Friday, November 22, 2013

Author! Author! LB GREGG

It's hard to interview someone I've known as long and as well as Lisabea. I respect her and I luff her. She's not
afraid to call a spade a spade -- usually Kate Spade. And generally two hours before she has to show up perfectly
coiffed.

Five things I love about L.B Gregg
1 - She owns a percolator
2 - Her laugh
3 - She's game. For anything.
4 - Her smart, funny, no bullshit prose
5 - Her New England backbone. Also her New England funny bone.


Therefore, without further adieu, le interview...

Have you ever been a suspect in an arson case? Coz if not, I'm wondering how the local sheriff could have overlooked such a strange series of coincidences...



 The cops only give me a second glance when I’m standing next to you, Lanyon.

 

What's the last piece of music you listened to? Did you sing along?

 

 I’m listening to my WIP playlist now. Change by Churchill. I can’t carry a tune, so slurring and humming is involved. And I’m not even drinking! I’m answering interview questions.  

 

 You took two years off to build your mansion on the hill. The house is beautiful, but it's tough coming back from sabbatical. Thoughts?



Not as tough as Everest, and I’m no Tom Cruise, but it’s been an uphill climb. When I decided to renew myself, focus on my family, and build that dream house I did worry my readers wouldn’t remember me, or care to. Momentum is a crazy thing—it’s hard to build, and it sucks to lose it, but I’m still glad I took the time off. I wondered if you enjoyed your time off, though—and if the sabbatical came at a price?

See what I did there?
 

 

 (I see that. Coz I'm watching you.)

 

Martha Stewart versus Cat Woman. Who takes home the tiara?

 



Martha crafts a tiara out of organic hemp baker’s twine and Connecticut pine cones, which sounds like a crown of thorns but is in reality an unachievable DIY masterpiece and after stealing it from Martha’s lofty brow, Cat Woman stuffs it right up Martha’s you-know-where. **cough**

 

 What do you love most about writing? What do you like least?

 


 When the story you’re working on is utterly lost and you somehow manage to find that magical thread again. It’s incredible—-partly because you can write again, and partly because creativity is the ultimate high.

 I’m also a freak of nature because I think editing is fun. I love working with my editors to make a better book.

Least? I want to say the first draft, but really? Doubt. Doubt undermines everything.
 

 

 What do you think is the most important thing to remember when creating fully realized main characters?

 


I write romance novels. I keep that at the forefront of my mind. A good character in a romance novel is complex. Real romance is more than an unrelenting stream of orgasms or the pursuit thereof. Not that orgasms are a bad thing—or that I’m above writing sex –but a fully realized main character isn’t focused on his wiener. Characters with depth have purpose. Purpose drives them. Characters have dreams. They have jobs. They have hobbies. They have fears. They’re connected to their communities, or families, or friends. They laugh. And a lot like you and I, they make mistakes. Of course, in my books, the mistakes are usually ridiculous instead of angst-filled—like Mark braining Jaimie with a bible in the packed church on Ash Wednesday.

 

 Have you ever broken a bone?

 


I have stubbed and broken the same toe more than twice. It’s not longer than the other ones; it’s just unlucky.
 

 

You're best known for your smart, snappy, sexy romantic comedies. Is there any genre you'd like to tackle but you're kinda sorta afraid?

 


 
Hah! NOT giving away any of my secrets, Lanyon. But I’ll tell you what I won’t write out of pure terror: historical romance. Unless it’s a parody. I would do that.


 

 Are those wild stories about prep schools true?

 


 The prep school world is all about intense pressure, competition, and rampant hormones. That’s an explosive combination, so probably the wild stories are more than a little true.

 

 What are you working on now?


 

Men of Smithfield 5: Sam and Aaron. Or, as I like to call it, The Inn Keeper and the Hamburgler.  The title says it all, right? This book features mysterious newcomer Aaron M. Saunders and Sam Meyers, manager of the only B&B in Smithfield. There are cooking classes, and break-ins, and snogging in the pews of St. Joes.  Lots of familiar faces and Smithfield places. You’ll love it.


 

 All time favorite dessert. Do you have the recipe?

 


 
Sticky Toffee Pudding. And I don’t have the recipe because once I learn how to make it, I’ll never stop eating it. I also love to try weird flavored ice creams, like rosemary, basil, or maple bacon.

 

  You are quite the world traveler. Top three favorite foreign countries?

  


 Scotland because the land is untamed and raw; and the whiskey is the whiskey.

Italy for the food, the wine, the shopping, the history, the food, the wine, the food, the food.

Guana Island (BVI) as most of the island is a nature preserve and it’s unspoiled.
 

 

 Are you a full-time writer?

 


When I’m writing full-time, I am a full-time writer.

 

What's out next? Are we going to see more of the Ce and Dan?

 


 
After Smithfield the Fifth is complete, I buckle down on Romano and Albright Three. I have a title and three chapters, which I count as serious progress. I have made numerous trips to the city and the book is simmering on the back burner. I can’t rush this book. Of course, I can’t avoid it, either. But it’s up next. I love Ce and Dan, however, those two can be hard to pin down.
 

