Monday, July 2, 2012

Author Interview: Amber Lin on her novel "Giving It Up"

Amber Lin will answer reader questions in the comment section below! 
Ask and you shall know. 

Exciting stuff, huh?
And that's just the preview.

Buy Giving It Up

Q: Amber, I am completely humbled that you overlooked the worst media pitch ever and agreed to appear on Ravishing Romances. I'll tell you right now, it doesn't deserve you. Giving It Up has received much praise, with many readers reviewing it as a dark, BDSM novel featuring rape as the main subject matter. Giving It Up is so much more than that. Why do you think the focus is there instead of on the hope and empowerment Giving It Up offers?

A: Thank you so much for your kind words and for hosting me! I’m so pleased at the reception Giving It Up has received, and I’m grateful to those readers and reviewers like you who are spreading the word.

I would say that Giving It Up is both: a gritty erotic story about rape but also a journey of healing and hope. I realize that seems contradictory to some, but personally I think they work well together because there can be no light without darkness.

Q:  [Spoiler Question!]

Q: Colin has received both praise and criticism, the criticism being he is too much the strong and silent type. There has also been speculation as to why he pursued Allie in the first place. Care to share your thoughts?

A: I love this question! I could say it was difficult to write a book from Allie’s first person POV when Colin is such a quiet guy. But I think the true difficulty is in loving a man like him. More to the point, trusting him. Which is really the crux of the matter, because Allie can’t trust, due to her past. We live Allie’s dilemma with her. Can we trust Colin? Should we rely on him? We have to judge him by his actions and hope we make the right decision. It’s scary for Allie, and it’s also scary for the reader, which I think is why this comes up.
It would be nice if he’d just come out and tell us everything we want to know! But it wouldn’t be true to his character. And also, could Allie have trusted him that way? Look at their first encounter, when she thought he was rough and mean. Look at the guy she turned away before him, the one she would taint with her sex. The only reason she allowed Colin close to her was because she believed he was too cold to actually care about her. The combination of a gruff exterior with a kind and patient heart was the only thing that could have penetrated her walls.

*This explains a few things*
As to why Colin pursued her in the first place, I don’t want to give too much away as a spoiler. But I will say that he has a white knight’s complex due to what happened in the past with his family. So seeing Allie hurt herself that way—he couldn’t have let it go on, even if they hadn’t become involved. Also, and I realize this doesn’t sound romantic, but he has always wanted a family and Allie comes ready-made with a young child. Throw in some good old-fashioned lust for Allie, and he decides to keep her early on. Of course, from there they grow to know each other and this is a romance, after all, so love blossoms as well.

Colin has struggled to find love because it’s so hard for him to open up, and a regular “good girl” would want those flowery words. Allie doesn’t demand those things from him; she reaches within herself to trust him instead. In a way it’s even harder for her to trust than a woman who isn’t “damaged” but it’s also due to her pain and empathy that she’s willing to try. Although neither Colin or Allie are perfect, they are perfect for each other.

Q: Have you received any unexpected responses to Giving It Up? For instance, did you intend for the world to hate Philip to only learn that they love him?

A: I definitely expected some readers to have a problem with Allie, considering what she does at the beginning of the book and the fact that she’s a mother, but overall reactions to her have been great. It was more of a surprise to see the mixed reactions to Colin, as above.

Most of all, I have been pleasantly surprised at people’s reactions to Jacob. In romances, rapists are usually handled one way: they die. Very occasionally they go to jail or some other Very Bad Place, but usually they die, preferably in a painful, gruesome or ignominious manner. So I expected a big revolt about my handling of him. I won’t say more about what does happen to Jacob, except that it’s not black and white. I wanted a more nuanced, dare I say realistic, portrait for him. He is the bad guy in this story, but he is far from pure evil. It’s very gratifying when people get what you were trying to do ☺

Q: Lastly, your website bio mentions you have a historical manuscript. Give us the scoop on that. Is it sold to a publisher, yet?

