Okay, we’re going to have some fun today! My special guest today and tomorrow is Tracy Tappan, author of paranormal, military, and historical romance. Her tagline is: “Sinister, sexy, and sensitive: a hero for every woman.” Um, I’ll have one of each, please.
Tracy will be back tomorrow to talk about her books and do a cool giveaway, but today she’s going to talk about her new website called The Character Couch, where she applies her background as a clinical counselor on fictional couples nominated by readers. You see where this is going, right? She’s going to analyze a couple from one of my books and you get to decide which one. More about how it will work in a minute; be sure to read to the end to participate in the game and win goodies. First, let’s hear from Tracy!
by Tracy Tappan
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the action-packed movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” are a husband and wife who don’t know each other are assassins. The movie opens with these two sitting in front of a therapist, squirming with discomfort; we guess this is as much from the possibility of having to bare their souls—something an assassin can’t do—as from the idea of talking about a marriage that has obviously been filled with lies. Either way, it’s going to be entertaining. And, oh, yes, the therapist kicks off the session with a bang.
“How often do you have sex?” he asks.
“I don’t understand the question,” Angelina Jolie returns, dead-pan.
“Is this on a scale of 1 to 10?” Brad puts in.
“So is 1 very little,” Angelina continues, “or is 1 nothing? Because, technically speaking…zero would be nothing.”
So it seems that Bran and Angelina haven’t been having sex for a while.
We can hardly believe it.
The episode is funny, touching, and intriguing, which is exactly the tone of my new reader-focused website, The Character Couch (www.charactercouch.com), where fans can suggest their favorite romance couple to be brought into a therapy session. Yes, this is therapy, but these sessions are anything but angst-ridden. They are written in the same spirit as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” drawing us in to be a fly on the wall and peek at something we normally wouldn’t be able to see.
Through these lively sessions, readers are given a chance to reconnect with the characters they’ve come to love and miss, enjoying again the distinctive traits that made the couple one of our favorites in the first place. Will there be amusing bantering in the session, a sense of firm, quiet resolve, poignancy? Sure. All of it. Every session is different, but always attention-grabbing.
Today, I share about my new, unique endeavor.
What encouraged you to start this website?
Like most romance writers, I’m also an avid reader. And like most readers, I found that the best books always stuck with me long after I’d turned the last page, leaving me hungry for more. I figured other readers had a hard time waiting for the next book to come out from a beloved author, too, so I came up with an idea that would combine my two loves—of doing therapy and writing romance—in a way that would provide innovative, free entertainment for fans. And like I said earlier, reconnect us. We romance booklovers are voracious readers. More fun stuff to read can only be a good thing, right?
I heard the word “free.” No hidden costs, no advertisements?
None of that. These stories are free to authors and readers. Always. The sessions are formatted for all eReaders (Nook, Kindle, Ipad, etc.), too, so folks can read the sessions in any way that is most comfortable for them to enjoy and at their leisure.
Even though this is a reader-focused project, I can see benefits for authors, too.
Absolutely there are. Especially for authors who write books in a series, having characters on The Couch for one novel will keep the buzz going for the next. Participation on The Couch also opens the door for gaining new readership by providing a richer taste of an author’s story and characters to prospective readers than a blurb might do. At the same time, The Character Couch gives readers an interesting way to find new authors and stories. It’s a win-win situation for authors and readers alike. I could keep going. The potential benefits are countless.
How does a reader go about suggesting a book for session?
Oh, that’s easy. There’s a Submit A Book button in the side banner of the website. Just click on that and make a suggestion. I am very spam adverse, by the way. Guaranteed if you give your email for Submit a Book and likewise for the Notify Me button to be told about the next session, the only thing you’ll hear is: “Hey, this month’s session has been posted!”
For me, the Suggest A Book button on the website is the coolest part of the concept. Readers call the shots, you know; they control who shows up in session.
What if I miss a session?
No worries. Once a new session goes up for the month, the old one is archived. The comment section remains active, as well. Readers are invited to engage with their favorite authors about the session for as long as they want.
How does a session typically end?
The fun part about these sessions is that there isn’t a “typical,” but I can assure readers that the happily ever after will remain secure throughout.
During the course of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie discover that each other are assassins. With the truth out, there’s hope for their marriage now. They end up in front of the therapist again, recapping, still spouting off to each other, but in a way that puts a smile on our faces; we know they’re going to be okay. The therapist seems to agree, talking about how marriage takes work, but—
Brad interrupts to say, “Ask us the ‘how many times did you have sex this week?’ question again.”
“John,” Angelina Jolie scolds quietly, while Brad Pitt proudly flashes ten fingers outside of Angelina’s sight lines.
Oh, yeah, the end will be a gas.
Tracy Tappan, founder and creator of The Character Couch, is a multi-genre author of gritty romance. Her latest release in her dark paranormal series, THE BLOODLINE WAR, about an endangered breed of human who are kidnapping genetically enhanced women to save their race, is available now. Visit her website and join her Author Updates to keep abreast of other releases in her paranormal series, her upcoming medieval historical trilogy, and her new pulse-pounding military suspense series. Tracy also loves to connect with readers. Please follow her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay, here’s the deal. Sorry, Sentinels fans–DJ’s relationships are waaaay too complicated. I mean, do you pick DJ and the undead pirate, DJ and the elf who’s forced her into a political marriage, DJ and the out-of-control loup-garou, or DJ and the guy she’s actually supposed to be involved with? (Don’t even go there with the merman.)
Instead, we’ll go where the real tortured heroes reside–Penton. Which Penton couple would you most like to see on The Character Couch? That gives you three choices: Aidan and Krys from Redemption, Mirren and Glory from Absolution, or Will and Randa from Omega. Go to www.charactercouch.com, click on the Suggest a Book button, and make your suggestion. You know those Penton vamps; they have some ISSUES. So this will be fun! Tracy will tabulate the results and we’ll announce the winner on Sunday.
What’s in it for you? (Other than the fun of seeing one of these couples on the couch; I mean, one of those three guys would squirm; one would probably stomp out of the room spewing bad language; one would lie like a dog and be totally charming.) Tracy will be giving away copies of her books tomorrow, so today you’re making a nomination at The Character Couch for an author prize pack containing some cool swag from me (you WANT a Jean Lafitte wristwatch, don’t you?) and a signed copy of any of my books–your choice. That’s the reason you’re being asked to leave an email; so we can contact you if you win. If you’ve won from my blog before and think I have your email address you can gamble and just leave your username.
What are you waiting for? Who are you going to nominate to go on The Character Couch? I can’t wait to see who you pick!