Today, I am honored to have Selena Laurence stop by on her release day for Love, Lies & British Spies! I had a sneak peek at this marvelous story and you can read my GoodReads review here. Below, join Selena and me as we discuss this fantastic new release!
Selena, give us an overview of Love, Lies & British Spies.
It’s based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus was a gifted musician, and he loved Eurydice so much that he followed her down to the Underworld when she died. Once he got down there he begged for her return, because he didn’t think he could live without her. In my version Orpheus is a hot spy called Owen, and Eurydice is an American Interior Designer named Eva. Here’s the summary of the book:
After an engagement gone terribly awry, American interior designer Eva Anderson has finally met the man of her dreams. Handsome, charming Owen Martin is one of London’s most talented musicians, and he’s head over heels for Eva to boot. But Owen forgot to tell Eva one little detail: he’s actually a top secret British spy…oh, and there are more than a few women in his past.
From the teashops of London to the cafes of Paris and the ports of Alexandria, Owen and Eva encounter terrorists run amok, friends with the best of intentions, guns, fangirls and espionage galore. But, will love ever be enough to overcome the lies of this British spy?
Tell us about your background before you started writing.
I spent most of my teen and college years reading Romance novels (surprised aren’t you?) and watching soap operas. I also got a couple of degrees along the way, one of which is in English Literature. I worked at several jobs, but they all required lots of writing. Mostly though I worked taking care of my four kids, and the occasional Great Dane or two.
What drew you to writing romance? Are you a long-time reader?
Long-time reader – yes! I remember finding Romance novels at hotels when I was a very young teen and sneaking them into my room so I could read them. I can also remember being a little girl, and watching action shows like the Six Million Dollar Man (dating myself terribly here), but all I was interested in was the hero and his girlfriend. I’m hopeless, I’ve always been that way.
I’m not sure what prompted me to finally start writing as opposed to simply reading. One day I just said, “What the hell, there’s nothing to lose!”
When you begin writing a book, do you have the story all outlined in your mind or do you wait and see where the characters take you?
I’m such a pantser! I try to at least do a list of scenes, but it always changes several times over the course of writing the book. My critique partner loves to plot, I mean loves it. She’s a maniac, and she’s always giving me these complicated charts and graphs and stuff. My brain shuts down immediately. I can’t even read that junk, it looks like a foreign language to me.
What writers have influenced your own writing?
I don’t have any conscious models. I imagine lots of writers influence me, but only in a subconscious way. As for what writers I like? The obvious one: Jane Austen. But also a whole bunch of current writers in a variety of genres. I adore three women who write a mish-mash of mystery, romance, and historical fiction: Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander, and Tracy Grant. I am blown away by a crime/mystery writer named Tana French. And, to emphasize my really eclectic interests, I’m currently in love with the New Adult writers like Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines, Steph Campbell, Liz Reinhardt and Nyrae Dawn.
How difficult was your hero/heroine to write? How do you view their characters?
My hero was easy. He’s Owen! I have a tendency to view things through the men’s eyes, and to have these really strong connections with my guys. Weird, but there it is. The women I have to work harder on. In a certain way while I’m writing a book I’m in love with that hero. It’s great because I get to have a different hot guy every few months and Mr. Laurence doesn’t mind!
How important is the portrayal of families in your work?
It’s funny, even though I spend all day long taking care of my own various family members, I don’t give my characters a lot of traditional family. But, I think that there is always this group of people around them who take the place of a family – coworkers, friends, roommates – so there is a family feel, but not in a stereotypical way.
After a long day of writing, how do you indulge yourself?
I’m not sure what that means…Lol. Oddly enough, I read a lot of times, and often that reading is ARCs from other authors. I also watch some favorite shows like Nashville, Game of Thrones, and True Blood when I can.
Tell us about your research for the book.
It was rough. I had to go to Europe for three weeks! Yes, indeed. I took Mr. Laurence and the two kids that are still at home and we went to London and Paris and Scotland (although the book doesn’t have any scenes in Scotland). We had a great time and I soaked it all up so that I could envision my characters and what they were doing in those places.
What haven’t you done as a writer that you’d like to attempt?
Publish a second book! Lol. Publish three books, then four. I’m planning a holiday anthology with a couple of other Romance writers that we’ll put out this winter, so that’ll be my first foray into self-pubbing. I’d like to have books in the grocery store someday so that I could stand in the checkout aisle and look at my name while I wait. How fun would that be! Oh, and I’d like to write a New York Times bestseller. You know little things like that. 😉
What are you planning next for your readers? What’s next?
I’m currently working on a New Adult Romance. It’s set in Hawaii, and there’s surfing and college, and also some pretty heavy issues, but the hero is a really good guy, and the heroine is super brave and self-reliant. They fight hard for their HEA, so they really deserve it when it happens.
What advice can you give writers who are getting started?
Wow, that’s a hard one. It’s a really tough business, and for a lot of people it’s made even tougher by the fact that they have to do it as a second job. I guess the first thing I’d tell people is to read, read, read in the genre you want to write. I own over 700 books, the vast majority of which are some sort of Romance novels, and I’ve read them ALL. It’s the single best way to learn to write that I know of. Secondly, I’d say get critique partners. Join your local writing groups and hook up with other people who write similar stuff to yours, then really listen to them, and let them help make your work the best it can be.
It’s so easy! Go to my website: www.selenalaurence.com On there you can link to my Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, as well as email me, and sign up to receive the latest news on my books and appearances!