. What do you think life has in store for Claire and Aiden?
The question of all questions! I’m not too worried about Aiden and Claire. I think they’ll have a happy life together. He adores the crap out of her, and she finds him funny when he gets angry about trivial things. That alone makes it easy to picture them growing old together. They’ll have their ups and downs like all couples do, but their foundation is solid, and I’m confident they’ll grow as individuals and together.
What do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
My number one goal is always to entertain. I want reading this book to be fun for readers. I want it to be an escape for them. If they can read about these flawed characters and see a piece of themselves, even better. I always strive to write imperfect characters that feel like real people. I want them to mess up, and learn, and grow because that’s what we all do every day.
Are there any books within the genre or with similar messages to Crossing the line you could recommend?
That’s a tough question! I unfortunately spend the bulk of my time writing and not reading as much as I want to, but I did recently read Funny Feelings by Tarah Dewitt, and it’s easily one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. Her characters feel like real people, and they’re quirky and fun!
And last but not least, where can everyone get their hands on this amazing story?
Crossing the Line will be available at most bookish retailers starting 12.06.22! You’ll be able to read it on most e-reading platforms as well!
Heather Garvin works as a nationally certified sign language interpreter by day and writes a variety of romances in her spare time. Since starting Tuskan Publishing LLC in 2020, she has put out two action-packed YA romances, Take What You Can and Give Nothing Back, and has a new contemporary romance in the works.
Aside from working and writing, Heather is also a wife, new mom, and a fur mama to two dogs, two cats, and Tuskan: the horse who inspired the logo and name for her publishing company. There’s nothing Heather loves more than hearing from readers. Connect with her on Instagram!
Heather’s instagram: @heathergarvinbooks
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