Friday, July 26, 2013

The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers Blog Tour

The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers Blog Tour

Today Brianna is interviewing debut author Mary Ann Rivers. Welcome to The Book Vixen Mary Ann!

Author Interview

Brianna: The book blurb, specifically the ad, is what grabbed me. How did the premise for The Story Guy come about?

Mary Ann Rivers: Carrie, the heroine, came to me first. I heard her voice, and had this sense of a character who was passionate in her professional life, and who had enjoyed a loving childhood, and cultivated good friends, but had grown a little risk adverse and hadn't often asked herself what it was she really wanted.

A character like this needed a story that would provoke both her and the reader--one that sent her on a trajectory where she would have no choice to make a serious of decisions, one right after the other, and at every turn ask herself what it was she wanted.

I played with a lot of ideas, but I'm one who also likes to read Craigslist personals, and at least in my city, there are ads for lunchtime hook-ups. These ads beg A LOT of questions, of course, and invite a great deal of imaginative contemplation about people, but the ads weren't quite right for Carrie, or for Brian.

But . . . kissing. Kissing both pushes boundaries and creates them. It's something that's both the beginning--of intimacy, of sexual encounters, of a relationship--but also an expression in and of itself. It's something that we miss--when we're not dating, or when we've let it become perfunctory in a long-standing relationship.

Brian has been compartmentalizing his life for so long that his mental boxes have boxes. Except that the way he lives, which used to give him control, isn't giving him anything at all anymore. It's not just that he loves kissing, it's that he's a true romantic, believes in love, believes in true love, but he's convinced himself that he can't unpack those boxes and admit the control is an illusion and let someone into his life. He doesn't live a life of shame or actual drudgery, he's simply a man who has become terribly mistaken that there is only one way to live, for himself, and for his family.

His ad represents the part of himself that understands that he has completely gone astray and has hope that maybe, he'll figure it out.

Brianna: What kind of research went into writing The Story Guy? Was any part of the book influenced by personal life experiences?

Mary Ann Rivers: The book represents a lot of experience I've had with caregiving families as a health care provider, and with one family I worked closely with, in particular, who knew that I wrote romance and asked if I would ever consider writing a romance that had someone like them in it, someone who admitted to someone else, out loud, some of the things that they felt. I've also been a caregiver myself, and understand how easy it is to think in binary, compartmentalized ways.

Brianna: The Story Guy is your debut novel. Do you have any other books in the works? Anything you can share with us today?

Mary Ann Rivers: I have a story appearing in an upcoming Loveswept holiday anthology that explores some similar themes of epistolary romance, changing physical ability, and love found in very unexpected ways--however, very different h/h  than Brian and Carrie. Then, in January, I debut with my novel, a contemporary, which is the first in a standalone contemporary four book romance series about a working class family in the same Lakefield, OH setting THE STORY GUY (and the holiday story) are set in. I know that there are those who really enjoy the appeal of third person POV, and the novel is written this way.

Brianna: What are five random things readers do not know about you?

Mary Ann Rivers:

  1. I place excellent sutures, even if the patient is wiggling and crying.
  2. I rarely, if ever, hear my husband call me by my name. Terms of endearment.
  3. In fourth grade, I would invent and develop "note codes" with "decoder sheets" to sell to other girls for a quarter so they could write secret notes to their friends.
  4. There are a few famous people who are my regular pen pals--I cultivate  A LOT of correspondence.
  5. My son and I have the same birthmark--mine's on my hip, his is on his face. Same shape, color, and size. I always thought this kind of thing was a historical romance plot device, but I suppose it must sometimes happen. 

About the Author

Author Mary Ann RiversMary Ann Rivers has been wearing a groove in her library card since she was old enough for story time. She’s been writing almost as long—her first publication credit was in Highlights magazine. She started writing and reading romance in the fifth grade once she stumbled on the rainbow of romance novel book spines in the library’s fiction stacks.

She was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals, and leading creative writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a Nurse Practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients.

Mary Ann lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son. She writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line.

Find the author online: website | blog | goodreads | twitter | facebook

About the Book

The Story Guy by Mary Ann RiversTitle: The Story Guy
Author: Mary Ann Rivers
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 8, 2013 by Loveswept

Carrie, mild-mannered and trauma-free librarian, describes her life as perfectly content until she finds an enigmatic personal ad among all the lonely hearts’ postings on the city’s seediest website:

I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only. I won’t touch you below the shoulders. You can touch me anywhere. No dating, no hook-ups. I will meet with you for as long as you meet me, so if you miss a Wednesday we part as strangers.

Brian, utterly overwhelmed bike-riding contracts attorney, earmarks a single hour, once a week, to forget heartbreaking complications and let passion take over with a stranger.

When Carrie wants more than Wednesdays, and Brian keeps riding away, Carrie wonders what’s preventing Brian from giving in and letting go. In a rustbelt city with a million stories, Brian is . . . THE STORY GUY.

Buy on Amazon Add to Goodreads

Read Brianna’s review of The Story Guy.


Thanks to Random House, one lucky winner will receive a digital copy of The Story Guy. Good luck to all who enter!

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Must be 18 years old or older to enter.
  • Giveaway open Internationally. Void where prohibited by law.
  • Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received.
  • See Rafflecopter form for information on how to enter this giveaway.
  • Please read TBV's Giveaway Policy before entering.
  • Giveaway ends 9:01 pm (Pacific Time) on 8/9/2013.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.

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  1. I have never placed or answered a personal ad.

    Thank you so much for the post and giveaway! This book has been on my TBR list, so fingers crossed for the giveaway.

    Best Wishes,
    Lindsey V.

  2. No... I wouldn't... too scared to do that!

  3. No, I never answer or placed a personal ad...I little too scared because you don't know the person behind...

  4. I have both placed and answered personal ads, although I will admit it was 30 years ago. Nothing bad ever happened -- before the internet that was a way to meet people if you didn't want to join a dating service.

    I am interested in reading this book, I've seen several reviews and it sounds like a great, original plot line (thank goodness!).

  5. No, I have never placed a personal ad. The Story Guy is a great must read story.

  6. Nope.

    I can't wait for Mary Ann Rivers to release more of her writing!

  7. Lovely interview. I had to laugh because I rarely hear my husband call me by name either. It's always a bit of a shock when he does. But I like it. :)

  8. I can't say that I have placed or responded to a personal add.

    Love the interview and The Story Guy looks GREAT!

  9. I haven't placed or answered a personal ad.

  10. I have never placed a personal ad.

  11. No I haven't. I'd be worried about who might be asking.

  12. Thank you for the giveaways. You do a great job.

  13. I have never done either but I think you have to be a bit brave to do so.


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