Author Name: Carrie Pack
Book Name: In The Present Tense
Release Date: May 19, 2016
Miles Lawson goes to sleep dreaming of a future with his boyfriend Adam, but wakes to find he is married to Ana, an acquaintance from high school. When he learns he has been time traveling, Miles is consumed with finding a cure for his rare condition—and finding his first love. But will he be able to convince Adam he is telling the truth before it’s too late?
Pages or Words: 336 pages
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction
Miles sat there and tried to make out shapes and colors in the dark room as he searched his brain for a memory of anything.
Nothing looked familiar. His desk, his drum set, the sheets—all gone. Not one thing looked the way it had when he’d fallen asleep, and Ana certainly hadn’t been in his bed.
He tried to replay the previous day’s events, but everything seemed fuzzy, like a fogged bathroom mirror that he couldn’t wipe clean.
Why was everything so fuzzy?
Last night… What happened last night?
Adam had come over and they were watching TV together, and Adam had given him a small stuffed giraffe because Miles was scared about having surgery. He reached for his left arm, expecting to find the cast that had been there for the last two months, but it wasn’t there. His heart began to beat so loudly he glanced over at Ana to make sure she was still asleep.
Unable to determine what had happened to his cast, Miles resumed his tally of the previous evening’s chain of events. At around ten-thirty, his mom said Adam had to leave because they had to get up early to go to the hospital. He had taken his pain meds and gone to sleep with the phantom of Adam’s goodnight kiss on his cheek. He’d been happy.
He’d gotten a text from Ana earlier in the evening, but she was only wishing him luck with the surgery. She hadn’t come over. In fact, as far as Miles knew, Ana had been several hours away in her dorm room.
So how had she gotten into his bedroom? And who had changed his sheets?
He threw off the covers and stood up, noticing he was only wearing a tight-fitting pair of boxer briefs instead of his usual basketball shorts.
He looked around the room for anything familiar, but it was still dark out, and all he could see were shadows and vague shapes. On the dresser opposite the bed, he found a few framed photos. Squinting to see without turning on a light, Miles studied the images carefully.
As his eyes focused, he recognized a couple of the photos. One was from last year’s prom: Adam wearing that ridiculous corsage Miles had bought him, Ana being dipped by her date, David, as all four of them smiled widely in front of a cheesy faux tropical scene. One of the frames held a collage of photos of his and Ana’s friends. He recognized Adam, Lucky, Antonio, Dahlia and Brienne. But the last one, the largest of all the photos, was of him and Ana—her in a flowing white dress and him in a black suit, both wearing broad smiles and flanked by Miles’s parents and a woman Miles had only seen once: Julia Espinosa, Ana’s mother.
A loud clatter echoed through the bedroom as the frame hit the edge of the dresser and fell to the hardwood floor. This wasn’t his room, and he didn’t remember that photo being taken.
“Go back to sleep,” Ana mumbled, her voice muffled by the pillow.
“Ana,” he whispered, risking her full anger, but unable to stop himself, “we’re married.”
“Thanks for the update. Now go back to sleep before I divorce your dumb ass.”
He dropped to the floor on his knees, barely even noticing the sharp pain of bare skin hitting the hard surface.
Married. To Ana?
What the hell had happened?
Buy the book:
Hi Carrie, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi. Thanks for having me! In the Present Tense is the story of a young man named Miles whose dissociative disorder manifests itself as time travel. Miles’s journey involves trying to reconnect with a past love and find a cure for his rare condition. Just when he thinks he’s got it all figured out, he meets a mysterious girl who is also capable of time travel.
Q: Tell us something no one else knows about your characters.
A: Miles likes pork rinds and he eats them on the sly; his favorite are the barbecue ones. Ana is a huge One Direction fan, but she’d deny it if you asked her. Adam likes to crochet. His therapist told him it might be a great way to alleviate anxiety and he kind of became obsessed for a while. He keeps a crochet hook in his car.
Q: Have you ever had writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
A: I actually had writer’s block for over a year, which was overwhelmingly difficult for me. My editor says that’s very common after your first published work, and for me it certainly was. I didn’t know if I could do it all again: writing, editing, waiting. Eventually I got past my fear because In the Present Tense demanded to be told. But in the beginning, I had to force myself to bang out the words and forgive myself if they weren’t great. My mantra became: A first draft just hast to exist. Eventually, my muse returned.
Q: What book you’ve written would you like to see made into a movie?
A: In the Present Tense would make a really great movie, in my opinion. It has action, love, mystery, betrayal—all the ingredients for a blockbuster. I actually see my books play out in my head as I’m writing them. So I have already seen the movie and it’s awesome. Hollywood should call me.
Q: Do you work on an outline or plot or just let the story takes you where it wants to go?
A: I definitely let the story lead me. Like I said in the previous question, I watch it play out in my head like a movie. I hear the dialogue as it’s spoken and it’s in my characters’ voices. So it’s hard to plan beforehand. I do some very minimal outlining, and I do mean minimal. My notes include phrases like, “and then they make out” or “don’t forget he’s wearing shoes.” I wish I had the organization in my brain to outline an entire book before writing it. I think it would make the process much easier. But I never know the full story until I tell it.
Rapid fire questions:
- Favorite meal: pizza
- Favorite color: purple
- Favorite ice cream flavor: coffee!
Meet the author:
Carrie Pack is the author of Designs On You and a part-time college professor who recently left her job in marketing to actively pursue her writing career. Carrie lives in Florida, which she fondly calls America’s Wang, with her husband and four cats.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/mscarriepack
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: CB Messer
Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25 Interlude Press Gift Card, 5 First Prizes: eCopy of In The Present Tense by Carrie Pack