She has also been generous enough to offer one e-copy of her book to a lucky reader. After the interview, leave a comment for the chance to win!
You described Lila’s Choice, as a chick lit romance involving high school teachers. What else can you tell us about the story?
I always stumble over my words when I describe my novel without my blurb, so I’ll let my blurb speak for me:
Never let your friends get involved in your personal life. Lila and Nate learn this the hard way. They are the star-crossed lovers of Glendale High. For three years the students have waited for the two to get together. They begged Nate to put his past relationship behind him, and cringed when Lila started dating Bryce. Just your typical teenage romance, except they’re the teachers.
Lila, a guidance counselor with a sweet demeanor, has an answer for every problem, every problem but her own. A visit from childhood friend Bryce thrusts her calm world into turmoil, as emotions buried deep inside are dragged to the surface. He soon realizes what only a friend can notice and a lover regret, that Lila, unbeknownst to herself, is in love with Nate.
Nate has seen better days. He is a history teacher stuck living in the past. Depression has kept his love for Lila unspoken, his ego frail after being cheated on.
Now Lila and Nate’s coworkers must unleash a scheme and uncover Lila’s true feelings. In a school this nosey what better way to get fast results than to involve the student population? The students are all too eager to get involved.
If everything goes as planned Lila will have to choose between two men. If her friends fail they might destroy these three and ruin their friendship. No wonder the scheme is called Project Torture.
What do think people will love most about this book? What do you love about it??
I think people will love the strong friendship prevalent between the characters. There is a lot of heart, and the characters act out of love, wanting the best for their friends. I love the connection my two main characters have with one another. Regardless of any romance, Lila and Nate care for each other as friends, and want to see the other happy.
You’ve made it a goal to include at least one character with hearing loss in each of your novels. Lila’s Choice has several. How has your personal experience influenced that decision?
I have a hearing loss myself and strive to put that part of myself in my novels. I’m hard of hearing, and have worn hearing aids since I was five-years-old. As a teenager I took ASL classes and my life changed. I went from someone who was uncomfortable with her hearing loss, to my hearing loss being a part of who I am, my identity, something I am proud of. When I began writing Lila’s Choice I had just finished my degree in Deaf Studies from Boston University. It was natural to write about hearing loss and I hope to spread awareness. In Lila’s Choice there are several Deaf students (a capital D denotes a culturally Deaf person), a Deaf adult, and a CODA, a Child Of Deaf Adults.
In the spirit of Desperately Ever After, I must ask: If you had to choose, which fairy tale character (doesn’t have to be a princess and doesn’t have to be Disney), would you be and why?
Ohh, good question! A parade of characters sprang to my head, and this was a hard decision to narrow down. I’ll go with one of my all time favorite characters: Little Red Riding Hood, from Into The Woods (I’ll get this out now before the movie comes out, I watched a televised Broadway production a million times as a child). I love the spunk this character has. She’s strong, she’s independent, and even when life brings her down a dark and scary path, she rises above. Plus, she has a kick-ass song!
Spreading the word is one of the most daunting aspects of self-publishing. How do you get your titles out there?
I think this is an ever growing and evolving project. I’m not the type of person to yell “look at me” so I prefer a more one-on-one approach: make connections with readers by being myself, not a marketer. I’ve met bloggers, writers, reviewers this way, and they’ve turned around and helped spread the word.
A writer’s life is certainly not an easy one—from rejections to dwindling sales, to tough reviews, and so on. How did you get through the bad days?
The bad days can be rough. I’m a sensitive person and developing a thick skin is taking time. Most recently I turned to a community of writers and expressed my feelings of not being good enough. I received a lot of virtual hugs, and some really nice compliments from people who had read my work. There is nothing better than honest feedback from fellow writers! In lieu of compliments, I find ice cream to be very beneficial.
Can’t go wrong with ice cream. So what is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you can share with aspiring writers?
Remove yourself from your work, from your stories. Take a few steps back before attacking your novel and editing. Once the initial buzz of attachment to a story fades, a writer is able to look at his or her work with fresh, clear, eyes. It’s hard to hack at your own writing, but easier once the honeymoon phase is over!
Great advice! What can fans expect from you next?
I’m putting the finishing touches on a second book in the Choice series. Book two, titled Choice and Consequence is an ambitious project, as the novel follows three intertwining plots. I’ve had a lot of fun with this novel and am excited to get it out into the world!
ENTER TO WIN!
Laura is offering a free Kindle e-book of Lila’s Choice! Comment below to win. The giveaway will remain open until 11:59 p.m. (PST) Tuesday, August 19, at which point a winner will be chosen at random.
Best of luck to you all!
FEED YOUR BEACH BAG!
Desperately Ever After imagines what happened to our favorite fairy tale princesses in a Desperate Housewives/Sex and the City sort of way. It’s a 2014 NIEA Chick-Lit Finalist and an Amazon Top 10 seller for both Women’s Fiction and Humor. Snag one before the sequel comes out next week!
Mark your calendars 😉
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