Scratch Track (Escaping Indigo #3)
by Eli Lang
Published January 29th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Genre: New Adult MxM Contemporary Romance
Being a roadie isn’t everyone’s idea of a dream job, but it’s all Quinn wants. He loves touring, loves getting to hear amazing music every night and, more than anything, loves being someone the band members of Escaping Indigo can lean on.
When Quinn joins the band in the recording studio, it’s supposed to be fun, but it only seems to remind him of doubts he thought he’d left behind—doubts about his brother’s death, his place with the band, and his ability to care for and support his friends. So when his ex, Nicky, tumbles back into his life, Quinn’s completely unprepared.
The failure of his past romance with Nicky is yet another strike against Quinn’s confidence. But Nicky’s unassuming kindness makes it hard for Quinn to resist a new entanglement. Quinn isn’t sure they won’t make the same mistakes again, but he wants a second chance, even if that means facing the past, learning to let his friends support him, and proving to Nicky that, this time, he’ll be someone Nicky can rely on.
Sometimes, when I’m listening to music, it’s like I’m standing in the middle of this whirlwind of sound, and it washes over me. Like I’ve fallen into the melody and it’s everywhere, surrounding me and inside me. And it clicks something on, some switch in my mind or my heart, and for those few minutes, everything is right. Good. Like it makes sense. And nothing else matters.
Watching Escaping Indigo play was like that. I felt the same way about Rest in Peach, the band I was watching now, too. I’d seen them play live before, but this was different—now I was seeing them through the thick glass window of a recording studio, while they tracked a song and I stared from the other side of the soundboard. And I hadn’t expected this—I hadn’t known they were going to be here, and I hadn’t been prepared to see them, any of them, again.
I turned to Bellamy, who was standing behind me, nodding along to the song. He had this contemplative look on his face, and I knew he wasn’t only enjoying the music. He was picking it apart, figuring out why it had been put together that way, what was working and what wasn’t, why those musical choices had been made. Bellamy was great on stage, better than almost any performer I’d ever seen, but putting songs together was where he was at home. He was made for recording. It was why he’d decided to try his hand at producing this album himself.
“You didn’t tell me they were going to be here.” I tried to keep my tone casual, like it was a nice surprise, but there were cracks in my voice, where the words came out tight.
Bellamy didn’t seem to notice. Beside him, his boyfriend, Micah, took his hand and gave it a shake, bringing him back down. Micah was carrying on his own conversation with Ava and Tuck, but part of his mind was always focused on Bellamy. It took Bellamy a minute to blink and come back out of whatever music-induced haze he’d been in.
“I didn’t know.” Bellamy turned to face me. “I knew we probably wouldn’t be the only band here. It’s a big studio. I didn’t know who else it’d be, though.” In the other room, the song came to an end. The band’s singer, Ty, leaned into their mic and said hello to us. We waved and the rest of the band waved back.
I waved too, to the whole band. But my focus was on one person. Nicky. Sitting behind the drum set, his sticks held loosely in one hand on his knee. He was wearing a black tank top, and the tan skin over his collarbones and throat glistened. They’d been playing hard for a while. He was barefoot, and through the tangle of chords and stands, I could glimpse his long toes, where he was curling them into the plush red-and-gold rug. He always played barefoot. I remembered that about him from when we’d toured together. He’d had a pair of flip-flops he’d kick on and off, so he wouldn’t step on anything sharp on the way to the stage.
He was watching me. Not trying to pretend he was simply looking in our direction, like I was trying to pretend I was casually looking in his. He wasn’t casual about it at all. This was blatant. He kept staring, waiting for me to stare back. And when I did, he held my eyes, until I had to glance away again because I couldn’t be so connected to him, even through two rooms and a sheet of thick glass.
1. What would you say inspired you to write it? ?
I knew, after I wrote Escaping Indigo—the first book in the series—where we meet Quinn—that I wanted to write a book with him as the main character. But I didn’t have an exact idea of what setting I wanted. Originally, I thought the bands would be on tour again. But then I watched the series Sonic Highways, which is where the Foo Fighters go around the US to a bunch of different recording studios. I found the whole process of recording so fascinating, so I decided I wanted to describe those emotions as best I could. And it ended up providing a really nice backdrop for Quinn to think about his brother, and his past, and his life with Nicky, his love interest.
2. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? ?
I know some authors have writer’s block in a way that makes it nearly impossible for them to write anything, and I haven’t ever had that. But yeah, there are definitely a lot of times when I have a big fear of the blank page, or when I just have no clue what to write, or when I don’t want to write and I know I have to. I think, for me—and I think I tend to say this here and there a lot because it’s so helpful for me—the biggest thing is to just write *anything.* Sit down and get words out. Make the page not so frighteningly blank anymore. Let the words take you. Write one sentence, and then the next, and then the next, and eventually I get where I want to go.
3. Your all time favorite book? ?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Although, Cagebird by Karin Lowachee is a very close second.