 

 Tell us something surprising. Anything. Go on. Surprise us!

 


 I’ve eaten an entire jar of Spanish olives in one sitting on more than one occasion. Salt is my weakness.

56 comments:

  1. I love the Kate Spade comment, because I love Kate Spade. Of course, today I'm in the pj's I put on yesterday and a pair of wool socks I stole from G. I am pretty.

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    1. You are pretty! With or without the wool socks. :-D

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  2. I enjoyed your early books and thought you had given up writing when nothing new appeared. I'm so glad you are back, although you could write faster! I'm awaiting the next Romano and Albright novel, sorry to hear it's only three chapers along.

    Susan
    skadlec1@yahoo.com

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    1. Not given up so much as succumbed to real life. :) I'm back though! One thing I don't want to do is rush the Romano and Albright. Of course, the other thing I don't want to do is wait too long to get it out there. It's NOT too late!

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    2. I think LB's time away has made the work sharper, deeper. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

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  3. Why are Josh's questions in white on white? I had to highlight to see them.

    Great interview. I'm excited to hear about both upcoming books, Smithfield 5 and Romano and Albright.

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    1. I don't know what is going on over there in Cali! LOL. I just look insane with all those random statements. Perhaps that's part of the evil plan.

      And thanks. I'm working on the Smithfield now. It's fun to be back!

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    2. I am blog impaired this morning! :-(

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  4. Great interview with two of my absolute favorite authors. Of course, I can't wait for Ce and Dan, but I'll read anything you'll give us. I'm glad you're back. I'm just going to overlook the olives comment..if you want salt, everyone knows Cheetos is the way to go. :-)

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    1. Cheetos....oh om nom nom. I'm going to need bigger sweat pants when all this is over. :)

      Thanks M!

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    2. I can take goldfish, NOT Cheetos in any way shape or form. They are an orange abomination. Just sayin.

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  5. Josh. You need to check your html, darlink.

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  6. Oooh, great interview, thank you Josh and LB!
    I can totally relate to eating olives without being able to stop.
    Great news about the next Ce book!!! I enjoy everything you write (and i've run out of them again *sigh*, I loved How I Met Your Father, btw), but the Ce books are by far my favorites, so i'm waiting VERY patiently! Oh, and do write a (romantic) historical parody please; i'm not into parodies usually, but when done right, they're so much fun. :-)

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    1. I love Ce and Dan so much. I knew Catch Me If You Can was different from a lot of things available at that time--I took a chance. It's a crazy book! But people really seemed to love it.

      Thanks for the wonderful comment. :)

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    2. I'm with KC. I'd love to see you write a historical parody.

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    3. KC wrote: " Oh, and do write a (romantic) historical parody please"

      Yes, please! I would definitely read it. :-D

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  7. What fun! Thanks, Josh and LB, for a great interview. I'm so glad there are a new Smithfield and a new Romano and Albright in the works - can't wait to read them.

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    1. Denise--I just have to stay in one place long enough to write them! Men of Smithfield first, though. That's a done deal.

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    2. Thanks for commenting, Denise!

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  8. Oh SQUEE! Loved this interview. Quick - you and Josh are on a road trip.... who is Lucy and who is Ethel? Or is it the Lucy Lucy show?

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    1. I think I'm Lucy. I'm more...impetuous. J provides the running commentary.

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    2. Running commentary? Thanks for letting me be seated for THAT shocking revelation!

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    3. This is the first time I could claim to be the sober, stable one. See, everything IS relative.

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  9. Thank you for the great interview, both of you! I'm going to start reading How I Met Your Father tonight and I'm so happy to hear that there are going to be more stories in the Men of Smithfield series and that the Romano and Albright #3 is on its way — kind of. :-) Take your time with it, we'll be here waiting. (Well, not HERE here, but... oh, well, anyway...). ;-)

    Josh, very cool that you included Five Things I Love About L.B. Gregg list in the interview! And you keep asking people if they have ever broken a bone! LOL. I find answers to that question fascinating. :-) It seems that everyone have broken bone(s) at some point. Authors do live dangerously...

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    1. I thought the five things were cute. :) I do love my percolator.

      Enjoy the book! It's super cute. I promise.

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    2. I have never broken a bone! I should have broken bones. I guess I got carpal tunnel instead. ;-)

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    3. L.B., I loved How I Met Your Father! It's such a delightful story! It was funny (hilarious!!!), romantic, smart and sensual.... something I badly needed right now when I'm sick with the flu that just doesn't seem to get better. Your book was the best thing that happened to me today and it left me with a wonderful laid-back, happy feeling. This is a story I will be reading over and over again in the future!

