Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I love discovering more about authors, their writing process and their books and I’m able to share that information for Stephen Anthony Brotherton, author of An Extra Shot, as he has kindly answered my questions!
Read on to find out more about him, his book and my review for it:
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series?
The Shots trilogy is semi-autobiographical and inspired by a first love romance I had when I was seventeen. All of the characters are fictional but based on amalgamations of real people.
What is your writing process?
There is no plan or template. I sit in front of a laptop and wait for the stories to unpack themselves out of my head. Sometimes they surprise me with the direction they take. Once I have a decent first draft, it’s all about edit, edit, edit.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I do all of my work on a laptop, but use a notebook to write down ideas.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
Freddie’s best friend, Jack Sparrow, because he holds the stories together and is the one constant link between Freddie and Jo-Jo across the trilogy. He also has a pretty cool name.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
That’s difficult. My stories are semi-autobiographical so I guess I’m already an amalgamation of my main characters, Freddie & Jo-Jo.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
I think the names, Freddie and Jo-Jo, go together rhythmically. Freddie probably came from Freddie Mercury, who is one of my idols.
Keep reading to find out more about ‘An Extra Shot’ – and what my thoughts of it were after reading it:
‘An Extra Shot continues to tell the story of Freddie and Jo-Jo. It moves backwards and forwards through time in a series of first-person flashbacks and describes how the couple fell in love as teenagers, why they drifted apart, what happened in their lives away from each other, and what happens when they meet up again over thirty-five years later.
A failed reconciliation in book one, Another Shot, has left Freddie at a railway station thinking about jumping under a train and Jo-Jo in a hotel room consumed with the dark secret she has carried for most of her adult life. Freddie is saved by his best friend, Jack Sparrow, and Jo-Jo is convinced by her daughter, Amy, to meet up with Freddie again. Freddie then persuades Jo-Jo to go away with him for a long weekend in Devon and the couple return home with their love reignited.
However, Jo-Jo can’t let their relationship continue without telling Freddie the truth about her dark secret. Is their love strong enough to get them through?’
This is the second story in the trilogy which focusses on the lives of Jo-Jo and Freddie as they reconnect after decades apart. Like in the first story, Another Shot, the story is told from their different points of view and shares events from multiple times in their lives through a series of flashbacks. It is another emotive story, sharing missed opportunities, decisions that are regretted and hopes that keep being dashed. Without his friend Jack and her daughter, Amy, I suspect that, despite their abiding love for each other, this couple wouldn’t have the courage to keep meeting each other again . . . . thank goodness for Jack and Amy!
It is a moving story and one that I’m still unsure how it will conclude, I just hope for a happy ending after all the angst and turmoil both main characters have experienced, but I’m not certain that I’ll get it!
I requested and was gifted a copy of this book and this is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Author Bio –
‘I was born in Walsall, grew up in the West Midlands and now live in Telford with my two cats, Boris and Tai. After working in the health and social care sector for over thirty years, I have now taken early retirement to write the trilogy that has been rooted in my head for most of my life.
An Extra Shot is the second book in the Shots trilogy, which is based on a first love relationship I had as a teenager. It tells the story of Freddie and Jo-Jo, who are reunited in a coffee shop three decades after the end of their teenage romance. How they originally met, why they parted, what happens in their lives apart, and what happens when they reunite is all told through a series of first person vignettes. I am currently working on the final book.
Getting these stories down on paper has been a cathartic process. I hope you enjoy them. ‘
Social Media Links – Instagram @freddiejojoreunited
Twitter – https://twitter.com/FreddieJoJo1
Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing materials for this post and organising the tour it is part of. The review is my own, honest opinion after choosing to read the book.