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Lisa Kleypas, New York Times Bestseller

Readers ask. . .

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Will there be a 4th book in the Travis family series?
I'm writing it now!

Do you like writing the love scenes for your books?
I do, actually. If done right, they're crucial in showing the development of the characters and their relationship. But sex scenes are the most difficult to write because I try not to rely on cliché, and I have to choose the words so carefully. There's actually a need for "choreography," so I know who's doing what, but at the same time I've learned that the scene is sexier when I'm less graphic in the physical descriptions.

Why did you start writing contemporary women's fiction/romance?
After writing historicals for so many years, I felt the need to stretch a little and challenge myself, and I knew there were different kinds of characters and plots I could try in a contemporary setting. It has been some of the most satisfying work I've ever done, as well as the most difficult. The hardest part for me was finding a true, authentic contemporary voice and learning to "strip down" my writing style. But that forced me to express emotions and thoughts in a different, more creative way. The surprise was in discovering how much that refreshed my historical writing when I went back to it!

Do you like writing contemporary or historical romances better?
I absolutely couldn't choose. Each is incredibly rewarding. I think the historical romances are more fun to write, but with the contemporaries, I've been able to become a little more issue-oriented, and that has been rewarding in a multitude of ways.

What is your writing day like?
My average day starts at four in the morning. I get up early to write while it's quiet, before my husband and children get up. Then at seven I make the breakfast, pack the lunches, get everyone dressed, and at nine o'clock I'm back to work until two o'clock. That's the time when the children get home, and I'm able to be with them, do school projects, help with homework, etc. I am so lucky to be able to arrange my day around them! At least two days a week, I try to exercise with my friend Christina Dodd. Having an exercise partner is crucial for me, or I'll fall by the wayside!

How do you get your ideas?
Ideas and inspiration come from everywhere. Sometimes it's music I'm listening to, or sometimes ideas will be sparked when I see movies or read books (I especially love biographies) . . . I have also used my own experiences, or things I've seen on the news. With each book I write, I try to challenge myself with a situation I've never written about before, and that's when I have to do a lot of imagining and pondering. That's the most fun part of the job. The difficult part is having the self-discipline to get through the marathon of writing a novel.

What is the order of the Wallflower novels?
I wrote them so that any of them could be read alone. But here's the order:
Secrets Of A Summer Night
It Happened One Autumn
Devil In Winter
Scandal In Spring
A Wallflower Christmas (novella)

Why aren't your NAL books in print?
When I was 21, I sold to NAL, and they published my first four books. Although I had a wonderful time writing those first four titles; Where Passion Leads, Forever My Love, Love Come To Me and Give Me Tonight, they were definitely part of a learning process. I suppose I could sell the rights and have them republished. However, they are so vastly different from the books I'm writing now (more than twenty years later), that readers expecting a "Lisa Kleypas" novel would not be getting what they thought they had paid for.

Of the books you've written, who is your favorite hero?
I've given different answers to that question over the years. I love them all for varying reasons. But to me there are a few standouts . . . Derek Craven from Dreaming Of You is special because he was really my first self-made hero, and that opened up a new direction for my career. Zachary Bronson from Where Dreams Begin . . . Marcus, Lord Westcliff from It Happened One Autumn . . . Sebastian St. Vincent from Devil In Winter . . . and I'm getting rather partial to Leo, Lord Ramsay from Married By Morning.

What is the order of the Hathaway novels?
Mine Till Midnight
Seduce Me At Sunrise
Tempt Me At Twilight
Married By Morning
Love In The Afternoon
Do you choose the covers for your books? How much input do you have?
My publisher, St. Martins Press, makes the ultimate decisions about the covers, and they are known for the care and thought they put into making each book stand out. They listen to any thoughts or concerns I might have, and then the art department works its magic. I have been thrilled with my St. Martins covers.

I want to write a novel. How do I get started?
I wouldn't necessarily advise you to write what you know (because who among us has been lucky enough to meet a sexy vampire or a handsome 19th century viscount?) but definitely write what you love to read. Joining writers support groups is a fantastic way to get support and the latest advice. If you interested in writing romantic fiction, definitely join the Romance Writers of America (http://rwanational.org/). And one of the most helpful books I've ever read about writing is "Story" by Robert McKee. Even though it focuses on screenwriting, the information about plot structure and character motivation is essential for any novelist.

Which of your books is your favorite?
Usually my favorite one is the one I happen to be working on at the time . . . but "Blue Eyed Devil" is probably my all-time favorite.
Will there be any more Bow Street Runner books?
I probably won't write any more books for that particular historical series.

Have you quit writing historicals?
I will certainly write historical romances in the future--I love them too much ever to quit for good. But every now and then I need to switch directions in writing, so I can stay refreshed and excited about my work.

Any plans for a cookbook based on Friday Harbor series?
My love for cooking--and eating--certainly surfaced in the Friday Harbor series, didn't it? A cookbook concept is actually in the planning stages now.

Why are some "unabridged" audio versions different from the print version?
On a few occasions, the audio company has had to record a book before the manuscript before the final revisions are made by my editor.  It's frustrating, I know.

Where did you get the Romani information you used for Cam?
I read a number of books, a few of the best ones were: Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey by Isabel Fonseca, We Are the Romani People by Ian F. Hancock and The Gypsies by Jan Yoors .

Why are some "unabridged" audio versions different from the print version?
On a few occasions, the audio company has had to record a book before the manuscript before the final revisions are made by my editor.  It's frustrating, I know.

Why historicals? (and why the specific period of history?)
I love historicals because the research is so interesting--I love to find out details about how people lived and dressed and ate, etc. But I chose to set most of my novels in the Victorian period because it was a time when society was at its most structured, in terms of classes and occupations and manners, and yet at the same time, ambitious people from the middle and lower classes were finding ways to climb upward. I love to create characters who have to deal with class conflict, and change. I also love to write about "outsiders" finding their way in. Also, the Victorians were constantly developing technology and coming up with inventions that changed how things were being done. So much was happening--it was a remarkably exciting time.
How many hours a day do you spend writing?
The goal is always an eight hour workday, starting when the children go to school. I've been known to pull some all-nighters when I'm getting close to a deadline.
Do you write every day or take certain days off?
It works best for me to write at the same time every day in a very consistent routine, and then take the weekends off. It's really important to take breaks from the work so you can keep coming back to it with a fresh perspective.
Recommendations for writer's block?
The trick is to set reasonable goals for yourself--for example, I won't call it a day until I've written at least 1000 "good words." It's also helpful to stop writing when you're still in the middle of an interesting scene, or in the middle of a paragraph. That way, it's easier to get started the next morning. And sometimes when you know that everything you're writing is junk, take a break and go for a walk, listen to music, watch a movie . . . anything that will provide a brief escape. Sometimes relaxing your mind is all you need to get the creativity flowing again.
Lisa Kleypas' newest book
Modern Romance - Contemporary Novels by Lisa Kleypas
Historical romances by Lisa Kleypas
Sneak Peeks at New Books or Works in Progress by Lisa Kleypas
About Lisa Kleypas, NY Times Bestselling Author
Lisa Kleypas books facts & fun stuff
Lisa Answers Readers' Questions
Could you be one of Lisa's Divas?
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