Friday, October 27, 2017

Interview with Leigh Lavalle, BREATHLESS


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
BREATHLESS is a fun contemporary romance and the first book in the Yoga in the City series. BREATHLESS features a quirky yoga teacher heroine, Hannah, who does not fit into the yoga world, and a sexy hero, Jake, who injured his knee in Afghanistan. While Hannah helps Jake heal his knee, sparks flare, and she comes dangerously close to breaking open his heart.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did! In 2011 I was a finalist in the RWA Golden Heart contest. I found an agent and sold a book to a publisher. It was a great experience, but indie publishing was new and exciting and put me in charge, so I didn’t stay with my publisher for long.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
The main factors for me are being in charge of my books and my timeline. I have 3 kids age 3-10, so deadlines are somewhat fluid. I also like to have control over my cover art, my promotions, and my books.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I like to listen to music as I think about scenes. I definitely use songs to inspire me and help me feel the emotions I want to convey. Lately I’ve been listening to Lord Huron a lot- they write the most dreamy, romantic songs. 

But I need silence when I write. If I’m in a deep writing phase or editing phase, I can’t work anywhere but my home or the library. Even a coffee shop is too loud for me.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I always try to plan my books, but the plot changes as I write them. At the beginning of each book I swear THIS will be the one I write correct the first time. Whenever I change a plot, I toss thousands and thousands of words and lose so much time. Alas, I’ve not succeeded in planning the perfect draft yet. I have to find it while I’m in the words and in the characters.  
I plot by creating an outline and putting it into Scrivener. Scrivener is an awesome writing program that integrates ‘note cards’, cork boards, templates, and actual text.  
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I do. I work with a content editor as well as a line editor and a proof reader.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
The most important thing, for me, was finding a community of other writers. We support each other, educate each other, and give each other feedback on our stories. I found RWA early in my career and it’s been invaluable. They offer great writing classes and the conferences are packed full of information about publishing, both traditional and indie. More than once my writing friends have held my hand and kept me moving forward when I was tired or disheartened. 
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love to do yoga, which makes sense as I’m writing a series about yoga. I also love to get out into the mountains. Living in Montana, that’s pretty easy to do. I love to hike, ski, camp, and explore new places.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Man, I am such a libra. All my answers are: Dogs but I like cats. Coffee but sometimes tea. Talk and Text. Day for day stuff and night for night stuff. The only thing I can answer clearly is CHOCOLATE.

What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on RECKLESS, book 2 in the Yoga in the City series. This is a fun road trip/ wedding date romance that features my most new-agey heroine, Crystal, and my most controlled hero, Ford. It’s been a lot of fun to write.



Blurb:
After moving cross-country yet again, Hannah Roberts wants to put down roots in Colorado. She’s sunk her life savings into a share of Bloom Yoga Studio, but the studio is losing money, and fast. The building is undergoing a messy, noisy renovation–and the hot carpenter in charge is distracting her yoga students in more ways than one. If Hannah can’t talk the hard-bodied builder out of his power tools, she might as well kiss her dreams goodbye.
When Jake Marshall returned from Afghanistan, he brought back an injured knee and a lot of bad memories. He just wants to finish this renovation, rehab his knee, and head for Alaska to leave it all behind. A sexy yoga teacher doesn’t fit into his plans. But when Hannah offers him private sessions in exchange for quiet hours—he’s all in.  He doesn’t expect that while she’s healing his knee, Hannah will poke at all his hidden wounds…and come dangerously close to breaking open his heart.


Author bio:
Leigh LaValle is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance. She lives in Montana with her family. When she is not chasing kids, bemoaning the laundry, or carving out time to do yoga, she is sneaking away to write. She would rather read than sleep, and cannot imagine a better job than writing romance. She is also a certified yoga teacher, but is not nearly as flexible as she once was.

Awards and Nominations
RT Book Reviews 4 stars…..TOP PICK Night Owl Reviews….Nominated BEST HISTORICAL The Romance Reviews….Nominated for Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award…Nominated Best Historical Romancing Rakes