Hello my lovelies! We have the totally awesome Megan Hart visiting with us today! Her newest book Tear You Apart is receiving rave reviews. It’s not a romance though, which might help explain the post.
The Best and Worst…
The Best –
The writing part of it was easy. The words flowed. I sat down, words came out. I didn’t have to fight for them. Writing this book was one of the first I’d written in a while that wasn’t to contract – I’d started it purely for my own sake, and then it got picked up by Mira, so I finished it under contract. But there was that glorious beginning with no deadline, no pressure. Just a story I wanted to tell. That was the best part.
The Worst –
The worst part of writing Tear You Apart was, hands-down, having to write it. I mean, sure the words came out like butter, but ouch, oh my God, how hard was it to FEEL them? This book is overflowing with teh feelz. It was overwhelming, actually. Living with these characters and what they were going through. Elisabeth might’ve felt like she was on a train, but I spent a lot of time on a roller coaster. It was one of the easiest books I’ve written in terms of effort, but definitely the hardest in terms of being emotionally drained.
Megan also included an excerpt for us.
I don’t know which stop I got on at; I only know the train is going fast and the world outside becomes a blur. I should get off, but I don’t. The universe is playing a cosmic joke on me. Here I had my life-a good life with everything a woman could want-and suddenly, there is something more I didn’t know I could have. A chance for me to be satisfied and content and maybe even on occasion deliriously, amazingly, exuberantly happy.
So this is where I am, on a train that’s out of control, and I am not just a passenger. I’m the one shoveling the furnace full of coal to keep it going fast and faster.
If I could make myself believe it all happened by chance and I couldn’t help it, that I’ve been swept away, that it’s not my fault, that it’s fate…would that be easier? The truth is, I didn’t know I was looking for this until I found Will, but I must’ve been, all this time. And now it is not random, it is not fate, it is not being swept away.
This is my choice. And I don’t know how to stop.
Or even if I want to.
Late night, Will texts me when I’m asleep. I see I have a message when I get up to use the bathroom. I think about not answering it, but two a.m. is still the worst time to miss someone. I go downstairs and thumb his number across the keypad. He sounds tired when he answers, but I know he wasn’t sleeping.
“I want you to be here, right now,” Will says without even saying hello. “And you’re not.”
“No. I’m not.” I don’t say I wish I was there, too. There doesn’t seem to be much point. I’m not there. I could be there, if he’d given me the chance to make it happen, but even if I was there now, it wouldn’t be enough.
I curl into a ball on the lumpy recliner we relegated to the basement when we refinished the den upstairs. The girls used this room for their sleepovers and parties and, let’s face it, their boyfriends. It’s damp down here, and chilly, even during the summer. The blanket I pull over myself has cartoon princesses on it and smells a little of the dog we used to have.
“Where are you?” Will asks.
“Are you alone?”
“No,” I say again, “I’m not.”
“What does he think when you get out of bed in the middle of the night to talk to me?” I hear the click of his lighter, the hiss of his breath.
“He doesn’t notice.”
“How can he not fucking notice?” Will says, angry. “What are you going to do when he does? What would you tell him if he said, who the hell are you talking to at two in the morning?”
I’ve thought about that, of course. What I’d say. What I should say or do, but haven’t and probably won’t. “I don’t know.”
“Well, maybe you should fucking think about it!”
I’m at the disadvantage, because I can’t yell. I have to swallow my words, make them soft, though they’re nothing close to sweet. “What do you want me to say? If you don’t think I should be talking to you in the middle of the night, maybe you shouldn’t fucking text me!”
“You don’t have to answer!”
“No,” I tell him, soft and slow and low and bitter and angry. “I guess I don’t.”
More silence. I’m curled so tight against myself that everything aches, but I can’t force myself to shift and make myself comfortable. I want to hurt.
“But I always do,” I say eventually, when he doesn’t say anything.
“Is that what you want, Will?” I’m weary of this. All of it. Even the brightest fires leave nothing but ash behind. “Because if that’s what you want, I can make that happen.”
“I just want you to be here with me. Now. That’s what I want.”
“Well. I’m not,” I snap. “I don’t like it either, but unless something changes, that’s how it is.”
Will’s voice is raspy. “Is something ever going to change, Elisabeth?”
Even in the damp chill of the basement, I’m suddenly flushed. Not with passion, but a sick sort of anticipation. I have to think very carefully about what to say, how to say it.
“Are you asking me to leave my husband?”
I’m angrier now than I was before. “If you have something to say to me, if you want something from me…”
I am tired, I am depressed, I am sad and lost and on the edge of a cliff I don’t want to jump off but might just have to. And though I know better than to poke the monkey because when you do, it flings poo, I poke anyway. Hard.
“A month from Friday, I’m going to be with Naveen, some buying thing. I’ll be out overnight here in Philly. Come meet me.”
“I don’t think I can.”
Of course he can. Even with his kid, his responsibilities, Will spends most of his time alone, and there’s plenty of time for him to rearrange whatever schedule he has to accommodate an overnighter out of town. Every time we’ve been together, it’s been me making the effort, me taking a trip into the city, arranging my schedule.
“You make things important. Or you don’t. I can see you in a month. Overnight. I can’t be there now, but I can be with you —”
“Sorry,” Will says in a cold, neutral tone that’s not sorry at all, not one bit. “It’s not going to work.”
He’s right, of course. What about this could possibly work? Me and him, nothing alike, the only thing we have in common is how good it feels to fuck each other until we are raw and hobbling. There’s nothing to us aside from…
Aside from everything.
I swallow and swallow again, all the anger, the disappointment, the tears. Sharp as razors, that’s what those words are against the tenderness of my throat, but I keep my voice as unemotional as his. “Fine. Whatever. I can’t make you do anything. You do what you want to do. In four weeks, I’ll be with Naveen at some stupid swanky club in downtown Philly, authorizing him to spend money he doesn’t have on stuff to impress some woman he thinks he’s in love with. You can be there, or not. I won’t ask again.”
“What about between now and then?”
“Every day,” I tell him, “you will either miss me a little less, or a little more. Until one day you will wake up and realize you don’t miss me at all, or you will find yourself incapable of living without me.”
“And then what,” Will says. “Then what?”
“Then,” I say just before I disconnect, “come find me.”
One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Tear You Apart. And reading it might just tear you apart. (You see what I did there? I can’t say for sure though because I want to read it but I’m scared – I need happy these days. But oh, Megan’s writing is so damn good.) If this taste wasn’t enough for you you can read another excerpt on Megan’s site.
*ETA: The giveaway is open internationally!