For What It's Worth

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Guest post with Brooklyn James–Let it Go

0-1Savannah Bondurant, a marriage and relationship columnist for the Savannah Sun Times, just signed her divorce papers.

Brody McAlister, the elusive and smoking hot gym boy, has finally recovered from his divorce three years ago.

Be it spurred by loneliness or sheer attraction, the two slip into the sheets for a memorable one-night stand.

Savannah's pesky ex-husband continues to try and worm his way back into her life, insisting they remain friends, even though he is living with his jealous new girlfriend.

An up-and-coming woodworker artist, Brody has every socialite cougar in town promising him success and riches, for a price, of course.

With two advice-giving older sisters, one fiercely single and one seemingly happily married, Savannah learns her parents' long and successful relationship does not come without its own secrets. Why should she believe in happily ever after?

Her constant overanalyzing and skepticism bodes well in her profession as a journalist, but proves counterproductive in her personal life. Divorce, guilt, suspicion, holding on to the past—can Savannah trust in Brody to help her Let It Go. ~ Goodreads


1st or 3rd Person Narrative - Readers Weigh In...

My latest release - Let It Go - is a feel-good contemporary romance about two divorcees starting over. This book has a 'sweet' steam factor. According to some reviews, the book is "HOT!" Lol. I love those kind of reviews.

Another review that piqued my curiosity was one I found on Goodreads:

"It might have been all the southern charm, but I felt like this had such a Hope Floats & Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood feel to it. It took a while to get into the narration type read of the book, I have been so used to the first person POV that it took a while for the story to flow for me. But once the middle was hit - I was indeed hooked."

This reviewer gave me 4 out of 5 stars. A nice, favorable review. However, the 'first person POV' reference caught me. This mention got me to thinking about the POV I have assigned to all of my other novels, and wondering if first person POV is slowly replacing third person POV as the preferred POV in fiction? I must admit, when I compare my reading library of ten years ago to my current day collection, there are far more books narrated in the first person POV than there ever used to be.

I wrote my first book, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, in first person POV. My reasoning for this was two-fold: One - in my author novice, I didn't consider POV before beginning the book (as I said, it was my first novel) and Two - the book was inspired by a true story (partly mine), therefore it seemed only natural to write the script in first person POV.

My second book thereafter, Vigilare (book #1 in the Vigilare supernatural thriller trilogy), I came to grow particularly attentive to the difference in POV as this book was written in third person POV (with the inclusion of 4 poems written in first person POV). This book and its predecessor, Vigilare: Hell Hound, were both written in a very present third person POV as was needed for the pacing of the supernatual thriller/action/adventure series.

Then, we move onto book number four for me, my first nonfiction endeavor, Get This Body In A Barn: The Milkmaid's Guide To Fitness. This was a no-brainer for first person POV. Although, I did use a bit of second person POV in this one as well where exercises/regimens were detailed (i.e. Make 'your' workout work for 'you').

And, my latest release, Let It Go, where I opted for third person POV. It just felt right to do so, so I did. And I don't feel it would have given the story a better feel per se to have written it in first person POV. Although that greatly appreciated Goodreads review has my wheels turning. Wondering what it is that readers enjoy most: first or third person POV?

For me personally, I enjoy either. Although I would say I am more inclined to gravitate toward third person for straight up fiction and first person when it comes to fiction inspired by a true story or memoirs. It just seems natural to me in those instances.

I'm working on another coming of age/contemporary romance entitled Jolie Blonde and a strictly contemporary romance by the name of Just Not Ready Yet. Both of these will be in third person POV as well. I guess I most like third person POV as it gives me the opportunity as a writer to express multiple POVs within the story. I have heard some readers report that this can be confusing. For example, another Goodreads review of my novel Let It Go cited that it was hard for her to follow because there are quite a few secondary characters and some internal dialogue. Then again, a few reviews down was one citing how much she enjoyed the secondary characters and how their presence added to the overall character development, relatability and plot line.

I'm sure we have to take into account readers' preferences and what they are accustomed to from a POV perspective. It's amazing how our brains get acclimated to certain perspectives without even being cognizant of it. As well as the fact that uber-popular books and series of the times set the pace for readers. For example, E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was written in first person POV.
Therefore, many readers will consider that the norm and expect such from every other book on the market until something new and equally successful comes along and changes that standard yet again.
I am thinking of a dystopian-type novel, maybe for the beginning of next year. With all of the POV talk, I'm considering making it first person POV. We shall see how that mood hits me.

In the meantime, if you are an author or a reader happening by For What It's Worth, I'd love to hear your two cents about POV. What you enjoy most? And why? Do you notice trends in the book industry changing from one POV to another? Do you think popular books at the time are responsible for this trend? And anything else you'd like to add...

Thank you Karen for hosting me! Readers if you're interested in checking out my latest release Let It Go, here is my Amazon Author Central Link, where you can find all of my other novels as well.

mailBIO: Brooklyn James is an author/singer/songwriter inspired by life in the Live Music Capital of Austin, Texas. Her first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, has an original music soundtrack and was chosen as a Quarter Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. This book has ranked in Kindle's Top 100 Coming of Age and Women's Fiction.

