***NOTE: This interview does contain spoilers about the series. Do NOT continue if you have not read both books***
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Romig after devouring Consequences and Truth. This series had my stomach in knots and gave the term mindfuck a whole new meaning. I had so many questions after I finished Truth and tried my best to get as much as possible out of Ms. Romig. At the bottom of the page, I am giving away SIGNED PAPERBACKS OF BOTH CONSEQUENCES & TRUTH to one lucky winner!
Click to Read My Review of CONSEQUENCES
Click to Read My Review of TRUTH
This book has a lot of puzzle pieces to it that slowly start to fall into place. How much planning did you have to do? Did you know everything that was going to happen before you started writing it?
I really didn’t. I knew the ending of the book (Consequences) and I knew the beginning. I wasn’t sure how it would all come together. Then, when I wrote Truth, I figured out the end… but, I didn’t know the truth when I wrote Consequences. My plan for future writing endeavors is to know the end of the final book, when I start the first! The way I’ve done the Consequences Series is MUCH more difficult!
What was Tony’s plan for Claire, before he fell in love with her? What was the end game for Claire going to be had she not “performed” well?
I don’t think Tony knew for sure. He lets us know in Truth that the original plan for Claire and Emily was to be an “accident”. However, at the funeral of their parents, he realized he “was interested” in Claire. Let’s just say, it wouldn’t have boded well for Claire to return to her normal life knowing what she did about Anthony Rawlings.
Were you surprised by all the love for Tony that is out there or was that your intention?
Oh goodness! My intention was to write a story and fill my empty hours. I didn’t think anyone would ever read it much less develop the kind of following it’s received. This morning I just released the fourth fan made video related to my series, entitled: Who’s Your Tony? It is SURREAL! The numerous emails, tweets, and messages I receive daily are unbelievable. I often say, it’s amazing so many people know and love my “make believe” friends!
In both books, Claire summoned an internal strength in dealing with Tony and put on a perfect appearance. Why did she never try to flee – especially in Consequences?
She did in the beginning, from the suite. She tried to break windows. But, once she was afforded more freedoms, she’d been successfully manipulated. It was classic Psychology 101 Operant Conditioning. Positive/ Negative reinforcement. She was conditioned to be too afraid of the “negative consequences” to attempt escape. She’d convinced herself, if she behaved, she would earn her freedom.
An understated “goal” is voiced in Consequences. The first day, Claire looks in the mirror at herself and her injuries and says, “I will survive this. Someday I’ll get away from here and go to a place where woman wear underwear.” At the jail in Iowa City, the guard hands her an orange jumper, a bra, and underwear. She took them all. These are hidden in other text, purposely… but my objective was to say, “SEE, SHE DID IT! SHE SURVIVED AND ACCOMPLISHED HER GOAL!”
Catherine/Marie seemed so sweet for most of the two books, but then her real nature emerged. What are your feelings for Catherine/Marie? Is she the true villain of the story?
Oh, I can’t say too much here. You’ll learn more in Convicted. I think Marie had a traumatic childhood and the ONLY person who ever loved her, and whom she loved, had a twisted sense of the lengths one should go to proclaim that love. He didn’t just love and care for her; he ruined her father’s business and basically set her uncle up in an attempt to get him killed in prison. He taught Marie, when you love someone, you will do ANYTHING to bring them redemption/ fulfill a promise.
I’ll also say, after I wrote Consequences, the number one question I received was, “What’s the deal with Catherine? How can she sit back, knowing what’s happening to Claire and do nothing?” Everyone assumed Tony had something on her too. I guess that’s kinda true, but NOT at all what people suspected! I love twists and turns!
In TRUTH, we were introduced to Derek and Sophia Burke, where snapshots of their lives were interjected throughout the story. Will they be making a more prominent appearance in CONVICTED?
They are in Convicted. I think I planned to have them play a bigger role, however, the Consequences Series is Claire and Tony… whether together or trying to stay apart…. they are the story. I can’t seem to get my focus to be anywhere else!
When Claire left at the end of TRUTH, even though she didn’t know the truth about Catherine’s plan, she left Tony open to a lot of scrutiny and backlash for her disappearance. Why did she not take into consideration the book and her family/friend’s reaction to her disappearance?
Catherine had NEVER done anything, in Claire’s eyes to suspect her of deception. Claire thought she was in love with Tony and their life was considerably better, actually totally different than it had been. But – it had been bad. She wanted to believe Tony had changed; yet, she knew he was capable of terrible things. Catherine used that knowledge to make Claire doubt her new feeling of security. If it had been just her, it would have been different… but she now has another responsibility that trumps everything else.