      I'm also eagerly waiting for the Simple Gifts to come out in audio. That one and Josh's Christmas stories are my absolute Christmas favorites. :-)

      And Josh, sending loads of healing carpal tunnel vibrations your way. I assume your wrists aren't hurting too bad (?) because you're able to joke about it... May it be that way as long as possible. :-)

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    4. Heh. I just noticed I used word "laid-back" in my post. Well, at least it's not like "laid...up". LOL. Now there is an expression that will make me smile widely in the future. Thank you for that. :-D

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  11. onderful interview! LB, I LOVE the Men of Smithfield series. I've listened to them at least twice, narrated by the fabulous, indomitable Shannon Gunn. Please god, let him be the one who narrates #5. It just wouldn't be the same without him. Also, I haven't read the Romano and Albright series, so I put the first two on my holiday wish list along with How I Met Your Father. I'd rather listen to them because Shannon make the stories come alive. But I'm not very patient, so I'll probably end up reading them first (like I do with Josh's books) then buy the audiobooks as they are released.

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    1. Simple Gifts should be out on audio in a week or so--I'm waiting for audible at this point. I'm looking into getting Ce and Dan on audio, too. Again, waiting to hear from someone. Lots of waiting going on!!

      So glad you like the Smithfields! I'll pass the request for Shannon on to Carina.

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    2. I love audio books too, Kathleen. So glad to see readers embracing them!

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    3. Shannon Gunn is fabulous. I love his take on Holden. Adam & Holden are my favorite. And Josh...I have all your audiobooks, even the new The Dickens With Love. Sean Crisden is always a good narrator - very consistent.

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  12. I'm so pleased that you're back writing again, L.B.! Thank you both for a fun interview.

    Minor point: "Scotland because ... the whiskey is the whiskey." It's the *whisky* in Scotland - if it has an 'e' it's Irish.

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    1. D'oh! Thanks for that Helena! I must look at the label after I've had a few. *wink*

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  13. Wonderful interview! Reading your interaction is way more fun than working today. I'm happy to read that we can look forward to a new Romano and Albright in the future. I do enjoy the Smithfield series as well. Love Kate Spade and a good scotch whisky. Thanks for the smiles today.

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    1. So happy to be invited. It's always fun to pal around with J. Although, it's not always a good idea to drink Mexican coffee together. Blergh.

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    2. YOU HAD TO BRING UP THE MEXICAN COFFEES.

      oh wait, no. That was me.

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  14. I loved all your Smithfield books, and Romano and Albright! So glad I have more to look forward to. Thank you!!

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    1. Mtsnow13-- I was so happy when Carina picked the books up and repackaged them. Smithfield is like home. And Romano and Albright is like crazy town! I missed them both.

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    2. Love both these series to pieces.

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  15. Hi LB and Josh,
    A little late with my comment. Sometimes work gets in the way. But I didn't want to miss this interview! LB, I met you in the summer of 2011 at the RWA nat'l conference in NYC. You were a delight to chat with. I was there with author Kari Gregg and the three of us talked for quite a while. Since I didn't have print copies of your books you were kind enough to sign some really great swag which I still have. A remember you even showed us some photos of the home renovations!

    Thanks for a great interview. I am one of the many who is so happy there will be a Romano & Albright 3! Best of luck with those two. :)

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    1. Susan--
      I remember! That was a fantastic conference, although I was distracted by the fun times in the city. One of the best things about RWA is meeting people. Actually, one of the best things about being a writer, is meeting people. Thanks for your kind words.

      I'll get cracking on that R&A!

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    2. Hey there, Susan! I'm fashionably late as well, so no worries there.

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  16. Hi LB - I was first introduced to your writing by listening to the audible story "Mistletoe at Midnight" - His for the Holiday. Then I found the Men of Smithfield; laugh out loud funny but also very touching stories which is as real as life gets. Glad to hear book #5 is on its way!

    Thank you Josh for the interview.

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    1. Do you have a favorite Smithfield? I'm always curious! I love Adam and Holden best. It's their balance of strengths and weaknesses I find so compelling. Thanks so much for reading my books!

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    2. It's always a pleasure to host my pals here!

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  17. My favorite couple was also Adam and Holden. They loved them as a couple.

    Also I think Kevin R. Price would be perfect to narrate the Romano and Albright series...

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    1. Kevin would be PERFECT. You're right. I'm smiling just thinking of his take on Ce.

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    2. Thanks! I'm going to check him out. If J can find an Adrien, I can find a Caesar Romano! Somewhere...

      I love Adam and Holden--love the way Adam turns Holden inside out.

      L

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  18. I'm going to echo everybody here: I'm so happy about the good news! Looking very much forward to Men in Smithfield #5 and Romano & Albright #3 and not to forget Simple Gifts audio book.

    As for favorite couples in MiS, it's a tie between Mark&Tony and Max&Finn for me. When I read Mark&Tony for the first time I laughed myself silly. :-D I want to add that each of the couples is great in their own way. I love to listen to the audio books (and did for several times each) because the guys seem to come alive even more.

    Thanks for posting this interview, LB and Josh!

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    1. You're so welcome. Josh and I have a long history of interviewing each other, although, I can't find some of our oldest interviews. Maybe I should repost them some day? Heh heh heh.

      My favorite part of Max and Finn was writing the toaster chapter. I'm sure anyone who reads the book can tell I had a blast putting Finn inside a toaster and dragging him around Dalton Prep.

      Thanks Calathea!

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    2. The toaster! Twirling his cord and toast on the head... LOLOL
      Who would have thought a toaster could be sexy like that?! :-D

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