Every now and then a book comes along that just leaves me breathless. Reveling in the high of a book so perfectly done that I feel like calling everyone on my phone list and demanding that they read it so we can talk about it endlessly, tossing ohmygods and canyoubelievethats all over the place. This was that book. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover is more than an epic romance. The whole story comes alive with music. Yes! This book has an accompanying soundtrack! The duo of No. 1 New York Times and USA TODAY best-selling author Colleen Hoover and singer/songwriter Griffin Peterson have created an unforgettable and innovative experience, allowing the reader to feel the story on more than one dimension.
“Are you in the mood to make beautiful music together?”
WHAT MAYBE SOMEDAY IS ABOUT
Sydney Blake, our female protagonist, has a good life. A content life. Solid … or so she thinks. When she discovers her boyfriend and her roommate are having an affair (on her birthday no less!), she unexpectedly finds herself staying at the apartment of her neighbor, Ridge. She had never met Ridge until that moment, but she had heard him. Every night he played his guitar across the courtyard of their apartment complex, the sounds curling in the wind, reaching her and inspiring her to pour lyrics down on paper. Soon enough, they find themselves creating music together as a connection also begins to build between them. True to the romance stories we love, however, there are circumstances that keep them apart and they must work to bury the emotions that surge.
“Despite how hard we tried to fight it, all of those things happened between us because our feelings for each other are becoming so much stronger than our desire. Desire is easy to fight. Especially when the only weapon desire possesses is attraction. It’s not so easy when you’re trying to win a war against the heart.”
It’s a riveting push-and-pull that had me wondering how it all would end. But most of all, it sparked a sense of intimacy and magic as the story and the songs fused together to create a one-of-a-kind interactive experience … each moment made more powerful by the lyrics that flowed across the pages. Colleen and Griffin discuss this project further in this video:
Fate intervened with the way this duo came together in the first place. When the novel Losing Hope (companion to Hopeless) was coming together, Colleen’s fans flooded her with messages that they had found their Holder (the book’s main character) in an American Idol participant in season 12. That participant was Griffin Peterson, who came to grace the cover of the book upon its release. Months later when Colleen began writing Maybe Someday and ran into some trouble with the music she’d planned on using, she approached Griffin about the project and soon after, he began writing songs specifically for the book. The album, aptly titled Maybe Someday, features eight complete tracks.
HOW IT WORKS
Readers will be able to click on the song that accompanies the scene, opening up the browser on their e-readers to listen to the music simultaneously as they read. For those with paperbacks, readers can scan a QR code with their phone, allowing them to listen to the song directly, or they can visit the Maybe Someday website to access the soundtrack.
Maybe Someday, published by Atria Books, releases today (March 18).
WHAT COLLEEN AND GRIFFIN HAVE TO SAY
Vilma: Colleen, what inspired the concept of Maybe Someday?
Colleen: When I published my first novel, Slammed, I included lyrics at the beginning of each chapter from one of my favorite bands, The Avett Brothers. The overwhelmingly positive response from readers to those lyrics really surprised me. I’m very passionate about music and was excited to see that the majority of readers loved the inclusion of lyrics.
After seeing this reaction, I got the idea to take it a step further and have the characters actually create the lyrics within a book. With the advancement in e-reading technology, I was curious if it were possible for readers to be able to hear the actual songs while reading the book. I contacted Amazon and discussed the idea with their Kindle team and they were very enthusiastic about it.
Once all my questions were answered and I had the information I needed to make it happen, I began writing the book.
Vilma: Griffin, what did you think when Colleen first approached you? Were you all in immediately or did you have any doubts?
Griffin: This project was something Colleen was already working on when we came together for her other novel Losing Hope. I thought the idea was very innovative, but at the time I wasn’t a part of it. She was already in the process of using other musicians’ songs, so I was excited to see how the inclusion of a soundtrack with a book would be received.
We talked about the project occasionally and she would give me updates on how it was going, but it wasn’t until late September of last year that she contacted me to see if I could help. She had reached a roadblock with the music she was planning to use and asked if I would be willing to help out and be a part of it. Since I was already familiar with and enthusiastic about the project, I was more than willing to be a part of it.
Of course I had doubts because Colleen and I didn’t know each other very well at the time and this kind of collaboration takes a lot of trust and cooperation. Writing music for myself is one thing, but writing music to portray feelings and circumstances of two fictional characters was definitely something I had never done before.
Luckily, it turns out that Colleen and I had the same vision for this project and eerily similar work ethics, so it couldn’t have made for a better experience.
Vilma: How long did the project take from concept to completion?
Colleen: I began plotting the book back in January, 2013. The manuscript was due Sept. 30th, So I had nine months from start to completion. Things were going well until I hit a legal roadblock with the music I had planned to use. Unfortunately, this was in early September, so this left me with no music and less than two weeks to turn everything in. At the time, I was devastated because I knew there was no way I would be able to find a musician who had lyrics I could use and turn around and rewrite the book to fit those lyrics. The only person I could think of who could possibly help was Griffin. I knew he had the drive and the talent … I was just hoping he had the time.
