Q&A with Laura Boon
I wanted to set my story in a place that was inspiring and a little exotic so that the characters had to consciously consider their environment. Being “out of place” heightens one’s awareness and raises the stakes on any difficulties. I had previously visited the Chamonix-Le Tour valley in the French Alps and thought what a wonderful setting it was for a romance. Beautiful but challenging, especially for an English-speaking person.
2. When did you take up writing?
I first started writing at university. I had written essays at school but always thought of them as assignments rather than writing. Taking a course in creative writing at university dared me to think that I could be a storyteller rather than just read the stories of others.
3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
Setting is very important to me. The space we occupy affects our behaviour, from our home outwards. Place can be safe or dangerous, from both a physical and an emotional perspective. Until I understand the environment my characters inhabit, I can’t predict how they will behave. Is walking down the street a ho-hum experience, so familiar they don’t even notice the shops or is every shop window an inspiration and a curiosity? Likewise, how do they fare in nature? Do they love the challenge of the environment or are they always on the lookout for spiders and wondering how soon they can turn around and head home?
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
I have a soft spot for my heroine Hailey Gordon. She’s always trying to do everything right and is flummoxed when life refuses to play along and follow her rules.
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
“Bum glue.” If your butt isn’t in the seat, you won’t produce any words.
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
I don’t have a schedule although now that I am not working full-time, I am hoping to write more regularly. I am easily distracted – by the dishes, my dog, Facebook; you name it, I can be distracted by it. I aim for a particular word count per day, but it doesn’t matter when I do it, except of course if I leave it too late because then it doesn’t happen.
7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
I would love to be a plotter. Plotting makes sense. Unfortunately, my characters are very uncooperative and have their own ideas. I start with a rough outline of the key action points in each chapter. By the time I finish the novel, this outline has been rewritten four or five times.
8. Can you name three or four of your current favourite books?
Only four? I’ll try. Lionheart by Thea Harrison (it is book three in a fantasy romance trilogy set between the contemporary world and other worlds people by magical beings and Arthurian legends. Rough and Tumble by Rhenna Morgan. This is book one in her six book Men of Haven series. It’s been my go-to comfort read since it came out. The others are fabulous as well. I just reread the whole series and I’m waiting (very impatiently) for book six. The Pursuit Of by Courtney Milan, a beautiful, sensitive, same-sex novella that is the origin story in her Worth Saga series. The Laird’s Wilful Lass by Anna Campbell, her first full-length novel in some time. It’s set in Scotland. There are kilts and accents and high-handed men who need to be taken down a peg or two.
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
I have two projects on the go, Lion Dancing for Love, which is part of the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press and book two in Romancing the Alps, currently title-less.
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
Join a writing group or association, keep learning by taking as many courses as you can, and keep reading. Reading is the best education of all.
Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and their Pekingese Beau. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbour. You can find her at:
Website and blog: https://lauraboon.com
Blurb and excerpt
When danger threatens a bona fide city girl, an adventurer is her only hope of rescue
Mountain climber Matt Hanley is a former investment manager whose lean body and rugged good looks epitomize an outdoor adrenaline junky. When his business partner in their country hotel is injured, he needs an efficient replacement in a hurry.
Hailey Gordon lives a chic city life free of adventures and daredevils. She craves stability and security but loses her job and boyfriend on the same day. A holiday job in France is the perfect escape from her troubles.
Sparks ignite when Matt and Hailey meet, but she resolves to ignore the flame flickering between them. Aside from the fact Matt is her boss, she is convinced he is not her type. Matt is determined to teach Hailey to look beyond appearances. He needs to show her how good they are together, even if he must risk life and limb to do so.
Extract from The Millionaire Mountain Climber
Hailey drank in the landscape, noticing the clarity of the late afternoon sky and the way the snow-capped peaks glistened despite the fading light.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” said Matt. “Trending down the valley, you have the villages of Argentiere and Les Praz and the town of Chamonix. Behind Chamonix you can see the Grand Mama of all the peaks, Mont Blanc.”
“Yes, the pens––and the chocolates.” She shook her head. What hubris to name a pen after the magnificent towering peak, but what marketing genius.
Matt grinned. “Ah, you know the chocolates, do you? We’ll have to buy you some.”
“From the lips to the hips,” she murmured, “and I am sure they don’t do the mountain justice.”
“Come on, let’s get you inside before your face turns blue, and I earn a reprimand from Genie for chatting up scantily-clad women in sub-zero temperatures.”
“Really? You were chatting me up? I’m flattered.”
The smile turned wicked. “You’re welcome.” As he bent to pick up her suitcase, he dropped his head next to hers and murmured into her ear in a low, deep voice, sending shivers down her spine. “For the record, Hailey, your curves are perfect. A little chocolate won’t do them any harm.”
She blushed, and the fire of his words flickered all the way through her belly. When was the last time her ex had paid her a compliment? An appalling thought crossed her mind; she, the High Priestess of Order and Long-Term Planning, was ripe for the picking and contemplating a holiday romance.
Amazon Australia: https://tinyurl.com/y9v28sq3
Amazon UK: https://tinyurl.com/ya26ljwh
The Wild Rose Press: https://tinyurl.com/y7n7ghg5