E: First off thank you for speaking with me today. What inspired you to write Catch My Breath? Did you have trouble finding a voice for Lia and Alistair?
L: Hi Evelyn! Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. So, what inspired me to write my series? That’s easy! I’m an avid traveller and love going to London. About eight years ago, my friend and I went to Glasgow. It was my first time there and I loved it. I’ve always had the idea to write a trans-Atlantic romance involving an American girl and a British guy, I just needed to find the perfect place to start their story. Once I went to Glasgow, I knew I had my beginning.
As far as finding a voice for Lia and Alastair, well….Lia was easy. She’s so approachable and friendly. Her voice was the strongest. Alastair, true to form, was a tough nut to crack. He’s so protective of who he is that his voice revealed itself slowly, much like he reveals himself throughout the series. Both were fun to write though.
E: What comes first when you write, characters or plot? Creating characters can be tough, do you have any tips on crafting characters?
L: Characters tend to make themselves known to me first. More often than not, the dialogue forms in my head before any plot takes shape. It’s the just characters chatting back and forth. From there, I can identify whose voice is strongest and run with it. I tend to craft the characters organically, letting them develop as the story progresses. Sure, I know their backstory and quirks, etc but I like to see how they develop while thrust into all the scenarios the story presents.
E: Music can fuel the imagination. I know I listen to certain playlists while I write. Do you listen to music as you write? Did you have a specific play list inspired by Catch My Breath?
L: Oh, of course! I have a huge playlist that I listened to while writing the whole series. Songs can be very inspirational and help give an extra bit of emotion, especially when I’m writing a tough scene. The playlist I used for Catch My Breath is huge. It wouldn’t fit in this space! To give you an idea, I listened to quite a bit of U2, Coldplay, James Morrison, Snow Patrol, Kanye West and The Script to name a few.
E: Romance is a popular genre, but there are a lot of tropes out there. What are some important factors to writing a great romance story?
L: For me, it has to be about the character’s journey and their growth. Writing about two people meeting and falling in love is easy. I’m more interested in the mistakes they make, the frustrations, joys, laughs, tears, arguments, etc that they go through to fully understand the other and make that final leap to love.
E: What was the publishing process like for you? Could you give our readers an idea of what it takes to go from writing the story to seeing it published?
L: When I wrote The Breathless Series I never intended to publish it. I’d always wanted to write a book but never thought anybody else would want to read it! After I finished Catch My Breath, the first book in the series, I joined a couple of writing communities (Book Country and Authonomy) whose main objective is to have writers workshop their books/stories. It’s extremely helpful to have a complete stranger read your work and leave constructive comments. The communities are so supportive too, so it gave me the extra push to submit to publishers. I had four contract offers within the first six weeks of my submission process. It was quite the whirlwind. I ended up signing with the Harper Collins imprint HarperImpulse and have been so happy with them.
Although I was fortunate enough to write my first novel and have it published right out of the gate, I will say that I worked on it for two years before I even considered submitting it. The writing is the easy part. The harder part is editing and polishing the story. That’s why joining those writing communities was so important.
E: What was the hardest part about writing Catch My Breath? How did you overcome this difficulty?
L: In all honesty, Catch My Breath was easy for me to write. It was one of those stories that just flowed out of me. If anything, the hardest part was typing fast enough so I didn’t lose any of the thoughts filling my head!
E: Can you tell us about any future projects you may have?
L: I’m working on a new contemporary romance at the moment. Can’t say too much about it just yet though! 😉
E: Lastly, do you have any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers? Any advice for aspiring writers who are trying to break into the market?
L: Write what you love. Write what you want to read. Write for yourself. One of my favorite authors, Sylvia Day, said at last year’s Romance Writers of America conference that the “only person who can make your book real is you.”
So many writers are trying to break into publishing and it’s not an easy journey. Just keep on loving what you do.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Catch my Breath
Author: Lynn Montagano
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Lia Meyers’ plan for a relaxing Scottish vacation is short-lived when one uncharacteristic moment of clumsiness lands her in the arms of a dangerously attractive Englishman.
The perfect opportunity for a much needed holiday romance? Wrong! Lia’s still reeling from the mother of all bad breakups, and she really doesn’t have the patience for Alastair Holden – despite his effortless charm and sexy British accent.
Arrogant and totally inscrutable, he’s exactly the sort of guy she wants to avoid but can’t: the man behind the mystery proves just too tempting to resist.
Drawn to him, Lia is forced to battle with her own insecurities, and the closer they become, the more she recognizes her own weaknesses as she peels away his layers with every night they spend together. Discovering the past Alastair is so desperate to conceal, Lia must decide if they can heal one another together or if their deepest fears will tear them apart.
Amazon US: http://www.smarturl.it/CatchMyBreathBook
Amazon UK: http://www.smarturl.it/CatchMyBreathUK
Google Play: http://www.smarturl.it/CatchMyBreath_Book
A fresh, new voice in contemporary romance, Lynn is a former TV news writer who decided to take the plunge and write a novel.She’s thrilled that her debut series has been published by Harper Impulse. Catch My Breath, Unravel Me and Effortless were released to rave reviews.
Lynn grew up in a small town in Rhode Island before venturing out into the world. She’s lived everywhere from Los Angeles to Boston to Orlando. An avid traveler, Lynn’s been as far away as Australia and as close as Canada. Her favorite place to visit is London.
The small town girl is back on the east coast after a brief stint in Northern California. Lynn currently resides in Massachusetts, comfortably close to her beloved football team.
Google Plus: https://www.google.com/+LynnMontagano
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