Monday, April 25, 2016

Backlist Revival Project 4: Just for the Record by Six delos Reyes

Back in January, I announced that I will be working with Ms. Mina Esguerra. We are doing Backlist Revival Project to help bring attention, new reviews, and new readers to books that are a few years old. We will feature a book per month and the featured book of the month is a contemporary romance that was published in 2014 or earlier. So, if you are interested to REVIEW books by Filipino authors, please let us know.
 For this month, the featured book is JUST FOR THE RECORD by Six delos Reyes.
Publication Date: March 31st 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:
Just for the record, the heat can get to even the most calculated of minds.

Let it be stated that Rhys loves Ryan forever and ever. But certain needs are not being met, leaving her frustrated and asking for too much than the conservative and almost-rock star, Ryan, is willing to give. Uncooperative (or cooperative, depending on your point of view) weather provides her an opportunity to ask not what she can do for her friends, but what a friend can do for her.

Isaiah likes to say that the best thing about Rhys is that he can stand in her breathing space and feel nothing. Something of a breather when dancing with Lia short circuits his entire operating system. But all his beliefs are challenged when Rhys chances upon him in a steamy practice room in the middle of a heat wave.

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Tell us what Just for the Record is about in the length of a tweet.
Rhys and Ice do something they shouldn't do, pretend it never happened, but totally do it again anyway. Relationships get complicated.

Where did you get the idea for this novel?
Feels, mostly. I had too many Isaiah feels but nowhere to put them. I started writing JftR in the middle of a heatwave, and I needed something to distract me from the face-melting heat. So it seemed my solution was to make the heat enjoyable, in a manner of speaking. I had previously written Nico's story and Rhys's story (though they remain unpublished and in the middle of endless revisions and rewrites) and thought to myself, "What if?" at the time, I've been listening to some random music and Omarion's O started playing and well...JftR's first chapter, Heat Wave, happened. To Rhys and Isaiah, characters who have not really interacted much in their respective stories. In my head, they made sense. They both needed the distraction and a way out of their heads.
I planned Heat Wave as a one shot just for my personal entertainment, but it soon took a life its own and the book wrote itself. I stopped midway, unsure how to end it, until Mina's workshop #buqosteamyreads gave me the motivation to get it done.

Can you think of 3 songs that go perfectly with your book?
I've been rediscovering local music due to the research I'm conducting for Unplugged (Rhys's standalone novel) so these songs have stuck with me when I think about Just for the Record:

Agos by Hans Dimayuga
This is definitive Isaiah to me. The lyrics really talk about Isaiah's emotional journey throughout the events of the story. This song captured the overall theme and feel of the story, and the words express the characters’ sentiments exactly. Rhys is a natural disaster that swept Isaiah away from the safety of the shore, but he’s okay with drowning just like it says in the verse. I especially like the bridge, how it says there are reasons against them, but there will always be loopholes. 

Tama o Mali by Thyro and Yumi
The title explains it all. What they do straddles the border between right and wrong, and the gray area is where they set up their playground. The main characters start off not quite friends, do thoughtless things they know they shouldn’t have done, but then come to a point where the reader has to ask: is this really all they are or will there be something more? You come to the point where you have to ask them, which is worse? Continue to do what they know is wrong? Or stay away from each other when being apart feels wrong?

Shout by BV
Bea Valera is my dream cast for Rhys, and this song of hers is Rhys's character in song form. A huge part of the conflict is Rhys feeling trapped in her own skin and just wanting a way out of the loneliness that seeks a soulmate. This really expresses her frustrations in life. Feeling alone in the middle of a loud crowd at Catharsis, and being torn between wanting to remain backstage to write songs and a secret desire to be on that stage herself.

For international music, there's a lot of Zedd (Spectrum, Clarity, Find You) because I listened to his album the entire time I was writing Just for the Record. These are songs that capture the dynamics in the relationship between Isaiah and Rhys. These are also the types of songs Rhys would write and produce.

What character do you wish you could pull out of a book?
I always say I hate Nico, but it would really be awesome to have a friend like Nico in real life. Even if maybe most of the time you'd want to kill him. But if I'm allowed to cheat, instead of one character, I'd probably pull out the entire East Dragon Studio and Catharsis out of the book.

What was your favorite scene to write in ‘Just for the Record’?

Anything with Nico. But especially Act Three Part 1 when Nico catches Isaiah and Rhys in flagrante delicto. Their group dynamics = squad goals for me. As soon as I finished writing Heat Wave, I knew immediately that this scene was going to happen. Nico would find out in the most inconvenient way possible and he would take advantage of the situation and take control like the way he was born in his Mastermind ways to do. Nico is such a fun character to write.
Visit other blogs:
|Racquel Sarah|Will Read For Feels |

About Six delos Reyes:
Six de los Reyes has been reading and making up stories for as far as she can remember. In fifth grade, she learned to wield dragons and phoenixes through written word. As a pretend grownup, she writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas and novels. Her day job doing Science has something to do with being a part-time mermaid and a part-time labrat. She currently lives next to the sea.

Her first new adult novella, Just for the Record, is available on ebook stores Amazon and buqo.

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