Q &A: Alicia Renee Kline: Intoxicated

Intoxicated by Alicia Renee Kline
Amazon.com: Kindle Edition

When everything she ever wanted turns out not to be enough…

Lauren Jefferies is on the verge of having it all. Hard work and determination have culminated in a promotion that promises to put her on track with her upwardly mobile boyfriend Eric. High school sweethearts and together for ten years, they are young enough to have their whole lives ahead of them, but old enough to have established themselves as forces to be reckoned with.

The news should be cause for celebration.

But taking the job means moving two hours away.

Instead of planning their reign as an up and coming power couple, they find their already tenuous relationship further damaged by their conflicting opinions. Eric doesn’t want her to leave. Lauren refuses to back down. In the end, she packs her things and heads up north to her new life, the abstract promise of figuring this all out later hanging between them.

Lauren settles into her new routine quite easily, thanks largely in part to her fast friendship with her roommate Blake. Blake’s companionship comes in a package deal with that of her older brother Matthew. One night over dinner, an innocent conversation leads to the discovery that the three of them have more in common than they’d ever imagined.

Ashamed of his role in the thread that ties them together, Matthew begins to withdraw. As Lauren devises a game plan to ease his torment, Eric inadvertently pushes them together with his selfish actions.

Lauren’s relationship with Eric continues to flounder. The distance is an issue, but Eric’s indifference does nothing to help. Every bright spot in their courtship is countered by darkness and bitterness. More often than not, Matthew is there to pick up the pieces that Eric leaves behind.

Prior to meeting Matthew, Lauren thought she knew what she wanted. Now that she’s just about to obtain everything on her list, she’s left to question if she ever really knew what that was.

Q & A
How did you come up with the title?
First off, I liked the appeal of having a one word title. It’s easy to remember, simple to search for, and it sums up what the book is about on two completely different levels. Once the big secret is out, it’s an obvious reference to the bond that Lauren, Matthew and Blake share while at the same time it encompasses the way Lauren feels about her roommate’s brother. 

Can you tell us about your main character?
Lauren is a twenty-six year old Indianapolis native. She’s insanely smart and is comfortable in her own shoes, which are usually heels since she’s rather short. She’s not the type to back down from a challenge, but she knows when to pick her battles. Case in point: her performance at her banking job has lead to a promotion, but accepting the new position means she’ll have to move to Fort Wayne. For those not familiar with Indiana geography, that’s roughly a two hour drive, give or take. Her long-term boyfriend is not pleased and practically beats her over the head with the fact that he can support the both of them on his income alone. She lets him get away with the take charge attitude when things don’t really matter, but this time she is adamant that she’s going. So she does, much to his chagrin. She’s determined to make all of the pieces of her life fit together. She doesn’t see why she can’t have both the boyfriend and the career. 

How did you develop your plot and characters?
I have always been a fan of a good love triangle. I wanted to write one for myself, so I began tossing ideas out. At the same time, I wanted to dig a little deeper than a very superficial two unbelievably hot guys want the same girl plot. Therefore, I created the backstory of Matthew’s past and the irony of how it meshes with Lauren’s. Because of this link, she would be justified in absolutely hating him, but she sees him instead as a kindred spirit of sorts. At first, the interaction between them is totally innocent, but it builds to a slow burn and gets increasingly harder to ignore. And who happens to be stoking the fire? None other than Lauren’s actual boyfriend, Eric. As far as character development goes, I wanted to make it clear that neither Matthew or Eric is inherently good or bad – they both have their plusses and minuses. I wanted there to be a real rooting value for either guy, or at least make it understandable why she would feel attraction to both.

Who is your publisher?
Intoxicated was completely self-published.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? Over the years I have come up with several ideas for books, but this particular story and these particular characters are by far the ones that were most fully developed. When I used to daydream about writing, this book would be what came to mind. By the time I actually sat down at the computer and typed it out, I had a beginning and end written, along with some middle portions. The main scenes were already played out in my head, I just had to connect them into something cohesive.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?
With me being employed full time, devoting the necessary amount of time to writing the book was difficult. In order to write when I got home, I had to not do something else. So priorities got shifted. My husband and I work almost entirely opposite schedules, so the amount of time we spend together is minimal, especially on the weekends. We eventually settled into a routine: on weeknights, I usually don’t do much writing or marketing; I go to town Thursday night through Sunday afternoon doing author stuff.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
I learned that I do have the motivation to make my dreams come true. Never in a million years would I have imagined seeing my book for sale on websites, or me having a website, or actually coming up on search engines for something I created. Sure, there were bumps in the road getting there and more than a few tears shed, but in the end I got to accomplish something I never thought I would. And I will continue to do this and learn from the mistakes that I made along the way.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are so many things that you could take away from my book, but I never intended to be preachy or to stand on my soapbox for 103,000 words and pontificate. I think throughout my book there are undercurrents of many characters being so afraid of loss that they fail to see everything they truly have. When you live your life so guarded, you never really get to experience the joys that come with expressing unadulterated emotions. If certain characters had just admitted their feelings for one another from the beginning, the whole thing would have ended much differently.

How much of the book is realistic?
I think the entire book is grounded in reality. The places I write about are real; the locals probably know exactly where the joyride in the Mustang scene takes place or what exit off of the interstate I’m referring to that Blake lives near. None of the characters are super rich or famous, they could very easily be real people that you know. There’s no suspending disbelief here.

Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Yes and no. I did not model any of the characters after friends or people that I know. I did, however, include references to certain interests that I have in my book: I’m a huge hair and makeup fan, I used to work in a mortgage department at a bank, I now work in the insurance industry, I have an autographed Red Wings picture hanging in my house. In order to ground things in reality, I had to write about certain things that I knew. It would be nearly impossible for me to write about an astronaut living in Russia because I would have no idea what I was talking about. But the plot twists and turns are purely fiction. Except for the joyride part: my friend and I took that same stretch of interstate in her dad’s Camaro one night, but I was too chicken to drive anywhere as fast as I had Lauren drive. It just would have been anticlimactic to have her doing ten over the speed limit. 

Intoxicated by Alicia Renee Kline
Amazon.com: Kindle Edition

Genre – Romance / Chick Lit 
Rating – PG13
Connect with Alicia Renee Kline on Twitter

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall