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Want to Join the WHAT IF Street Team?

WHAT IF - Rebecca Donovan

Most of you don’t know Nyelle Preston yet, but I truly hope you all get to know her and love her as much as I do, VERY SOON! I can’t believe the release of WHAT IF is less than a month away! Aside from a crazy affection for sugar and a very mysterious past, Nyelle has an addictive sense of adventure.  She’s all about embracing new experiences, all in! In the spirit of Nyelle, I’m trying something new with the release of WHAT IF.  For the first time ever I’m forming a Street Team! Want to be a part of it? Have no idea what it is? Don’t worry!  I’ll tell you!

What is a Street Team?

A team of voracious, enthusiastic readers who like to actively promote books online (and in person too!) I’m looking for people who’ve read THE BREATHING SERIES, who love my characters, and are eagerly awaiting the release of WHAT IF. In exchange for all this support, you will get all kinds of amazing stuff!

Like What?

  1. Exclusive giveaways ONLY for Street Team members. ARCs, swag, signed copies, and other fabulous stuff, too! Your odds of winning are SO much better this way!
  2. Content and info on upcoming books before anyone else: excerpts, news, and more!
  3. Membership in the exclusive WHAT IF Street Team Facebook group! Here you can chat with other Street Team members, brainstorm promotional ideas, and ask me questions.

What will I be asked to do?

As a Street Team member, there are many ways you can help spread the word about WHAT IF. Below are some ways. You don’t have to do them all.  And I would LOVE for you to get creative!  But for starters…

In person you can…

  • Talk the book up and share promo material with friends, family, co-workers, and book clubs. You can even drop off promo materials at bookstores, libraries, coffee shops, etc.
  • Ask your local library and bookstores to order WHAT IF — if they haven’t already. Give the librarians the title, name and publisher.

Online you can…

  • Share your honest review/rating of the book via Amazon, iBooks, BN.com, and GoodReads. You have no idea what a HUGE difference this makes! More reviews means that book is more likely to show up in retailer feeds, which means WHAT IF will be showing up even more on the radar, and that means more readers! Yay!
  • Share interviews, reviews, and other promotional events across your social media and online platforms (Blogs, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Spread the word about the book to your online friends and followers.
  • “Like” the book and me on Amazon.com & BN.com
  • Like, Retweet, and Share whenever/whatever you can!
  • Recommend the book on GoodReads and elsewhere. It all makes an impact!

I know that many of you already do so much of the above.  And I am SO grateful. You are a BIG part of why I am where I am today!

So? Does the WHAT IF Street Team sound like something you’d be interested in?

Yes? Fabulous! Please fill out this form.

My PR team will be selecting ONLY 25 people to join the WHAT IF Street Team. (I know. I know. Such a small number! But we only have space for 25. And if you’re not selected it doesn’t mean that I don’t adore you and appreciate all the support you give me. Street Team or not, you are still an integral part of the success of my work!) Please take the time to provide us with the best info possible on the form. (If you are a Net Galley user, please provide the email you use for your account.) The deadline for your submission is 11:59EST Wednesday, 08.27.14. We will announce the team Friday, August 29 on my Facebook page!

Important note: I want the WHAT IF Street Team to be a positive one! I have the utmost respect for authors, bloggers, and readers and I do not want to be affiliated in any way with people who insult or bully anyone! This Street Team is about sharing your love for WHAT IF.  And if you happen to encounter someone who did not love it, that’s okay! The world would be such a boring place if everyone liked the same things, wouldn’t it!?


YES, It’s True…

Reason to Breathe is being made into a movie! But not just one—THREE!

Before we all start screaming and jumping around like lunatics (I already have–so I’m not judging) let me tell you the story about how this all happened.

A little over a year ago I met with Ileen Maisel and Lawrence Elman of Amber Entertainment to discuss adapting The Breathing Series for film. They want to create an exciting and innovative experience for the viewers, meaning you! They recognize that in order for the films to be a success, they need to win you over, and the only way to do that is to give you exactly what you want—the entire story. All of it. Without making any major cuts.

Of course a few edits will be made—we want to make certain the pacing holds your attention. But ideally, what you read will be what you see!! Love that? Me too! So, I agreed to become a partner in this venture that will bring Emma’s heartbreakingly beautiful story to life.

Now that I’m allowed to officially announce the films, I plan to share the entire process with you. And there’s a lot that needs to happen before we begin filming!

Where to begin…

I guess what you should know is that everything takes time. Everything. It’s the part of pre-production that I’m still trying to get used to. I’m a results girl. If I want it, I get it done. But that’s not how the movie industry functions. If you want to do it, there’s an army to hire in order to get it done. But before any of that can happen…we need money. Not surprising, right?

In order to get funded, we have to convince the financiers that this is a brilliant project that they want to be a part of, because my fans, YOU, want this to happen. You will watch it. You will love it. Honestly, we can’t do any of this without you. See how important you are to making this happen? VERY!

So a script was written to capture the characters we all love. I was given drafts. Did I mention there will be three movies? Getting ahead of myself, I know. But I’m just so excited about that part! Okay…I’ll come back to it!

