Today it’s my pleasure to interview Erin Butler,
author of the New Adult (NA) romance, HOW WE LIVED.
There’s a cool giveaway too!
Enter the rafflecopter below to win one of two $25 gift cards 🙂
Nineteen-year-old Kelsey Larkin’s parents uninvited her to her brother’s funeral. She just wanted to wear jeans and a T-shirt—the clothes Kyle would’ve wanted her in—not wrap herself up in death. So she watched the funeral from afar, like an outsider. Which is just how she feels.
Chase came, though, just like she knew he would. Until a few months ago, the three of them had been best friends, and then Chase made a mistake that shattered both families. But when Kelsey looks at him, she doesn’t see her brother’s killer. She sees the boy next door who’s always taken care of her. She sees home.
When Chase tells her his feelings run deeper than friendship, she can’t help but get lost in him. In Chase, she finally has the closure she’s been unable to find anywhere else. But the boy she’s falling in love with is still hiding secrets about the night Kyle died. Secrets that could destroy everything they have…again.
Welcome to CABR Erin 🙂
Thank you! I’m happy to be here!
How would you describe HOW WE LIVED using 10 words?
Heart-breaking journey of two friends learning to live after tragedy.
Were you inspired by real life events when writing this book? Tell us about it. If not, what was your inspiration?
Yes and no. A large portion of Chase, Kyle, and Kelsey’s childhood memories were mirrored after my own but the meat of the story, losing a brother in a tragic car accident, is completely fiction. Thankfully, I do not have first-hand knowledge of that. However, grief is something I do know and there were certain moments and scenes when writing How We Lived where I was completely pulling from my own past experiences and feeling that despair all over again.
What was the hardest scene to write and why?
Kyle’s funeral was the hardest scene to write not only because it’s one of the most important scenes for Chase and Kelsey and I wanted to make sure I got it right but also because it’s so emotional. I still can’t get through it without at least tearing up. When I wrote it, I was balling. I had Taps playing in the background and I just sat there and cried like a little baby while trying to type away on my laptop.
Tell us about your favourite moment in HWL.
My favorite moment is when Chase kind of makes Kelsey talk about Kyle and how Chase killed him. Once she allows herself to say what she’s feeling, she goes off about her parents and school. I think it’s a bit of a turning point because they both know where they stand after that.
He bent over and pressed his forehead to mine. “It’s okay to be mad. I’m fucking pissed he went into the army in the first place. I’m fucking pissed I drove that night. I’m fucking pissed I let my best friend die without saying how much I…loved him.”
His cheeks were damp and the tears I’d been fighting fell more freely. I tasted salt as some dripped near my lips. He watched me now, eyebrows raised.
“What?” I asked.
“You’ve got to be feeling something. Tell me.”
I shook my head and tried to move away, but he held me there.
“You don’t want to know. Trust me.”
“But I do want to know.”
“Fine,” I growled. So many thoughts and emotions raced through my brain, and then they started spilling out, one after the other. “I can’t fucking stand college. I’m pissed Kyle left me here to deal with this shit. I’m pissed he’ll never know who my first love was, or what it’s like to feel it himself. I fucking hate that my parents can barely be in the same room together anymore because of him.” Then slowly, in a tiny voice, I whispered, “I’m mad at you, too.”
His breath hitched in his throat. This was what we’d both been waiting for.
“You killed him.”
No. I had to get this out. “You drove drunk, Chase. You drove drunk with my brother and Bear in the car. And you. How could you do that? You could have killed all of you, and then where would that have left me?”
He stilled and it was like the whole world stopped. At least, my whole world had. His answers—if he gave any—were everything I’d been waiting to hear even before I knew I’d been waiting to hear them. I needed him to tell me why.
“I wasn’t thinking. I was messed up. You have no idea how messed up I was. How messed up I still am.” He searched my face. “You still have me, though. I’ve been right here this entire time, but you stayed away. Why did you stay away? I needed you.”
His words punched a hole right through me. I didn’t know the answer. If I told him it was solely because of my parents, I’d be lying. I didn’t know what to feel about him anymore. There were so many emotions spinning around inside me. We’d always been friends, but there was more now. So much more.
“Please don’t tell me you stayed away because you don’t care.” He caressed my cheeks with his thumbs. “It would kill me. More than you know.”
How could he think I didn’t care? I looked down, unable to stand seeing the pain in his eyes and knowing I’d put it there. “I do care. Do you know how many times I thought about calling you or texting you? Or just showing up here? But it’s hard. It’s so hard.”
Chase dipped his face. Our noses brushed. His hot breath teased my mouth. We were dangerously close.
Will there be a sequel featuring other characters from HWL?
Yes! Bear is getting his own book. I’m super excited about it because I don’t think he was fairly represented in How We Lived and now he’ll be able to tell his own story.
Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she loves to read.
Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially fangirls over a sigh-worthy romance. She lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie.
Preferring to spend her time indoors reading or writing, she’ll only willingly go outside for chocolate and sunshine—in that order.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
Win one of two $25 gift cards! 🙂