A: Oh dear. I owe the final draft to my agent so she can shop it for me, although I admit to being totally distracted by the release of Giving It Up. And then all the great feedback got me excited about the sequel and I’ve been working on that!

But okay, my historical. It’s a very different voice from my contemporary, more of the standard historical romance style. However, it still has my dark themes… can’t get away from those ;-)

The working title right now is Merciless and the book opens on the worst night of Lord William’s night. His family is murdered, and worse, and in his grief and mad swath of vengeance, an innocent young village woman is ruined. He does the honorable thing and marries her, but his family’s enemies are still at large. Both of them must fight for their village and each other, hoping that a marriage conceived of violence can grow into love.

Thanks again, Amber!  Giving It Up is an incredible novel and I wish you the best of luck with it.  I'll be impatiently waiting for the sequel.

Amber Lin married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.

Contact Amber on Twitter, Goodreads or through her website.

 Amber's Blog Tour Schedule

 Read Sallie's Review for Giving It Up

 The floor's open, readers.  Ask Amber what you would like to know!


  1. Amber, congratulations on the release. I have the book to read, so the spoilers didn't "spoil" it for me. One question though...

    How tough was it to sell the book? Rape is a hard thing to overcome and most publishers won't touch it.


  2. @Marika Thanks and good question!

    I first shopped Giving It Up to agents who work solely with NY publishers but it didn't take. There are SO MANY reasons why this can happen so it's hard to say for sure that it was the subject matter, although I got a lot of full requests and a lot of comments that it was very well written but too dark, etc, and so I think that was a big factor. Luckily I did find my agent who was open to going digital and then contracted with Loose Id, who is a top tier digital-first publisher. Honestly Loose Id was one of the first publishers I looked at when I decided to seek publication, and so I felt very good about ending up there!

  3. I'm so glad LooseID bought your book! I like to read more edgy and darker books and I think yours fits right in.
    You've probably been asked that question hundreds of times but what was your inspiration to write this book?

    claudigc at msn dot com

  4. @ClaudiaGC Thanks and me too! I love that they are edgy. It's especially good because I plan on pushing boundaries in the other books in the series, so I hope they will continue to be on board with that :)

    You know, I've been pulled to the abused heroine trope because I think it is so powerful. However, I noticed they were often handled in the same way - with the heroine avoiding all men and sex. So I wanted Giving It Up to start with the very opposite, where she's seeking out a man for rough, dirty sex. The rest grew from there :)

  5. Congratulations on your release and the success of Giving It Up! I can't wait to read this! And you say there's a sequel in the works? Fantastic! Though I'm very excited about your historical, too. Great interview, Ladies!

  6. Congrats on the release, Amber! And Giving It Up really sounds great to me. It is on my TBR list! Awesome interview!

  7. Nice interview. Thanks for sharing more about the characters.


  8. @Jenna Thank you! The historical is very different, but I'm so excited for it. It's kind of my dream to write it *embarrassed smile*

    @Melissa Thanks, hon!

    @bn100 Thanks!

  9. That really was a great interview, and left more questions unanswered than answered...which begs readers to check it out for themselves. Very curious about this one...

    1. It was? I mean - it was *proud pose*. Seriously though, it's the best book I've read this year. I'm recommending it to my online book club. If you're still unsure there are a lot of review on Goodreads and a few on Amazon. :)

      Thanks for the compliment and the follow!

    2. @Sydney LOL, thank you? I don't mean to be evasive, but sometimes I skirt around things that could be spoilers. Gotta leave some intrigue ;-)

  10. I used to read contemporary, now I read historical so I'm looking forward to "Merciless". But after reading the interview, I will go off my TBR stack and grab "Giving It Up".


  11. Ahh! I love the Spoiler Q&A! I can't wait for Shelly's story, I loved Allie and Colin's so much!!

  12. I am looking forward to reading this book! I enjoyed this review!
    I shared on the above links that I could; I am following you, and this blog!
    Thank you for the contest!
    bluebirdsub24 at gmail dot com


We love hearing from you!