Between Octobers Synopsis
Grace Zuniga, a yearling widow, is convinced she could never fall in love again. She has surrendered to her quiet life on a quiet street in a world that revolves around her two young sons—until the moment she steps into an elevator.
Evan, also known as Rhys Matthews, is a typical Hollywood playboy. He’s used to women falling all over him, but Grace is different. She makes him believe in love at first sight and in himself. She’s thoughtful, beautiful, and intelligent—the opposite of his usual type and the woman he never knew he always wanted.
It’s an ordinary October day when the two meet in an elevator and embark on a romance that is anything but ordinary.
The following October, Grace is living out a normal day until she suddenly finds herself trapped and struggling to get away from a faceless woman. Terrified, Grace can think of nothing but her motivation—her sons, Evan, all the mistakes she thought she had time to make up for, and a love she will give anything to keep. Stumbling through her bleak circumstances, Grace relives the past year and thinks of all that has happened between Octobers.
Welcome A.R. Rivera! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
You can find my official bio at arriverabooks.com, but it feels impersonal to repeat that here. So, I’ll just tell it like it is:
I often feel as if I am two people. In everyday life, I’m a wife and mom. I’m unintentionally loud, talkative, and full of awkward pauses. And the other side of me, the writer is reclusive and quiet. A people-watcher. A zombie on family outings. When I’m working on a book, I live in a world inside my own head and sometimes forget about the everyday stuff, the automatic responses. Ex: The other day, my aunt asked how old I was and I had to do the math.
Is Between Octobers a single title, or part of a series? It is a single title, although I am currently working on a prequel that focuses solely on the upbringing of the female antagonist in Between Octobers. Not to toot my own horn, but I think it’s going to be good! Toot-toot!
What were your inspirations for the story?
The plot for my book was inspired by the character Queen Esther. Like the queen, Grace Zuniga has had a tough upbringing. Her back story, which is only referred to in effort to explain her choices, is that she lost her parents at a young age. Not long after, she moved to a new state and started high school. Then, she met Solomon, had his son at the tender age of sixteen and the two built a life together. In short, Grace did a lot of growing up all at once which kept her tethered inside a small world.
The novel, Between Octobers, begins as Grace is learning to how to move on. Then, she’s blindsided by the many charms of Rhys Matthews, aka Evan.
Please share your setting for Between Octobers. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Most of the story takes place in Santa Monica, California. I have driven through, but never been there. I have visited Hollywood and lived in the LA area for a short time in my teens. Other parts take place in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Forest, where I have been on occasion. It is a beautiful, peaceful, and dangerous place. The high altitude can be tricky. Of all the places, I have to say Kings Canyon is my favorite.
What made you want to write?
Way back in 2008, right after I read the Twilight saga (for the fifth time), I felt, what I now recognize as, creative desperation to fashion my own story. I wanted to be able to truly relate and aimed to compose a compelling love between two loveable but imperfect characters. I love plots that tug on all the heart-strings, so that is what I aimed for with Octobers.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
I like to read books that deal with subject matter similar to what I am writing about.
So more recently, I’m loving James Pattersons’ Women’s Murder Club series, the Private novels and Confessions series. Also, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, and Matched series by Ally Condie. There’s also my classic love of Charlotte Bronte. The writing styles are all so different, I feel like I learn a lot by reading them. I’ve been getting into some non-fiction, too. Just the other day, I finished Waiting To Be Heard by Amanda Knox. It was gripping and very sad.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Hmm…. I think I would invite Stephanie Meyer just so I could tell everyone that we’re Best-ies. I’d also invite James Patterson. I have to know how the man continually pumps out novels. And if I get to invite any author, living or dead, I’d have to send an e-vite J.R. Tolkien. He’s been gone for many years, yet his work is continually gaining popularity. His characters are timeless and three-dimensional. Every time I read his work, something new jumps out at me.
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
To be honest, I really don’t have much spare time. The little time I do have, I try to spend catching up with all the shows on my DVR. I watch New Girl, Blue Bloods, and Wahlburgers in chunks.
What do you want readers take away from your book, Between Octobers?
I want them to feel like the material was worth their time. And I want the hope that Grace carries to linger in their minds. I hope for readers to feel everything Grace does and understand her choices—right or wrong—and love her and Evan as much I do.
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