If you are looking for a fun summer read, I highly recommend the popular Big Sky Pie series by Adrianne Lee. Recently, I had the chance to catch up with this prolific author to talk about her fourth book in the series, Decadent. This latest e-book release will be available for download starting on June 3.
As part of my interview, Hachette Book Group has generously donated five e-books for my trivia contest. (Winners will be randomly drawn. Offer void where prohibited.) Be sure to keep up-to-date on all the latest news in the publishing business by stopping by www.jennifervido.com, following me on Facebook jennifervido.com, or on Twitter and Pinterest @JenniferVido. And as always, thanks for making Jen’s Jewels the ultimate source for news on the web for today’s hottest authors.
Jen: As a multi-published author, your personal journey to publication is a story in itself. So that my readers may catch a glimpse into the life of the woman behind the words, please briefly share with us your educational and professional background.
Adrianne: I took a half semester of fiction writing my senior year in high school, and two decades later, I enrolled in a junior college writing class. It was in this class that I met three other writers who were all writing romance novels. After taking the same class four times, we outgrew it and formed a critique group, meeting every week for many years. I started out writing mysteries, but thanks to my critique group, veered into romantic suspense. I’ve sold 2 romantic suspense novels to Kensington, then 14 Intrigues to Harlequin, and 1 novella to St. Martin’s Press. I’ve published 1 original e-book—the first in my Jack B Smart mystery series—and 2 previous titles as e-books with plans to put out 4 more back titles. Currently, I’ve just finished writing 4 Big Sky Pie books.
Jen: Please describe for us your "Aha!" moment when you decided to take the plunge and pursue a career as a writer.
Adrianne: My daughters were all in their teens when I decided to take that writing class I mentioned above. I’d always loved books and writing, but my high school experience hadn’t ended well and I put ideas of writing my own stories on a back burner. But once I began the class, I felt such a connection with all of those other writers, it was like finding "my people." So of course, I was hooked. I started out thinking to publish some short stories for Ellery Queen or Alfred Hitchcock mystery magazines. I soon discovered, however, that I don’t write short stories. I always have too much plot. I kept writing and submitting and learning the craft and eventually an editor called and bought that first book.
Jen: In terms of nuts and bolts, approximately how long does it take for you to complete a novel? And, what is the most challenging part of the process?
Adrianne: Plotting is the most challenging part for me because I like solid conflicts and a plot that I would want to buy if I were not writing the story. Once I know the conflicts and have a strong idea of the story, and a general overview of the plot, I can write it sort of fast. I’m really slow, though, compared to most. I’d like 4 to 5 months to write each book, lots of time to think about each scene and motivation. But I’ve been writing the Big Sky Pie books in about 3 1/2 months. My editor wanted them quicker, but she’s been patient and understanding about my process.
Jen: Your latest release Decadent is the fourth book in the Big Sky Pie Novel series. For those readers not familiar with the previous titles, what is the premise of the series?
Adrianne: The Big Sky Pie books are about going after your dreams. Molly McCoy has always wanted to own a pie shop. After losing her husband of many years, she realizes life is short, and if she doesn’t make this dream a reality now, she never will. But before she can launch Big Sky Pie, she has a serious heart attack, and must rely on her irresponsible, grieving son and his soon-to-be-ex-wife to follow through in her stead. The books feature the pie shop going through its launch, its floundering early days, a few great successes and a few failures. Of course, each book offers a love story or two via the pie shop personnel. Plus yummy pies and sexy guys!
Jen: Please give us a sneak peek behind Wade and Roxy’s story in your fabulous summer read, Decadent.
Adrianne: Wade Reynolds, a widower of four years is buttoned tighter than the fly of his favorite jeans. Shy, inexperienced, married young, he doesn’t date now for fear of embarrassing himself. Chef Roxy Nash is fresh from a divorce that cost her the restaurant she loved and her self-confidence with men. She doesn’t want a romance, just affirmation that she’s still attractive to the opposite sex. When she realizes that Wade wants more, a lifetime more, she determines to ignore the irresistible tug she feels for him. But his kisses make her feel as decadent as her chocolate meringue pie. All she has to do is figure out some way to have her pie and eat it, too.
