JD Brick

Tangled Up in Blue

Tangled Up in Blue - JD Brick

Romance is a tricky genre for me. Most people want to read about drama and get a thrill out of the suspense in wondering whether or not two people will get together. But I tend to struggle through the obstacles and the ups and downs of fictional relationships. I just want to see two people happily in love with no baggage and no roller coaster ride. 

But that's just not how fiction works, and rightly so. 

Tangled Up in Blue is a great example of the romance genre. Despite the cliff hanger ending, I thought it was excellently written, had wonderfully developed characters, and consisted of some great "coming of age" type situations as both main characters struggled to overcome personal hurdles. 

Some Bio Information

JD Brick lives in Florida, which is paradise about half the year and a hot mess the rest of the time. She's been a journalist, technical writer and intrepid humor columnist, which is the only kind of humor columnist worth being. She's also a wife, mother, corporate refugee, ever hopeful if seldom successful gardener, and slave to great books and good coffee.

Tangled Up in Blue is JD's first work of fiction and is Book 1 in the Ikana College series.


1. What inspired you to write this book? 

I wanted to write a New Adult novel, and I wanted to base it (loosely) on an experience I had in college, living in a house with several other students. As I began to write, the plot kind of steered itself in a very different direction than I had originally planned, but I ended up liking it better than the plot I’d first envisioned.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? 

Tangled Up in Blue is my first work of fiction, so my writing process is still evolving, but so far, it’s been a mix of free writing and adherence to an outline. I outlined the whole book first, breaking it down into a three-act structure and noting major plot points in each act. Before each chapter, I took a day to just free write, letting whatever came out of my head and through my fingers stay on the screen. Then I went back and compared that to my outline, made adjustments and completed a first draft of the chapter. I did that for each chapter, then went through the whole manuscript several more times, making changes along the way. I also had it professionally edited, which prompted numerous other changes.  

I try to spend at least an hour or two every day writing, although more often than I’d like, “real life” gets in the way. I am way too easily distracted, so I forbid myself to check email, look at the newspaper, get on Facebook, etc., until I’ve put in my writing time. I don’t always obey myself, though, so it’s a constant battle. I’ve discovered that I write better with classical music playing so I’ve been doing that as well.

3. Describe your favorite scene in this book. 

It’s a toss-up between the “cave” scene and the final scene at the bus stop, but if I have to choose, I’d say the bus stop scene. Keegan and Blue, the two main characters, have each reached a point in their relationship where they are desperate to save each other, even at significant personal cost. They are in a public place, on the verge of possibly being separated forever, confronting the reality of their situation and both wanting to make a sacrifice for the other. I loved the emotional intensity and character growth apparent at this stage in the book. I cried while writing the scene.

4. What does the perfect writing environment look like to you? 

A book-lined room with a big picture window looking out over the mountains. And days of uninterrupted time.

5. How would you describe your writing style? 

It’s still evolving as I just finished my second book, but I’d call my writing style emotional, simple and intimate as everything is told in first-person point of view.

6. What would you like readers to take away from your book? 

I’m hoping they end Tangled Up in Blue desperate to read the sequel, Shelter from the Storm! I’d also love for readers to finish Keegan and Blue’s tale with that satisfying, ugly-cry feeling that always comes from being swept up in an epic love story. 

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

To spend the rest of my life writing books that give readers the same incomparable pleasure I get out of reading great fiction