Wednesday, November 6, 2013

VBT: Isn't She Lovely

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I’ll start with the writing, because that’s easier :) I currently write both adult contemporary romance and new adult. My writing style is sort of sassy and sarcastic, so I’ve found both genres to be a really good fit for my voice. I’d also say that I write romantic comedies. To me, there’s nothing sexier than a guy with a really dry sense of humor, so you’ll see that in pretty much all of my heroes. Whether they’re crusty and reserved, or sort of bold and charming, they’re always going to have that sarcastic edge. Same with my heroines. Even the quiet ones have a bit of a sharp tongue. This provides great opportunity for back-and-forth banter, which I think is a major hallmark of my writing.
As for me . . . hmm, also pretty sarcastic, and with a dry sense of humor, which is how it seeps into all of my writing :) Up until the summer of 2013 I lived in New York City, so that’s a big part of my writing as well. There’s a certain city-vibe going on. I’ve since moved back to my hometown of Tacoma, WA and I’m curious to see what impact that will have on future stories! I’ve LOVED writing books set in Manhattan, and I’ll likely continue to do so. But it’ll be fun to explore small-town life too.
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?

Well, I’ve been a wannabe writer my entire life, and I was always one of those students who preferred “term papers” (remember those? Am I old?) to exams. But I’ve only been writing fiction for maybe the past eight years or so, and only doing it seriously (as in trying to get published) for about three.
As for published books — my debut book (a contemporry romance called AFTER THE KISS) was released on August 26, 2013. It’s part of a series about women working in Manhattan, writing for a Glamour-esque type magazine in the Love & Relationships department. I have two more books in that series coming out in December and March.
My New Adult debut will be out on October 28th, and it’s been getting some really positive feedback, so I’m SO excited for the world to read it.
Last up is a two-book contemporary romance series set in Seattle which will be out sometime next year.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

Two — as mentioned above, I write both contemporary romance and new adult. I’m also working on a YA series, and I’d love to try a historical some day, but regardless of sub-genre, my writing will always, ALWAYS be first and foremost about the romance.
Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
Plotter! Notebooks, folders, binders, sticky notes … the works. I don’t always stick to the plan, but I always have one!
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I do my best writing first thing when I wake up, and sometimes that means dragging my laptop into bed and cranking out a couple thousand words from the coziness of my sheets. After that initial burst of inspiration (and if I’m not on a tight deadline), I’ll usually get up, shower, and do some of the businessy stuff for awhile: blog posts (like this one!), Twitter, website updates. Then it’s back to more writing, or edits, if I’m at that stage.
Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
Well romance, obviously :) I love contemporary and historical equally, although rarely venture into romantic suspense and almost never into paranormal. Favorite authors?
Contemporary: Kristan Higgins (so, SO funny), and Julie James (super witty)
Historical: Sarah MacLean and Julie Anne Long
I also read some New Adult to keep me up to speed on the genre — Cora Carmack’s a definite favorite, and Tammara Webber is so talented.
Lastly, I love me some good non-fiction. For me it’s either the factual stuff or the romance. I don’t really get excited about general fiction, any of Oprah’s books. I have been known to seek out the newest Dan Brown book, but for the most part it’s nonfiction: biographies, history, or anything having to do with the social sciences.
What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
Well there’s a list, because I have lists for everything, but the one on my mind most often is getting a book in paperback. I love the digital stuff, and am an e-book reader myself, but I’d love to “make it” to the point that a publisher is willing to put my name on the cover of print copies.
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
 Hmm, paranormal, not my thing. Um, maybe healing? Does that count? Be gone, paper cuts, and sore throats, and all the more serious stuff.
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
Oooh, no thanks! Look at all the trouble Harry Potter had with the basilicks, and the hippogriffs, and those blast-ended skrewts.
 Tell us a little about your latest release.
Well if you’ve been following my blog tour at all, I sound like a broken-record on this, but in case you’ve never heard of ISN’T SHE LOVELY, it’s a New Adult spin on Pygmalion / Pretty Woman.
Stephanie and Ethan are complete opposites. She’s a gothed-out film student with an attitude, he’s a rich, preppy business school student. They end up taking the same screenwriting course over the summer as a way of avoiding the crap going on in their personal life, only to end up as partners on a class project. Stephanie suggests they base their screenplay on the Pygmalion myth—about a guy who has to makeover a girl for his own purposes—which in turn, puts the idea in Ethan’s head that they should try it out in real life. He needs a fake girlfriend for the summer, and she needs a place to stay.
Now Stephanie’s trading in her combat boots for kitten heels, her gray eyeshadow for pink lipstick, and Ethan’s taking a second look. And then another. And she’s looking right back, because beneath the surface, there’s a hell of a lot more to Ethan Price than wrinkle-free polo shirts and great shoulders. But when their fake kisses turn real, Stephanie’s left trying to figure out whether Ethan wants the real her, or the Barbie-version he’s created . . .

