Today we are honored to have one of our all-time favorite authors visiting UTC. Lisa Kleypas is a master storyteller, whether she writes historcials or contemporaries. If you haven’t read an LK, you are truly missing out! She’s an absolute must-read!! For a chance to read some LK books with us, please join us in our Lisa Kleypas reading challenge. You can sign up here. Now without further ado, please help us welcome our Author of the Month, Lisa Kleypas!

Hi Lisa! Welcome to Under the Covers! We are huge fans of yours and are excited to have you here today! Thanks for being our Author of the Month!

Thank you so much, I’m delighted to visit.

Dream Lake is the next book in your series and this is Alex’s book. From what we have seen of him in the series so far, Alex has been tormented by his past. He is a borderline alcoholic and is in a difficult spot at the moment. What can readers expect to see from him in this upcoming release? 

It’s my favorite kind of story to write–the redemption of a tortured hero. I really enjoy the challenge of exploring how a cynical and bitter man can possibly be turned into a loving, caring hero. One of the themes in the book is that occasionally you have to believe in something that doesn’t seem possible. For Alex, love is one of those impossible things. He refuses to love or be loved by anyone, because he is certain that it will inevitably lead to pain and ruin. Ironically, part of Alex’s redemption is brought about by an unlikely friendship with a ghost–also something pretty tough to believe in. But ultimately the most significant relationship in the book is between Alex and Zoe, who is a chef and co-owner of an inn at Friday Harbor. She is gentle, compassionate and idealistic, and she’s the last person you would expect to break through Alex’s defenses.

Alex is haunted not only by his past, but also a ghost of a World War 2 fighter pilot. This sounds very interesting! How did the idea of this come about? 

It was tremendous fun to research and create the character of a World War 2 pilot. I listened to so many sad, romantic songs of that era, and I played Johnny Cash’s cover of “We’ll Meet Again” constantly. The insight I had was that instead of the ghost being someone who would guide or advise Alex, he doesn’t remember who he is, or why he is there. So his dilemma parallels Alex’s, in that they are both men who are not fully realized–each needs to figure out who he is supposed to become, and what is really important to him, before it’s too late. I knew that I wanted Alex and Zoe to have some kind of connection with the ghost’s past, and this happened in a way that I think was romantic and touching. I cried a few times while writing the book, especially the end, and that never happens to me.

You have mentioned that in Crystal Cove the heroine will have some Wiccan or witch talents and skills. Did you have to do a lot of research for this? What was the most interesting thing you learned in your research?

Yes, I’m not going “full Harry Potter,” but the heroine, Justine, has some innate magical abilities. I’ve done a lot of research so far and I’m continuing as I write the book. One of the things I learned has become part of the plot: in Irish mythology, there is a kind of spell, or curse, called a geis. (Pronounced like “guest” only with a “sh” instead of a t at the end.) Justine discovers that a geis was placed on her as an infant, so that she can never fall in love. The reason why this was done to her, and how she breaks the geis, is a big part of the story. And of course there is a mysterious and handsome hero, named Jason Black.

You have incorporated some magical elements into the Friday Harbor series. Why have you decided to pursue this new avenue and what do you think it adds to the Friday Harbor series in general?

One of the most important things for a writer is to stay fresh and try new things, so you don’t end up turning out cookie-cutter plots and characters. So when I was vacationing in Friday Harbor and pondering various plots, the island’s amazing ocean views and scenery looked so mystical that I decided to just go for it and add some magical elements to the books. I think it adds an element of lyricism to the writing, and there are wonderful opportunities for metaphor with magic . . . for example, Alex is not only haunted by his past, he’s literally haunted as well. And Justine’s fears and disappointments in love are represented as a spell that has to be broken.

A question about your Travises series… Will Joe Travis ever get a book? (Please say yes!)

I am hopeful, and there is a very strong chance that Joe will get a book. First I’ll have to make certain the plot is right, and then my editor will help me figure out if the whole thing is a good idea, and how and when it would be published, etc.


What does a typical writing day look like for you?

For years I used to get up at 4AM so I could write before it was time to take the children to school, but I just can’t do that anymore! So I have a little rented office in a historic newspaper building in town, and I try to keep to a 9 to 5 schedule. I exercise two days a week before writing, and I’m trying to add one more day, but it’s not easy to motivate myself to work out (I’m a slug by nature). I usually try to write four or five good pages per day, and I start out each day by editing the previous day’s work. By the time the manuscript is finished, I’ve combed through it about a zillion times. I can sit for an hour working with one paragraph, or even one sentence, and then when I see how much time has gone by, I’m tempted to bash my head on the keyboard.

Which book was the easiest to write? Which would you say was the most difficult?

