Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Tour: Stepping Up To Love by Katie O'Boyle Interview

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 8/7/2013
Soul Mate Publishing, Inc., NY

A lakeside porch in the Finger Lakes is the perfect spot for a quiet moment or a heart-to-heart with your special someone. Joel and Manda’s first heart-to-heart on the breakfast porch at the Manse Inn and Spa is anything but romantic. Joel the owner of the Manse is furious with his junior accountant for using one of the spa showers. If Manda didn’t have a desperate story and a spectacular body, Joel might not be feeding her breakfast and falling in love. Can Manda get sober, clean up her act, and open her heart to her rich, hunky boss?


1.   Where did you get the idea for the novel?
In January 2012, my sister and brother-in-law invited me to celebrate the 90th birthday of a dear friend on the sunny, enclosed porch a well-known lakeside inn in the Finger Lakes. Watching the staff serve up incredible food and fuss over our friend made me wonder about their lives, their hopes and dreams. So many stories! The idea for the Lakeside Porches series was born that sunny winter morning.
2.   Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I always have a “working title” for my books that incorporates the hero or heroine’s name. The working title for this novel was Manda the Brave. My publisher decided—and I agreed—that the title sounded a bit “Young Adult-ish” and we did not want any confusion about the genre. Thanks to suggestions from my test readers, the title was changed to Stepping Up To Love.
3.   Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I enjoy reading both romance and mystery, and I write both. There was no question the Lakeside Porches series would be romance (see “Where did you get the idea?”). I love writing romance, because knowing there is a happy-ever-after at the end of a romance forces me, as an author, to exercise the “Optimist” side of my brain every day. That’s a wonderful way to live!
4.   Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Meeting so many dedicated romance authors! I am excited to be part of several groups of talented, clever storytellers. I feel challenged and supported at every step of the writing and publishing process.
5.   What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I’m currently reading Not the Killing Type one of the BookTown Mysteries from Lorna Barrett. The setting is a small town with a disproportionate number of bookstores—sounds like heaven to me!—and it features two sisters who are very different personalities and, at the same time, good friends. Both sisters are frustrated in love. On the romance side, I’m reading The Marquess of Cake by Heather Hiestand, a charming historical in which an aristocrat with a sweet tooth falls for the very independent and pretty cake baker who bakes up his favorite treats.
6.   What is your writing process?
I find that my process differs with each book. For Book One Stepping Up To Love, the characters led the way; any time I tried to impose an outline, they disagreed, and I let them have their heads. Along the way I fell in love with them and their courageous story. The characters in Book Two Coming Home to Love were really difficult for me to get to know, possibly because each was out of touch with their innermost desires; their “dates” often started in the kitchen, so I wrote a series of cooking scenes that became the backbone of the novel; each scene revealed some new truth or led to another, more dramatic encounter; when I sequenced them I could see the whole, and I fleshed it out quickly. Different still is Book Three, which involves all of the characters to date along with a new lead couple and a significant subplot; this book required me to step back, catalog each character, lay out the overall action and describe the role of all the story lines in the love story of the hero and heroine; so it’s a much more organized approach than the first two books. Bottom line: my writing process is “whatever works best for the current book”!
7.   At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 
My preference is to write a note along with signing my name. Exchanging a few words with the reader may inspire the message, or the reader may have something in mind they’d like me to say. One variation I saw that I’d be open to trying: the author asked if the reader wanted the signature on a particular page with a favorite passage or line—what do you like best as the reader?
8.   What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Hah! I have a pink-and-black hula hoop in my office, and I swing on my hips it every day—both directions. It’s so relaxing, and it takes care of writer’s kinks in minutes J
9.   How do you react to a bad review?
I look for the truth in it, which is hard to do. If it’s got some legitimate criticism, that’s important information for me, and I need to learn from it. Then I let go of the rest.
10.                  How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I had a great weekend planned with my sister, but she had to cancel at the last minute. L So, instead I caught up with several friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in months, ate some good meals with them, walked in the sunshine, and smiled from ear to ear the whole time. And I’m still looking forward to seeing my sister soon to do all the cool things we’d planned.

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Katie O'Boyle
Once upon a time, Katie O’Boyle was a stellar student and closet substance abuser at a picture-perfect small college. She credits loving friends, 12-step spirituality, and plenty of hard work for her transformation into tech-savvy college professor and passionate author of warm-hearted romance. Fall in love with her characters on the lakeside porches of the beautiful Finger Lakes in upstate New York. Lakeside Porches, Book One: Stepping Up To Love (Joel and Manda’s story); Book Two: Coming Home to Love (Justin and Gianessa’s story).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Alisia! You site is amazing. And I think it's cool that you have a twin sister. Book Two of my series includes twins, but to say more would be a spoiler.