Sunday, April 28, 2013

Meet the Author

A few weeks back now, on April 12th, I was lucky enough to see Lauren in person at the Warren-Newport public library down in Gurnee, Illinois. Now this was not my first time meeting Lauren or ever my first time meeting Lauren at this library. The first time I met her was before I was a blogger and had just restarted going to school for Graphic Design and I trekked down to Illinois to gush at Lauren about her first four books with the fifth, The Temptation of the Night Jasmine in ARC form. It's hard to imagine that so much would happen in the intervening years. I never would have thought that I would be where I am now and running this blog which I love, but I could have guessed that Lauren would be a huge success, with nine Pink Carnation books in print, the tenth arriving this summer and the eleventh underway, and her first stand alone, The Ashford Affair out and hitting the charts, with her second stand alone off with her editors, and a baby on the way. She's been one busy lady!

Needless to say, no matter how many times I've seen Lauren, each time is wonderful and different because unlike some authors, she has a wonderful gift for gab and interacts great with an audience. As in an anecdote she said, when interviewing for Yale, the old interviewer didn't see her as a writer because she is so outspoken and did plays and musicals and forensics and debates, and writers are meant to be introverted. Lauren has definitely proved his theory wrong.

The crowd was a wonderful group of Pink fans and I was happy to see a few men in the audience. Though when an ARC of the newest Pink book, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, was passed around, it was a bit like watching people touch a holy relic. Thankfully, while we may occasionally be squealing girls, no one stole the book and made a break for it into the grey stormy day. I was at least more calm then most because I had already put in my request for a copy with Lauren's publisher and thankfully had an electronic ARC by the beginning of the next week... and might I add, it's awesome. So, in retrospect, totally worth stealing...

So what were some of the high points of the talk? Well, Lauren discussed her curtailing of her caffeine, which I have heard many of my pregnant friends lament, but I expect it is doubly so with Lauren because she is a prodigious coffee drinker. As the event was a Coffee Klatch, in honor of the book being set in Kenya, I'm sure it was doubly hard to avoid the temptation... coffee and kringle, it did look mighty tasty, the kringle that is, me not being a coffee person, yes, this manic me is all without caffeine. Speaking of Ashford, she said how much the modern section did mimic her life and how being a lawyer then writer is all just about the storytelling, or at least that's how she spins it. Also, the book originally had about 100 more pages in Kenya that was edited out, to which I say, put them back! More book! As for her second stand alone novel? It will once again have a modern and historical setting. This time a young woman shall inherit a house in England where she finds a painting of a Pre-Raphaelite artist who disappeared. Lauren said there actually wasn't anything sinister in that (or was there!) because they often gave up and wandered off to farm sheep.

Lauren discussed the fact that Jane's book actually won't be the next Pink book, though when it arrives, it will be the last. Sally, Turnip's sister, is to star in the next book, which I really really wish the publishers would realize that Lauren's title of The Dance of the Death Apple is so awesome and perfect. Why is it perfect? Well, firstly, it's Lauren's first autumnal tale, being set around Halloween, even if Halloween as such wasn't around as we know it. Secondly, it has Miss Gwen becoming a really popular author with her Convent of Orsino, which is liberally quoted in The Passion of the Purple Plumeria. Her popularity is a parody of the Twilight phenomenon, with Miss Gwen being besieged by teenage girls who love her vampire book. Yes, that's right, Miss Gwen started the vampire craze way back. Finally, Sally's love interest is a shadowy man... could he be a vampire? Oh, I just can't wait, and if you think about it, cause I've already read the newest book which isn't even out, I have to wait all the longer, sigh. As for Jane's book... well, there will be some need of research because it takes place in the Peninsular War, and all Lauren knows about that she learned from watching Sharpe. Mmm, Sean Bean in uniform. And Jane's prince charming? She knows, but the audience universally vetoed the reveal.

What else does the future hold? Hopefully a Mitford inspired book if Lauren gets her way... which I heartily approve. After all, Mitford fan typing this...


I've had the pleasure of meeting Lauren, too, and she is delightful. She makes you feel like you are her friend! Lucky you for getting your hands on the Purple Plumeria...I have a feeling it will be her best yet!

Exactly Joanne! Plumeria is very very high up on the list of my favorites, but I don't know if Turnip will ever leave the number one spot!

A Mitford-inspired book? How cool! She didn't mention this at the Charlottesville Festival of the Book in March. Did she give any other details?

She did not... but Lauren and I are working on doing something for her "official" Ashford blog tour, and one of the ideas is questions from my blog readers... so perhaps that might be a good question!

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