Interview with LaQuette!
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.
Interview with Adele Buck!
Hi Adele, thanks for taking time to chat about your debut novel, Acting Up. It's a really fun read! Have to say that community theater has never been my personal bailiwick, but it's a fascinating world I never knew much about before picking up this book!
My pleasure! Also, LOL. Community theater is actually a different thing - that's amateur theater (which can be VERY good, I'm far from knocking it! But it's not a career.). Acting Up is set in the professional regional theater system that I really hope still exists when we're beyond this pandemic.
Yikes, my bad -- regional theater. Thank you for clarifying! What prompted you to write about a theater-based novel?
Well, my first career was in theater. I started acting at 10 and have a BFA in theatre from Syracuse University. In addition to being an actress, I also worked as a stage manager (fun fact: one of my college roommates is a professional stage manager for Broadway and Broadway tours). Just about every romance I've ever read that was set in the theater featured actors as protagonists. I wanted to show readers what happened beyond the performance - to feature the rest of the crew who works so hard to make the magic.
My worst night on call
Yes, one day I'll get back to the writing posts. The light and breezy posts that make folks giggle.
But not today. I need to process this night. Couldn't tell my parents because they are already horrified and I'm only telling them about 20% of what I'm dealing with. I told hubs, but he's already doing a lot to support me and doesn't need to be my counselor as well. Didn't make sense for a Twitter thread or Facebook post. (Knowing FB, the deniers will come out and try to explain why none of this is real.)
Trust me. It's real. And it's terrible.
Within the past week, I had the worst hospital call night ever. That's saying something, considering I have written posts about delivering stillborn babies at 3am. But this recent night was as bad if not worse but in a different way.
As some of you know, I have been knee-deep in COVID doctor-y stuff since the beginning of March. I'm one of the physician leaders at my hospital, and the non-hospital clinic has been crazy pants. And over the past several weeks we've had a lot more sick patients -- things are starting to heat up. And the meetings just keep coming. My brain has had one setting and it's: COVID COVID COVID 24/7.
So for months, the only writing work I've been able to successfully accomplish involved not CREATION but only REVISION. These are not equal activities. I can tell a big difference between CREATION which takes a clear, uncluttered mind and longer periods of blank, free time -- versus REVISION, with I can do in short snippets and in between non-writing activities. (And while on call, true.)
It's not often I talk about one of my avocations: trail running.
Now, before you think that it's glamorous or that I'm like those models in Runners World, trim and womanly yet exuding gentle strength, while decked out in sleek tech gear and bounding down the trail like a graceful gazelle...that's nothing like my reality.
Imagine if you will a deranged oompah loompah who appears to be on the verge of a coronary, careening off rocks and roots all while muttering profanities as though f$%k is the only word in her vocabulary. (TBH, it IS one of my favorite words and I don't get to use it nearly enough.) What I do in the woods can barely be defined as athletic -- much less photogenic.
Have I mentioned that my ability to sweat buckets would put a Serengeti water buffalo to shame? It's impressive. As are my cankles. Hey, there's nothing wrong with sturdy legs. (Note to self: never wear skirts and heels.)
Every so often, in between barking my toe on a rock, then using the word f$%k like a verbal paintbrush and the world around me is a Jackson Pollock blank mural, I get kind of philosophical. And then I trip again.
Writers have certain behaviors and activities associated with stages of the writing process. Some folks drink wine or go out to eat. Others buy a fun book and get lost in the pages for a while. Then there's yours truly.
In honor of my 10th book going out to an agent/publisher for consideration, I bring you: What I Do After Completing a Manuscript
1) Sigh happily with a dreamy expression on my face.
2) Dust the entire house. You heard me. This house doesn't get dusted but maybe 4-5x yearly which interestingly enough, corresponds exactly with me finishing either my first big draft of a new manuscript or the final product of a manuscript. Domestic goddess, I am not. But when the dust bunnies achieve sentience, I need to do something or they'll start unionizing.
3) A treat. Today, hubs got me some kind of magical Gelato that has cookie dough and fudge stripes in it. Makes me want to write another book, just to get more!
4) All the stuff I have been putting off because I need my brain to stay in creative/fiction mode for a while. There's a list. It waits for me. Tomorrow I will work on my doctor resume and a physician leadership application that's due. Talk about switching gears, huh?
Summer book signings on hold
As I suggested in my 5/1/20 post, the news is confirmed: I will not be attending any of the planned summer book signings...
Romance Rendezvous Book Blast
Royal Readers at Mall of America
Mayhem in the Midwest
Bummer. Big stinking bummer.
The request is that this healthcare organization's employees not travel until the end of summer unless it's absolutely necessary, and if folks do have to travel that they not do activities in groups more than 10 people. For about a second, I had considered doing the signings but not letting my employer know. But in good faith, I cannot do an action that might put my family, my patients, and myself at undue risk of exposure. I am a front-line healthcare worker, seeing patients in the clinic, labor/delivery, and the inpatient medicine/ICU floor. While I take every precaution with PPE and have (knock wood) remained healthy, my job does put me at a higher risk of exposure. Even if I had no symptoms, I could still pass an illness along to someone if I was not taking the precautions like when I'm in the hospital -- and I don't think anyone wants me to do a book signing in full PPE. :) (Though I suppose it would be a unique conversation starter!)
Big thanks to the organizers of these events and their understanding. And readers, stick with me -- when I can do book signings again, we are going to have such an amazing time!
Check out my fabulous interview by Jess Carpenter! Click HERE to check it out!
What a difference a few months make, folks.
January 2020: Complaining about publishing frustrations and writers' block. Slogging through my busy week of scopes, deliveries, and seemingly endless patient visits in the office.
Fast forward to April 2020: I would gladly donate my left kidney to have the pleasure of dealing with the issues from January. Nowadays, most visits are virtual. The few visits in person for newborns and pregnant patients about to deliver are done in full facemarks and goggles/shields. All clothing is the same: street clothes to go to work, scrubs + white coat at work, change back into street clothes to go home, everything in the washer, and me in the shower. Literally rinse and repeat every single day of the past 6 weeks. Normal is the feel of my warm breath inside of a mask that stays on my face for 10 hours every day.
What's not normal is how my Day Job medical world collides with my Writing Job.
Folks, check out this auction for a fabulous cause. You can read all about it HERE.
Basically, browse the terrific bid items and then stalk -- I mean casually monitor -- the prizes you want to win and boost those bids. It's easy! Good luck with your bids!
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
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