Jen: As you were writing the book, did you feel a certain connection to one of the characters?
Adrianne: Actually, just the opposite, at first. I had trouble connecting with Roxy. My original plan was that she would be brash, a "take no prisoners" kind of sexy minx who was determined to seduce uber-shy Wade. But as I was writing, I realized that Roxy wouldn’t be a heroine readers could relate to. She sounded like a predator. But Roxy wasn’t that. She was coming home to Kalispell feeling vulnerable. Once I switched that around, I really connected with her, and she paid me back for taking so long to figure her out by bringing her naughty cat, Tallulah, into the story.
Jen: Let’s switch gears now and talk about your promotional plans. Please take us on a brief tour of your website highlighting points of interest.
Adrianne: My website is https//www.adriannelee.com. I post book release information there. It lists my backlist books and the current books. I will be posting upcoming blog tours, speaking engagements, etc. soon. The site had a facelift this past winter, and it still needs some tweaking. I’m doing some blog tours right now, and I have an upcoming speaking engagement at a local readers group, neither of which is posted at the website yet.
Jen: Are you present in social media? And, what is the best way for my readers to keep abreast of your latest news?
Adrianne: I am on Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads. Twitter: @akaAdrianneLee FaceBook: https//facebook.com/adriannelee.author I post on twitter and FB several times a day.
Jen: Are you currently at work on your next book? If so, what may you share with us?
Adrianne: I’m just starting a new romantic/mystery series. The stories will all be set in the small town of Weddingville—where they sell all things wedding related. It’s a wedding planner’s dream. A WEDDING TO DIE FOR is the first book. It introduces readers to family who owns Blessing’s Bridal. The stories are told in the POV of Daryl Anne Blessing, and will have all the fun and complications associated with finding true love and getting married. Of course there will be a mystery of some sort, including murder, to solve along the way. Daryl Anne’s best friend, Meg Reilly, is getting married in the first book. . .or is she?
Jen: When you take a break from writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
Adrianne: Writing is such a lonely profession that what I most love to do with my free time is have lunch with writer friends to laugh and discuss our books and the industry. My husband is into hotrods and we often go on runs during the summer in our ’50 Studebaker pickup. And I play with my two adopted cats, Spooky and Fuzzy Wuzzy, who are at that getting acquainted stage. So far that isn’t going well. Spooky is not liking the new interloper. We’re hoping that will change at some point.
Jen: Are you involved in any charitable causes that have influenced you in a personal or professional way?
Adrianne: I can’t say that I’m actively involved in any charitable causes per se, but losing our oldest daughter in 2009 to cervical cancer—that was detected too late—is something I try to tell people about in order to keep this from happening to someone they love. This is a cancer that is not familial. It can occur in any woman at any age. A pap smear will find it early and when caught early it can be stopped in its tracks and vanquished. Since losing Kim, I find I write more lightness into my stories. The darkness of that real life battle makes me long for something to smile about. Kim wanted me to keep writing and when the writing seems tough, I remember that.
Jen: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with my readers. Best of luck in all of your future projects! Happy summer!
Adrianne: Jen, I’m so honored to have this opportunity to chat with you and your readers. Thank you so much. Wishing you and your readers a summer of fun, sun, and great books!
I hope you have enjoyed my interview with Adrianne Lee. Please stop by your favorite online retailer or local library branch and download a copy of Decadent today. Better yet, how would you like to win a free e-book instead? Okay, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the correct answer to the following trivia question and you’ll be entered into the contest. Good luck! (Offer void where prohibited.)
What is the name of the town in Adrianne’s upcoming release A WEDDING TO DIE FOR?
Later this month, I will be bringing to you my interview with Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Matchmaker. You won’t want to miss it.