I then took those three scripts and shaped them with my words, allowing the characters and scenes to become exactly as I envisioned them when I wrote the story nearly five years ago. And the imagery is just as clear to me now as it was when I was propped up in my bed during the snowstorm with my computer on my lap. Ileen and Lawrence know how important it is for me to be a contributing screenwriter on this film, and I know you will feel the difference when you see my words come to life on the screen!

Now we have a script. (Or three.) But we still need money…

To help convince financiers that this film will be epic, we need to give them a sense of what the film will be about by providing the feel and mood in ninety seconds. So I recruited the ever amazing and talented Mollie Harper of Tough Critic Book Reviews to create what the industry refers to as a “sizzle reel” (essentially…a book trailer). She shared her experience creating this captivating trailer on her blog. And look what she came up with!!

Amazing, right?! We’ve totally convinced them to invest. No problem!

Here’s the part I keep teasing you with…

In order to translate the story in its entirety, Reason to Breathe needed to be broken up into three movie-length (75 to 90 minutes) episodes. So you could potentially have two hundred and seventy minutes (of just Reason to Breathe) to absorb every emotional moment alongside Emma, Evan and Sara! That makes my heart so very happy!!

It was also decided that instead of releasing the episodes on the big screen, you will be able to access them on (hopefully) the digital platform of your choosing (those details are still being worked out). That way each film will be released to you without the super long wait between the sequels that most big-screen films torture you with. So, no…you won’t be forced to wait a year between each release like some of you had to do with the novels. (Don’t tell anyone, but you’re my favorite fans!) Consider this my gift to you for your patience and support! But seriously, I LOVE YOU ALL!!

Not only am I a screenwriter for the project, I’m also a producer. Which means I am a part of the entire creative process. Honestly, I’m still wrapping my head around what this means exactly. But essentially, I get a say in every step. And I will help the production team take the imagery inside my head and make it happen in real life! Well…on a set. But you know what I mean.

So, YES!! Reason to Breathe is becoming three movies. No…I do not know when they will be released. But I will involve you in what’s happening every step of the way. Which means I might get to sneak you behind the scenes…especially when we start casting. So fun, right?! I told you, you are important!!

Next on our list is finding the right director for the project. We’ve begun speaking to a few, and I’m looking forward to hearing their visions. As my readers, you know, there’s so much to this story. It’s a story of love, loss, friendship…and hope. It’s a story about choosing to live. And if we can sign a director with the talent to capture the underlying essence of Emma’s story, the film will truly be unforgettable!


We have to decide where to film it. Choosing a location is not as simple as finding the state that best represents the book. There’s other way more complicated things to consider, that I won’t concern you with. Just know that we do have locations in mind (Massachusetts being one of them – woo hoo!).

And we have a list of potential casting directors to find us unique and talented actors. Don’t worry—I will absolutely be a part of this process. I’m beyond excited for the auditions!! (I just hope I don’t embarrass myself the moment I see Evan and Emma in front of me and start screaming. Ha! I will try not to scream…or cry.) And before you start throwing names my way, I honestly would love a mostly unknown cast. So that they become the roles, and you only see Emma, Evan and Sara before you.

Yes, I know… We need to cast the perfect Evan. Don’t worry. I will make it happen!

I’ve also been listening to lots of music (torture for me, as you know – ha!) to create the ideal soundtrack. Music can affect the entire mood of a scene. We know how important that can be. (Or at least Evan does.)

And so…

That’s it. It’s happening! Because of you!! Did you hear me screaming “Thank you!” from my rooftop?! (My neighbors did.)

I’ll post soon with updates… I promise!!

Now you may commence screaming and jumping around like lunatics!! I’m right there beside you…

It Happens When It Happens…

By nature, I’m a control freak. An impulsive control freak at that. I get an idea, and I want it done. Right at that very moment. If I can see it in my head, then I want to figure out a way to make it happen.

My mind never shuts off. It keeps me up at night, plaguing me with vision after vision. Insomnia and I are well acquainted. I have six stories in my head, waiting for their turn to talk to me. There’s places I want to visit, causes I’d like to support, concerts to experience, while guiding my son to be the best human possible. I have no idea how to sit quietly and relax… it seems impossible.

Knowing this about myself, the hardest lesson I have had to learn is that I am not in control of my creativity. I am at its mercy. And that does not bide well with a control freak. I have a concept for a story. I know what I want it to be about, who will be in it, and how it will end. But it doesn’t mean I can write it.

Writing WHAT IF made me question everything. Even my approach to writing. I started this story more than five times. I thought I could write it in three months. It took seven. I tried to plot my points and write from beginning to end like I’ve always done. I ended up writing out of order, within the past and the present, in three different points of view. I thought it was going to be a fun, light love story. It is NOT.

WHAT IF was supposed to be my reprieve from the emotional gutting I’d just been through with The Breathing Series.  A cleansing, if you will. That’s not what ended up happening.

