This Much Is True by Katherine Owen
Publication date: August 11th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: August 11th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Fate brings them together
Fame & lies keep them apart
One truth remains…
She’s become the Paly High girl with the most tragic story…
At 17, Tally Landon just wants to graduate and leave for New York to pursue ballet. Her best friend Marla convinces her to attend one last party—a college party—where she can be among strangers and evade the whisperings about her heartbreaking loss of her twin that follows her everywhere she goes. She meets Lincoln Presley, Stanford’s famous baseball wonder and has a little fun at his expense—when she lies about her age and who she really is—intent on being someone else for the night and escaping her tragic story.
His only focus is baseball, but he can’t forget the girl he saved on Valentine’s Day…
At 22, Lincoln Presley’s star is on the rise—about to finish at Stanford and expected to be taken early in Major League Baseball’s upcoming draft—his cousin’s party serves as a welcome distraction. But then, he sees the girl from Valentine’s Day that he saved from that horrific car accident and can’t quite hide his disappointment when she appears to look right through him and not remember him at all. He vows to learn her name at least before he leaves. What’s the harm in getting to know this girl? What’s the worst that can happen?
They share this incredible connection, but fate soon tests these star-crossed lovers in all kinds of ways…
And yet, despite the lies being told to protect the other, and the trappings of fame that continually separate them, and in lieu of the deception by those they’ve come to trust the most; one truth remains.
This much is true.
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Dark. Edgy. Contemporary. Romantic. Were we describing me? Or my fiction? Sorry. I drink too much...coffee, not enough water. I swear too much for God and my mother, and I slip these into my fiction. Sorry. I'm impatient, a perfectionist, a wordsmith, a dreamer, which ends up being good and bad. I'm a workaholic; ask my fam-dam-ily. I've written four novels in as many years: SEEING JULIA, NOT TO US, & WHEN I SEE YOU, as well as my latest release THIS MUCH IS TRUE. If you love angsty, unpredictable love stories, I'm yours. ♥
And, since Katherine is so COOL, she answered all my questions. Here's the interview y'all, for everyone to see!
What inspired you to write This Much Is True? Is there a story behind the story?
This Much Is True was a short story that began in one of my advanced fiction classes with The Writer’s Studio a few years ago. The premise resonated with me, and the main character eventually became Tally Landon. I wanted an artistic person of sorts and these thoughts coalesced into Tally Landon over time. In the early drafts, Tally was perfect and sweet, but I soon realized an edgier Tally would be more appealing and perhaps sympathetic (to most). That is why Tally Landon is the way she is in this book. Edgy. Provacative. Inauthentic. Broken.
If you found yourself in Tally's place, do you think you'd make the same decisions she did?
Tally doesn’t care what other people think. I always have. It must be part of those perfectionist tendencies of mine that having me reading every review. Every last one. Taking the criticism at a soul level and feeling it personally. C’est la vie. I’ve gotten better at moving on, after a fifteen-minute rant when someone doesn’t like my work or me or Tally, I let it go. Mostly.
I wrestled long and hard with some of the decisions Tally ultimately makes in this book. However, I’m confident that I created an authentic character and that her choices are, in fact, believable.
Would I make those same choices? No. I wasn’t as worldly as Tally at seventeen. I followed the rules, up until my senior year in high school where I broke curfew every so often.
Tally? Tally runs her own show. In some ways, she is more mature at seventeen than most; and in others, she is severely lacking in terms of judgment as to how she handles certain situations in the story, but I like to think she learns from mistakes over the course of the novel.
Do you think Tally was a tough character to write about? Why?
Tough? Hmmm…Tally was an absolutely awesome character to write. She appears tough on the outside but is mostly vulnerable on the inside in ways she doesn’t even comprehend. Her life situation is tough. Her response to it is somewhat tragic. She was a challenge to write in the sense that I really felt her awesomeness from a long way off and wanted to ensure I did her true justice with this storyline. I also knew that there would be those that didn’t like Tally, didn’t understand her, or this book, for that matter. From the outside, she would appear to have this perfect life, along with this extraordinary gift with her ballet, yet having just lost the person closest to her, it shattered her in ways she might never recover from. And some people would not be able to sympathize. Yes, it’s true. There are those who would say she should just get over it and move on. (Imagine an eye roll here.) And then, there is the majority of my fan base that feels Tally’s pain at a deep empathetic level, just as I did in writing her story.
Was there a particular scene or character that gave you a rough time?
I had to thread the needle with Rob Thorn’s character very carefully. In the early drafts, I liked Rob Thorn almost more than Lincoln Presley. Now, that was a problem.
From a scene perspective, I had to tread carefully with the cemetery scene between Rob and Tally. It was a natural evolution for them. They shared a lot of weird stuff; and I hinted early on that Rob had a thing for Tally. At least, I hope I did! So. That scene? Which a few reviewers shake their heads at was a challenge.
What do you think This Much Is True could teach your readers?
Oh, so many things… I think the biggest one is that any decision we make can set the course for the rest of our lives. A lie can circumvent a truth. Love can be tested in many different ways. We can change. We can adapt.
What is your favorite scene?
Well, there’s a lot of angst in this novel between these two, but I think that first night, when they meet up at Charlie’s party and Linc cooks for her, serves as a lead-up to how things could be for these two. He’s just cooking for her, but the subtext of their exchange—both in what’s being said and not said in that scene—provides the necessary optimism and even lends hope as to how great things could be between them if they just give themselves permission.
In this novel, I barely touch on Tally’s food disorder. I didn’t want to make it front and center in this storyline. It’s a common malady among dancers and should not to be taken lightly; it wasn’t my intention in not addressing it at length in this story; however, I like to think I handled it well enough in this particular context.
So in thinking back to this scene when he cooks dinner for her—providing her sustenance which she normally denies herself and fights with herself about on a daily basis—that’s pretty telling of Lincoln Presley and his innate ability to understand her and win her over. He’s generous. He’s tender. He knows she probably hasn’t eaten in, literally, days. It’s poignant. It’s special. It’s something.
Why didn't you publish This Much Is True as a trilogy? It certainly has the potential.
Yes. Thank you for bringing this up. I’d like to address the idea of a trilogy. Yes. Why not? Everyone is doing series. And there is a lot going on in this novel. I struggled with the implications of whether to make it two or three books or just one. Pressure. Intense pressure ensued in terms of delivering another novel as good as the last one (When I See You), and I’d been taking so long with This Much Is True. So long.
At the time, I felt like making it one novel would better serve my growing fan base. It had been over a year since When I See You had come out. I didn’t want to hold up the release of This Much Is True any longer so I released it as just one long-ass novel.
I don’t know if this makes you happy or sad, but there will be a second book of Linc and Tally. I’m just beginning to unravel that storyline in my head; hopefully, by this summer, it will be down on paper somewhere. Yes, the Truth In Lies series is seriously happening. It will not be as long as This Much Is True (consider this first one a gift; as in never again.) Yay!
Do you think that in real life love can conquer all sorts of complicated situations and still come out as the champion?
I think that love can overcome just about any obstacle as part of a conscientious choice. In other words, if we put love first, above everything else, as a priority, then yes, I think loves wins out in most situations. But love isn’t easy. You have to respect it, nurture it, and protect it. Life presents challenges every day; love helps us cope with all of that if we take care of it.
Thank you for such a thoughtful and provocative set of questions. I really enjoyed answering these, and hopefully your readers will be entertained by my answers as well.
And, to cap this up, there is an awesome giveaway that Katherine has set up for us all. I'd definitely love me a copy of This Much Is True.
-3 paperback copies (Open Intl, but book can be signed if the winner is in the US)