I'm back with another post as part of the CLP Blog Tour for Laura Chapman's debut novel Hard Hats and Doormats. I adored this book (my review went up last week) and loved the guest post Laura wrote for me that went up a few days ago. Today I put Laura to the test and asked her a bunch of thought provoking questions. OK, some thought provoking, some entertaining. I hope you enjoy this Q&A!
Chick Flick: This is a toss-up between “The Princess Bride” and “When Harry Met Sally.” I was raised on both of these movies, and while I’ve seen other movies I’ve enjoyed, none have stuck with me quite the way these ones did.
Alcoholic Beverage: I’ve been on a Dirty Shirley kick lately. For those of you who don’t know, that’s a Shirley Temple plus vodka. It’s fun to order, because it usually starts a conversation between you and whoever you’re sitting near. I order mine tall, because it requires more 7-Up and grenadine, which means I’m (hopefully) not going to get sloppy.
Travel Destination (somewhere you've been and/or somewhere you'd like to go): The Pacific Northwest. Out of every place I’ve ever been, this is the one that most amazed me. It’s ridiculously beautiful. Every time one of my friends posts a picture from the Seattle area, I actually get this churning in my stomach.
Book from your childhood: These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder. When I was 9, I thought it was the most romantic story ever. It’s the first book I can remember re-reading constantly.
TV show: Of all time, probably “30 Rock.” On right now, “The Mindy Project.” Both shows were created and run by strong, funny ladies, and Tina Fey and Mindy Kahling inspire me.
Books Etc.: You started as a blogger and have now moved into the world of being an author. Was that always your plan? What made you decide to really take the plunge and get published?
Laura Chapman: I knew I wanted to be a novelist before I started my blog, “Change the Word,” or my first blog, the now defunct “Pretending Pretentious.” Back in 2010, I didn’t know much about publishing (heck, I’m still learning), but it seemed like a lot of authors had blogs, and I figured I should, too. After a year and a half of sporadic blog posts, I decided to be more disciplined about it after I’d written my first draft of Hard Hats and Doormats, because I realized if I was serious about becoming a published author, I needed to be more serious about my other forms of writing, including the blog. The fact that CTW expanded as much as it did still surprises me.
BE: What's your writing process like? Do you like to write at a certain time of day or in a certain place?
LC: I basically write whenever I can. I keep trying to make morning writing work, because I know of several authors who have success with it. (It’s actually 5:30 a.m. as I’m answering these questions.) Sometimes I’ll do a little writing or editing during lunch. During National Novel Writing Month, I write a lot of evenings, too. Weekends, it’s kind of a “do it whenever I can focus long enough” approach. On days when I’m more inspired (and focused), I’ll write and write no problem. Other days, I’m easily distracted by BuzzFeed or using the laser pointer to drive my cats nuts.
BE: How do you come up with your story ideas? What inspires you?
LC: So far, all of my story ideas have popped into my head with a single word or phrase. For Hard Hats and Doormats, it was the sight of the mess I’d made in my rental car on a business trip. The passenger seat was littered with road maps, hard hats, steel-toed boots, interview notes and so on. I spent the next few hours of my drive coming up with potential story lines, and basically had an outline by the time I made it to my destination. I still get a lot of ideas while driving. I keep a running list of my ideas.
BE: Now that you have one short story and one novel published, what's your next project? Can you give us any details on what you're working on now?LC: Hopefully by the time this runs, I’ll have wrapped up the edits on my second novel. I can’t say too much about it now, but it’s a modern reimagining of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It’s set in present day America, and involves a hunky love from the past, needy family members and a problem only a strong woman can handle. I’m also about two-thirds of the way through the first draft of my third novel. It involves American Football, and that’s as much as I’m saying for now. I’d also like to do a holiday novella if time and resources permit.
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