Title: Fistful of Love
Author Name: Renee Cronin
Publication Date & Length: April 4, 2016 – 210 pgs
At the age of 23, social worker, Jeya Wellington was pretty much on her own. The devastating loss of her parents left her bereft and alone. Her best friend, Roman and his family have been like surrogates, but they could never replace what she lost. She needed a different connection. Shortly after losing her parents, she finds love and comfort in the arms of Rayne Watson, a correctional officer.
Rayne was exactly what she needed at the time, but now, two years later, Jeya wants out. She never expected love to come with bruises. She didn’t anticipate losing friends and living in fear. This was not her idea of true love. With the support of Roman, Jeya finds a way to leave. But Rayne isn’t letting go that easily. They made a commitment to each, and she has the tattoo to prove it – ‘Til Death Do Us Part.
Torn between the love she has for Rayne and the instinct to protect herself, is Jeya’s will stronger than her vow?
Two simple words, intended to signify the end, were instead just the beginning. Jeya took a deep breath, and the pain that pierced her side served as the reminder she needed. She hit the send button. Unexpected relief instantly washed over her. “I did it. Step one. Now for step two.” Jeya placed her phone on the bed and stood up to double-check her suitcase. Going over the checklist in her mind, she felt confident that she had the essentials. A week away from home required more than she’d anticipated, but she had no intention of returning until the rainstorm had passed. Jeya took a second to acknowledge the double entendre of the word. Her girlfriend, Rayne, was definitely a hurricane. Her temper was unpredictable and left damage in its wake similar to that which Hurricane Gloria had. She knew she’d be safer at Roman’s house for the next several days.
The lyrics to “Dangerously in Love” cursed the air. The perfect ringtone to describe her relationship. She braced herself as she walked to the bed and picked up the phone. Jeya anticipated nothing less than an explosive response from her short-tempered girlfriend.
1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
I am usually sitting on my bed, laptop in my lap. I almost always have a coffee on the nightstand and the t.v. on. The television sound is either very low or on mute. I just like having the screen on. And if I am feeling really distracted then I have my Bluetooth headphones on, listening to smooth jazz. Depending on the time, my fiancé is asleep next to me, so the light may be dimmed. I recently bought lights that I can plug into my computer to shine on my keyboard. I also bought a portable side table, so I have started using that instead of having laptop in my lap.
2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
I can relate to Jeya from Fistful of Love. Her profession as a social worker is similar to my career. And she is in an unhealthy relationship. I am no longer in that situation, but I definitely was at one point in my life.
3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
I would be a choreographer. I love dancing and the creativity of putting a routine together. I do not choreograph. I just love how actual choreographers have that skill.
4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
I was introduced to Scrivener. I am the kind of writer that just sits down and goes. Scrivener is an awesome tool to help outline scenes and build characters. I still like to sit down and go, but I have a more structured way, when necessary. This would have been helpful from the beginning.
5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
I wish it were longer. I’m not disappointed in the outcome, but I sometimes think I could have made it longer. More scenes in the middle of the book.
6) How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
Usually from my past experiences, past/present interactions/conversations. And people watching. I’m inspired by day to day life of strangers.
7) What’s next for you as a writer?
My first novel “Tastes Like Cherry” has a sequel coming. I need to give it a lot more time and attention, but my plan/hope is to have it released by the end of the year.
The working title is “Tastes Bittersweet.”
I plan to write a sequel to Fistful of Love and maybe a novella, with Trevor and his boyfriend Marco. They are secondary characters in the book, but I love them dearly.
I have a few WIP’s that are vying for my attention as well. I’ve thought about doing an anthology of some of those stories, but only time will tell what happens with that.
8) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I live in Boson, MA and was born and raised her as well. Yes, Boston has a huge influence on what I write. My experiences are mainly from this environment, so that is what I connect to most often.
9) What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
Gay (male) romance. I really can’t explain why I am so hooked on this genre. Before that, it was Interracial Romance. I like romance in general, but I’m heavy into gay romance right now.
10) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
Bags! I love bags. Big and small…I love them all.
Renee Cronin is a self-professed devour of knowledge, and a voracious reader. She began writing in earnest in 2005, when the characters in her head became so loud she was forced to tell their stories, or risk getting swept away into the abyss of her imagination. Renee has since used writing as a personal outlet to express her feelings, ideas, views, thoughts, and opinions about the world and the issues that impact her on a deep personal and societal level. (And of course writing also quiets the voices in her head of the many characters that are yearning to have their stories told.) Renee’s inspiration to publish is in large part due to the overwhelming display of encouragement, and support from family and friends, who believe she has a gift with words that need to be shared with world. Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, she works in the social work field avidly advocating and supporting the varied needs of the people in her community. Renee is a bibliophile with a transcendent love for words. Her soul yearns for the acoustic stylings from a plethora of musical genres. As she continues on this journey of published author she hopes to keep her readers captivated and pining for more.