Interview with Willow Winters, author of Forget Me Not
11 Sep 2017
What can you tell us about your new release, Forget Me Not?
Forget Me Not is my most psychological and emotional book yet, in my opinion. It’s written in a way that takes advantage of the twist. So reading it a second time gives you an entirely different perspective of what’s going on. I hope that doesn’t spoil anything! It’s a romance with a dark edge to it, but emotionally I think it’s my most gripping book to date and I am so sad for it to be over. It was difficult ending Forget Me Not simply because I didn’t want to say good bye.
You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?
This is a toughie!! I’m going to make choices based on the relationships I’ve made this past year! I have to say Ella James, I love her work and I haven’t met her in person yet, and I need to! So she has to come! AL Jackson because she’s sweet as pie and I know she’d make the party fun. (I met her at RWA and was blown away with how wonderful and genuine she is, so I need to hang out with her again!). And for a number three… my gosh, it’s so hard! I would say M Never, because I need to get drunk with her at least one time in my life. We went to the mall together and I didn’t even get a selfie, so she has to come so I have proof that one of my top 10 favorite authors EVER hung out with me.
What’s the last book you read?
I started reading Red Dirt last night. It’s young adult and a recommendation from Shari Slade. I don’t usually read, I’ve only read 4 books in the past year or so. As soon as I start reading, I just have to get back to my WIPs (works in progress) and write. I’ve gone from serial reader to writer and I can’t help myself!
What’s on your writing desk?
Signed books, coffee mugs and usually one of those cups is filled!
If you had to pick one place to vacation for the rest of your life, where would you choose?
El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya, Mexico. It’s my honey moon spot. All you can drink and eat, no little ones are allowed, adults only. There are swings on the beaches and all sorts of things to do. I can speak a bit of Spanish and I love to when I’m giving the opportunity. It’s all around a beautiful place that literally smells like relaxation. I loved it so much, we’re going back in October for our anniversary (even though our anniversary was in June). They have a spritz in the rooms and I’m definitely buying one this time around!
What advice would you give your teenage self?
Oh gosh – stay away from boys named Adam. I apparently had a problem with that name – and those boyfriends.
What scene in Forget Me Not was your favorite to write?
Chapter 5. Hands down. Let me give you a sneak peek of it so you can understand why!
Twenty years ago
I’m so used to this room. I don’t know how long it’s been, but I don’t bother to count the days anymore. I don’t hope for Mama to come find me anymore. I know it’s useless now, and it only makes me more upset.
The only solace I have is lying beside me. I speak without thinking, just saying what’s on my mind to break up the silence in the cold room.
“I wish I were a bird.” I blink at the faint light shining through the small window so high up on the cinder block wall. “Then I could fly away.” My voice lowers to nearly a whisper and I turn on the hard ground, facing the boy at my side. I tuck my arm under my head and swallow the lump in my throat as I avoid his gaze. It’s such a serious look in his light gray eyes. I can hardly stand the chill that runs through me.
Some days I think he’s angry with me. I can’t shake the thought that he hates me; that he hates being stuck here with me, both of us helpless and at the hands of his heartless father.
“Both of us.” I clear my throat and chance a look up at him as I add, “I mean I wish we were both birds.” I turn to gesture toward the far wall as I explain, “So we could fly through that window.”
The boy smiles at me, although I don’t think it’s genuine. “But it’s closed,” he says in a voice so rough and low it makes goosebumps spread across my skin. He clears his own throat, propping up his head in his hand and leaning on his elbow to look down at me. My heart does a weird flip in my chest, fluttering when he leans closer to me. I can feel the heat of his body. He’s older than me. He looks it, too. I feel my cheeks heat with a blush and I look away, turning back to the window and pulling at the thin gown I have on. It’s not enough to keep me warm down here and I know if I were just a bit closer to the boy, I’d be more comfortable, but I keep my distance.
“Well, what animal then?” I ask the boy, curling on my side and tucking both arms beneath my head.
He’s quiet for a moment, but then he answers, “A wolf could break it.”
I resist the urge to turn to face him, closing my eyes as they roll and a small smile forms on my lips. A wolf could never fit through that window.
I decide to play along, feeling a warmth run through me as I hear him scoot closer to me. He never touches me, but he likes to be close to me. And I like it too although I don’t tell him. “Well, you be a wolf and break the window, and I’ll be a bird. Together we can run away.”
“I saw a wolf kill a bird once on TV,” he says, but the boy’s voice is devoid of emotion and the shock of what he said makes me turn to face him, sitting up and pulling my knees into my chest.
“Why would a wolf do that?” I feel my brows pinch and my lips turn down; I know it’s obvious I’m horrified from what he said, and it only makes him laugh.
He shrugs his shoulders and picks at a spot on the concrete floor, a satisfied smirk on his lips. Something about the look on his face makes my heart do that fluttering motion again and I find myself inching forward, my toes barely touching his thigh. But we both notice that they touch.
“A wolf doesn’t have any reason to hurt a bird.” I stare at him, but he still doesn’t look up at me. “I don’t understand.”
The boy tilts his head to look at me and this time, the expression is something I’ve never seen before. There’s a rawness in the light gray flecks, a heat on the outer edge where his eyes get darker. Almost like a flicker of a flame giving his gaze an intensity that makes my body freeze, but not with a coldness, with a burning heat.
“I think he did it,” the boy starts to say, licking his lower lip and staring right through me, not caring that I can’t even breathe when he looks at me like that, “I think he did it just because he wanted to.”
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