When I approached him about it, he was very enthusiastic about the idea. He also had a few songs he had written but had yet to release, so he sent those songs to me to see if any of them would work. While listening to the first few songs he sent, I was astounded by how perfectly they fit the story. He would change a word or a couple of lines in the lyrics to fit the story and I would change a few paragraphs in the story to fit the song. The way it all worked out was very serendipitous.
When the manuscript was due, we still had a few scenes in the book that needed songs, so I turned the manuscript in with filler lyrics. I told my publishers I would need more time to get them the final songs in order to give Griffin more time to finish writing and recording them in studio.
On my birthday in December, he sent me all eight songs and the project was complete. All in all, it took about a year from start to finish. There were definitely moments I thought I had gotten in over my head and that I would have to scrap the whole project altogether. However, after Griffin stepped in to help, everything worked out with ease. We are both so excited and proud of the final product because we know how much work it took us to get here.
Vilma: Griffin, you are new to the book community, but it seems that fans have completely embraced you over the course of the past year. What has been your experience?
Griffin: This entire journey has been incredible. I certainly had no idea that my music would lead to me being on the cover of a novel, but that experience in turn led to my involvement with Maybe Someday, so I’m very grateful for that.
The response to my music has definitely been humbling and I’m not taking a single second of this for granted.
Vilma: Colleen, what can your readers expect with Maybe Someday and what’s coming next from you?
Colleen: I’ve just completed and submitted my seventh novel, Ugly Love, which releases Aug. 5 of this year. I’m excited for that one as well, although it’s the first of my books to ever make me shed a tear while writing it.
As far as what readers can expect with Maybe Someday, I’m not the type of writer who writes to educate or inform my readers. I simply write to entertain them. My only hope for Maybe Someday is that people enjoy Sydney and Ridge’s journey as much as Griffin and I enjoyed creating it.
To learn more about Maybe Someday, visit the project’s website. To learn more about Colleen, visit colleenhoover.com, and Griffin, visit www.griffinpeterson.com.
Vilma Gonzalez is a blogger, reader, marketer, wife and mom. She has an insatiable appetite for happily ever afters and a deep love of the written word. She is also determined to keep the promise she made to her 16-year-old self to finish writing a book before she dies. You can find more about her and read full reviews at Vilma’s Book Blog. Please e-mail Vilma at firstname.lastname@example.org about content related to this column. Due to the volume of mail, e-mails may not be answered personally, but all will be read.
Featured authors, Music
Colleen Hoover released her first novel, "Slammed," in 2012 and since then she has gone on to have seven of her novels, and one novella, hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Her novels fall under the category of New Adult and Young Adult and many people have referred to some of her gut-wrenching stories as "The Notebook" meets "Fifty Shades of Grey." She'll make you laugh and she'll make you cry. Her words have the ability to break your heart and then help you pick all the pieces right back up with their shocking twists and turns. You'll fall in love with the characters as they fall in love with each other in these extremely emotional and enjoyable stories.
Hoover, who is now 35, wrote her first novel "Slammed" with zero intentions of it even getting published. It received five stars by major book blogger Maryse Black and then Hoover turned the story into a best-selling trilogy. After that, she released several more best-selling novels, like "Hopeless," "Maybe Someday," "Ugly Love," and "Confess," which were all greatly received by her fans. People enjoyed "Ugly Love" so much that producers decided to turn it into a movie, which is still in pre-production and set to be released at some point next year, according to the teaser.
While Hoover wrote the incredible love story, she isn't a part of the film-making process at all, but has "absolute confidence that Hackybox Pictures will do the book justice" and is "excited to see how it plays out," she told HNGN. Hackybox Pictures had to start a campaign to raise money to start the production of the film.
"The campaign is over, but we have a long journey ahead in order to bring Colleen's vision to life," the site reads. "Over the course of the next several months, we will be posting to the page and updating fans and contributors on where we are in the filmmaking process. Making a movie is a long and tough endeavor, but we are committed to bringing 'Ugly Love' to the screen in a way that stays true to the book, and pleases fans around the world."
Cody Hackman, founder of the company, has chosen his good childhood friend Nick Bateman, who was once up for the part of Christian Grey, to play the lead role in "Ugly Love," and even Hoover believes he is the perfect choice for Miles Archer. Bateman posted a photo of himself holding up a copy of "Ugly Love," hinting that it could be a new project he was working on.
"I've never seen my notifications blow up that fast," Hoover said after the photo was posted. "My inbox is full of messages demanding to know if this picture is a joke."
Lucky for her fans, it's not!
Hoover also has a new novel, "November 9," coming out on November 10, and she reveals that she "hasn't been this excited about a release in a long time." Even her boss has admitted that it's her "favorite." Read what she has to say about her new book and the "Ugly Love" film in our exclusive interview with the best-selling author below!
HNGN: Out of all of your New York Times best sellers, what do you believe makes 'Ugly Love' a good choice for film adaption?