4. What made you pick that one above all others? ?
It’s the book that made me want to be an author. I’d loved reading long before I picked up The Outsiders, but I don’t think I’d ever become so wholly emotionally invested in characters. I loved those people. I just wanted to hang out with them, spend time with them, because they felt so very real and alive. I knew, when I started writing, that I wanted to try to write characters like that. The same with Cagebird—the main character, Yuri, is intense and difficult and in a lot of pain, but he’s very, very real and flawed and alive, and I just like being with him in the book.
5. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project? ?
Currently, I’m revising a book that I started writing almost a year and a half ago, and have been revising since. I think that’s the longest. For published stuff, it was Escaping Indigo—it took me about three months to write it, and then I revised it for almost a year before even bringing it to my publisher.
6. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind? ?
For Scratch Track, no. I wrote it for NaNoWriMo, which is where you write a whole book in a month, and I think, for me personally, that really lends itself to getting rid of a lot of the fear and panic and overthinking about what I’m writing. For other books, definitely. I wanted to throw Escaping Indigo from a high building because I just didn’t think I could ever get it right. The support of author friends was the thing that kept me from doing that. They kept giving me these gentle reminders that I was writing this because it was important to me, and that I could make it what I wanted if I kept working at it. And that was true—I wrote that book because I needed to get the story out, and I’m really glad I didn’t give up on it.
7. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ?
Yes! This is the third book in the Escaping Indigo series. It can definitely be read on its own, though. The first book is about a roadie falling in love with his favorite singer, while also trying to figure out whether he wants to continue being a musician. The second book is about the band’s drummer, who goes home to visit family and ends up falling for a girl she meets on the plane. Each book is a standalone, but there’s definitely (I hope!) a lot of emotions, a lot of romance, and a lot of music.
8. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series? ?
I’m really hoping to write some more fantasy and science fiction. My first book, Half, is contemporary fantasy, and I love writing things like that, where the magical world and the world we know collide. I have a couple more contemporary romances planned, too, some of which might have familiar characters in them. I really just want to experiment with writing and play with new worlds and new characters.
Fun facts: :
1. Name your favorite fruit. ?
2. Coffee or tea? ?
Both. Is that cheating? I’m definitely a coffee in the morning person, but I drink a ton of tea in the afternoons and evenings.
3. Favorite season? ?
Fall, for sure. I love the chill in the air and the transition of the seasons and all the pumpkins. 😉
4. How about fav time of 24 hours? ?
I really like that time between, um, maybe 11 PM and 3 in the morning, when it seems like the rest of the world is asleep (obviously, time zones, they’re not, but it *seems* that way) and it’s quiet and dark. It’s my favorite time to write.
5. Were you a boyscout/girlscout? ?
I was very briefly a girlscout. I was very bad at it.
6. Latest book you’ve bought and read? ?
I don’t know if this counts, but I’ve spent the last few months almost exclusively reading Whitney Bishop (who also goes by Shukyou and LadySisyphus.) She writes everything from very short stories to full length books, a lot of which are free, and I can’t get enough of her writing. My favorite is Sid Stills’ Blues.
7. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! ?
Red! Especially dark red.
8. Cats or dogs? ?
Cats. I’m an animal person all around! But, yeah, cats.
9. What song have you listened to most recently? ?
Spotify tells me my most listened to song for 2017 was Youth by Glass Animals, so let’s go with that.
1. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at… ?
I’m very good at untying knots. 😛
2. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… ?
Unloading the dishwasher. I have no idea why I hate doing this so much. It’s just such a chore.
3. Your favorite part of a date is… ?
That part where you finally get up the nerve to touch. Hold hands or brush fingers over skin, or stand close enough to bump shoulders. Or you kiss. And you can feel if there’s a connection there—like that tiny bit of physical contact makes everything real and possible.
4. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book… ?
Oh, gosh… probably Ash from Alexis Hall’s Glitterland. I’d just like to talk to him.
5. If you could have any one superpower, it would be… ?
Maybe not a superpower so much, but I’d really like a Lying Cat, from the comic series Saga. Whenever someone lies around Lying Cat, he says, “Lying!” and it’s hilarious and probably hideously annoying but also… really helpful?
6. The one thing that always brightens your day is… ?
Oh, definitely any time someone says they liked my writing. This is honestly the best feeling in the world.
7. The awesomest thing in your life is… ?
I’m very lucky to have an amazing family and wonderful friends who support me in all things, even when I’m being difficult or I decide I want to do something really challenging, like be a drummer in a band, or publish books. That sounds really cheesy but it honestly means the world.
To celebrate the release of Scratch Track, one lucky winner will receive an ecopy of Escaping Indigo and Skin Hunger! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 3, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About Eli Lang
Eli Lang is a writer and drummer. She has played in rock bands, worked on horse farms, and has had jobs in libraries, where she spent most of her time reading every book she could get her hands on. She can fold a nearly perfect paper crane and knows how to tune a snare drum. She still buys stuffed animals because she feels bad if they’re left alone in the store, believes cinnamon buns should always be eaten warm, can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the tardigrade, and has a book collection that’s reaching frightening proportions. She lives in Arizona with far too many pets.
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