This story messed with my head. It challenged me since conception. Writing was counterintuitive since the story is told by a twenty-year-old college guy – which I am not. I had to lose myself to his voice, suppressing my own. There was a point that I considered quitting, and trying another project. However, this story was determined to be told, but in its own way. (Besides… I don’t know how to give up.) In the end, I experienced a creative process I could never have predicted.

There are so many layers to this story. Everything is connected – moments, words, even colors. It’s easy to just enjoy it for what it is when you read it. But if you look closely, you’ll see the interwoven lines of the web that you’re caught within. Everything is on purpose.

So what’s WHAT IF about? It’s not a love story. It’s a life story. It’s about friendship. It’s about love. It’s about second chances. It’s about living the life you want, not the one you’re given.

And I’m so very proud of this story. It’s taught me so much about myself as a writer. Patience being the hardest lesson (that I am still trying to learn). It is unlike anything I’ll ever write. But that’s what I hope to say about each story I create. And after everything I went through, I wouldn’t change a thing.

So it is with great pleasure that I announce that I’ve signed with Grand Central Publishing and they plan to release the eBook of WHAT IF in September 2014 and the paperback in January 2015.

I will keep you apprised of the details as I continue to work with them. I have some amazing things planned for promoting WHAT IF as well that I want you to be a part of!


Since I’m making announcements, I’d also like to share that I’m currently speaking with a production company about making The Breathing Series into a movie series. Nothing is “official” yet, which basically means I haven’t signed anything. But I just submitted the screenplay to the team as we continue to move forward. You will hear my scream of excitement echo around the world when I can officially announce it. This will be a cinematic experience unlike any other!  I cannot wait!!


One more thing… (This is what happens when I wait until I have news to share before writing a blog post, everything happens at once!) Due to the amount of travel I’m doing this summer, I will begin writing Jonathan’s story this fall! The Burning Series will also be a trilogy: IGNITING LIES, BURNING TRUTH, and ASHES OF REDEMPTION. I have no idea when you can expect them. But I promise to keep you updated as I create his story, which is going to be dark and violent.


I told you I have a whirlwind going on inside my head… and those are just the projects I can announce!!




This is the time of year when people reflect upon what has happened and what will be.

But I’d rather reflect upon the now. The moment I’m living in this very second. And this second, for me, is all about honesty.

As real and pure as honesty is, it’s also hard. It’s not always easy to give. And it can be difficult to hear. But acknowledgment of the truth can change the very seconds we’re living in. Continue reading…


I talk out loud – creating conversation.

I visualize facial expressions – squinting, mouth tightening, furrowing brows.

I observe me – my breathing, my heartbeat, my hands clenching.

Then I listen.

Where is this taking me? What should happen next? How will this all come together?

And then there is silence. I wait. But the voices are mute.

I try to force them, but it’s no use. They will not be persuaded by desperation. Continue reading…

Voices In My Head

In twenty minutes, everyone will remember you when you’re gone.
And your heart is a stone buried underneath your pretty clothes.

Don’t you know people write songs about girls like you?

What will you do when something stops you?
What will you say to the world?
What will you be when it all comes crashing down on you, little girl?
What would you do if you lost your beauty?
How would you deal with the light?
How would you feel if nobody chased you?
What if it happened tonight?

—The Naked and Famous


There is music that makes you feel. There is music that makes you move.

This music… made me THINK ~ “I want to write about that girl.” Continue reading…

“We Can Be Heroes…”

You, as a reader and blogger, have a super power. Your love and passion of the written word are your strength. Your excitement to share it is your influence. And just like that, you have forced the publishing industry to evolve!

Look at what you’ve done for the Indie author. You’ve taken a chance on authors who opted to make themselves vulnerable, and put themselves at your mercy. Authors who chose to let YOU, not a publisher, decide if they’re worthy of being read. Continue reading…

The Evolution of an Indie Author

Two years ago today, I clicked on a button that changed my life.


I became an Indie Author with that single click.

I watched the world react to Emma’s story. I heard every single cry of anguish. I read every single word questioning why I would end a book that way. I received every single email thanking me for exposing you to a story that made you feel. Continue reading…

The Rebecca Donovan Experience

I will be traveling like crazy for the rest of the year. Why? To see you!! I’m trying my best to make an appearance in every region of the country. If there wasn’t already a book signing organized, I made one up! I’ll be roaming the country with my friends, who also happen to be talented authors. Lucky me… and you!

I’m even making Canadian and UK appearances.

I want to meet you. To see your smiling faces. To hear how much I’ve put you through.

Here is the current list of where I’ll be for the year (and there may be more added later): Continue reading…

You Should Be Smiling!!

July 2nd
That’s the day Out of Breath will be on your Kindles or in your hands!

What’s even better, you can Pre-Order it now!!

In the meantime, I need to finish editing it… select the new cover… and then edit it some more. It’s so close to being perfect.

There’s a lot to be done before July 2nd, but instead of drowning in the anxiety of that list, I AM SMILING! And you should be too! Continue reading…


Copyright 2014 Rebecca Donovan