Kathy: I am thrilled to welcome Laura Simcox to Book Reviews & More by Kathy. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today.
I always have to begin by asking what motivated you to become a writer? How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become a published author?
Hi Kathy! I’m thrilled to join you today. A life change motivated me to become a writer, although I have always enjoyed writing. I think my first story was written in kindergarten and was all about how I wanted to become a waitress. 🙂 I got serious about writing four years ago when my husband and I brought our son home and I found myself a stay-at-home mom, after a twenty year career in Theater. I made that choice, since flitting off all over the place to design costumes wasn’t conducive to bonding with a little one. I’ve been a romance reader and fan for as long as I can remember, and so I did a lot of research into romance publishing, dusted off a novel I had never finished and got to work. The time frame from then to getting an offer on my first novel was about a year and a half. Since then I’ve worked hard, played smart, been lucky, and Permanent Ink will be my fourth published novel.
Kathy: What is a typical day in the life as author Laura Simcox? Do you write every day? How long does it take you to complete your novels?
There is no typical day in my life because my son (whom I love dearly) is a charming little hellion. On a good day…no, make that a great day…I get up at six, check social media, open my work in progress and re-read, make notes and get ready to write. Then I stop, get my son ready for pre-school, drop him off, come home and get to work. I write most of the morning and then when school is over at noon, I pick up my son, make lunch and then it’s game on with him. I might get another hour to write (broken up into short bursts) in between playing pirate and playing with Legos. When my husband gets home from work, I check social media again and might write another couple of pages before dinner. My evenings are MINE and usually involve shamelessly parking myself on the sofa with my husband, watching stupid shows on TV. How long it takes me to complete a novel depends on how much research I have to do. I’m not afraid of writing in a setting that is unfamiliar to me, though it takes additional work. I guess I can write a full-length novel in about three-four months.
Kathy: I have to confess that I am a huge fan of series and I am delighted that are beginning a second series. Do you always plan for the novels to become a series? What influences your decision to continue the series?
YAY! So glad you’re a fan of the series. This series, yes, I planned AS a series, because it all revolves around a small town called Celebration—which doesn’t have a lot to celebrate. The town needs to evolve, and it does that via the couples who fall in love there. As the stories progress, the quirky town does, too. I am influenced to continue a series based on reader feedback and whether or not I feel there are characters whose stories need to be told.
Kathy: Now for a few nosy get to know you questions. Do you have a favorite book or author you like to recommend? Do you have a comfort read?
My favorite author is Katie MacAlister. I admire her versatility (she writes across genres and does so with amazing style). She has never-ending wit, and writes unique heroines and super-sexy heroes. My comfort read is Katie, and also pretty much any Regency romance I can get my hands on. I love to write contemporary (and love to read it) but I have to say, I love to read Regency the most. It’s pure escape for me!
Kathy: What is your guilty pleasure?
Really silly guy comedy movies. Like Hot Tub Time Machine. My husband and I call them our ‘go-to’ entertainment because we both love them when we’re too tired or stressed to focus on anything else.
Kathy: Favorite meal?
Ohhhh…here comes the Midwesterner in me! (I’ve lived in the South for 15 years, but I miss the food I grew up with.) Okay: my favorite meal is a church pot-luck. It has: baked spaghetti with crumbly ground beef, onions and green peppers. It has deviled eggs (at least five different kinds). It has a bucket of KFC. It has three-bean salad, macaroni salad, green bean casserole, some weird-looking hot dish casserole that ends up tasting awesome, and about six different kinds of pies and bars. (My favorite is a 7-layer bar with coconut and chocolate chips.) Top that all off with iced tea (NOT sweet, thank you) and I am so, so happy.
Kathy: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
If I didn’t write, I would want to be a radio personality. I would want to be a morning drive-time DJ and talk to wacky folks on the phone. To me, it would be like an awesome live blog with a giant audience. J
Kathy: If you could time travel, what time period would you visit?
There are many, but the costume designer in me has to say the turn of the last century…somewhere between 1900-1910. It’s my favorite fashion period. I would be a short, kind of fat Gibson Girl, but I’d still rock it somehow.
Kathy: Could you tell us a little about Permanent Ink? What is next for the series?
Permanent Ink picks up in Celebration, NY where Ivy Entwined left off. It’s about a year later, and Ben Lambert (who had just opened a tattoo studio in Ivy Entwined) is not doing so great. His business is failing and he’s under pressure from his mentor to host a state-wide tattoo festival in Celebration. Ben is resisting because he’s a laid-back kind of guy—he doesn’t want the hassle—but he knows he has to do something. Then he meets Blair Whitaker. She rides into town, literally, on a pageant float and takes Ben’s breath away. When she takes the job as Celebration’s community activities director, she is suddenly all caught up in Ben’s business, his tattoo festival and his life. What Ben doesn’t know is that Blair takes the job intending to get back on her feet so she can leave. But will Celebration charm her as much as sexy Ben does? What’s next for the series is TBA at this point, though I’m loving the idea of writing Crystal’s story. Crystal owns the diner in town, and is a force to be reckoned with in her own right!
Kathy: Thank you again for chatting with us today. Congratulations on the release of Permanent Ink and I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the Something to Celebrate series.
Title: Permanent Ink by Laura Simcox
Something to Celebrate Series Book Two
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 318 pages
Blair Whitaker has one goal: get the hell out of Celebration, NY. Her ticket out is helping the town take the grand prize in a parade contest, which will ensure she lands her dream job. It’s a win-win.
Standing in the way is Ben Lambert, a sexy, local tattoo artist whose smile makes her weak. To win the contest, she’ll have to sideline his plans for the tattoo festival the town council allowed on the same weekend. But trying to thwart Ben is more than she bargained for, and before she knows it, she’s starting to see Celebration–and Ben–as something more than a temporary distraction.
But Blair’s in too deep to change directions now. Celebration is behind the parade contest, the mayor revokes the tattoo festival permit, and Blair is on the cusp of getting everything she’d planned. But coming clean will turn Ben against her for good, and going forward means losing what she really wants and hurting the town she’s grown to love.
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After spending years in professional theater as a costume designer, Laura Simcox eased out of the hectic whirlwind of opening nights and settled in a comfy desk chair to write romance. She believes that life is too short not to appreciate heartwarming, quirky humor and her novels are lighthearted journeys into the happily-ever-after. She lives in North Carolina with her true love and adorable little son. Visit Laura at: http://www.laurasimcox.com