TIJAN: SUSTAIN IS A ROCK’N’ROLL BOOK
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Tijan is one of the most fresh authors in contemporary romance genre. The latest book from our guest’s collection Sustain was published at the end of February. For around a month the novel gathered 240 plus Amazon reviews with average rating of 4.5. We’ve got a chance to speak with our next guest, who prefers not to show his true identity with a photo or a real name.
– Tijan, what is your new book Sustain about?
– Sustain is about a group of friends who grew up, somewhat on the wrong side of the tracks, and became a tight family even if half of them don’t like each other. They’re there for each other, no matter what, but a rift occurs. Brielle and Luke, who were best friends, something goes wrong and their best friendship is torn apart. Brielle is forced to do something she thinks Luke will never forgive her for, so she turns to Elijah. Those two date for the next three years, as she’s pulled away from the other half of their group and avoids Luke at all costs until a morning when SWAT raids Elijah’s home. They’re out of high school. None of them have pursued a college degree. They all have jobs and are trying to make ends meet, but after the police take Brielle to the police station for questioning, she’s had enough and she ends things with Elijah. A phone call happens. She needs a ride and instead of her twin brother, guess who shows up. Luke. This is where the book begins. Brielle joins their old band again. She remembers how much she loved drumming and Luke, most of all—Luke. They circle around each other. Luke’s very cautious with her. He got burned. He doesn’t want to get burned again. Readers can’t get a ‘read’ on how Luke feels for her, until Bri breaks down and confesses the truth. Bam. Luke’s mad. She avoided him for three years because of her secret and he says some harsh things, then goes off with the band (sans Brielle) and changes the name to Sustain. A year and a half later, Luke’s back after the band hit global stardom and the readers now get inside Luke’s head. The second part of the book is in Luke’s point of view and they realize how torn he really was and how much he really loves Brielle. Going home after two tours, is anything but easy. There’s another plotline in the book concerning Brielle’s cousin, Emerson. He’s part of the band. He does not like Brielle at all and he’s best friends with Elijah, Brielle’s ex. Plus, Emerson’s got a problem with drugs and suffice to say, Emerson puts them all in a position where they have to come together in order to save his rear-end and once that happens, they’re back to the beginning. They’re a family. They may not like each other, but they’re there for each other no matter what.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– I was going through a phase where I was devouring musician romance books and I decided, I should try to write one too. I thought it would easy. I could get it done, no problem…and I was an idiot. This book was hard for me to write, but I’m happy with it. It’s a rock’n’roll book, but with my own spin on it.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– The part where I just decided I wanted to write a rock’n’roll book. That was it. I had no ‘feeling’ I wanted to get across. I knew the characters, but I didn’t really know know them. I typically have a message or a deeper meaning to get across with each book, whether the readers realize the message or not. I didn’t with Sustain. I wrote a lot of drafts. I’d send those drafts out for feedback and realized, when my feedback came back, that I was really missing something ‘extra’ with this book that I usually have with my others. I had to keep rewriting this book. In all, I wrote this book a total of three full times. That’s two other novels that I tossed. That was my biggest challenge, just writing and going in blind without a plan.
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it close to someone from your real life?
– Brielle is tough. She loves her brother and her mom, but she’s really tough. She doesn’t like to let herself feel emotions, even though they’re there. They’re buried deep, but she likes to avoid them at all costs. It was hard to write her at times because people didn’t get a good ‘feel’ for her, but that was her. That was how she was as a character since day one. Nope. She’s not close to anyone I know in real life. I mean, she’s a part of me. All my characters are, but she’s not based off anyone I know.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– Normally, I need 3 months (that’s giving myself a lot of time) to finish a novel and a month for edits. This book took over a year and two months of edits. This one was, definitely, more high-maintenance than my own books.
– What the readers may find inside your Fallen Crest and Jaded series?
– Family (which doesn’t necessarily mean from your biological family) and loyalty. Love. Lots of love. And adventure. Those main elements are in the Fallen Crest series and the Jaded series.
– Who are you?
– These questions are always hard for me because I don’t know how to answer them. My first response is always, I’m someone who just likes to write books, but here goes a description of myself: I’m introverted, but also extroverted. I’m smart. I’m shy. I’m funny. I have to write or I will go crazy. I’m private so I’m uncomfortable with questions about myself. I love everything about books from the plotting, to the writing, the marketing, even the editing, and I get so happy when the final product arrives on my doorstep in all its glorious paperback form!
– What are your writing habits?
– I write almost every day. If I feel myself getting burned out from writing too much, I rest for a few days and then hit the computer again. I always need coffee nearby and music on. It’s rare for me to write without music, though it’s happened sometimes. I like to get lost in the characters, ‘feel’ the music, and then I start writing. I like to plot out books or have a certain ‘twist’ in mind before I really get going, though. I tend to write in my office at home. Every now and then I will go to a local bookstore or coffee shop if I feel stuck. A change of scenery tends to help. Sometimes if I’m struggling with my writing, I’ll write a paragraph and switch over to facebook to talk with friends, then go back and write another paragraph. I’ve written entire chapters like that, going back and forth.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– Yes, I am. Any time I make something from a book, I’m happy. I’m able to provide for myself and my family. To me, that is success as a writer.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– I do different things with most of my books. With Sustain, I’ve been doing ads on facebook and I’ve scheduled blog takeovers almost every night for two weeks to help promote it. Giveaways is a big thing too. Those help spread the word. I’ve also been giving away copies to readers, anything to help spread the word. I always hope people will enjoy the book, remember me, and come back to follow me for my next book release or tell a friend about my book. All of that helps a lot.
– When we will see your next novel?
– I’m not sure. I have a tentative release date, but it’s not finalized yet. I like to keep my book releases a secret until bam, it’s there and it’s ready for you. I don’t like to disappoint people and I feel like I did a year ago when I said Sustain was coming out, then I had to push it back almost a year. Since then I’m very hesitant about saying when the next book is coming unless I know, for certain, that it really will be released on that day. So, to answer, a few months.
– What is the story of your pen name Tijan?
– When I was teaching myself how to write, I started posting my stories on a free website called, Fictionpress.com. It was popular at that time to take one name and use the same letter as your real name for your penname. I picked Tijan because I thought it sounded pretty. When I started to think about publishing for seriously, I tried publishing with a different penname that sounded more professional. That seemed like a great idea, but my readers didn’t agree. They didn’t buy my book so I ended up switching back and publishing under the penname they knew me as, Tijan. I didn’t realize at that time what it would look like to have an author with only one name for a penname. I feel silly, but I’ve realized it’s a good brand too. My name is recognizable. I’ve grown fond of it.
– You were not a good student in school, but later you managed to improve your writing quality. What kind of exercises you did and how you learned to become so successful author?
– I wasn’t a good writer in school. I was actually a good student, but I didn’t pay attention in English class. I have no idea why. I liked biology, chemistry, and a few other courses, but creative writing wasn’t one for me. Since I started writing, though, I just wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. Then I kept writing more, and more, etc. I read A LOT! I also read a ton of articles about writing. There’s a lot of agencies that have advice for writers. I followed the agency that I’m not signed with back in those days. They did a new post every month or so and I had an entire page where I would see all the new updated posts about writing skills. I devoured them. I still do. I don’t feel my writing skill is the greatest. I think I can build tension, create a scene, and make readers feel emotions, but I feel my actual writing skill is lacking. Even though I’ve had some success, I keep learning and I keep going back and reading those same advice articles on writing.
Take a look at his books: