Wet - S. Jackson Rivera
When it comes to the genre of romance, I am incredibly picky. Mostly because as a teenager, I looked for drama in a relationship. I wanted the whirlwind/forbidden romance. I wanted passion, the heated arguments, etc.
Then I grew up and I realized that those pursued relationships only led me to trouble. I didn't want to argue. I didn't want drama, conflict, and I definitely didn't want anything "complicated." But I also learned that you can still have a passion filled relationship without those attributes.
Unfortunately, you need all those attributes to make an exciting and action packed romance book. So I'm torn on the genre. But despite my only personal tastes, I can still appreciate when someone writes well within the genre.
In Wet by S. Jackson Rivera, she paints a gorgeous plot with warm sand filled beaches, crystal clear water, thrilling diving scenes, and a drama filled relationship that leaves you on the edge of your seat as you finish the last page. I can easily see how someone could binge-read the entire series over a weekend.
Having only read the first book, my heart definitely went out to Rhees and I hated watching her suffer through the awkward situations and manipulations that her friends on the island put her through. Paul is an insufferable character who I really want to punch. But I can sense that there's a better person beneath the surface, and I'm hoping (fairly confidently) that by the third book, he will have seen the error of his ways and will step up to be the best man he can be.
If you're a romance fan, I'm confident that this is a series that you will thoroughly enjoy.
Some Bio Information
S. Jackson Rivera grew up on a ranch in eastern Oregon. She spent a lot of time alone, exploring and riding horses. She developed an active imagination and decided to start putting some of her fantasies in writing. Jungle: The Whispering Ruins, her first published story, was inspired by her love of a tropical setting. An avid scuba diver--'Wet' is a product of her love of the sport, she is always anticipating the next opportunity to visit the ocean which usually includes a nearby jungle. "Let's get wet!"
Like her on Facebook, S Jackson Rivera Author
1) What inspired you to write this book?
The stories in my head usually start with a dream, add a little of my own life experience, throw in a little inspiration from the lives of people I know, and a vivid imagination . . . there you have it.
Between getting her Bachelor's degree and Dental school, my oldest daughter took off for Utila, Honduras to become a dive master. I was so proud and impressed with her courage--I never knew an adventure like that was even an option when I was her age. I'm passionate about diving, so I ended up visiting her 3 times while she was there and I loved the diving, the people, the shop, the whole experience. I think I felt truly grown up myself, even though I was a grown mother of college-aged kids. I'd never traveled any place by myself, let alone an exotic, Third World tropical island. A celebrity crush and a few dreams later, I became completely obsessed with Wet.
2) Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
1st stage is getting the scenes out of my head and onto my laptop. I feel like I'm channeling the characters, frantically trying to get my fingers to keep up with what they are showing me. Once the scene is finished, I read over it, fix the millions of typos, read it again, and LOVE IT!
2nd stage is waiting at least 2 weeks (I write new scenes in the meantime) and then reading it again, shaking my head, seeing how terrible it is. I read and fix, read and fix, again and again until I can read it without hating it. That can take a while.
3rd stage is when I finally love it again, and I can send it to my editor, and she tells me all the things she hates about it. I cry, curse her for not knowing what she's talking about, finally accept her advice, (most of the time) and set about fixing it again until we are both happy.
3) What types of readers would most enjoy your work?
That's a tricky question. My first book is a Young Adult, Action and Adventure, Paranormal. I was in the middle of writing the sequel when Wet hijacked my brain. I typed out a few scenes, just to get it out of my head, so I could get back to Jungle, but it just kept coming. I finally decided I'd hammer it out fast, since it was coming to me so strongly, publish it under a different pen name, THEN get back to Jungle. But I fell in love with Wet, and had to do it more justice than that.
With only 1 book out, I hadn't established a brand yet, so I kept my name, despite the genre jump to romance. While Jungle is YA, most of the people who've read it are women and they're finding Wet now, too. Occasionally, I'll have someone tell me how he/she binge-read Wet and loved it, someone I thought would have hated it--because while it is not erotica, it definitely is not YA. One fan said, "I loved how provocative it is, without really being provocative."
4) What do you hope that readers take away from your work?
I read to escape, and I really dislike books that get too preachy. I hope my books aren't preachy, but I do find myself planting little things in my writing that I hope could be of value to someone else, things I had to learn the hard way. Mostly, with both stories so far, I want girls to find the hidden strength in my heroines. Wet may be hard for some to see that because Rhees is a wimp, scared of her own shadow, the way I was when I was her age. So far, most people have seen how strong she really is, but she has to dig deeper than some to find that. Being strong doesn't come easy for all of us, those are the ones I hope to reach.
In Wet, I loved the journey of both characters. Paul and Rhees are two broken people who attempt to fix themselves with each other's help. It isn't easy, like in real life. There is no magic that can make the hard, scary stuff go away. We still have to face it. The alternative is to lay down and wait to die, which may take a while. Might as well take a deep breath and forge on.
5) Who is your favorite fictional character?
Typically, the one I'm reading at the moment. Of course, because I get so intimate with my own, I love all of my characters almost as much as I love my own kids. How does a mother choose a favorite?
6) How would you describe your writing style?
Basic, rudimentary, unseasoned, unpolished, though I feel I'm much better now than when I started, I'll never be as good as I'd like to be. The Hub once told me he thought I wrote like Wilbur Smith, and I can kind of see it, but usually, when I read, I get so absorbed in the story, I don't have time to wonder if my own voice sounds like the one I'm reading. I'm too interested in finding out what happens next.
7) What’s your ultimate writing goal?
I hope to never stop learning, and perfecting my craft.
I hope to bring some happiness, or at least a little escape to those who read my stuff.
I'm not sure I'll ever get enough validation. I'd like to feel that, someday, validated.
And finally, I hope I'll still be writing for years to come, right up to the day I die, but I hope I don't leave anything unfinished when I do. I almost died a year ago in a diving--more a boating--accident. As I was drowning, my most poignant thought, and plea to God was, "But my book's not finished!" I finally finished Wet Part 3, two months later. Phew!