Without a doubt, Presently Perfect, was the hardest book I’ve written to date. After Present Perfect came out readers constantly asked if I was going to do a book from Noah’s point of view. I immediately said no. I had no interest whatsoever in writing the same story only from a different perspective. Plus, we already knew how much Noah loved Tweet. He kind wore his heart on his sleeve. So, I go on and write Past Imperfect. Then a funny thing started to happen toward the end of writing book #2. Scenes started popping into my head. New Noah and Tweet scenes. Scenes with Noah and Brittani. Scenes with Noah and Brooke. But a few random scenes does not a book make.
My biggest concern was simply rehashing the same story. Its hard because you obviously have to revisit parts of the previous story the character appeared in. I struggled for a long with the idea of Presently Perfect before committing to it. In the end, I felt there was enough new situations and Noah had his own unique story to tell.
When putting together the playlist for Presently Perfect, I looked for alternative versions (mostly acoustic) of some of the most memorable songs from Present Perfect. Boyce Avenue dominated my playlist.
One of the songs I listened to over and over again was their version of Superman (It’s Not Easy). For me it represented Noah so well. A young man who outwardly had it all, who tried to be a good person, a loyal person, but also had doubts and fears. He wasn’t Superman. He was just a young man in a funny red sheet.
I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find
The better part of me
I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane
I’m more than some pretty face beside a train
And it’s not easy to be me
Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home I’ll never see
It may sound absurd, but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed, but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me
Up, up and away, away from me
It’s all right, you can all sleep sound tonight
I’m not crazy, or anything
I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
Men weren’t meant to ride
With clouds between their knees
I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me
Yeah, inside me
Inside of me
I’m only a man
In a funny red sheet
I’m only a man
Looking for a dream
I’m only a man
In a funny red sheet
And it’s not easy
Its not easy to be me
(Click Photo For Playlist Link)
My favorite scene-toward the end of the book when Noah and Tweet are headed to the hospital. He looks over at her remembering different quotes from Present Perfect.
“I’ve shared all my firsts with you.”
“You’re the first girl I’ve ever noticed and the last girl I will ever notice.”
“My first kiss was the greatest first kiss in the history of first kisses, because it was with you.”
I HATED writing scenes between Noah and other girls.
I procrastinated on each chapter because I didn’t want to say goodbye.
In the book trailer for Present Perfect, Noah is played in some scenes by Zac Efron and in one scene by Charlie Hunnam.
Line that always makes me laugh. Tyler- “My balls! Where are my balls?!”
I cry every time I listen to The Scientist by Coldplay. EVERY. SIGNLE. TIME. THE version on Noah’s playlist is by Josie Charlwood. It was on constant repeat when wrote “the break up” scene in the park after what happened to Noah’s dad.
My cover model, Assad, felt this tub shot would be best for the back cover. it’s a proof copy, so it’s fuzzy.
I went with this shot. Oh, Assad.
In Present Perfect we saw when Noah surprised Tweet with tickets to see their all-time favorite band, Lifehouse. But we never saw them go to the concert. Hope you enjoy!
Tweet and I spent the days leading up to the concert listening to and talking about Lifehouse music nonstop. We were both so excited about going to our first concert, but for me it was more than just that. I knew if I was going to the same concert with anyone else I wouldn’t be as excited. As the summer moved on the feelings I was having for Tweet and the way my body reacted when I was around her or even thought about her grew more intense and confusing. I thought at first that maybe I was just going through a phase. I was only fourteen and ruled by hormones more than anything else. I thought other girls were pretty and if I saw a pair of boobs or a nice ass my body responded automatically. But there was always this weird hollow empty feeling in my chest whenever Tweet wasn’t around.
My dad drove us to the Performing Arts Center. Because he was concerned about traffic being heavy we got there two hours before the concert was scheduled to start. The parking lot was almost deserted. Dad pulled the car up to the front of the building and put it in park. Mine and Tweet’s hands both flew to the door handles ready to bolt from the car and get our night started. Before the doors opened Dad turned facing me and Tweet sitting side-by-side in the backseat, a serious expression on his face. We knew what that expression meant. Dad was about to give us the triple R talk—rules, responsibility, and respect.
“Kids all parental units involved want y’all to have fun tonight. This is a big deal. Not only is it your first concert, but also the first time y’all will be on your own at a big event. This isn’t the same as being dropped off at the mall. You know that, right?” His eyebrows raised in my direction.
“Yes Sir,” I answered.
“There are a few things I need to go over before you head inside
Tweet and I took our hands off of the door handles and placed them in our laps
“When you leave this car go directly inside and find your seats. Don’t be afraid to ask a staff person for help if you need it.”
“Yes Sir,” I told him.
“Don’t accept anything to drink or smoke from a stranger. Noah, keep your wallet in your front pocket. Don’t pull all your money out if you buy something to eat or a concert T-shirt. And last but not least, most definitely don’t go exploring outside around the building. Noah, your mother and I have a lot of trust in you and Amanda your parents have a lot of trust in you. Be responsible and respectful of the rules we’ve set
“We will Dad.” I glanced quickly over at Tweet, we swapped slight smiles.
“Amanda’s dad will be here to pick y’all up after the concert. Have a great time,” he said, a proud and sad look on his face.
Tweet flew out the car before I had a chance to open my door. Reaching over the seat, my dad’s hand touched my arm, causing me to look up at him.
“Son, make sure you watch out for Amanda. Hold her hand while walking through the crowd so y’all don’t get separated.” He wanted to make sure I understood that I was responsible for Tweet and needed to take care of her. I smiled. Of all the rules on his list the Tweet rules were a given and as natural to me as breathing.
“I will Dad and thanks for bringing us.”
