Can’t Always Get What You Want
By: Chelsey Krause
Releasing January 13th, 2015
Fans of Ruthie Knox, Rachel Gibson, and Molly O’Keefe will love this deeply romantic and uplifting debut novel about losing everything you thought you wanted—and getting exactly what you need.
Sophie Richards has been looking forward to a much-needed girls’ night out: a Rolling Stones tribute-band concert, a few drinks, a distraction from her grueling nursing shifts in acute care. But when her best friend bails, Sophie gets stuck with a blind date.
Although Brett Nicholson may be the hottest carpenter alive, and Sophie may technically be single, she isn’t exactly on the market. Six years ago she found The One. He was everything Sophie dreamed a man could be—and then she lost him. In an instant, her whole life changed, and she forgot all about happily ever after.
But as she gets to know Brett, Sophie starts to wonder about the future for the first time. With a broken heart still clouding her mind, jumping into a new relationship feels impossible. When she’s in his arms, walking away feels even harder. Now Sophie faces an impossible choice: living in the past or choosing love in the here and now.
I was born and raised in Canada, and live with my husband and two children. I’ve been a nurse since 2009. An essay I wrote on intercultural nursing has been published in a nursing anthology.
I love thrift shops, repurposing old junk and learning new belly dance moves. I can’t decide if my favorite movie is either “Bridget Jones’ Diary” or “Fight Club.”
I’ve always wanted to be a writer and in the spring of 2013, I finally sat down and wrote my first book. Now that that’s done, I’m working on my second.
I believe that the best way to become a great writer is to read.
And then read some more.
I absolutely love books and would live at the library if they’d let me.
Hello Chelsey! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person.
Thanks for the warm welcome!
As a writer: I think about character dialogue a lot. I often imagine their conversations when I’m running errands, and email the ideas to myself so I can add them to my manuscript later.
As a person: I love learning new things. World history, genetics, Thai cooking techniques, archaeology, DIY projects. You name it, I want to learn about it :-)
How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
I feel like I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
Although, my most distinct memories are from about grade 4 or 5. That’s when I started reading a lot. I read stacks and stacks of books. Black Beauty. Call of the Wild. Little Women. You know, the classics.
And soon after, I began trying to write my own stories.
They were usually about horses.
(I know. A little girl who loves horses and books. That’s not a cliché at all, right? Lol)
(me, too. LOL!)
I also wrote poems through my teen years. I kept a journal.
I’m 99.9% sure that I’m the only teenager who actually enjoyed writing essays. (nope, I'm with you, there, Chelsey!)
I think most writers start out as avid readers. I’m willing to bet that most people who love books have at some point picked up their favorite novel and thought, “I could probably do that.”
Let’s speak about “Can’t’ Always Get What You Want”. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about?
I think of it as “P.S. I Love You” meets “Scrubs” (the tv show) with a Rolling Stones sound track.
Ultimately, this is a story about forgiveness. Forgiving yourself for mistakes you’ve made. Forgiving others for whatever pain they’ve caused you, and letting go.
How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters?
I’m not really sure! One night, this couple showed up in my thoughts and I couldn’t get them out. I didn’t know their names, or any details about them. But I just knew that they were experiencing a grief so powerful, so palpable, that I literally ached for them. It made me wonder: What would you do if you found the one, and then lost them?
Over time, it merged with several other ideas (ex. Rolling Stones, nursing career, what happens to the girl, etc.) until I had a solid story. But honestly? That was just the starting point. The story changed and went in new directions as I wrote it. I’d be typing along and be surprised at what came out. My manuscript took on a life of its own (which is so scary and weird, but also exciting!)
And as for the characters?
I’ve felt bad for the “nice guys” in romance novels for a long time. The really sweet, fantastic ones that the heroine overlooks because she’s in love with the damaged, commitment-phobe millionaire who drives around town on his Harley, while playing his guitar (usually with a single tear running down his face).
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed many novels with heroes like this. But I also wanted a story where the nice guy finally gets the girl.
So, I wrote one.
Brett is a blue-collar worker. He wants to settle down and get married. He knows all the words to your favorite songs. He brings coffee to you at work. He’s the type of guy who opens doors for you and would shovel snow for his grandma.
And, it doesn’t hurt that he’s freaking hot. ;)
(Actually, I did kind of marry him. Brett and Sophie’s meet-cute blind date story is loosely based on how I met my husband).
