Friday, July 7, 2023


Where You Want To Be


Get a behind-the-scenes all-access pass to Jason Handler's Where You Want To Be Series!


The book follows a small group of friends right after high school as they navigate old and new relationships. The second book picks up almost ten years later and shows where the characters ended up and if they are still all together.


What is the sub-genre and trope? Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began?

Upstate Blues is a pretty straight forward coming of age story. There’s a slight cheating trope in both stories in a way. It’s how the story enfolded so I had to let the characters go that way.

Are you more character or plot driven?

I’d say it’s more plot driven for sure.

With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind? Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace?

When I start to plan out the story, I’ll write down each character and what they look like. As I start writing and their personally develops, I’ll add a little more about them throughout the entire story.

I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own. Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

These two books are deeply personal to me so I had an idea of where the characters would go. 

But I think I’m Sometimes, New Jersey, one character definitely takes the lead in one way.

Are any of the male POVs based on anyone you know?

That’s an absolute yes.

Are any of the female POVs based on anyone you know?


Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other?

There are two chapters that were not necessarily hard to write but extremely hard to release. I’m sure people might be able to figure that out when they read it. No spoilers here.

What is your favorite book in the series?

Of course it’s typical for the writer to say their new one, but it’s Sometimes, New Jersey for sure. 

I have grown a lot as a writer since I wrote the first book in the series.

I know that we aren’t supposed to have “favorites” as far as our children, but seriously, who’s your favorite character and why?

It’s Maria. She’s perfect. She’s smart, funny, and loyal.

Series question - Who is your favorite couple and why did you decide on their dynamics?

Luke and Maria. All the way.

How do you get inside these characters’ heads to find their perfect HEA?

It’s a personal story to me. So that part is easy.

What scene in this book/series sticks out the most for you? Why?

The first time Luke sees Maria. It’s such an absolute important turn in their lives.

Series - Were any of the books harder to write than others?

Just the one that hasn’t been written yet.

This question is if you write in MULTIPLE POVs not just the hero and heroine - I love the multiple POVs in a book. It’s not just the hero and heroine, but we get inside the heads of multiple characters throughout this series. I feel that it gives the story further depth. Do you think you will write another book or series following this multiple POV outline?

I just wrote in one POV

How long did it take you to write this book/series?

I wrote the first book about 15 years ago and released it last year. The second story took me a little less than a year.

How did you come up with the title for your book and series?

I wanted to have a theme to represent where the books were taking place.

If you met these characters in real life would you get along?

Some yes, some absolutely not.

Series question – Did you know in advance that you were going to write this as a series or did one of the characters in book one demand their own story?

Not at all. I always thought Upstate Blues was a one shot deal. Then everyone would ask me what happened to Luke and Maria. And there was more to say about them. So 15 years later, I finally wrote the second book.

If your book/series were made into a movie, which actors do you see as playing your characters?

For Luke, Brenton Thwaites. 

Maria, Becky G. 

Hannah is Sydney Sweeny for sure.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next? Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series? Can you share a small tease?

For my next book, it won’t be in the Upstate Blues world and it will be very different than anything I’ve written before.

Check out all my interviews/reviews for Jason Handler:

Jason Handler is an American poet, writer, and author.

He has spent time traveling with a band he used to play in and has always enjoyed writing. If songs he wrote didn't work as songs, he'd repurpose them into poems.

Today, he enjoys spending his free time with his family and writing books that are relatable to his readers.

Connect with Jason:

UPSTATE BLUES by Jason Handler
Where You Want To Be Series - Book One

Available in Kindle Unlimited!

At nineteen-years-old, I have the world at my feet. I was offered my dream job as a scriptwriter for a local production company just out of high school. I share an apartment with my best friend. I have some other close friends. A girlfriend.

I know I’m attractive and cocky, but I also know what I want. I have my goals. I’ve been called a few unsavory names, but I know exactly who I am, and I’m unapologetic about it.

When my life takes a turn, doors are opened to me that I never believed possible. The world is constantly changing and growing, and so are people.

Especially me.

~ Upstate Blues is part one of two interconnected, steamy romance stories about a young man who is embracing who he truly is, falling in love, and discovering just what is really important in life. ~

Where You Want To Be Series - Book Two

Available in Kindle Unlimited!

Almost ten years ago, at nineteen-years-old, I met the woman who would become my world.

I fell in love with Maria at the very first sight of her, though I probably didn’t know that’s what it was then. She has had a stranglehold on me ever since.

But we change. We grow. Sometimes we drift apart. I expected that might happen with my friends, but I never expected it to happen to me and Maria.

While we’re apart, I finally come to terms with who I am; what I truly want. But by the time I realize the truth, I may have already lost her…

~ Sometimes, New Jersey is part two of an interconnected, steamy romance story about a man who is discovering himself as he navigates his way through life and love. ~

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