In another of my first forays into interviewing, I chatted with the fabulous LaQuette about her upcoming release.
Hi, LaQuette! Thanks for taking time to give an interview for your upcoming steamy contemporary book, Jackson, about a Texas Ranger and the amazing and smart woman with a heart of gold who teaches him to trust again.
Hey Jillian! It’s so good to connect with you again. As soon as outside opens back up, I’ve got a monster-sized hug waiting for you.
Right back at you! I can’t wait for the world to recover. Okay. So, I remember reading your fabulous St. Jared's Memorial series, based around a hospital in New York City. This new book’s Texas setting is quite a departure from the big city. Tell me how you picked Texas and developed your background for this setting.
Goodness, no! I’m a concrete princess to my heart. Lol I have family and friends all over the south who’ve given me a few occasions to visit the Lone Star State. Although I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, I grew up with my Southern Baptist grandmother in the house with us. Many of the traditions she taught me have helped shape who I am. So I wanted to write a story that kind of hearkened back to those days spent at my grandmothers knee soaking up everything she taught me.
What was the hardest thing about writing this story? Easiest?
The hardest thing was not having them sleep together from their first meeting. Jackson and Aja have this electric chemistry between them. It’s visible from the first time Jackson sees her image in a photo. By the time he actually meets her, he’s halfway to falling in love already. Aja is just the same. Jackson gets on her last nerve, but she doesn’t let her annoyance blind her to how attracted she is to him. The easiest thing was Aja nurturing moments. She nurtured those she cared by taking care of them. She wasn’t domesticated in any way. She just has a talent to cook the thing that’s going to lift your soul when it’s at its lowest point.
The cover says "Restoration Ranch, Book 1." I want to know where books 2-10 are! What can readers expect from this series?
Ha! There will never be a ten-book series by LaQuette. Lol. There are three books in this series. Book two is titled Colton, and it follows Jackson’s best friend and colleague, Colton, and Aja’s network director, Seneca. What can I say about Colton? It’s an absolutely filthy book. Honestly, it makes Jackson look tame.
Restoration Ranch is a series about redemption. It’s a place where anyone can go to lay down their burdens so they can heal. Each hero is a law enforcement agent who has to learn sometimes people do the wrong things for the right reasons, and that one bad act doesn’t mean a person is irredeemable.
You know I can’t help myself and have to ask medical questions, LaQuette. Your St. Jared's series of course has characters with medical backgrounds and medical scenes in it. Clearly that's something you know well as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. How have you applied your medical background to this new series? Can we expect some gruesome injuries or medical situations to play out in the pages of these books?
My friend tells me I’m not happy unless I’m killing people on the page. She’s partly right. I do use my knowledge as an RRT to help with physiological things in my book. So, if I’m writing about an ailment, or an injury, I can present it in a fairly accurate way.
Do you have a favorite line in this book?
Absolutely! The couple sneaks away during a party for a quickie. This scene follows as the heroine is trying to clean up the aftermath of their lovemaking while the hero is teasing her. “If Aunt Jo finds out you had your naked ass sitting on top of her deep freezer, she’s going to take a switch to both our hides. I’m not going out like that.”
Do you imagine Jackson as your book boyfriend when you were writing this story? Because, that cover ...yum. Talk about Broody McBrooderton!
No, I didn’t. I initially imagined him as model/actor Travis Cure. But we couldn’t find any purchasable photos of him, so we went looking and found that deep-toned, beautiful, brick wall of a man. I am certainly not mad at his likeness ending up on my cover.
He really looks nice, right there on the cover, looking right at me. I mean, looking. You know. Anyway. Did you bring any of your life and professional background to Aja's story?
Absolutely, especially the way she interacts with the older generation in her family. She’s a boss, but when she’s in the presence of her aunt and uncle, she shows reverence. That’s very much how I am with my elders.
What's your favorite genre of fiction/romance?
Erotic romance, both to read and write.
NY versus Chicago pizza?
That’s not even a competition. New York wins hands down.
Curiosity from a rural dweller. What's NY feel like right now in the pandemic? Business as usual or can you tell a difference in the crowds or the vibe?
New York was hit hard by Covid. The city that never sleeps suddenly came to a crashing halt. Businesses are open, but there are major restrictions put in place to keep people safe. Everything as we know it has changed. But, hopefully, things will get better as more people take the vaccines.
Sexiest man alive and why is it Idris Elba? Please show your work for full credit.
Honestly, Idris is fine as hell, but there are other men who’d catch my eye before him. Morris Chestnut, Matt Bomer, and the only man I’d divorce my husband for, Roman Reigns.
>quickly looks up new pictures< Ah. I see your point. Very handsome! Okay, so when your series could be adapted to film or Netflix, who would play the lead roles?
Amber Riley would be cast as Aja. As for the hero, now that I’ve seen this model on my cover, I can’t imagine anyone else as Jackson. I don’t know that gentleman’s name. But good Lord, he’s fine.
Amber Riley brings so much amazing energy to everything she does. She’d be great! Would you want to be directly involved in the film, or could you trust Shonda to take your series and run with it?
I’d leave it to the experts with the option to consult. Shonda hardly needs me telling her how to make a hit!
What's your best RRT advice you could give someone -- besides "don't smoke?"
Drink water. Mucus builds up becoming thick and viscous when you’re dehydrated, blocking the flow of air. That stuff can cause havoc in your airways if left unchecked.
Old school McIntosh vs Miller straight blade direct visualization of cords vs screw-it-just-give-me-the-glidescope?
The only blade I ever intubated with was a McIntosh. In my opinion, it fits the anatomy better and if you’re losing it properly and your patient is well-sedated, in my personal experience, it causes less injury to the mouth. Mind you, there may not be any science behind that. Lol. But that’s why I prefer it.
I don’t intubate without visualizing the cords. I’m all about causing the least amount of trauma as I can while I’m in there. If I can’t see the cords and it’s a desperate situation, I’m calling for the anesthesiologist.
Should doctors ever touch the ventilator settings and why is the answer always "GOD, NO?"
They should absolutely never touch the ventilator. They don’t understand the intricacies of mechanical ventilation with respect to the machine. So, doctors might learn about tidal volume and peep, but often they’re not given the type of intense training it requires to be able to use the machine, create a specialized therapy plan with respect to ventilation, and apply that therapy. So, when in doubt, page your respiratory therapist who has spent two to four years studying nothing but the cardio-pulmonary system.
You know I was kidding, right? I would never touch the vent, I promise. What's one writing workshop you could give right now, off the cuff, and speak with authority for 45 minutes?
Writing hot sex scenes that will leave your readers begging for more.
Coffee and water.
Cheese and graham crackers.
Hopefully not together… Favorite place to spend time relaxing?
On my couch. The only place better is my bed.
Favorite show to binge-watch?
I love old-school 80s/90s cartoons. At least once a year I binge the original She-Ra and He-Man.
LaQuette, thanks for being a good sport with all of my questions -- some of which I know were random. Is there anything else about this new series or your writing that you want readers to know?
Yes! Jackson releases February 23rd in Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, and across the usual e-tailers such as Amazon and Kobo. And if you’re interested in finding out more about my work, click one of the contacts below.
Facebook: LaQuette ~ Romance Author
Thank you for taking the time and all the best with your new steamy Restoration Ranch series! I can't wait to read it, and I know that readers are going to love it, too!
Thanks so much for having me! 💋
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.