15 Days With You by Ara Grigorian Blog Tour @araTHEwriter @YABoundToursPR

Today we are participating in the blog tour for 15 Days With You which is a contemporary, young adult book that's filled with grief and romance. Be sure to follow the tour as the tour includes reviews, guest posts and a giveaway.

15 Days With You
by Ara Grigorian
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: September 24th, 2019

A mother’s dying wish. A son in search of answers. A fifteen-day surf odyssey with the California girl who will dare him to rethink everything.

Alone after his mother’s unexpected death, seventeen-year-old Shep leaves Texas to crash with his uncle’s family in Malibu. Before he can hang his cowboy hat, Shep learns something that blows his mind—in her youth, his hard-working single mom was a gifted surfer on her way to international fame. And her dying wish was for him to recreate the surf tour she completed when she was eighteen—the summer she got pregnant with him.

Along with his cousin Carmen (the red-blooded competitive surfer) and her best friend Samantha (the opinionated and mildly annoying beach goddess), Shep hits the road for a surf trip up and down Pacific Coast Highway. Armed with his mother’s ashes and fifteen sealed envelopes—each containing a page from her high school diary—Shep will discover a new side of the complex woman he’d only thought of as Mom, and might finally learn the identity of a man he’s never met—his father.

But each time he paddles out into the waves, a nagging question haunts him—the one he may not be ready to answer: Is he learning to surf because he wants to honor his mother’s dying wish, or running from the real reason he can’t go back to Texas—his own terrible mistake?

Purchase your copy HERE!

Character Development
Character is everything. If you’ve read any of my first two novels (Game of Love and Ten Year Dance) you will find that my characters are central to everything. I put a lot of effort to make my characters sound and behave in a way that aligns with how I see them in my mind’s eye.
As I develop the main character, I start first with the fundamentals. He/she will have to show (a) the most conflict in the given situation – Longest Journey to go emotionally, (b) demonstrate a clear primal goal, (c) have real stakes. 
When I render the character, some of the things I think about include: (1) Character’s Past, (2) Character’s Reputation, (3) Relationships with Others, (4) Talents and Abilities, (5) Tastes and Preferences and (6) Physical Attributes. I may even find a picture of someone that fits the vision I have for that character.
Perfect characters are boring. We want characters that feel real. They should be flawed, but still redeemable.
Readers use the “Who” as the way into the story world. The Who gives us someone to identify with. In fact, the reader practically becomes the main character. The natural consequence is therefore that the “Who” must resonate with the target market and the genre’s conventions and expectations. 
I can spend weeks, even months, thinking about the main character before I write a single sentence. I need to understand the character, think like the character, understand where they are emotionally, and where they need to be in order to transform. 
I argue that all stories should be about the transformation of the main character. If that’s true, then we need to have a flawed character who has room (plenty of it) for transformation. If the character is almost “there” from the start of the story then we don’t have a journey. If we don’t have a journey, why would the reader stick around to see how things turn out.
Story is the transformative journey of the character who is placed in a difficult position (thanks to the plot) where she will need to either evolve or die (literally or emotionally). 
The MOST IMPORTANT thing you need to know about your character is his or her motivation. What does your main character want? What is standing in her way? What is she willing to do to get it? 
Great characters show their flaws. Their vulnerabilities. Their humanity. We recognize OURSELVES in these characters.
Stephen Chbosky once said at a writer’s conference that the best characters are two-and-a-half-dimensional. The other half a dimension is left open so that the reader will add themselves to it.
Think about your favorite characters. I bet you recognize yourself in some of them. I hope you recognize yourself in 15 Days With You.

(The material I reviewed in this post is from a day-long seminar that bestselling author Janis Thomas and I teach named The Novel Intensive. If you want more information on this event, please check out www.novelintensive.com)


Ara Grigorian is the international award-winning author of GAME OF LOVE, his debut novel. He is a technology executive in the entertainment industry. He earned his Masters in Business Administration from University of Southern California where he specialized in marketing and entrepreneurship. True to the Hollywood life, Ara wrote for a children's television pilot that could have made him rich (but didn't) and nearly sold a video game to a major publisher (who closed shop days later). Fascinated by the human species, Ara writes about choices, relationships, and second chances. Always a sucker for a hopeful ending, he writes contemporary romance stories targeted to adult and new adult readers.

Ara is committed to helping writers tell better stories. He is the co-founder of the popular Novel Intensive seminar. Also, he is a workshop leader for the Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference, the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and the Southern California Writers' Conference (both Irvine, CA and San Diego, CA). Ara is an active member of the Romance Writers of America and its Los Angeles chapter.

He is represented by Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group.

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