Tweet and I walked toward the building as Dad drove off. We were a few feet from the entrance when she grabbed my upper arm tugging me over to the side.
“What are you doing?” I asked, chuckling.
“Let’s go look around,” she said, cocking her head to the side.
“Tweet, what part of, “most definitely don’t go exploring outside around the building”, did you not understand?”
“I understood it all. I also understand that no one is here to tell on us, it’s not dark outside, and there’s hardly anyone here yet except staff. We’ll only go around once and then head straight to our seats. Please Noah.” Her eyebrows scrunched together as bright teal eyes pleaded with me through long dark lashes.
My gaze darted between her and the entrance. I’m not sure why I stood there pretending I was trying to make a decision. I knew I’d give in and do what she wanted to do. I never could say no to Tweet.
“Okay, we’ll go around one time and that’s it.” Her head nodded excitedly. “I mean it, Tweet. Promise me.”
“I promise,” she said, crossing her heart.
I took her hand, lacing our fingers together. When our palms touched a prickling sensation covered my body as if a million needles skimmed across my skin. Her hand was soft, warm, and fit perfectly into mine. We both glanced down then back up, locking eyes.
“My dad told me to hold your hand, so I wouldn’t lose you.” My voice was husky, low, and stuck in my throat.
“You’ll never lose me,” Tweet said, giving me a shy smile.
We made our way around the building hand-in-hand. There wasn’t much to see other than a few parked cars scattered here and there. When we rounded the corner heading behind the building we stopped in our tracks. I looked over at Tweet. She wore the same shocked expression as I did.
“Noah, do you see what I see?”
Ten feet in front of us sat the Lifehouse tour bus. We stood staring for several seconds, neither of us moving or saying a word. We’d listened to every single song, knew every single word, and watched every single video. Our band, the ultimate band suddenly became real people to us.
“Do you think they’re in there?” Tweet whispered.
“I don’t know.”
Out the corner of my eye I saw her glance over at me. “Well, there’s only one way to find out.”
Tweet pulled her hand away from mine and headed to the side of the tour bus.
“Holy shit! What are you doing?”
“I just want to peek inside,” she threw over her shoulder as she walked away.
My stomach flip-flopped as the nerves crawled over me. I ran my hand through my hair and rubbed my neck. I knew what the right thing to do was. I should grab her before she gets any closer to that bus and haul her into the building. I was pushing it when I agreed to walk around this place. Somehow I knew my parents would find out. They always found out. I remembered the time when Tweet and I were ten and we rode our bikes around the block without permission. Tweet ended up falling and scraping her knee up really bad. We hid in my room while I cleaned her leg. I had been so careful not to let either of my parents see me take the first aid kit into my room. Tweet and I thought we had gotten away with it until the next day. Somehow Mom, Dad, and the Kellys found out. I ended up with no bike or Tweet for an entire week.
By the time I got to the side of the bus Tweet was bent over slightly, her face pressed against the glass door, hands cupped on either side. My eyes immediately zeroed in on the way her ass looked in her jeans. It was perfectly round and just the right size. The bottom of her white shirt had slid up above the waistband exposing the part of her lower back that curved in right before reaching that incredible ass. I liked watching her walk. The way her hips went back and forth. My favorite was when I walked behind her going up stairs. Her ass was firm, but it jiggled slightly when she’d run up the stairs.
“Shit!” Tweet’s loud whisper broke my jiggling dream.
“What?” I said confused.
I watched as she quickly walked back toward me. “Someone’s coming.” She passed me, grabbing my upper arm and pulling me with her across the parking lot. “Someone’s coming!” She repeated in a panic.
We kept a steady pace, so we wouldn’t catch attention, making someone suspicious. Once we had gotten a decent distance from the bus we took off running. My heart was pounding against my chest because of the sprint across the parking lot as well as the fear that we were going to get caught and end up missing the concert. I felt my teeth grind together and my neck muscles tighten. If we missed Lifehouse I was going to be pissed and it would be Tweet’s fault. She had to go looking around. We couldn’t just head to our seats. I was also pissed at myself for caving and going along with what she wanted to do.
We rounded the corner and were met by a line of people waiting to get into the concert. Tweet and I slowed our pace and took a spot at the end of the line. Bending down I placed my hands on my thighs, trying to catch my breath. I felt as if I was about to throw up. I took in a couple of good shots of oxygen before looking up at Tweet. Her chest was pumping up and down. I felt myself getting hard. Dropping my head down, I closed my eyes desperately trying to think of anything besides Tweet’s cute ass and pumping chest. I ran through baseball plays and rules in my head until I finally calmed down.
Straightening up, I looked at Tweet. I kept my expression serious. She knew I wasn’t happy. Her bottom lip disappeared into her mouth as her eyebrows came together. I sucked in my cheeks wanting to freeze my expression. That lasted all of one second before the smile broke across my face. She was too damn cute to stay mad at. When she saw my smile, hers quickly followed.
Leaning into me, she said in a low voice, “I know we shouldn’t have done it, but it was crazy fun.”
“We could have gotten into a lot of trouble.”
“But we didn’t.”
I smirked and shook my head. “Just because we didn’t get caught doesn’t mean it was okay to do it. My dad trusted me. If somehow he finds out that I didn’t listen to him…”
The line started to slowly move forward.
“We didn’t get caught and I haven’t seen anyone here that we know. He won’t find out.”
“Let’s just drop it and go have fun inside,” I said.
“Agreed.” She paused as we moved along with the line. “Can I tell you something?”
“I saw Jason Wade’s knee. I mean I think it was his knee. You know a knee is a knee. It’s hard to tell one from the other, but I’m pretty sure it was him.”
Looking straight ahead, I rolled my eyes and kept heading forward as Tweet rambled on about the possible knee sighting. Girls can be so weird.