Julie Soto on the third act break-up in Not Another Love Song

Julie Soto is the best-selling author of romance novel, Forget Me Not.


Julie Soto is the best-selling author of Forget Me Not. Today she’s back with a steamy romance, Not Another Love Song. The book follows musical prodigies, Gwen Jackson and Xander Thorne, who can’t be more different — Xander is essentially a classical music royalty who has never even noticed Gwen, when they have played at an orchestra together for a year. Today, we are honoured to have Julie Soto here to chat about imagining Xander Thorne and writing the third act break-up in Not Another Love Song.

There are many fan fiction / books about pop stars. Why don’t we have enough fan fiction / books about classical music stars? Surely they would make better movie adaptations? 

love all the pop star books, but yes, there should be more classical musicians in our reading! I think the pop star trope is inherently about celebrity, which is a such a lovely wish-fulfillment trope. Classical musicians on the other hand tend to have celebrities only within their own circles. I think any book about musicians, pop or classical, make you want to hear a soundtrack. I’d love to see more TV/Film adaptations for books about musicians. One of my favorites was Mozart in the Jungle.

Actually, there must be some hot classical musicians. Please tell us about the real life Xander Thorne.

The real life Xander Thorne and his band Thorne and Roses is inspired by 2Cellos, a two-person group that–you guessed it–is made of two cellists. Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser are extremely good at adapting pop music into cello performance, and their rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” launched them into the public, including an appearance on the television show Glee in 2012. It doesn’t hurt that both musicians are extremely attractive, either!

Gwen never received any formal training but is an amazing performer at Manhattan Pops. How unlikely is this?

Possibly very! But also, every orchestra may have a different hiring process. Gwen could probably have gotten hired on talent alone instead of a CV that includes professional orchestra experience. One of the things that makes Gwen so special is that she not only has the talent but she has the discipline. That is something that sets her apart from Xander who has been able to rely on talent alone.

Xander was very arrogant and rude to Gwen initially. Why should readers, and Gwen, give him a chance?

I think Xander is very alike to Mr Darcy. He is rude because he’s socially unadjusted, but the readers (and Lizzie Bennet) give him a second chance because he shows remorse and tries to change. Both Xander and Darcy are “acts of service” men, as well!

Is it difficult to turn these sensual scenes, which is how we usually think about classical music, into steamy scenes?

Not at all! I think two people who connect over a shared passion can always get passionate.

And finally, without spoiling readers, why did you decide to (temporarily) break our hearts with a third act break-up scene?

Ah the third act break-up! I’m a fan of them, because we need a low point for the characters so that their relationship feels earned by the end. For Gwen and Xander specifically, they come from vastly different backgrounds, and their differences needed to come to a head for them to move forward together.

Not Another Love Song by Julie Soto is published by Harper Collins UK.
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