This week’s discussion on Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting is for chapters 17-20. Helena answers more questions following the discussion and there’s a giveaway too!
As chapter 17 opens Hayden’s OCD is highlighted as he tries to make order of Tenley’s disorganization. In the book it comes across as endearing and helpful but if it were a real life situation would it be perceived that way? Thoughts?
Tamie: On the one hand I think it would be great to have someone to organize my clutter like Hayden did for Tenley, but on the other hand I think I’d find it irritating as well. I’m kind of funny about other people going through my stuff even if it helps me.
Elena: I think there’s no definite answer to that. It depends on the people involved. Some find it frustrating, others don’t really mind. Personally, I would be a bit bothered by it, but if I loved this person, then I’d just leave him do it.
Also in chapter 17 Tenley mentions that Hayden “makes it better” during one scene and that she “needs him” in another. Both scenes revolve around their physical connection. Discuss…
Elena: Physical connection makes you feel wanted and needed, and there’s no doubt that Hayden and Tenley’s physical encounters are very intense. More so because the connection isn’t just physical, but also emotional. I believe the emotional factor is fundamental when having sex.
Tamie: I agree Elena. I think that the level of connection they share goes far beyond just the physical aspect of their relationship, but I also believe that it’s easy to use the release that sex offers in order to defer other emotions that a person isn’t ready to deal with yet. I think in this scene that’s what Tenley was doing. I actually believe that soul mates exist outside of the book world btw, but also in this story I think it’s true for Hayden and Tenley as well. I don’t think either of them realizes that yet and there’s a lot of stuff they still need to get through.
During the tattoo session Tenley promises to disclose part of her past only if Hayden agreed to do the same first. What do you think of her move?
Tamie: I’m glad that she’s finally going to share something important even if she makes Hayden go first. I absolutely understand why she’s so scared of sharing because of the way she feels she’s to blame for what happened. Both of what they experienced separately is devastating, and to talk about feels so impossible, but they need to so BADLY!!!!
Elena: If I were in her situation I would have probably done the same. Sometimes you’re just not ready to do the first move and tell everything first, especially with a past experience such as Tenley’s. She is still very insecure and scared of what Hayden might think of her, so it’s understandable that she wants him to talk first.
Hayden tells Tenley about his parents and about him feeling guilty. What was your reaction to his confession?
Elena: My heart ached for him. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I was very sad to see that he feels about it, especially because he really believes it. He shouldn’t berate himself, though. None of this was his fault. Hayden and Tenly have so much in common — they both feel guilty for something they didn’t do and I believe this will help them understand each other better than they think.
Tamie: Both of them have suffered incomprehensible loss, and although Hayden has had a much longer time to process and deal with his, he hasn’t received closure yet. So beyond the guilt he feels there’s that as well. I’m like Elena and my heart hurts for him. I’m just so glad they are both taking tentative steps in what I believe is the direction they need to go.
Tenley discloses to Hayden part of what happened to her , but not everything. Do you think she should have told him all of it or not?
Elena: No, I don’t. I think one should tell everything when they feel ready, and Tenley is clearly not ready. I’ve always believed that when you push someone, you only do damage.
Tamie: Honestly I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t think the tattoo shop is the place for full disclosure, but I’d really like to see it happen sooner rather than later. Trust is difficult when you’re in a brand new relationship, but is there ever going to be a perfect time and place for the hard conversations?
After the first tattoo session is over Sienna makes an appearance at the shop. What was your reaction to how Hayden handled it? Also, discuss the aftermath…
Tamie: I was all over the place emotionally while reading this. First I was pissed that Lisa didn’t immediately knock on the door and let Hayden know what was happening. Then I was shocked and pissed at the way Hayden handled it, although at the same time I got why he did it. I was pissed off at Sienna because she won’t let go and she’s a skanky bitch anyway. Then when Hayden tried to fix things I got pissed at how Sarah dealt with the whole situation. Clearly, I was just one pissed off reader throughout the whole clusterfuck. *runs off to go hit something*
Elena: That was quite the scene and an unexpected one for me… I already said how much I despise Sienna and this scene made me hate her even more…I think Hayden was shocked as well, and that’s why, in my opinion, he didn’t handle it as well as he could have. Letting Tenley leave like that without really explaining wasn’t the best move. But I don’t feel like holding it against him, since he found himself in a situation he didn’t want. It’s something difficult to handle, considering Hayden doesn’t want to disclose much about him and Sienna. He still has a lot to learn when it comes to his relationship with Tenley, because it’s all so new to both of them.
