Visit with Lauren Blakely – NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author!

I’m super excited today to be hosting a new idol of mine. She’s a self-publishing phenomenon and a mom. I was so excited to meet her over at Goodrreads (if you’re writing books and you’re not using Goodreads, GO. NOW. Wait, no, read this first, and then go!)

Read on to learn more about Lauren, author of Caught Up in Us and the sequel – Pretending He’s Mine (releasing on Friday!)

caughtupinusHow has the success of Caught Up in Us changed your life? 
My pets now have more respect for me 🙂 But seriously, I’m simply delighted that readers seem to be enjoying Kat and Bryan’s story, and I’m grateful that enough readers enjoyed it that I’ve been able to write a second novel in the series! And, I was able to turn down some work on the ghostwriting/day job side of my life so I can devote more time to novel writing, so that’s a good thing in my view!

What inspired you to write New Adult romance? 
NA is a genre that readers are truly embracing and driving right now, and with good reason. Romance is something that, frankly, most of us like! And I think new adult romance is tapping into the time when we are all trying to figure out what we want in life and love. NA, more than any other genre, is leading the charge with these new explorations of love in the modern age, and readers are clearly saying they want more. I’m a natural fan of romance, so I wanted to write something that would resonate with this passionate group of readers.

What do readers have to look forward to in Pretending He’s Mine?
Ooh! My favorite subject! I’m really excited about this book because it features scenes with Kat, Bryan and Jill from Caught Up In Us, but also introduces a new couple to readers in Reeve & Sutton. Their relationship and their challenges are different from those of Kat & Bryan – I like to say that while Caught Up In Us was about falling in love, Pretending He’s Mine is about “falling in like.” One of my early readers described Pretending He’s Mine as “sexy with some sweet thrown in!” It’s a bit edgier, but a lot of fun, in my view.

How do you keep it all together, managing kids and writing? (I have ulterior motives here… I struggle handling my own life, let along dealing with running a home, managing two small boys and a “real’ job!)
I installed an intravenous line that pumps caffeine into me 24 hours a day! But seriously. I am naturally a fast writer, so that helps. I also love books and the whole writing community from bloggers to other authors, so the “marketing” side of this is just so fun to me. And then, when it’s time to pick up the kids and take them to their activities, you just have to shut it down for a few hours and play the mom!

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a few projects, some of which I can’t talk about yet, but hope to share details soon! I do plan on writing Jill’s story in the Caught Up In Us series and want to release it in the summer.

Thanks so much for your time, Lauren! I wish you the best with your next release, and can’t wait to read it!

Find out more about Lauren Blakely and her books at her blog!

Time Management (Or Writing with Children)

Since I’ve taken tiny steps up the ladder toward publication (and ultimately, world domination! Mwahahahah! Okay, not really.), people who know about the books deals I’m working on have asked one question often. “How do you find time to write?”

It’s a valid question. I am married, and we have a house. So that means I spend a decent amount of time spraying and wiping things, running the vacuum, doing laundry, cooking and grocery shopping. We also have two small monkeys that live with us. I’m told they are actually children, and those who seem to know assure me that they are mine. They’re cute, so I have decided to accept this situation in the hopes that it will improve in do-ability as their chronological ages increase. In the meantime, this means that a lot of my time is spent doing all of the above-listed things much more often than I feel I should have to. Add in wiping other peoples’ butts, picking up other peoples’ socks, wracking my brain for new methods of reverse psychology that can be employed in getting the younger monkey to: put on shoes; put on a jacket; walk to the car without having a nervous breakdown; eat something… you get the idea. A lot of the time left after I’ve done all of that is spent driving the monkeys around to activities and school.

I also work 50% for a management consulting firm. This is mostly an arrangement that I’ve devised in order to justify my shoe habit. If I didn’t have to get dressed up to go to an office, my lovely pumps and platforms and wedges would never get out. And they might conspire to murder me in my sleep. The closet is right next to my bed. And I can’t risk that. Oh, and they pay me, so that is good. I do some freelance editing and corporate comms writing as well, so that fills in gaps that would otherwise be unfilled and might be construed as “free time.”

I also try to get to the gym five days a week and take a ballet class on Fridays.

I get up at five most mornings and usually succeed at packing anywhere between 1500 and 2500 words into the hour before the monkeys arise. Sometimes I find an hour at night, but I’m not good at writing at night. Especially if we’re involved in a riveting season of something on TV. (Game of Thrones, anyone? Downton? Vampire Diaries?)

The point of this rundown is not to get you to say, “wow, look at that stuff you do.” We all have lives packed full of stuff to do. The point of me showing all this stuff is to answer that question that I get asked often as more people learn that I am striving to be a writer – when do I find time? And I guess the answer – not terribly original – is that I don’t. I make it. I get up early, I neglect my children sometimes, I neglect my husband a lot of the time. But this is the one thing I want more than anything else. And when I look back at all the free time I squandered in the days when I had it… All I can think about now is how much I could have accomplished! But that wasn’t my time. THIS is my time, and so I will make the time I need to follow my heart and my dreams.

And the big point on droning on and on about it is this: If I can make time to pursue my dreams, then SO. CAN. YOU.

What goal have you set for yourself? How are you going about reaching it? How badly do you want it?

This week I’m going to feature an interview with another writer who has been navigating the tricky waters of time-finding, juggling family responsibilities and a writing life. I hope you’ll be excited to read about uber-successful indie author Lauren Blakely, whose book Caught Up in Us is a NYT and USA Today best-seller. She’s a mother and wife as well, about to release a second book, Pretending He’s Mine. Stay tuned!