Today is our last discussion of Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting. It’s always sad when we reach the last one. We’ve enjoyed all those who joined in with their thoughts and questions. At the end we’ll share our last Q and A with Helena and we also have an awesome giveaway for you to enter thanks to Helena and Gallery Books…
In chapter 27 Hayden and Tenley are at a party at Jamie and Lisa’s house. Bad things happen almost immediately. Discuss…
Tamie: YIKES! I knew from the minute Hayden arrived that trouble was just around the corner. At the very least Hayden should have given Tenley advance warning that there might be past hookups at the party. I get that it is a very uncomfortable thing for him to talk about that part of his past with her, but if she had known I have to wonder if it would have played out as badly as it did. I wasn’t surprised that Sienna would try and fuck things up for Hayden, and it was in essence “a perfect storm.”
Elena: As soon as the chapter began I sensed we were in for a bumpy ride…And this is an understatement. I hate Sienna. I really, really do. What she did was uncalled for, and her tactics make me nauseous. Hayden was trapped in something he didn’t want, but Tenley misunderstood. Their relationship is still far too new, and they need to build trust between them.
The fallout continues in chapter 28. Were you surprised by Tenley’s reactions… to what happened at the party and to Hayden’s revelations?
Elena: I wasn’t surprised by Tenley’s reactions. Seeing your boyfriend in that compromising position can make you think about all sorts of scenarios, especially if you don’t have much self-confidence. And Tenley needs to work on that aspect. Furthermore, Hayden had a messy past, and Tenley fears she’d never be enough for him. These are common fears, so I’m not surprised that she was hurt and pissed. I’m glad that Hayden ran to her to explain, and he didn’t dismiss what happened, like he did last time Sienna showed up. And I’m glad he also revealed what really went down between him and Sienna all those years. He showed Tenley that she’s the one, that he’s never felt anything close to love for anyone in the past. The fallout made Hayden say his feeling out loud, and I was happy to see him recognize and accept how he really feels about Tenley.
Tamie: While a part of me wishes she would’ve stuck around and confronted the situation I understand why she left. When they were talking afterwards and Hayden was trying to explain I was more than a little surprised by her response.
Tenley keeps Hayden at arm’s length after the fallout, and they fully make up only afterwards. Do you agree with how Tenley handled the whole situation?
Tamie: This is a hard one for me. I tend to withdraw from people in general if I’m emotionally hurting so her response is probably the same one I would’ve had initially. I don’t know that I would’ve been able to keep Hayden at arm’s length when he kept trying to contact her tho. Obviously it was a big misunderstanding followed by revelations that were uncomfortable for both of them. Hayden is clearly sorry and has also expressed that what he had in the past is not what he wants with Tenley. He wants more and so does she, so I’m pretty frustrated with the whole situation.
Elena: I think it’s normal to be a bit distant after something like that, and to need some time to process everything.
Tenley doesn’t feel she deserves to have a love life with Hayden, because she feels responsible for Connor’s death. What are your thoughts on this? What would you have told her if you were her friend?
Elena: Whenever Tenley has these feelings, my heart aches for her. The guilt she carries inside is killing her. If I were her friend, I’d tell het to let the past go, and that the loved ones she’s lost would want her to have a happy life. I’d tell her she’s not responsible for what happened on that plane — that bad things happen regardless, and we can’t do anything about it. That if it wasn’t the plane, it probably would have been a car accident or something else. What I mean is that we aren’t responsible for everything that happens, especially when it’s not in our power. She didn’t know the plane would crash, she couldn’t have known, so she’s not guilty of anything at all.
Tamie: I can only echo and agree with everything Elena said. Guilt is a destroyer and it’s difficult to get past it. I want so badly for Tenley to understand that she does deserve a second chance at love, at happiness, at a good life. I don’t know whether she can ever come to that understanding by herself tho. Sometimes you can work through things without others, but in Tenley’s case I think she really needs the help of others.
Professor Calder makes a proposition to Tenley…Did you expect something like this would happen?
Elena: I had caught a whiff of professor Calder’s unprofessionalism early on in the book. It was bound to happen at some point, because this is what he wanted from Tenley. It disgusts me, but at least I’m glad Tenley could see professor Calder for what he really is.
Tamie: Yuck! I wasn’t shocked in the least when he finally made his move, but that didn’t make it anymore palatable to read.
Trey unexpectedly shows up, Hayden learns of Connor and Tenley leaves…Discuss…
Elena: What a cliffy! When I read the last page, I just couldn’t wait to have Inked Armor in my hands. I was left breathless! Kuddos to Helena for making her readers so passionate about this story. Well, I hate Trey as much as I hate Sienna, and in that scene I just wanted to punch him. He’s just so vicious!! It seems Tenley’s worst fears have come true, and Hayden learned about Connor’s existence in an awful way. The whole situation was so bad. Tenley leaving without explaining made things worse, and honestly I think she should have said something. This was a bad decision on her part. I get she’s frightened and everything, but our decisions can compromise our relationships. I was happy to see that Hayden didn’t give up on her, and he decided to run after her. I simply love him! Now on to Inked Armor! 😉
Tamie: Holy crap! No, No, No!!! I was stunned. I was heartbroken. I was pissed. I was throwing out bad words left and right. I wanted to kick some ass. Yeah…I don’t handle cliffhangers very well when I don’t have the next part available to me immediately. Things got so good before they turned so bad. I was just devastated pure and simple. The only saving grace for me was knowing that Hayden wasn’t about to give up without fighting for Tenley.
Your favorite quote:
Elena: “I want you, only you, all of you, for as long as I can have you.”
Your favorite scene:
Tamie: Make up sex.
Elena: When Hayden and Tenly make up after the fallout.
Here is the final Q and A with Helena:
“While writing Clipped Wings, did you ever go through writers’ block? If so, how did you overcome it?”
There were a couple of times when things became challenging to get through. I don’t know that there was a time I couldn’t write at all, but there were definitely times that I struggled to get the words down on the page, or to convey the characters emotions in an accurate and authentic way.
Usually when I hit that kind of road block I have a couple of strategies I use. I either go for a run to clear my head and see if I can’t come up with a way to make it work. That might mean revising the scene so it has better flow, or I may write something else for a bit just to give myself a break from the characters. Other times I’ll skip to a later point in the scene where the emotions of the characters are clear and how they respond is much easier to navigate, so I can work backwards from the end result to the place I struggled. I won’t skip a scene entirely and come back to it though, it’s just not how I write.
You say you really feel the characters’ emotions when you’re writing traumatic scenes, but do you find it hard to translate that into words, to get the range of emotions they go through in a scene across effectively? I think that must be one of the hardest parts of writing: getting readers to experience everything you can imagine your characters going through emotionally.
Most definitely it can be difficult to put their emotions down. Hayden is always easier to capture, because his thought processes are quite transparent for me. Tenley’s reticent at the best of times, so she can be a harder nut to crack, but she’ll usually let me in her head at some point, which is good. Getting to the root of the trauma is the most important part of the process when it comes to writing the emotions of these two, and extracting that is painful for the characters and in turn challenging for me. But the end result is that they manage to find a balance, within themselves and their relationship, so getting through the tough stuff is a necessary evil. If I can’t convey those emotions for the reader, than then story won’t come across as authentic.
Where do you like to write?
I have an office in my house. I like to work free from distraction. I don’t like a lot of noise or activity, so working in a crowded restaurant or cafe doesn’t work for me. In the summer I’ll spend time on my back, but I use headphone or listen to music as well so I can kill the background noise.
Thanks to Helena and Gallery books we have an awesome giveaway for you to enter. You could win a print set of Clipped Wings AND Inked Armor. Just click on the link to enter -> Rafflecopter giveaway
Elena and I want to say thanks once again to Helena for the wonderful q and a sessions, and for all the giveaways. YOU ROCK!!!
Also, thanks to those who joined in. It was great reading your thoughts and reactions, and we loved your questions!!! You guys are what make these discussions memorable 🙂
Tamie and Elena