Introduction by Kathryn Hamilton
**Giveaway is now closed**
Today we welcome debut author Tiffany Hawk to CLC as she celebrates her high flying novel and shares her dream soundtrack with us. The old adage is that you should "write what you know" and many authors use this as the catalyst for their first writing endeavour. Tiffany Hawk spent five years as a flight attendant and then ventured into travel writing (which she still continues to do and has written literally hundreds of articles in numerous publications). She uses her experiences as a flight attendant as her inspiration and the backdrop for Love Me Anyway (reviewed here, publishing on May 7th), which is already receiving boundless praise for its riveting, heartfelt story. Tiffany seems to be destined to be a jetsetter as she married an Air Force pilot, with whom she has a little boy, and finds herself travelling all over based on his assignments. You can connect with this warm, endearing author at her website, Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks to St. Martin's Press, we have one copy of Love Me Anyway for a lucky reader in the US or Canada.
(Please note that this post contains potential spoilers for the novel.)
Tiffany Hawk's Soundtrack for Love Me Anyway
Oh, this is such a fun assignment! Music is so central to how we see and feel our lives, so I love the idea of making a soundtrack for Love Me Anyway. You even inspired me to create a playlist for my iPod. Listening to it makes me a bit misty, though, both for the characters I’ve now sent out into the world and also for the real-life era of my life that inspired the book.
Most of these songs center on the affair between Emily and Tien because all of the characters are so affected by it. First there are the two lovers who desperately want to do what is right but can’t let each other go. Then, of course, there is Tien’s wife Linh who is also a sympathetic character, and Emily’s friend KC is nearly undone by the whole thing herself. After helping instigate the relationship, she begins to side with Tien’s children, whose pain she knows too well. Her own father abandoned her and her mother for another woman, so now, as she tries to put her own family back together, she has to watch Emily tear someone else’s apart.
“Hunter” by Dido
This is a powerful song about a woman who feels suffocated by a controlling relationship. There is hope and energy in the song that gives the impression she will soon make her escape. At the outset of the book, Emily is very much stuck in a bad marriage to her high school sweetheart, Carl. She wants to experience so much more than of the world, and when his aggression turns violent, she finally has the courage to set herself free.
Although Emily is a fictional character, I do have enough in common with her that every time I hear this song, I feel empowered and free and thank god for getting my own second chance at life.
“So Far Away” by Carole King
There is such a quiet longing in this song, a longing for connection that anyone who lives on the road feels at times. It beautifully captures, I think, all of the characters, and the flight attendant life in general. It reminds me of a flight attendant sitting alone in one more anonymous three-star hotel room and thinking of the people who have come in and out of her life. It’s also the only song on here that is actually mentioned in the book. While KC and the rest of their crew are throwing back shots of vodka, Emily and Tien quietly dance to this song. They feel the beginnings of an easy but innocent friendship and are oblivious to where that will ultimately lead them.
“Tonight and the Rest of My Life” by Nina Gordon
I heard this song in the grocery store the other day and knew I had to include it. There is something so magical and otherworldly about its sound, and it just captures that intoxicating feeling of taking a chance on something, of feeling alive and doing something dangerously thrilling for one night, even if you don’t know what will happen next. Emily would have felt all of that when she turned up at Tien’s door, ready to feel everything life had to offer – the lust and love and pain and disaster that would inevitably follow.
“I’m no Angel” by Dido
Both Emily and KC might identify with this title in scenes where they’re questioning their actions, but I’m including this one because it has two lines that just speak to what almost all flight attendants are thinking:
I know I'm not perfect but I can smile
and I hope that you see this heart behind my tired eyes
Flight attendants are human. Their jobs are unimaginably exhausting these days, so next time you’re flying, be kind!
“Do What You Have to Do” by Sarah McLachlan
This is one of the most haunting songs imaginable. You can just feel her yearning to be with this man, her inner turmoil, her need to do what she has to even if she knows it’s not right or healthy or smart. This song is for anyone who has ever wanted someone they couldn’t have.
Special thanks to Tiffany for sharing her book's movie soundtrack with us and St. Martin's Press for sharing Love Me Anyway with our readers.
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US/Canada only. Giveaway ends May 7th at midnight EST.