CH: I don't necessarily believe 'Ugly Love' is being adapted because it would make a better film than any of my other novels. Everything just fell into place with this one. The release did well, the readers were very active on social media and it caught the attention of Hackybox Pictures and Nick Bateman, who was in the market for a role similar to this. I'm looking forward to seeing how they translate the book to film. It's been a surreal experience so far.
HNGN: The teaser trailer that has been released seems just as intense as the book. What are your thoughts on the trailer and film production so far?
CH: I saw the trailer shortly before everyone else did, as I don't have any control over the film aspect of 'Ugly Love.' It was exciting to see this character I created brought to life. From conversations with the producers and seeing some of their past projects come to fruition, I have complete confidence that they'll do the book justice.
HNGN: Will you be playing any part in the production of the film?
CH: Probably not. I have a lot going on right now, deadlines to meet, tours scheduled. I live in Texas and from what I understand, a lot of the filming will more than likely take place in Canada.
HNGN: How do you feel about the choice of Cody Hackman as the producer and Nick Bateman as the lead male role? Will he be able to deliver the mysterious personality of Miles Archer?
CH: I'm very excited about both of these guys filling these roles. I met with Cody and Nick in Toronto last year and, despite them still being in their twenties, they are both very passionate about their work and successful at what they do. After speaking with Nick at length about the book and the character of Miles Archer, I have faith that he'll bring this character to life.
HNGN: Any ideas on who you think should play Tate Collins? And what about Rachel?
CH: That's a tough one! I've always been a fan of Nina Dobrev, but I'm trying not to put a face with a character yet.
HNGN: And what about Rachel?
CH: While I was writing 'Ugly Love,' I pictured Jane Levy as Rachel, but that may be because Jane Levy is one of my favorite actresses.
HNGN: People describe 'Ugly Love' as 'The Notebook' meets 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' Do you agree with this?
CH: Absolutely, and the first time I heard Nick say this, it's what sold me. It has the sexiness of 'Fifty Shades' and the heart of 'The Notebook.'
HNGN: Your books never fail to bring your readers to tears, in the most amazing and gut-wrenching way. Is this something fans can expect from the movie as well?
CH: Absolutely. The goal is to keep the same feel in the movie that readers felt through the story, so hopefully the emotions will transition successfully.
HNGN: Where did the idea for 'Ugly Love's' emotional and ugly, yet still beautiful, love story come from?
CH: I wanted to create this character who was a completely different person in his present than he was in the past. I felt in order to do that, the pivotal, life-changing moment needed to be heart-wrenching. I wanted the people who knew him in the present to be completely unaware of the type of person he was in the past. I actually wrote all of Miles's past point of view chapters before I started with the current chapters in the book, so it was interesting fitting his personality together from Tate's perspective to his.
HNGN: 'Hopeless' is such a fan favorite and your readers love seeing the similar style surprises and emotions in 'Ugly Love,' as well as the rest of your books. Where do you typically get your ideas for all of these stories from?
CH: Typically, I have no idea what I'm writing when I begin writing. I've tried outlining in the past, but it never works for me because the characters seem to take on lives of their own. My first step is creating the characters. I sometimes have pages and pages of notes about a characters personality before I even begin writing a book. They have to become real people who would make decisions that I normally wouldn't make so that the story develops around them and I'm not projecting my own personality onto them.
HNGN: Can we expect the same type of feelings from your new book 'November 9?' What is this story about?
CH: I haven't been this excited for a release in a long time. I love Fallon and Ben and this story was so much fun for me to write. I feel it has the sweetness that was in 'Slammed' and the drama that was in 'Hopeless.' So it's a great mix of happy/sad/angsty.
HNGN: With the book coming out in November and the movie being released in 2016, how does it feel to have so many exciting things going on in your life?
CH: It's very surreal. I only just began writing my first novel a little less than four years ago, so to see the changes in my life in these past four years is mind-blowing to me. I'm still getting used to hitting the New York Times with my first novel, not to mention everything that came after that. I don't think the rest of it has caught up yet.
HNGN: Fans have described your books as 'addicting' and often find themselves not able to recommend just one. How does it feel to have such a huge following and so many fans of not only one book, but all of your books as a whole?
CH: I think that's what I'm the most proud of, to see that my books have all been received with the same enthusiasm. When 'Slammed' did well, I assumed it was going to be a one-hit wonder. But the fact that I've been putting books out regularly and people keep reading them is exhilarating.
HNGN: The 'Slammed' series is definitely a fan-favorite. Do you ever think of turning any of your other books into series?
CH: I never set out to write a book and make it a series. I end all my books as stand-alones, but sometimes, like with 'Slammed,' I'll just get a wild hair to write a sequel. So who knows? I never say never.
HNGN: Can we expect more books and possibly film adaptations from you in the future?
CH: Of course! I would be writing whether my books sold or not because it's what I love to do. As far as books to film, that's really out of my control and all up to Hollywood.
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