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Crushed release day - A guest post from Dawn Rae Miller

5 Feb 2013
Today is the paperback release day for Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller - a coming of age NA contemporary novel.  In celebration i am sharing the synopsis of the book and i have a guest post from the author about how she got into the mind of a teenage boy to write this story.

I haven't yet read this book myself but i think it sounds great. I have also spoken to the author on goodreads and she always has amazing things to say so Crushed is definately at the top of my wishlist. Also from having read her guest post i am really excited to see how realistic it being from a boys POV seems.

Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller


Synopsis - from goodreads

For seventeen-year-old serial womanizer Fletch Colson, life is a game and if he plays by the rules, he’ll win it all: his dream college, his parents’ money, and a hot (if a little vapid) girl on his arm. Really, it couldn’t be easier. All he has to do is get good grades, live a privileged boarding school life, and try not to mess up too much.

However, when he accepts the seemingly impossible bet to change his ways and be “just friends” with smart, beautiful, tempting Ellie Jacobs – a girl who seems hell bent on confusing him - Fletch’s whole world is turned upside down.

Suddenly, what seemed simple and clear, no longer feels right and Fletch must decide if winning it all is worth losing a piece of himself.

**Crushed is a New Adult book. It has profanity and sexual situations, and is intended for ages 16+**

Crushed on Amazon

Write Like A Boy - by Dawn Rae Miller

Like many writers, I love challenging myself. I’ve written books in first person present tense, third person past, and first person past. I’ve tried writing commercial and literary. However, until I wrote Crushed, my books always had one thing in common: female protagonists.

That changed one blustery March day as I watched my oldest son’s lacrosse practice. The dads milled around, discussing their latest corporate victories and making randy jokes about the women they knew, and after listening to one father insist his son would only attend his alma mater – Cornell – I had a flicker of insight: those little boys on the field were being groomed to be like the men surrounding me. Privileged boys who would grow into privileged men. In that moment, I wanted to know how it felt to be that boy – the one with all the expectations placed on him.

Thus began my journey to write the story of Fletch Colson, age seventeen, wealthy, ignored by his parents, and kind of an asshole to girls.

The only problem: I’ve lived thirty-something years as a female. The inner workings of a horny, teenaged boy aren’t exactly familiar territory for me. I wanted to sound authentic, not like a middle-aged woman’s idealized version of a boy. No, I wanted real and gritty.

But how?

I decided to try a ‘method writing’ approach and spent a great deal of time getting to know my character’s personality and psychological motives. I then layered on my own emotions from young adulthood, as well as my experiences as an adult living in a world similar to Fletch’s. No, I never collected girls’ panties the way he does, but I do strongly remember wanting to fit in so badly that I was afraid to be myself. And, unfortunately, I know far too many people like his parents – myself included.

After developing a strong sense of who Fletch was, I made a soundtrack. In my mind, he liked retro-80s, rap, and indie bands, and on occasion, when no one else was around, he slipped in a little emo. Every time I turned on “Fletch’s music,” I was instantly transported into his room or the forest or an awkward conversation with Ellie.

Next, with music blaring, I began speaking like my character, trying out different types of slang and ticks. This was probably the most important step because it helped me find the manuscript’s rhythm and overall voice. I couldn’t move forward until I had this sorted. While writing the dialogue I talked it through, listening to how the exchanges sounded aloud. Sometimes, I even recorded myself and analyzed the playback. Yes, I’m that obsessive.

Once I felt I’d nailed the voice, I moved on to mannerisms and habits. This is where I went a bit deep into the ‘method writing’ approach. I skipped showers and would eat cereal straight out of the box  - you know, because getting a bowl and pouring milk requires too much effort. I let myself be messier than normal. I swore more and sipped on fine whiskey. I ran in the rain to experience the sting of the drops on my skin and spent hours researching marijuana. I spent ridiculous amounts of time eavesdropping on men and grilling my male friends about their teen years. All these things helped me understand Fletch in a deeper way.

And when the book was done, I felt like I’d spent a year undercover in the mind of a teen boy. It was challenging and fun, but I’m glad to be back in my own skin.

About the author

Official Bio:

Dawn spends too much time on Twitter. And pinning things. And running. Basically, she’s a master procrastinator with great time management skills. When she’s not dreaming up new book ideas, Dawn is most likely watching her three sons play lacrosse or trying to convince her husband he really does like vegetables.
Dawn is represented by Eric Ruben of the Ruben Agency

Better Bio:

On Height: Until my cruel husband crushed my dream, I believed I was 5’5”. Turns out, I’m short. So short, some 3rd graders at my sons’ school are taller than me, but you’d never know because I wear at least three inch heels every day. (For the record, I’m barely five feet tall.)

On Education: Proud owner of a BS degree in political science from Santa Clara University. I also attend Occidental College for two years.

On Location: After living most of my life in San Francisco, my family and I relocated to Paris before eventually landing in Northern Virginia.

On Family: A lot of testosterone – I have three boys plus a husband.

On Pets: Three cats. We had three fish but they died.

On Food: If it’s spicy, I like it. If it’s made for me, I like it more.

On Jobs: I’ve had many of them. My favorites have been CEO an online retail site; working as a personal shopper; and heading up marketing for crazy British-owned consultant company (we drank more than we worked – probably why it went out of business). I’ve also worked as a PR account executive, retail store manager, and student journalist. I like to keep it diverse.

On Randomness: I cannot, for the life of me, properly pronounce the word “Iowa.” I hate cluttered floors and love organizing drawers and closets. I used to be able to do a back handspring, but I haven’t tried it in years. And since it’s a question I’m frequently asked, I wear Coco Mademoiselle perfume. Oh yeah, I also have a mild obsession with gluten-free brownies and the Tealeaf Salad from b*Star.

Contact Dawn - website, twitter, facebook


  1. Wow this book sounds really interesting. I can't wait to read it!
    And Dawn sounds like very cool author :)

    1. It does sound very interesting. Dawn's guest post makes me want to read it so much! :D

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