Friday, February 7, 2014

Hard Hats and Doormats

Today I'm interviewing Laura Chapman, author of Hard Hats and Doormats!

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I’m a 27-year-old book lover who lives and works in Lincoln, Nebraska. I enjoy travel, but also love nothing more than to lounge on my couch in sweatpants for a whole weekend. That mixed love of adventure and comfort has always benefited my writing. As a result, I constantly come up with new story ideas, and I’m able to work on them whether I’m at my desk or sitting in the middle of a bar.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I have been writing books since college, but Hard Hats and Doormats, which I started during National Novel Writing Month 2010, is the first one I finished. I wrote short stories and poetry throughout elementary, middle and high school, and published a few pieces in literary journals. I also spent several years writing articles as a journalist.

I have two published titles to my name: Hard Hats and Doormats and Merry & Bright, which features my holiday short story, “Twelve Drummers Drumming.” My books fall into chick lit/women’s lit, but given the age of my characters, they also dip their toe into new adult.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
Most of my novel writing falls into chick lit or romance. I do have a couple of ideas for mystery/crime novels and I’ve toyed with writing a dystopian. All of my stories do seem to have some kind of romantic element to them.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
I’m definitely a plotter. That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes go off the pre-planned path, but I outline my books, breaking them down by chapters and scenes, before I start writing. If changes happen while I write, I go back to the drawing board and make the changes there, too.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
I don’t have a standard writing day, because I have to sneak it into my life whenever it’s possible. While I’m deeply into a story, though, I’ll wake up at 5 a.m. to do some writing, jot down part of a scene during lunch and devote a couple more hours to the story after dinner .On the weekends, I’m usually able to get more writing time in, and I break it into a few different chunks of time throughout the day.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I love chick lit and romance novels, though I enjoy mysteries with some romance to them. I’ve also read young adult, and particularly enjoy the dystopians like The Hunger GamesThe Selection and Divergent series. I’ll read just about anything Sophie Kinsella, Nora Roberts or Julie Garwood release.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’d like to release a couple of new titles. My second novel is in editing, and hopefully I’ll have the first draft of my third novel finished by the time this interview runs. I have a few more books sketched out, and I’d like to work on writing those while the ideas are still in my head.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
To travel time.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
A werewolf, if it turns into a stud like the ones in the Twilight series, otherwise an owl, like Hedwig in the Harry Potter books.

Tell us a little about your latest release.
 Hard Hats and Doormats is the story of a young woman who is learning that life doesn’t always pan out exactly like you planned it would. She’s a few years out of college and into her first job, which is a time when you really figure out who you are and what you want from life. It’s also a time when you have to know when to manage your expectations and when to take a chance.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
My cats, but if they don’t count, I’d say my iPhone. I feel naked if I don’t have it with me.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I think it would be a challenge – I’m pretty opinionated and Type A – but I’d be glad to give it a shot. I’d probably have to work with someone with a similar style, so I’ll say Tracie Banister. She’s a good friend, and though we’d probably have to do some negotiation, I’m sure we’d turn out an amazing product.

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?
This is always a tough question, because I never know if I should try to meet someone to expand my mind/soul. But right now, I’d like to meet Jennifer Lawrence. Like almost everyone else in America, I’m completely smitten with her. Hopefully, I’d be able to keep my act together and be chill rather than a total fan-girl. We’d probably split a bottle (or five) of wine, watch some bad reality TV together and hopefully I’d talk her into being the star in the film adaptation of one of my books.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I like reading, crocheting and watching football. I’m from Nebraska, so I have to cheer on my Huskers (Go Big Red!), and I’m also a Green Bay Packers fan (Go Pack Go!).

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
Aside from one of my own books (I’m vain enough to suggest it) I’d like to see Sophie Kinsella’sCan You Keep a Secret? or I’ve Got Your Number made into a film. Not only do I like these books, but I think you could market it well.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I wish I could be good at running – or doing anything athletic. I’m such a klutz.

Favorite color?
Today it’s purple, but it usually changes.

Weather: Hot or cold?
In between. I’m happiest when the temps are between 60 and 70.

Favorite place to read?
In bed.

Favorite meal
Huevos rancheros with a side of rice and beans, chips and salsa and a big margarita.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
Diet Dr. Pepper

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
I’d spend six months backpacking Europe. I actually mapped out the whole trip back in 2007/2008 when I was a senior in college and wishing I could do that instead of entering the workforce right away. I want to see history, architecture and nature that will inspire me.

Link to Book Trailer:

Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too. 

But after losing out on a big promotion–-because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol. 

While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders. 

Who says nice girls have to finish last?  

Review Rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Review: This was a fun read with quirky and life like characters. I enjoyed reading about Lexi and everything she's gone through. Some of the people around her I wanted to shake! Lexi has to learn to go after what she wants. And she also has a few obstacles.  Laura Chapman writes with zinging dialog. I loved the Twitter type things in the beginning of the chapters. Lexi cracks me up with her attitude and how she talks.  All around a fun, easy read. 

Author Bio:
Laura Chapman found a way to mix her love of romance and humor as a women’s fiction author and blogger. A 2008 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Laura studied journalism, English and history. She traveled across the United States as a writer/photographer before settling into a career in communications. She also maintains Change the Word, a blog devoted to promoting women’s fiction and documenting her experiences as a writer.
Born and raised in Nebraska – in a city, not on a farm – she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars and her cats, Jane and Bingley.

Connect with Laura!

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  1. Thank you for being on tour. I'm glad Lexi cracked you up. She made me smile a lot, too. :)