Her supernatural thriller trilogy, Vigilare, is an adaptation from a short narrative film, inspired by vigilante movies, such as The Punisher and Boondock Saints. Currently available are Vigilare and Vigilare: Hell Hound. She is avidly working on the last novel in the series, Vigilare: The Torch. Brooklyn's latest release, Get This Body In A Barn: The Milkmaid's Guide To Fitness, is available exclusively as an ebook. Inspired by her childhood growing up on a dairy farm, she offers basic and practical fitness and nutrition regimens in getting in shape.

Coming in March 2013 and June 2013, a contemporary romance, Let It Go as well as the Prequel to the Vigilare trilogy and Stand-Alone contemporary romance, Jolie Blonde, which will have an accompanying original music soundtrack as well. She has been busy in studio at Wonderland Studios, Austin with production of the album. All songs from the soundtracks are written/co-written and performed by the author. Listen free at Brooklyn's website or Facebook  Brooklyn's music can be found on Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, Pandora and JANGO online Radio. Her song Can't Get It Right was chosen for MEOW's (Musicians for Equal Opportunity for Women) 2012 Discoveries Jukebox, naming Brooklyn among the top 15 female singer/songwriters on the rise. Can't Get It Right was also featured on a Video News Release for VO5's Red Hot Rising Stars Campaign in Miami and New York. Jango Radio named her song Moving On to their Top 10 Songs of Summer.

Brooklyn holds an M.A. in Communication, and a B.S. in both Nursing and Animal Science. Her nursing career has seen specialties in the areas of Intensive Care and Labor & Delivery. She performs as part of an acoustic duo in the local live music scene in Austin. Brooklyn also serves as Guest Speaker from time to time with a focus on awareness and prevention of Domestic Violence and Suicide.

Finding Brooklyn James:

WebsiteAmazon | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Pandora | iTunes | ReverbNation


  1. Personally, I much prefer the third person POV because I like knowing seeing the other characters' viewpoints, especially in romance where it's great to get both the hero and heroine's POV. I don't really like first person POV, but I've gotten used to it since I read lots of UF, and it seems like that is the most common POV in that genre (maybe because of the immediacy of it?).

    The one POV that I really can't tolerate is first person present POV. Tense changes drive me crazy and a present tense is very hard to execute consistently throughout a book unless you have a very good editor. All it takes is one incorrect tense and I'm completely thrown out of the story.

  2. I enjoy both, but I think I prefer third person as the reader can get insights into all of the characters rather than just the narrator. But I do agree that it seems first person narration and first person multiple POVs are more and more popular! I guess the multiple POV thing resolves the issue of the limitations with a traditional first person POV.

  3. the end I enjoy both, it just all depends. What I do not like are sloppy Pov changes

  4. It depends... I do like both and I also love that you tried something different but went with what felt right. Usually flows better. The only POV I don't like is where there is way too many and you can't keep track of them all.

  5. Hi Brooklyn! Great guest post, I loved hearing your thoughts on why you write from different perspectives. :)

    I guess what I prefer depends on what genre or category I'm reading. For most adult fiction/romance, I prefer 3 person because there are usually so many other characters that have important impact and usually side stories.

    YA, usually first person or 3rd, depending on the type of book. Confessional-style or books about "secrets" would obviously be better in the first person, others in third.

    Nearly all New Adult, I like in first person, alternating whenever possible.

  6. First off, I love writers who are interested in engaging with their readers -- and who take their reviews with a grain of salt.

    YA seems to be mostly written in 1st person (either single or alternating) and I think that fits the type of story that a YA book often tells -- very personal and immediate.

    But some stories definitely benefit from multiple POVs -- stories with complex plot lines, where the characters aren't together in time or space, etc. And to me, more than two POVs in first person gets too confusing. Jodi Picoult does it well, but I think it's very hard to pull off. I

    Ultimately, as long as the story is well-told, I don't care what the POV is...

  7. I used to think I only liked first person, but as long as I feel like I'm in the story, instead of a fly on the wall, I like third person too.
    Thanks for the great post!

  8. I had never thought about POV's before blogging and reviewing.

    It doesn't really matter to me as long as the story is good.

    I do enjoy multiple POV's - especially in romance so I can see what both parties are thinking. I agree with what a few people above said though - too many pov's just gets annoying rather than helpful.
    I do remember reading one story with two pov's - one was first person and the other third. Each POV was ok but the constant change was very jarring.

  9. Loving the comments! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and post your opinions. I'm really trying to grow as a writer. It's input such as the above that helps my progress. A most fantastic day to all!

  10. Personally I think it depends on the book. I don't have a preference for third or first, but some just fit better for the book. For me it seems like most urban fantasy books (adult ones anyway) are in first person, so that's probably the only genre I would 'expect' first person. And honestly, I may not even notice if it was different.

    When I write I tend to write in first person but I haven't tried anything different. So far anything I have wrote has been at least somewhat about myself too though.