I’m in Hawaii for Christmas and New Year’s this year and taking time off to just be with my family. I have a few revisions to wrap up on my next Harlequin Presents (was supposed to get them done before Christmas!) but stopped stressing out so I could focus on my boys and just enjoy the holidays this year.
Part of the holidays means relaxing with a great book, too, and I love Laura Spinella and thought we should prepare to ring in the new year with her new book, Perfect Timing! And so here Laura is, doing an interview with me about her new release.
Readers, help me welcome Laura back to the JaneBlog!
Laura, tell us what your current release is about, in 2 or 3 sentences.
Guilty. There’s a rock star at the center of Perfect Timing. But that’s not what this story is about; it’s about the rhythm of lasting friendship, and the beat of a love story subject to incredible odds. It’s about family and figuring out what makes you truly happy, then being brave enough to embrace it. Perfect Timing is relationship fiction set to the sometimes extraordinary and always precarious tempo of life.
What is your favorite thing about your book?
That’s a two-part answer. As noted, Aidan Royce is a “rock star.” I was intrigued by the idea of delivering a story that incorporated that but used it in a relatable context. I thought a singular childhood friendship could create that kind of bond—a relationship that could survive something as blinding as fame. The second part is more personal. My daughter, who’s a tough critic, loved this story when I first wrote it. (Since there are some steamier scenes, I should mention she’s 25) After toying with different storylines for a follow up to Beautiful Disaster, Megan all but insisted, “Aidan and Isabel!” I’d almost forgotten how much I loved the characters, and immediately found myself re-involved with their story.
What do you love most about being a writer?
I’m sure thoughtful reflection, coupled by serious contemplation would reveal an array of intellectual answers. On the other hand, here are mine:
I can wear pajama pants all day.
If I’m sick of dealing with a particular individual, there’s an off switch.
If I’m sick of dealing with a particular individual, there’s an on switch.
It’s an acceptable form of basically irrational behavior.
There’s nothing quite like getting an email from a complete stranger telling you how much they loved your book.
Name five items sitting on your desk.
Does above the desk count?
My favorite item is a collage of antique postcards showing off my hometown of Bayport, New York.
A mini rock waterfall. I filled it once, about five years ago, and never have managed to refill it. But as I recall, I really enjoyed it.
A Perfect Timing mouse pad, Mother’s Day gift this past year.
Books! I’m working my way through some great ones, including Jane Porter & Co’s wonderful A Copper Mountain Christmas.
A 99-cent composition notebook where I keep miscellaneous notes about my WIP. I like it because the pages never fall out.
What are you working on now?
Funny, I chose this question and I have skipped answering it three times. I am neck-deep in revisions to a novel tentatively titled, Color Outside the Lines. Although, as titles go, I may change it to The Unremarkable Life of Missy Flannigan. However, if the revision process gets any more intense, I may have to re-title it again: How I Pulled My Hair Out in the Winter of My Discontent.
Seriously, I think this is one of my best efforts when it comes to novel writing. Everything I’ve learned as a writer seems to be swirling and converging onto its pages—just not as orderly as I’d like. It’s the story of Aubrey Ellis, a woman who shuns an extraordinary gift in search of an ordinary life, and the souls, living and dead, who help her along the way.
Three things you know now that you wish you’d known before publishing your first book?
The importance of networking and social media. When Beautiful Disaster was published I had about 140 Facebook friends. Initially, it was like being the neighborhood Fuller Brush salesman—once you’ve played to the home crowd, where do you go? Several hundred FB friends later, I now watch authors from every end of the publishing spectrum interact with one another. Not only are there connections, but there’s real support for a craft that can often be brutal and trying. Other authors make for the best built-in cheering section.
Enjoy what you’ve accomplished. An author gets a book deal and thinks that will bring the accomplishment full circle. Wrong… Once that’s done, you realize that you’re just a grain of sand in an ocean, and the desire to become coral, or mollusks, or squid takes over. Anyway, oceanography aside, the chase can be never ending, so if you can find some satisfaction in what you have achieved as an author then, I think, you’re a happier person all around.
Don’t let it consume you. I still fail at that one.
On a lighter note… Does wine count? How about food cooked in wine? Well, if I have to pick, I’m an appetizer whore. I could live off appetizers! You name it; if it comes in multiples off a cookie sheet or you can dip a chip into it, I’m in.
Name 5 words that fit your personality according to you. And 5 words that fit your personality according to your best friend.
I kind of love this question because I have a BFF of 30+ years who knows me better than anyone. These are the unedited words of Melisa Holmes, who happens to run one of the best tween & teen knowledge-based websites in the world, www.girlology.com. Her books are pretty great too! She says her words about me are not necessarily in descending order.
My five words? Hmm, I wish I were as sure as her, but I’ll go with these: Introvert, Sarcastic, Loyal, Determined, and yes, Mama Bear.
Thank you so much to Jane! Not only for hosting me on her blog today, but for providing the fantastic, incredible and generous cover quote for Perfect Timing! She is just the best and I am very grateful!
Thanks so much, Laura, for sharing with us today! Readers, I’ve read Laura’s fantastic new release and I am a true fan. Do add it to your reading list and I promise you’ll be a fan too and to celebrate Laura’s new release, I’m giving away two (2!) Laura Spinella prize packages consisting of books, treats and New Year sweets. Comment below for a chance to win one of the prize boxes, and contest ends New Year’s Eve with the winners will be announced January 1st. Good luck and hoping your holiday was truly happy!