Without a doubt, Devil In Winter was the easiest . . . it poured out in a period of ten weeks. A “gift book” . . . the characters were fully formed in my head from the very beginning. I think a lot of it had to do with the chemistry between Sebastian and Evie–they were such an unlikely pair, but whenever they were together, it just worked beautifully. (Another relatively “easy” book was Seduce Me at Sunrise.) One of the most difficult was Smooth Talking Stranger. Although I liked the characters of Jack and Ella individually, it was a struggle at times to write their scenes, and I worried constantly that they didn’t have enough chemistry. After I finished the novel and read the galleys later, I was relieved to see that the spark between them was there, it was just that I’d been too close to the book to see it.

You have written some of my favorite heroes ever -Derek Craven, Kev Merripen, Jack Travis, Sebastian St. Vincent. I could go on and on. What quality do you think all heroes should have?

Oh, thank you so much! I think a hero should be strong but never abusive, and once he meets the heroine, she is the only woman in the world for him. And there’s something else . . . it’s hard to put precisely into words, but I think so many great romance heroes in general have this quality of darkness or danger or a sort of edgy masculinity, so that when a hero finally connects emotionally with the heroine and shows his tender side, it’s incredibly satisfying. In fact, there’s a quote from Dream Lake in which Zoe tries to describe that longing for connection:

“Sometimes you meet a really nice guy, but no matter how you try, you can’t seem to make yourself want him. But that’s not nearly as bad as when you meet the wrong guy, and you can’t make yourself not want him. You feel hollow inside, just waiting and wishing and dreaming. You feel like every moment is leading to something so amazing that there’s no name for it, and if you could just get there with him, it would be such a . . . relief. It would be all you’d ever need.”

Are you planning on writing any more historical romance books in the future?

I’m sure I will, although I don’t have any planned yet.

What book are you enjoying at the moment? Care to share some recommendations? 

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer (a fabulous non-fiction book about creativity) Heartache Falls by Emily March (a dear friend and terrific author) and of course I’ve preordered The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips who is wonderful in every way.

If you only had $20 in your purse, what items would you purchase with it?

Two matinee movie tickets, one for me and one for my daughter.

Thanks so much for answering our questions!

Thank you, this has been lots of fun!

St. Martins Press is graciously giving away FIVE copies of DREAM LAKE to US residents.

Dream Lake takes readers once again to the exquisite setting of Friday Harbor, and tells the story of Zoӫ Hoffman, an innkeeper who has all but given up on love. She’s a gentle, romantic soul, but has been so hurt in the past that she dare not trust her heart with anyone. Especially not Alex Nolan. Alex is the most haunted of all the Nolan brothers.

He drinks to keep his demons at bay and not only has he given up on love, he has never, ever believed in it. Zoӫ and Alex are oil and water, fire and ice, sunshine and shadow.

But sometimes, it takes only a glimmer of light to chase away the dark. Dream Lake is classic Lisa Kleypas: romantic, powerful, emotional, and magical.

READ OUR REVIEW

 

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70 Comments

  1. Love this interview! I’m sad to hear that there aren’t any historicals in the near future, but hopefully soon. I loved the earlier books in the Friday Harbor series, so I’m very excited about this one!

  2. Just reading her interview about the book has made me weepy and emotional. I can imagine alex & zoes story will be a roller coaster and emtional and so full of love. I cannot wait to read it.
    lisakhutson (at) {dot} [net]

  3. I, too, am a “slug” by nature…and I’m impressed that you can make time to exercise even 2 days per week!
    Thanks for talking about your research process. As a librarian, I’m always interested in the process that writer’s use for their research.

  4. I love Lisa Kleypas! I’m slowly working my way through all of her historicals, which should go faster now that my library has purchased them all! I have yet to read one of her Contemporary Romances, but I hear they’re amazing, too. 😀

  5. I don’t know how she takes a storyline that I’m sure can’t be done in a way that I would EVER enjoy, and somehow makes me fall completely and totally in love with the characters no matter what.

    However she does it, I adore her for it! She has brought me so many hours of reading (and re-reading!) pleasure, and I can only hope she continues following where her muse leads. Who’d have thought such an accomplished historical writer could transition to contemporary so beautifully? 🙂

  6. Thanks, Francessca for having one of my all-time favorite authors. I have been reading Lisa Kleypas since 97′-pregnant and with three children under four. Lisa Kleypas’s books were my favorite nap time read while the girls were down.

    Since then, I make sure to always have her books around.

    Before reading RAINBOW ROAD I would have shouted out loud that her historical romances were my favorite. Nope, now I’m hooked to her Friday Harbor series.

    Don’t enter me I have my review copy of DREAM LAKE.

    Beautiful post! =)

  7. Thanks for a fun interview and congrats to Lisa on the new release! I haven’t read her books yet, but they are high on my wishlist 🙂

  8. Great interview! Love it =) Thanks for the interview and the giveaway ^^

    I am a huge fan of Lisa Kleypas works. My first series of her books is Wallflowers. My favorite character is Sebastian St. Vincent from Devil in Winter =)

    For Contemporary Romance, I really love Jack Travis (Travis series). Hahahahaha.. But I do love all of the men from Friday Harbor series.

