1. Tell us about your newest release.
Thanks so much for inviting me to do an interview at Romance Reviews Today, and for asking about my latest book! :) Lucky Girl is a quirky, funny, lighthearted romantic comedy I describe as “Bridget Jones dates James Bond.” The heroine, twenty-nine-year-old Jessica Devlin, is the beauty editor of Orlando’s O Tart magazine and she takes an overdue vacation to be maid-of-honor in her English cousin’s wedding. Jess has a few misgivings about crossing the pond, after recently being dumped by her fiancé while planning her own wedding, and an embarrassing episode two years ago after her grandfather’s funeral that involved an English pub, too many drinks, and a gorgeous Brit who held her in his arms and comforted her while she cried.
Of course, Jess believes there’s a one in a gazillion chance of her running into James Bond gorgeous Nick Mondinello again—but guess who is at the wedding? Jess firmly believes marketing exec Nick isn’t right for her, since he’s a playboy like her dad who left when she was twelve, but fate keeps throwing her and Nick together in ways she never expected. It’s a story that I hope will keep readers giggling and turning the pages until the very last word.
2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?
About halfway through the book, Nick turns up on the doorstep of the house where Jess is staying with flowers and a gigantic box of chocolates—an apology for a misunderstanding that happened at his party the night before. That scene was actually inspired by one of the first dates I had with my husband, when I was living and studying in England. He’d heard I’d recently celebrated my birthday, and arrived with a lovely bouquet of flowers and the biggest box of chocolates I’ve ever seen. I was very impressed! :) I just knew that moment belonged in a book, and was pleased to work it into Lucky Girl.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first stories when I was about four years old (my mom still has them), and I’ve been writing poems, short stories, novellas, and novels ever since. I get cranky when I don’t write. I guess my creative muse gets restless when I’m not putting my imagination to good use.
4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?
I get my ideas everywhere: snippets of conversation, magazine articles, even conversations with my teenage daughter. Lucky Girl was inspired by the year I spent studying abroad. I lived with my uncle and aunt in Hertfordshire and traveled by train down to London every day. On weekends, I partied with a great group of friends I met through my English cousins. Jess’s love of gin and tonics is definitely something she got from me! :)
I have to write in a quiet place. Some authors like to listen to music; I end up tapping my toes or humming along to the songs, and I can’t focus. I also have to have a cup of coffee or tea beside me when I work. It’s part of my process to write a bit, then sip coffee while reviewing the last few sentences I’ve written. Then it’s drink down and fingers back on the keyboard.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I was surprised how much I fall in love with my characters! I adore Jess. She epitomizes many of the insecurities women experience. She stresses about her weight, appearance, work performance, being embarrassed, saying the wrong thing, being inadequate in the dating scene, and more. I think of her as one of my best friends. And Nick? Wow. Total hottie. But then, I’ve always loved dark-haired men with a British accent! :)
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
When I decided to pursue publication, I became very active in Central Florida Romance Writers, a terrific RWA chapter. Through CFRW and events at other local RWA chapters, I learned writing craft and how to submit my material. I also met my critique partners, talented writers whom I consider my best friends. We’ve been meeting for many years and my books are better because of their constructive comments.
8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
They are super supportive! My husband encourages my creativity, has driven me to out-of-town book signings, and hands out my bookmarks and business cards whenever people ask about my writing. My teenage daughter thinks it’s neat that her mom’s a writer. She has a wonderful writing voice, and I think one day, she’ll be an author, too. My parents always keep extra copies of my books on hand to give away to my friends, and my sister has beta read several of my manuscripts for me. It’s wonderful to have that kind of support.
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
I love to cook and bake; right now I’m trying recipes from Jamie Oliver and Ina Garten, from their shows I’ve watched on Food Network. I also enjoy reading, working in my garden, shopping trips with my daughter, browsing antique stores, and spending lazy days with my family.
10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
I have a few writing projects in the works. More details will be available soon!
11. How can readers connect with you online?
Please visit my website at http://www.catelord.com/ for the latest news on my books and author appearances. I also love to connect with readers via Facebook and Goodreads.
Thank you, Cate, for joining us at Romance Reviews Today blog!
Readers, interested in winning a download of her book? Post your questions and/or comments and you'll be entered to win a copy of LUCKY GIRL.