Teeny Weeny Red Bikini… Interview with author Lauren Christopher plus a giveaway!
Today on ye old blog I’m excited to introduce you all to another fabulous author and friend with another great debut, Lauren Christopher with her novel THE RED BIKINI.
Hi Lauren, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real treat!
Thanks, Kwana! I’ve been a long-time blog reader of yours, and it’s been so fun and inspiring watching your success. (Especially because we’ve both been writing while raising kids at the same time and sending them off to college!) I’m just thrilled to be here.
Yes, we have both been juggling together. Thanks so much for being such a supportive friend. I’m happy to have journeyed along with you. First off can you tell the blog readers a bit about your current work?
Sure! I’ve just launched my very first novel, The Red Bikini. It’s set in a fictional California seaside town called “Sandy Cove,” and it’s got a divorced mom from Indiana, a younger man, sand and sunsets, and some sizzling summer romance. Here’s the blurb:
For the last five years, Giselle McCabe’s life has been about sippy cups and playdates. But when her husband suddenly leaves her, Giselle flees to her sister’s California beach house for a two-week getaway. Out of her element, she’s surprised to receive such a warm welcome—especially from gorgeous celebrity athlete Fin Hensen. …
Fin is escaping his pro tour for a season, trying to lay low until all the hubbub over a huge mistake in his past blows over. And when he sets his sights on Giselle, he realizes that the beautiful good girl just might be his ticket to success.
But Giselle never expected romance to enter the picture again—especially with a hot twentysomething from a completely different world. And even though it feels like Fin is everything she’s trying to run away from, she can’t help coming back for more…
What inspired you to write this story?
I think I really like stories where things aren’t as they seem, and where people have to overcome stereotypes or assumptions to get down to truth and beauty. In this story, there are a lot of stereotypes being held – of surfers, of Californians, of beauty queens, of people who drive certain cars or have certain professions – and I wanted to write a story where all the stereotypes get stripped away, one by one, for both the hero and the heroine. I guess I wanted to explore how often, perhaps, our assumptions or misperceptions might get in the way of letting us make real connections with people, and might even get in the way of letting us fall in love.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Yep. I remember standing at the edge of my kindergarten teacher’s desk and dictating “The Runaway Easter Egg” and “My Baby Brother.” We bound them in yarn, and they went on display at the Huntington Beach Mall with the rest of my class’ books. I remember being so proud when my parents took me to see it displayed there. By the time I was in first grade, my first grade teacher wrote a little poem for me that went “Laurie, Laurie, tell me a story.” I think I was destined for storytelling!
What made you choose this genre to write in?
I really love writing about love. I myself married my high school sweetheart, and he’s the most amazing man – truly my best friend and the love of my life. So I really believe in true love. And I like exploring what makes it work for some people and how people find it. I mean, marriage is hard work and all – we all know it’s not all starry-eyed walks on sunset-y piers! But there is truth to the starry-eyed start: finding that special someone, and knowing he or she is your special someone, and making the commitment to making that relationship work for a lifetime. So I like exploring that in stories – putting two characters (two “types”) together and seeing how these two random personalities could do that. Can an introvert make it work with an extrovert? Can an optimist make it work with a realist? Can a homebody make it work with someone with wanderlust? It’s so fun to set two people up and see how sparks fly.
What characteristics are essential in a hero for you? And how about a heroine?
This is a great question! Hmmm, let’s see. For me, the hero has to have an honor code of some kind. It can be a little thwarted at first (as it sometimes is in some of the bad-boy heroes I like to read), but it has to be there. And he has to have respect for women in general – we’ll usually see it in the way he treats a mom, sister or female friend first, so we’ll know the heroine is going to be in good hands ultimately, and treated with the respect that makes true love work.
And for me, the heroine has to be kind. It sounds so simple, but she just has to have a kindness that might extend to her pets or friends or other family members that lets us know that the hero is going to be in good hands, too.
Lastly what can readers expect next from you?
Whew! Well, the next book is already turned in to my publisher and comes out April 2015. It’s called Ten Good Reasons and features Giselle’s sister Lia. It’s got a workaholic heroine, a hero who looks like a pirate, some serious tanned forearms, a whale named Valentine, some Cinderella imagery, and a whole lot of fun! I hope readers will come along for another ride. And I’m writing the third book, for the youngest sister, now.