    Can’t wait to complete this new series of Lisa Kleypas >,< [email protected]

  9. I’m always fascinated by authors’ writing rituals. I’m also a “slug by nature” :). I can understand why she would need to rent an office away from home. I would find it very difficult to work from home.

  10. I LOVE Lisa’s books, in whatever fashion they come…historical, contemporary, magic realism. What really sets her apart is the consistency and solidity of her work. I enjoyed RR and I have the feeling DL is going to be even more poignant, because of the characters combination (flawed tortured hero hiding a kind heart, sweet apparently vulnerable but with a core of inner strength)and the emotional impact of the character’s issues. Lisa, you’re the best!

  11. I have enjoyed reading the interview. The ladies here at the blog have been spreading Lisa Kleypas Love for a long time so its nice to ‘meet’ Lisa.

    I still need to read the first book in the series, but Alex’s book sounds great.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  12. She’s my Author of the YEAR! Amazing writer, and her books are the best!! Thank you so much for the giveaway! Fingers crossed! (ileana-rafflecopter)

  13. Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor was my first book by Lisa and I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I could really feel the emotions and could really connect as I was reading the books in this series. Absolutely can’t wait to read Dream Lake. Love the cover of the book. I’ll be heading to Friday Harbor in a week’s time and I can’t wait to experience all that inspired Lisa.

    Great interview and I’m loving how the plots going for the subsequent books. Can’t wait to read them. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Lisa I just cannot wait to read this next Friday Harbor book… Your books are always a joy to read. I love how you blend the new with the history of the house and ghosts that live within it..

    superauntkx9_(at)live(dot)ca

  15. I really enjoyed the Friday Harbor books. As I’m not a huge fan of historical novels, I was thrilled that Lisa Kleypas started writing contemporary romances. Hope to have more on the way.

  16. I have been waiting for Alex’s story. I have read your books in the past and loved them(Jack Travis was my favorite)I am looking forward to Dream Lake because it is something different then I usually read. I am also a fellow slug by nature 🙂

    [email protected]

  17. I love just about everything Lisa’s has ever written, she was my introduction to Historical and Contemporary romance. I absolutely love her work!
    Awesome interview girls!!!
    Thanks

  18. Hi Lisa! I’ m one of your Lisa’s Divas; we met earlier this year at a brunch and book signing in Bellevue, Washington! Congratulations on the upcoming release of DREAM LAKE. I cannot wait to read it!

  19. I have but a few authors who are on my ‘auto buy’ list and Lisa Kleypas is one. I’m enjoying Friday Harbor series and liked it even more once I had friends telling me what a great place it was to visit. Sort of made it’ even more real since I have only read about it through Lisa’s writing.

  20. i haven’t known lisa until i came across her historiacals last year, and its author love at first sight, i bought all her available books and read them one by one, in a measly 2 to 3 weeks and boy it was a journey i loved the historicals so much i was reluctant o move in to her contemporary novels, but i gave it a try and i don’t regret it , i simply connect with the way Lisa writes. And i’m itching to read Dream Lake..i’ve been waiting for this misterious alex for a long…wayyy too long time, would u offer me the book?? and btw Lisa if your read this, i love all ur books, but i miss the historicals, historical sucker that i am!!!! Your Cam rohan is still one of my fav charachters, your Vincent your Leo..harry..i love them all i’m afraid!!!! ^^ i want this book so bad

  21. I have always love Lisa Kleypas – my first book was Lady Sophia’s Lover and I have been hooked ever since! My favorite is Devil in Winter. I also love Sugar Daddy and I so hope Joe gets his own book!

  22. I love this series. I am so excited to read Alex’s story. I recently saw a tv show about a little boy that seems to have been born with the memories of a WWII fighter pilot. It was such an interesting story. When I read the description of this story I got excited because I love the “haunting” by the ghost. Thanks for the amazing giveaway!

  23. wow! lisa kleypas is our book club’s august author of the month. what a happy coincidence

    too bad i can’t enter the giveaway, i’m international..

  24. Lisa is one of my favorite authors. I often recommend her books to people or give them to people as gifts. I’ve reread many of them. She is one of my auto buy authors. I can’t wait to read another!
    Thanks for the chance to win. I have my fingers crossed.
    musicalfrog at comcast.net

  25. Great interview! Lisa Kleypas is absolutely one of my all-time favorite authors! She’s an author who has always been consistent & weaves beautiful stories. Looking forward to Dream Lake & many more great stories in the future!

  26. Lisa being a native Washingtonian, I love that you write about real locations within the state. Have you ever considered south central Washington or, more specifically, the Yakima Valley for one of your stories?

  27. Lisa just announced that Hallmark is making a movie out of Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor. It’s filming now and will be on television in December.
    penfield716(AT)yahoo(DOT)com