Courtney Cole, the author of If You Stay, is here today for an interview. You can click the banner above to see her tour stops and be sure to check out the giveaway below!
1. I have to say that the cover for IF YOU STAY is amazing. It is perfect for the book. What did you have in mind for this cover and what did you think once you saw it finished?
Well, first I'd like to say thank you so much for having me here. :) I really appreciate it.
And my cover... I love it too. Sarah Hansen did a beautiful job. This was exactly what I had in mind. I wanted Pax to be front and center- and I wanted his vulnerability to show. I think it comes through loud and clear in this cover. And when I first saw it... I was breathless. It was perfect.
2. Pax is very strong-willed and flawed, to say the least. Was it difficult writing from his point-of-view?
He definitely is. He's stubborn, he's opinionated and he lacks the ability to be cautious or afraid of anything. He doesn't care about himself or anything else, and he definitely doesn't care how his actions affect anyone else. At least, that's how he was in the beginning. Surprisingly, it wasn't that hard to connect with Pax. I knew exactly how I wanted his personality to be, so I just tried to think that way too. I have a husband and two teenage boys, so I've been schooled on how men really think sometimes. And the thing with Pax is that in the beginning, he didn't have a filter. He said and did whatever he wanted to do.
3. Developing a character that could steal Pax's heart must have been hard. What qualities did you know Mila had to possess in order to achieve this?
Well, it wasn't really that hard. I knew it would take someone who was his polar opposite, but I also knew I had to put them in a unique circumstance so that he could really see her for the beautiful person that she is. I knew he would need to see that she is much more than a pretty face. A mere pretty face wouldn't have swayed him.
After she saves his life, he sees her as a breath of fresh air, something light which is opposite of the dark that he considers himself to be. He was intrigued from the start, mainly because he couldn't fathom that she would actually give him mouth-to- mouth in that circumstance. In his world, someone wouldn't have gone out of their way like that. But Mila did it without a thought. And that fascinated Pax.
4. Can you share a few of your favorite lines from the book?
Yikes. This is a hard one. Hmm. Toward the end, there is a great scene. "Love never fails, Mila. And I'll never fail you again. That's a promise." I love that one because Pax had come so far.
Another one that I like is a thought of Pax's, from the beginning part of the book. "She's like a breath of fresh air. I may be the big bad wolf, but even wolves need to breathe."
5. Can you give us a hint to what you will be working on next?
Yes. I'm working on a companion novel to If You Stay. It is titled If You Leave and it will follow Madison Hill, Mila's sister. Maddy is a pretty fascinating character and I can't wait until you get to know her better.
Thank you again for having me here with you today. It's been a pleasure!
If You Stay by Courtney Cole
Published: Lakehouse Press (February 5th, 2013)
Reading Level: New Adult
ebook: 220 pages
24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.
He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.
But he’s got his reasons.
His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.
As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.
Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?
And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.
When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.
But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.
He knows that. And he’s working on it.
But is that enough to make her stay?