Sophie is a lot like me. That wasn’t my original intent, but that’s just how it worked out. Probably because she’s a nurse (like me) and I wrote it from a first person POV. People who know me say they can “’hear” me in Sophie. She’s funny, slightly neurotic, easily distracted by muscled up guys in construction hats ;)
If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick?
Funny. Honest. Heartbreaking.
Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre?
My favorite authors are Sophie Kinsella, Paige Toon, Clodagh Murphy, Helen Fielding, and Gemma Burgess (to name a few).
They certainly have influenced me as a writer. I love the easy, conversational style of their books. I love that they’re a balanced mix of laugh out loud humor, and heartache. They are (in my opinion) the best romantic comedy writers out there.
You may also notice that these are UK authors. I read a LOT of British chick lit. They liberally use the f-word and love putting their characters into awkward situations. It’s fantastic.
I’ve picked up so much British slang that it tends to really confuse my husband (and fellow Canadians).
I wrote a fun article about it on my blog:
So, don’t be surprised if words like “knackered” show up in my future books!
What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing?
I spend a lot of time on Pinterest! :-)
I also enjoy wandering around thrift stores, scrapbooking, collecting old typewriters, belly dancing, hanging out with my husband, playing with my kids, and watching comedies or documentaries on Netflix.
As a writer do you get support from your family and friends?
Absolutely. When I first announced last June that I had written a book, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. So much love and support. I’m so thankful <3
What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?
I have big dreams and plans for my future! I have a long writing career ahead of me.
I plan to be on the New York Times best seller’s list.
I dream about people being deeply moved by the stories I tell.
I dream about my books being made into movies or mini-series. (When I watch the Outlander TV series and see the words, “Based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon,” I get shivers. I KNOW that will be me someday).
I know I’ll have printed books one day. (And sell a bazllion copies).
I plan on writing more romantic comedies (because they are my all-time favorite). But I also have a dystopian novel, a children’s book, and a WW1 love story/escape from Siberian work camp bubbling away in the back of my brain.
I’d love to write something weird and completely off the wall, like Fight Club.
So yeah. Big things ahead!
Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?
What I love most about this book are the characters. They’re funny. They have good days and bad days. They sometimes make mistakes. But that’s wonderful! Because perfect characters aren’t relatable. Who wants to read a book where nothing interesting ever happens?
If you’re looking for a romantic, funny, and heartfelt story with characters you can relate to, then you’ll love “Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
I have mixed feelings about this book. There were some parts I really liked, parts that made me laugh and others that made me sad and emotional, but also some others that didn’t’ work for me.
My main problem was that I couldn’t connect with the heroine. Although there were moments when I liked being inside her mind, at times she drove me crazy. I couldn’t understand why she’d chosen a nursing job in the first place, since she hated it. After the reason for choosing that career path was revealed (maybe a little too far in the story, in my opinion) I understood her behavior a little better, but I still didn’t share her choice.
In lots of parts in the book, Sophie stroke me as immature, at times almost annoying. Even though there are parts where she made me laugh out loud for something klutzy she did or said, for the most part I just couldn’t connect with her.
As far as the hero, or should I say heroes are concerned, things worked better, as both Brett and Aaron are adorable characters, each of them in his own, personal way. They are both the “too-good-to-be-true” kind of guys, and that’s what Sophie keeps telling herself (for most of the book, which is also another thing that didn’t quite work for me, as after a while she sounded a tad too whiny).
I liked Brett and his charming attitude, I like hard-working heroes better than the millionaires who got it easy. After Aaron entered the story, though, I was torn between the two. Even though I don’t like the tattooed, bad-guy kind of heroes, Aaron was adorable.
I have to admit that the first flashbacks were a little confusing at that point in the story and, even though I liked knowing the back story of Aaron and Sophie, the back and forth didn’t work too well for me. But I did enjoy reading about him. There was a part in the book that brought tears to my eyes, as it was really emotional and heart-breaking. (I won’t tell you which one as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I can say that it involves Aaron).
I’m not a fan of first person POV in present tense, so I guess that might be another reason why I just didn’t get pulled into the story. I think it would’ve turned out differently if it had been written in third person, therefore including Brett’s (and maybe Aaron’s) POV. Getting their version of the story too would have probably worked out better for me, since I didn’t get on too well with Sophie.
I really wanted to like it more, because I’d been intrigued by the blurb and the plot itself was interesting and had potential. I just felt there was something missing in some parts while in some others there were things that could have been deleted without taking anything away from the story.
In spite of my personal opinion though, if you’re a fan of the New Adult genre you should give the book a chance, because it is a beautiful story.
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