Blood and Bone by Paula Dombrowiak
Publisher: Paula Dombrowiak (10/30/20)
Music brought them together, Addiction tore them apart, loyalty saved them.
It was always Jack and Mia, everyone else was just collateral damage.
Jack O’Donnell’s life was teetering on the edge. Forced, as a teenager, to make a decision that would change his life forever, he left his hometown to pursue a music career with collaborator Mia Stone. Living in a van by the beach was not the glamorous Los Angeles lifestyle they had envisioned but sparked the most creative time of their lives. Making it big was all they ever wanted but when it happened, friendships were tested, hearts were broken, and lives were changed forever.
Erin Langford is a seasoned journalist tasked with writing a feature on Jack O’Donnell. Being at the right place at the right moment puts Erin in a unique position to get the story, but at what cost? Having preconceived notions about Jack’s rock star image, she learns there is more to a story than just the headlines. The two embark on a journey through Jack’s past where he recounts the rise and fall of his band Mogo and the irreplaceable bond between himself and collaborator Mia Stone. The feature she thought she was going to write, turns into so much more.
Blood and Bone is an evocative story told in alternating time periods, from the early ‘90s to the present day about deep bonds between flawed people whose only outlet of self-expression is through their music.
Apple Books https://bit.ly/BloodAndBoneApple
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paula Dombrowiak grew up in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, right on beautiful Lake Michigan. She used to think it was an ocean, because you can’t see the other side, until she got older and became aware of geography. The Chicago lakeshore is her favorite place in the whole world.
Paula moved to Arizona in 1997 because the Chicago winters wore her down and she needed a little sunshine in her life. She came to appreciate the diversity of Arizona, the desert, the mountains, and the lakes. Yes, there are lakes in Arizona and it even snows up in the high country.
Paula really is a music junkie to the core and loves discovering new bands, just as much as she loves writing. So why not combine the two? That was how Blood and Bone was born. Her favorite music is Classic Rock, Grunge, and Alternative. She also loves to read and mostly enjoys YA (all subgenres), Romance, and Non-Fiction.
Paula’s wardrobe really does consist of band T-shirts and leggings that are perpetually covered in pet hair. Animals are her homies and she don’t eat her homies.
Can you tell me a bit about your book, Blood and Bone and what inspired it?
Blood and Bone is about deep bonds between flawed people whose only outlet was their music. It explores a group of high school friends who make it big in the music business but when it happens, their friendships are tested, hearts are broken and their lives are changed forever. Jack O’Donnell, the main protagonist meets a journalist, Erin Langford, under unique circumstances and as he tells his story, the reader is transported back to the early ’90s when grunge music was just gaining popularity. By Jack telling his story, he just might be able to heal past relationships and spark new ones.
I was first inspired to write this story while watching a popular TV show about a country star who had a deep bond with one of her band mates that produced the most beautiful songs but the relationship was codependent and complicated. I was really interested in a relationship that was based off of such a deep bond that it transcended everything else. I started writing about Jack O’Donnell and his collaborator Mia Stone and that was how Blood and Bone started. As I started exploring that relationship, everything just blossomed from there.
What is your writing process?
I find inspiration for a story usually by listening to music. It conjures up a certain feeling and then the story develops in my head. I don’t use outlines or story boards because I like to just start writing and see where it takes me. I call it layering because I start off with a very rough first draft and then I go back over it with more detail or adding in scenes and I keep doing that until I have it to where it’s almost final. I might have an idea of what I want a character to be like but usually it never ends how I started. The characters sort of speak for themselves and develop as I write the story. It’s what’s so great about the process for me.
Do you feel character or plot is more important?
My stories are very character driven. The idea for a story generally starts with a character(s) and flows from there. The plot is centered around that main character, it drives the mood of the story. For me, character is the most important but you can’t have a good book without a good plot. The story has to flow and everything make sense in order to take the reader on an interesting journey.
What’s your typical writing day like?
I am a mood writer so I typically do not write everyday. I don’t prescribe to the process of writing so many words everyday. I really have to be in the right frame of mind with no distraction in order to get into the story. I see it like a movie in my mind and try my hardest to capture that in the story. I find my best inspiration in the evening when everything is quiet and calm.
Which songs would feature on a playlist for Blood and Bone?
The Lumineers, Salt and the Sea – I like the dramatic rhythm of the song and it makes me feel like there is something pending in the air like lightening about to strike. That’s how I see Blood and Bone.
One Republic, Wherever I Go – This really is Jack’s anthem because of how his relationship with Mia is. She’s on his mind and under his skin the entire time. The line “no easy love could ever make me feel this way” is perfect for how their relationship is.
Candlebox, Simple Lessons – I like the hard hitting feel of this song and the building storm. It captures the theme of the book.
Hozier, Shrike – This song reminds me of Jack and Erin because it’s easy and simple and is really beautiful.
Pearl Jam, Even Flow – Can’t have a book about the ‘90s without Pearl Jam. One of my favorite songs and it reminds me of Jack and how he would perform on stage, letting the music take him away.
Billie Marten, Bird – This is such a lovely song and I like the feel of how heartbreaking it is and it really makes me feel all of the tough things Jack goes through.
Ray LaMontagne, Such as Simple Thing – I love this song because it captures the tender moments between Jack and Mia.
Grandon, Oh No! – This is such a commanding song that it makes me feel all of the anger Jack is going through.
How do you approach the process from first draft to final edit?
I like to call my technique ‘layering’ because I start with a very basic first draft and each time I run through it, I add more layers to the story and to the characters.