Wow! So many wonderful stories to come. I can’t wait. Thanks so much once again for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.
Thanks for having me, Kwana! I want to do a little giveaway here to help celebrate my first book! (I’m just SO EXCITED!) I’d love to know others’ answers to your great “essential characteristics” question (and your answer, too!): As a reader, what characteristics are essential in a hero for you? And how about a heroine? If you answer below, or just say hi, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a “Sandy Cove” souvenir gift pack. Winner will be drawn Thursday at 10PM EST.
Thanks so much once again for being here Lauren and for the wonderful giveaway. Ugh you got me with my own question. Hmm… essential for me? That’s tough I think for both the hero and the heroine it may be that they have to be prepared to ultimately put the needs of their loved ones before their own. Sacrifice is big for me and seeing through the other’s eyes.
You can find Lauren at www.laurenchristopherauthor.com, or chat with me on Twitter @mizwrite (https://twitter.com/mizwrite) or on Facebook here (https://www.facebook.com/laurenchristopherauthor).
THE RED BIKINI can be found at:
BookDepository.com (free delivery worldwide, to Australia, Switzerland, Philippines and more)
All the best,
I like a couple that I can relate to.I want to be able to think that could ahppen and be able to be hem for the whole book
1061 ELDRON BLVD S SE
Just bought your book and cant wait to read it
Hi! Sounds like a book I’d like to read. I am from Southern California and can relate to the stereotypes.
Nice interview Ladies!
And I LOVE that your teacher made up the poem, “Laurie, Laurie, tell me a story.” That is adorable!!
I enjoy couples who ‘get’ each other on some small basic level, both with a sense a humor and can tease in a nice way. I think that is such great fun to read.
Congrats on the new book, Laurie!
I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time. Great interview, ladies–thanks for giving us some insight into what went into the book!
Oh, and HOORAY for kind heroes. My favorite type!
Congratulations and best wishes. A hero should have courage and strength of character and a heroine should have compassion and kindness.
Love your books!
Can’t wait to read the book.
I’m reading this book and loving it! And excellent question. I have to agree with what Lauren said. He has to respect women. And be a good guy. He can do jerky things, act like a butthead now and then, so long as I know WHY he’s behaving this way and that deep down he’s a nice guy.
I want a heroine I can relate to, not some perfect ideal woman with a perfect body. Heroes, on the other hand, are a different story! I’m not always big on the “bad boy” turned good, but that can be okay if it isn’t too far fetched. I can also prefer a different type hero with a different mood.
Congratulations on the book!
I’m loving reading all these responses! (Both as a fellow reader AND as a writer who wants to deliver this for readers!) Keep ’em coming… 🙂
Hero’s essential characteristic? Is it bad that the first thing to come to mind is “sexy?” LOL. But I guess if I want to pretend not to be superficial, I’ll say he has to be able to laugh at himself and make me laugh. I LOVE a good sense of humor.
I like strong characters – someone who is not afraid to do what’s right, even if it’s not popular.
I like heroes & heroines to have flaws, be strong, & have a sense of humor.
I love your formula–putting opposites together and seeing what happens. A great recipe for sparks. I love how you discussed stereotypes, too. And TEN GOOD REASONS sounds fabu–can’t wait for that one, too. And one day, Laurie-Laurie-telling-your-stories–maybe THE RUNAWAY EASTER EGG and MY BABY BROTHER will be backlist staples. Or in the Smithsonian.
Thanks for the wonderful interview!
Lauren – Congratulations on a fabulous debut novel! I have really been enjoying “The Red Bikini!” Glad to find Kwana’s site too!
Great questions! Let’s see…
My “keeper shelf” heroes are ones with a sense of commitment (even if they don’t know it at first) to their loved ones. Whether it’s a pure alpha or truly beta hero, in their hearts they’ll do anything for those they love.
My heroines are strong and confident, even if they wind up growing into their self-confidence during the novel. Also, like their heroes, my girls understand the importance of family and relationships.
What’s fun is seeing how different authors are able to create unique characters with these same traits.
Thanks for sharing your story and your novel with us!! Congrats on the release!
Hugs from your Firebird sister
Sounds like a good read. Thanks.