So It Went Like This
by C. Spencer
Released: Mar 14, 2023
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Why this book and why now?
First, thank you so much for this opportunity and for this platform.
When I began, I had just a vague concept in mind. I wanted it to be set at a bed and breakfast, a getaway. And I wanted this to happen in summer. I also wanted to explore how social media might play into that.
While social media itself was left with a minor role by the end, it did add an interesting dynamic, I think. I guess I’ve always been interested in the concept of sharing versus the experience of life, whether through social media or photography. I’ve also made some valuable connections online. So I wanted to have that somehow play out in the story.
Beyond that, I really wanted to tell a story of soul mates—about that familiarity paired with trepidation, that sense of comfort, of companionably—but the kind that’s overpowered by an intense desire. That sense of falling in love at first sight. Except the one that’s everlasting. I mean, ultimately this is just two people falling in love. But I’m definitely drawn to the more infatuated, all-consuming side.
With that in mind, I just dove right in—building a story around that and trying to imagine what might come naturally, how each character might feel and what they might do in any given situation. Writing for me is a bit like a puzzle. I think part of its appeal, also, is that ability to step into someone else’s shoes, albeit imaginary, and the empathy that requires.
What is a significant way your book has changed since either the first draft or the way you thought it would turn out when you first had the inspiration?
My initial imaginings followed the exploits of an eccentric yet breathtakingly beautiful social media influencer who’s asked by gay male friends to stage an occurrence at their distinguished bed and breakfast on the coast of Maine. Their hope being that this staged yet seemingly credible experience might become a catapult to, you know, the inn’s notoriety somehow.
So that drew me in. A sort of extravagant, over the top stunt that might attract a flood of guests out of sheer curiosity. But what could she stage to engage those followers? What would make them so intrigued that they’d feel compelled to visit and stay at that inn?
Part of this stems from the fact that I’ve worked in marketing for too long, nearly 25 years. So I’m always trying to figure out how to appeal to a certain demographic. What could I say as a copywriter to make them buy? That’s my profession, at least.
But another piece is simply living in Massachusetts, which happens to be a short jaunt to the Lizzie Borden House. Walden Pond. Emily Dickinson’s homestead. While I’ve never connected well with history, I find it very moving and tangible when I can step foot inside of it and experience that space.
Spin that with social media and an influencer’s ability to create her own narrative—and that’s the spark that started all this. How it ended the way it did is beyond me. It’s so far detached from that initial inspiration.
What’s your main character(s)’s favorite book and why?
My writing is first-person introspective, with chapters alternating between each main character—Kennedy and Logan. So to be fair, I should probably touch on each.
First, Logan’s somewhat of a free spirit. I can’t see her wanting to get too attached to possessions. Were she to pick up a book, it’d probably be something she could read on her phone. On the go. Anywhere. And it would be in that carefree and untethered, unconstrained and nonconforming style. Yet classic. Cynical. So perhaps something like On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
Kennedy, to the contrary, would probably want a signed first edition. A collectable. She’s someone who could romanticize that ache of heartbreak, so she’d definitely sentimentalize her library. Pair that with a heightened sensory awareness—or let’s just say, she experiences love and life as something that’s intensely emotional and physical at the same time. So maybe Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson.
Aside from the obvious food and shelter, what 3 things would your main character want with them if they got stranded away from civilization, and why?
Starting with Logan, were she given three items to take with her, I’d imagine her first would be her phone. She’s just so tethered to it—to work, to her best friend. And now very much to Kennedy. If only to re-read old texts. I can’t imagine she views any situation as long-term, so I doubt she’d be thinking about battery charge.
Perhaps the next would be her cologne. Knowing she’s not the stranded-from-civilization type, she’d definitely want to look good or at least smell good while she’s…foraging.
Then last but not least, she’d take her trusted Zippo. Because it’s practical, as is she. And maybe she could use it to start a fire. Or something like that.
Kennedy, on the other hand, would want her iPod if only to quiet her thoughts. Along with a just-in-case bottle of Excedrin PM, since an ordeal like this is sure to trigger insomnia. And last but not least, she’d bring some sort of keepsake. Perhaps a hand-written letter or note to pine over given she’s very, very sentimental.
What song does your character put on to start your book launch party?
Logan’s awfully mysterious when it comes to music, to preferences; but she clearly has preferences. So let me take liberty here to say “Like a Wrecking Ball” by Eric Church. It’s just a super sexy song. And she, in my mind, epitomizes sexy. She definitely feels this way, like this song, toward Kennedy.
Kennedy would likely play “Lover (First Dance Remix)” by Taylor Swift. I think Kennedy saw forever in Logan from the start. She just doesn’t understand that serendipity yet.