I know it’s not February 14 anymore. It’s not even February, for that matter.
But who cares! It’s still the perfect time for a little romance, courtesy of author Bree M. Lewandowski.
Learn how to dance ‘til your heart is content with August Nights, the story of two strikingly real characters you can’t help but fall for from the very beginning.
Grab a glass of wine or a hot toddy, snuggle up with your favorite blanket… and prepare to be swept away in the smooth and sensual waltz this work is waiting to lead you in.
Tell everyone else to go away: Your dance card is officially full.
For those of you who have a tango or two up your own writing sleeves and would like to show them off as the next Author of the Month, take the lead right here.
And anyone who wants to get to that point but isn’t quite there yet, follow the same link and let me know how far you’ve gotten. I’d love to hear from you!
Right after you hear more about August Nights…
March’s Author of the Month: Bree M. Lewandowski
Featured Title: August Nights
Age Appropriate: 17+
Bio: Coffee is wonderful. Coffee spurs my writing. I eat noodles like vegetables, and I can’t swim. Bios are weird to write.
Jeannette: Bree, thank you so much for being our March Author of the Month! And with such a unique bio too. I think yours takes the cake for originality. Let’s get right into why you made the cut by describing August Nights. What’s it about? What makes it tick?
Bree: Essentially, August Nights is about two people who are sure their relationship won’t work. She’s positive she is too much “beer and pretzels” for him, while he can’t imagine letting himself be in love.
But this story is about taking that chance on your heart – and someone else’s heart too.
Jeannette: I want to get further into that description, but first I need to state that you are quite the intriguing writer. Your style is so poetic, where one sentence just flows into the next.
Do you have any authors you’ve taken cues from? Or that elegance is all your own?
Bree: First of all, bless you for that. I think my style is generated from my love of classical literature. For a long time, I exclusively read the classics and I know that’s why I tend to wax a smidge indulgent.
I don’t think I know how to write another way.
Jeannette: As a reader, I’m fine with that. Don’t change. And don’t change your way of describing characters either. That’s another aspect of your writing that really stands out.
I don’t want to give too much away here, but let’s talk about main male character Kane Sah for a moment. He’s got quite the story all on his own. What prompted you to write him out the way you did?
Bree: Gosh. Where did Kane come from?
In the original vision of this book, Kane was just a quiet guy Willa fell in love with. But the more I got into the writing, the more I needed him to be... more. His backstory came from a project I tackled years ago that’s still sitting on a fanfiction website somewhere.
I needed a guy who had been softened by the years. A man who had felt every selfish bone in his body break.
Jeannette: Since the Amazon book description flat-out mentions his niece undergoing a tragedy, I’m assuming it’s okay to bring her up? I was rooting for her throughout August Nights every bit as much as with the love interests.
Who came first in your story-writing process: Kane or Kelsey?
Bree: They were simultaneous. I knew, from the get-go that Kane had Kelsey.
Jeannette: And so Kelsey had Kane. That makes me happy to hear that.
How about our female protagonist? Willa is just as intriguingly complex as the man she’s so compelled by.
Bree: In the original version of the story, the one I couldn’t quite grab the right way, Willa was a lot darker. But when I starting really writing her, it didn’t feel organic to the narrative I realized I was telling.
She needed to be a woman just trying to “make it” in the world because no one ever expected her to.
Jeannette: “World” makes me think of “world-building,” which makes me think of the backdrop that supports your Willa and Kane and Kelsey. August Nights is very specifically set in Chicago with very specific skills mentioned, namely dancing and bartending.
How much research did you have to do in those regards, or are you multitalented and knew it all already?
Bree: The bartending I had to do research on, which is why I now know I’d be a horrible bartender! Videos and friends who worked in the trade were total lifesavers for me… not to mention creepily watching bartenders at their craft while I straddled a stool.
But for the dancing, I am, in my day job, a ballet teacher. And years ago, I also taught ballroom. So that was fun to incorporate into the book.
Jeannette: You could have fooled me about the bartending, and that doesn’t surprise me one bit about you being a dancer. The details you gave were too tangible not to have come from someone who knows what she’s talking about.
Any chances we have a sequel coming with more dancing and drinks? I’m all about realistic happy endings, and this one definitely has that. But I still want to see Kane, Kelsey and Willa again!
Bree: No sequel.
Bree: But I did decide to make August Nights part of an ongoing series of romance novellas set in Chicago. No recurring characters, but the next book is planned and includes yet another military man, another little girl with needs, and is titled This Delicate Thing.
Look for it this summer!
Jeannette: So there we go. I'll just have to drown my sorrows over not getting a sequel by reading another of your books. That and distracting myself by asking you more questions.
What would you say is 1) your favorite part about writing a new novel and 2) your least favorite part? I’m always curious whether they match up with mine or not.
Bree: I’m a weird duck on the favorites thing. I love naming characters and imagining certain scenes, but I also love editing and get a sorta sick pleasure from hacking out the dull bits of the book.
Jeannette: That’s awesome! I love that.
Bree: My least favorite part is writing the middle of the book. No matter what, I groan through the mid-section of a story. I worry about whether it’s interesting, if it’s got enough snazz or maybe has too much, or if I veered away from the essential plot of the book.
Jeannette: I want to ask you how a book can have too much “snazz,” but I guess I’ll just have to remember that for whenever I interview you about This Delicate Thing.
For now, let’s hear it: Where can readers find you?
Bree: That would be on my:
Jeannette: And readers, as for August Nights itself, you can get your hands on it right here.
I hope you love it as much as I did!