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
This question’s always a little painful to answer, because it’s always the same, and it sounds so materialistic: my laptop. When you’re a full-time writer, it’s your livelihood, but writing is also my passion. And since I’m a slow-poke when it comes to pen and paper writing, I NEED my keyboard :)
Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I’ll never say never, but it’s certainly not on my writing bucket-list at the moment. I already have enough of my own stories in my head and no time to write them — there’s no room for anyone else!
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?        
JK Rowling: How.Did.You.Do.It????
What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
Reading…I think that’s pretty standard for most writers. I also run, but I go in waves. Sometimes it’s every day for a month, and then there are times like right now where I don’t even know where my sports bras are! My husband and I are also both really into cooking. Well actually, he does most of the cooking, but I love the planning / prep / shopping process.
What is something you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet. Why not?
Own my own profitable business. I am obsessed with entrepreneurs and would love to count myself among them some day. As for why not? Writing comes first, and right now takes up ALL my time. But I’m 100% okay with that.
If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Hmm, I guess I lied when I said I didn’t read general fiction. I made an exception for that one, and it was well worth it.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Singing. I don’t need to make a career out of it or anything, but I’d love to be able to sing along with my favorite song with confidence that I sound good. Right now, I know that I really, REALLY don’t.
Favorite color?
It’s been red for the longest time, but I think I may have burned myself out because I’m kind of “meh” on it now. I’m going to cheat and pick two: Black and white, but only when they’re together. There’s something so timless about the combination.
Weather: Hot or cold?
Cold. I’ll take a snowy mountain home over a beach home any day.
Favorite place to read?
Anywhere quiet. I can write with background noise/music, but I like quiet while I read.
Favorite meal
When my husband’s out of town, I almost always treat myself to Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. That orange powder is so awful and yet sooooo good.
Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
Here’s where you all stop liking me: water. Coffee is a close second I guess, but I drink a lot of water. I can’t stand juice, rarely drink soda, and everything else seems sort of pointless.

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
Ireland. For like six months. I probably have an idealized view of it, but I’m obsessed with the idea of a cozy little cottage surrounded by green and rain.

The rules are clear—until they’re broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.
“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”
Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund . . . or does he?
As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.
But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating them. And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

Review Rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Review: Isn't She Lovely is the story of two people that are so opposite, but are brought together by accident, a few times.  Now they're required to spend time together and things change up a little bit. 

Stephanie has gone through a lot in the last few years and she's rebelled some. Turned herself into a 'dark' kind of person with the goth-like look. She's sarcastic, witty, and she hides her pain from the world.  Ethan is from a different kind of family- his parents have a lot of expectations, his mother is always trying to push him back with his ex, and he's rebelled a little too, by taking a summer class. He meets Stephanie and derives a plan to get his parents off his back. 
What do you know, the plan kind of backfires and the two have feelings for the other that no one expected.

I enjoyed this story! It's full of humor, emotion, and it's fun! It took me a bit to get into it...I mean I enjoyed it from the start, but the story got better and better as time went on. I love Stephanie and Ethan together. Love how two opposites learn to become one and fall in love. It's a great story and I'll be looking for more works from this author in the future. 
Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.


1 comment: