On Fridays right here, writers talk about their books, their process, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. Today Teresa Roman joins us to celebrate the launch of her novel, BACK TO US, a Kindle Scout winner published by Kindle Press.
Abandoned by her parents at fourteen, Jessica knows what it means to struggle. She's vowed that getting her degree is the only thing she has time for, until a summer internship brings Justin into her life.
But Justin has scars of his own. A tour of duty in Afghanistan has left him with wounds. A medical discharge from the Navy leaves Justin struggling to make sense of his new reality. Then he meets Jessica; but can the two of them leave their pain in the past and make a future together?
- What were the most challenging aspects of writing this book, and what came easily?
The most challenging aspect of writing this book was trying to convey the characters' emotions.
My characters were riddled with self-doubt and insecurity based on their life experiences. That was an important piece of who they were and I tried my best to pass that along to the readers.
What came easily was the setting. I grew up in New York. I rode those same subways trains and visited the places described in my book. I used to live in an apartment very much like the one my main character Jessica did.
- Tell us about your main characters and what drives them.
Jessica Maravic was abandoned by her parents at the age of 14 and lived in a group home until she went to college. She sees a college degree as her way out of the life she’s living. The promise of a better future is what drives her, but self-doubt holds her back.
In contrast, Justin Lambert comes from a privileged family. Instead of following in his family’s footsteps and going to college, he decides to enlist in the Navy. An injury during a tour of duty in Afghanistan ends his military career and forces him to return home to a life he never wanted for himself.
- Can you describe your journey to publication: the torment and elation, the times none of it made any sense, the moments when it all came together?
BACK TO US was the second book I wrote. The idea came to me partly because my husband was in the Navy and partly because I imagined the character of Jessica and felt compelled to tell her story. I finished it much quicker than my first book, and when I was done I wasn’t sure what route I wanted to take when it came to publication. When I learned of the Kindle Scout program I decided to submit BACK TO US for consideration. I was cautiously optimistic about my book’s chances, but when it got selected I was beyond thrilled. I’m a debut author so I feel very honored that my book was chosen.
- You get to the end of your life, and there to escort you through the tunnel to the light beyond and show you around is a philosopher / author / artist / scientist / celebrity you've always revered. Who is it, and why him/her?
I would say Josephine Baker. I’ve always been fascinated by her. She was so brave and talented and I admire the good she did for this world as well as her talent.
- Tell us about your other books, past or in the pipeline.
My next book is tentatively titled IN DARKNESS and is a YA urban fantasy. It tells the story of a girl named Lilli who finds out that there is a whole other world that she never imagined, a world where magic is real. There’s a reason that knowledge was kept from her. In that world lives a witch her mother has spent her entire life trying to protect her from, but her mother’s spells aren’t enough to keep Lilli from hurtling towards her destiny.
Teresa Roman is a lover of books, which is what inspired her to write. She currently resides in Sacramento, CA with her husband, three adorable children and a doxiepoo named Parker her son convinced them to adopt. When she isn't at her day job or running around with her kids, you can find her in front of the computer writing or with her head buried in another book.
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