Your favorite quote:
Tamie: “What are you, a fucking parrot?”
“Sure. Nice lip gloss, by the way. The sparkles really accent the viper bites.”
“We both know that’s not how I roll. Now I suggest you get the fuck out of my shop before I call the police for solicitation. You’re certainly dressed for the part.”
Elena: ” I wasn’t lying when I said you were the only one. I don’t want anyone else but you.”
Your favorite scene:
Elena: Tenley’s tattoo session with Hayden.
Tamie: The tattoo session.
Here’s this week’s Q and A with Helena:
Elena- Do you have a favorite scene between Hayden and Tenley in these chapters?
I think my favourite scene is also where my favourite line in the entire book is, “Everyone has scars, Tenley. If we’re lucky, we only have the ones on the outside.”
When Tenley gives in and lets Hayden see the scars it’s such a pertinent moment and the turning point for both of them. Tenley finally allows him to see how deep the damage goes, despite the catch 22 it presents for her. Showing him means facing all her own demons internally, such as what she’s doing with Hayden, how far it’s going to go, how deep their connection will become and how hard it’s going to be to let go of the guilt. Not to mention how vulnerable it makes her to the possibility of losing this tenuous thing she has with him. Her fear that he’s going to walk is very real to her.
Tenley has lost everything important to her and Hayden fills a massive void. Although her inclination is to push all the physical boundaries of their relationship, the real origin of the need stems from an inherent desire for connection. Divulging the events of her past could create an emotional connection to mirror the physical one they have, but it could put their relationship at risk. Tenley is very much aware of what the fallout will look like for her emotionally and mentally if that happened.
Tamie- How easy or difficult is it for you to write those hot scenes between Hayden and Tenley?
Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not. It depends on the scene and whose POV it’s written from.
Hayden is such an intense character, so it’s easy to write his thought process through everything because he’s so overwhelmingly vocal. Tenley however is emotionally guarded, more than Hayden even, so that scenes from her POV can be a little more arduous to get down. She wants to let go and give in to the emotional tidal wave, but at the same time, that kind of sexual freedom and exploration is uncharted for her, so there are moments where she has difficulty processing it all.
That being said, the chemistry between them felt natural, and the moments where they come together are either a result of the pent up tension or the need to find a way to connect that doesn’t necessarily include revealing details of their past. Their physical connection is simply a manifestation of their emotional bond, but both of them have difficulty recognizing, or owning it, for what it is. At least up to this point.
You do such a great job of transitioning between the dual POV’s. Do you write them as they appear in the book, ie Hayden then Tenley, etc. or do you write them out of sequence?
Every time I try to write the story out of sequence, ie. a scene or a chapter that’s supposed to come later on, I end up scraping most of it and starting fresh. The idea or concept might remain the same, but the content often changes significantly. As the story progresses the intention is for the characters to grow, or regress, depending on the events. I’ve written chapters that come later in the book and then I’ve had to rework them entirely. Too much happens with the characters that their reactions at the time I’ve written the scene have changed by the time I’m ready for that chapter or scene. I’ve learned to jot down the idea or the bones of the scene that’s coming but wait until I’m there before I start writing it. As a rule, I write the book in a linear fashion, starting at the beginning and working my way through.
Huge thanks and many hugs to Helena for taking time to answer our questions.
If you have something you’d like to ask her regarding Clipped Wings just leave it in the comment section by Wed. and we’ll forward them to her for next week.
Since we’re midway through the discussion it’s time for another giveaway for two signed copies of Clipped Wings.
The giveaway will begin tonight at 12am but don’t worry about staying up. It runs for seven days so you’ll have plenty of time to enter 🙂
Please note that giveaway is US/Canada only
**No purchase necessary**
Thanks for joining us!
Tamie and Elena