Here at BAMF, we are always looking to shine a light on authors and their books. And what better way to do so than to hear about a book from the author? That’s why we’ve started our Pro Talks Feature where we interview an author about their book(s) and get the down low on characters, plot and anything else they want to share with us about their life as an author! You can find your next great read here.
About The BookWithout Benefits by Nicole Tone
Published by Magnolia Press on June 7th 2016
Emma will always be a New Yorker at heart, even though she has a perfect life in Seattle. She has a prestigious job fundraising for the Seattle Symphony, a handsome boyfriend who adores her, and a Belltown apartment with views of the Sound. It should be more than enough to keep her pain from not playing the piano, and her 9/11 nightmares, away.
But when her old college crush, Owen, comes back into her life, it’s more than just spending time with him that’s causing cracks in her picture-perfect life. As she steps back on stage, and back into the spotlight, her connection with Owen, and his world, dredges up old memories that Emma worked hard to forget.
Emma’s past comes back to haunt her, forcing her to face the truth about more than just her fears of returning back to New York. As her once perfect life begins to burn down, Emma is forced to figure out what she really wants: her fundraiser and cocktail party-filled life with her boyfriend, or forging a new future with the one thing, and one person, she’s ever loved–even if it means returning to New York.
Without Benefits is a beautiful and moving exploration of modern relationships and family written in the vein of Taylor Jenkins Reid and Renee Carlino.
Today’s guest is …
Nicole Tone discussing WITHOUT BENEFITS
BAMF: Describe WITHOUT BENEFITS in 10 words or less.
Nicole Tone: Emotional, deeply personal, and a coming of age story.
BAMF: What genre do you find yourself writing in most? Is this the same as what you read the most?
NT: I find myself writing somewhere in the upmarket spectrum. I have an affinity with beautiful language but I also like to write books and characters that are easy for people to connect to. And of course I love to read upmarket fiction! Lately, though, I’m really finding myself drawn to psychological thrillers. Maybe I’ll be writing something new next!
BAMF: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
NT: Editing has been a big, big thing in my life lately but, as much as I love it, I know deep down I will always be a writer too. Right now, my ambitions for writing are focused on moving past the two books I’ve been working on for the past five years and really push myself out of my writing comfort zone. Would I be ecstatic if one of my books got an award, or got onto a best seller list? You bet! But I’m focused on the long game. I’ll write more books as long as my readers want me to.
BAMF: What was your favourite scene to write in WITHOUT BENEFITS?
NT: My favorite scene was *spoiler* when Emma gets drunk with her sister, Leah, on her kitchen floor. I can’t tell you why! But it was definitely one of my absolute favorite scenes.
BAMF: What advice would you give to your younger self?
NT: To follow your heart and trust your gut, no matter what. Even if people think you’re crazy for wanting to pursue a degree in creative writing. Even if it’s three in the morning and you think what you wrote is utter crap and you think you’re living a lie. You’re not. Trust yourself.
BAMF: Is there any specific symphony or music you were listening to when writing this book?
NT: I actually have a whole playlist! Bach is one of the major composers that I listened to a lot when I was writing, but I listened to a lot ofThe XX, Mumford & Sons, and Jetta. “Here With Me” by Susie Suh and Robert Koch s a HUGE influence, especially on the second half of the book. You can check out my full playlist here: spoti.fi/1J8nR6L
BAMF: Can you tell us a bit about Emma’s growth over the course of the book?
NT: Emma’s facing the same crisis a lot of us find ourselves in. Suddenly she’s thirty and can’t recognize the life she’s made for herself. It’s great, sure, but it’s not exactly the life she’s always dreamed of. She’s let her own insecurities, and her boyfriend/fiancé, hold her back from chasing her real dreams.