Spotlight: Q&A with author Kelly Ann Gonzales @KellyRGonzales @xlibrispub

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Sienna and Declan are young high-profile NYC executives with an opaque marriage. Neither closed nor open, their mutual arrangement has been left to a laissez-faire interpretation. The rules are simple: never bring a lover to their home, and never fall in love with their affairs. Sienna feels trapped by the own rules she agreed to with Declan when she realizes shes fallen in love with her best friend from college.

What follows is an affair of the heart and mind, their permitted sexual lifestyle against the unsanctioned emotional infidelity. Sienna must choose between emotional stability and marital security versus passion and excitement. Through an Opaque Window takes a solid view through the open windows of marital life, looking at what happens when we leave our lives ajar.


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Q&A with author Kelly Ann Gonzales:



1. What inspired you to write this book? 


The book is very loosely based on my life and served as an alternate reality asking the big, “What If?” I asked hard and uncomfortable questions to get to the root of the different kinds of loves driving the varied motivations of the three main characters. 



2. Summarize your book in one to three sentences as if you were speaking to someone unfamiliar with your book and its topic. 
     

Sienna and Declan are young, high profile NYC executives with an opaque marriage. Neither closed nor open, their mutual arrangement has been left to a laissez-faire interpretation until Sienna realizes she’s fallen in love with her best friend from college. What follows is an affair of the heart and mind, their permitted sexual lifestyle against the unsanctioned emotional infidelity. 



3. What is the overall theme (central topic, subject or concept) of your book? 

This is a book about the love of friendship, the love of marriage, and the love of just loving. 



4. Where does this book take place? 

     The novel’s main setting is in New York City, but through flashbacks and throughout the story, we see the characters travel to Switzerland, New Jersey, and upstate New York. 



5. Who are the main characters and why are they important to the story? 

     The bulk of the novel is told from the point of view of Sienna Rivera, a NYC hotelier on the verge of thirty. The other point of views are told by Declan Simmer, her husband and high-profile travel industry executive, and Ian Mathisen, her best friend from college. Rules blend and blur as Sienna is torn between choosing steady security with her husband or an exciting although unstable affair with Ian. The three main characters examine the ebbs and flows of their own visions of love, career, and friendship in their late twenties. 


6. Why do you think that this book will appeal to readers? 

     This novel is a must-read for anyone who has ever been in love with someone they shouldn’t have. Readers will be taken on an emotional rollercoaster of a journey that aims to question our current and changing concept of the traditional marriage model. The novel examines the blurred points between exclusive and open marriages, additionally exploring the trials of both romantic love and friendship love. 


7. How is your book relevant in today’s society? 

     Millennials embarking on the journey into marriage, creating their own families, and defining their own adulthood are caught in the trap of wanting to have it all at once. We can have it all, but it cannot be simultaneous. The novel takes a general question--can we have it all?--with a specific example--a sexually open but emotionally closed relationship--and examines the hypotheticals with a magnifying glass. 



8. Is there any subject currently trending in the news that relates to your book? 

     The protagonist overcomes sexual abuse at the hands of two characters who were close to her in positions that were meant to support her. In the ongoing climate of the #MeToo movement, we continue to see and to learn why so many survivors are hesitate to speak out against their abusers in the first place. They are stunned to silence, told repeatedly, whether it’s consciously through the media or subconsciously through the culture and heritage, that if they speak up, they are overreacting. They are so often told that what has happened to them was their fault. 



9. What makes your book different from other books like it? 

     The extramarital affair between Sienna and Ian is more of an emotional than a sexually charged one. It questions how we should define cheating and what it means to have an emotional affair. It questions if monogamy is natural and wholly possible. 



10. What do you want readers to take away from your writing? 

     My hope is that anyone who has ever been in love with someone they shouldn’t have knows that we can’t help who we love or the forms that love can take. The different levels of layers of love that people have and we cannot always rationalize or quantify our feelings, but they can and should be heard. 



11. How did you learn about the topic? (i.e. personal experience, education, etc.) 

     Personal experience from my own life and listening to and observing the lives of those close to me. 



12. Is there a particular passage from your book you’d like us to utilize? If so, please provide. 
“We built houses in each other’s hearts to call home. In his arms I found solace, too soon to become a gnawing refuge, desperation mauling for a form of mutual responsiveness. I wished for nothing but meaningful silence, too often mistaken for anger and resentment when all I wanted was the comfort of soundless trust. 

He compared me to the sun, but I am the moon. He is the sun. Declan has tried to love me the best way he could, loving me the way the sun loves the moon. 

He is the guiding light and then there I am, the demure force which ran the tides. 

Washing over us, always trying to start over.”

About the author:


Kelly Ann Gonzales was born in the Philippines, raised in New Jersey and currently lives in New York City. She works in the hotel industry. She is also the editor-in-chief of ALPHA FEMALE SOCIETY. She has an insatiable passion for travel, hospitality and all things written and to be read. For more information on the author, please visit www.KELLYANNGONZALES.com


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