Some people say she reacted selfishly. I disagree (but than I am a huge Claire supporter). She reacted without considering her family and friends or herself. She reacted with one goal in mind, even at the cost of her own heart – she had to protect her child!
In the Afterward of CONSEQUENCES, it was a scene between Sophia Burke and Tony. However, that scene did not appear until the end of TRUTH. In keeping with this theme, is that your intention for the Afterward of TRUTH? Will it be a scene towards the end of CONVICTED?
No. It isn’t the beginning either. The scenes in the Afterward of Truth are within the body of Convicted. There are many questions before we get there, and a LOT after those scenes!
What can we expect from CONVICTED – where will it pick up?
Oh… I can’t wait for you to learn! I struggled with the ins and outs of Convicted. There is the romantic in me who wants the HEA my readers are clamoring for – then there is the lover of thrillers and mysteries who loves getting blindsided! It wasn’t until my internal debate finally came to blows and one side won that I could finally start telling this installment of the Consequences Series, happy – no wrong word – content with the way Convicted plays out!
What was the hardest scene you had to write in Consequences and/or Truth? Favorite scene? Least favorite?
In Consequences – I’d assume you’d think the most difficult was the “accident”, but it wasn’t. I had a terrible time with the aftermath of Simon’s visit to Claire. Things had been going so well for her. I literally felt like I was living her life. My moods matched hers. I knew the story had to take a turn, I just didn’t know how to do it. My husband said, another man. I thought, Claire wouldn’t be dumb enough to do that… then I remembered Simon from her “visions”…. I seriously sat with an entire bottle of wine and wrote out the entire scene… the next morning when I read it; I was satisfied, and sad!
My favorite scene was John’s confrontation of Tony in the limousine. He was the only one, in all of Consequences to stand up to Tony. Although his actions had consequences for Claire, I loved showing that not everyone was under Tony’s spell.
In Truth — I didn’t have any hard-to-write scenes and many favorite ones. I’d say my first favorite scene was Claire’s confrontation with Phil Roach. I loved it! She was finally built up enough to play hardball. In my opinion, it was her vacation with Courtney and her conversation with Brent. Amber and Harry were helpful, but knowing she had the love and support of Tony’s “best friends” was incredibly empowering. After that, I LOVED her interaction with Tony… from their first meeting in the restaurant, to the condo, to San Diego, to Iowa and then that great hotel scene, after she’s hospitalized… I LOVE the stronger Claire. I also had fun with Tony’s amusement and awe of the woman she’d become. I love his manipulation and struggle to control himself… I enjoyed writing all of it!
What do you think about all the reactions you’ve been getting to these books? What has been your experience interacting with readers?
I’m totally humbled by the reactions. To say I’m blown away with the experience I’ve had with readers would be an understatement. Boston was my first big author event. My first experience was interacting with other authors. I couldn’t believe little ‘ole me was having drinks and talking to these other women whose work I’ve read and loved! Then the readers… my husband was with me, which I’m so happy that he was. I’m glad he could share this surreal experience with me. The readers were so amazingly generous, friendly, and honest!
They told me, that earlier that night, there had been a big and loud “Tony Rawlings” discussion at Cheers! Can you believe that? A group of people were arguing about MY character at Cheers in Boston! Totally humbled!
Thank you for having me on your great blog! I hope everyone can experience the Consequences Series and make their own decisions regarding Claire and Anthony. Remember, watch for Convicted… coming late 2013 / early 2014!
About Aleatha Romig
Aleatha Romig voted #1 “New Author to Read” on Goodreads July 2012 – Present! She was also #28 “Most Followed” Author on Goodreads February 2013!
Aleatha has lived most of her life in Indiana growing-up in Mishawaka, graduating from Indiana University, and currently living south of Indianapolis. Together with her high-school sweetheart and husband of twenty six years, they’ve raised three children. She works days as a dental hygienist but enjoys spending her nights writing. When not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend time with her family and friends. Her pastimes include exercising, reading and creating heros/ anti-heros who haunt your dreams!
Aleatha enjoys traveling, especially when there is a beach involved. In 2011 she had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Australia to visit her daughter studying at the University of Wollongong. Her dream is to travel to places in her novels and around the world.
CONSEQUENCES, her first novel, was released August 2011 by Xlibris Publishing. October 2012 Ms. Romig rereleased CONSEQUENCES as an Indie author. TRUTH, the sequel, was released October 30, 2012 and CONVICTED, the final installment of the Consequences Series, is scheduled for release late 2013/ early 2014!
Aleatha has graciously given me a SIGNED PAPERBACK of both Consequences & Truth to give away to one lucky winner.