Hi Liz. Thanks for stopping over and sharing your life and books with us. I love the title of your latest book, "Perfectly Charming". Please tell us about the book.
"Perfectly Charming" is about a recent divorcee, Jess Culpepper, escaping her small, nosy town by taking a contract nursing job in Pensacola, Florida. She expects the sand, sun and surf to help her heal her wounded heart, but when she trips over a naked drunk on the beach, she finds something more to help her get over her ex-husband. Formerly known as “The Brain”, Ryan Reyes has shed his lab coat and dorky past for being a regular dude, but he doesn’t expect to run into his former high school crush. Jess and Ryan fall into a fun, no strings attached relationship, but when they have to go back to their small town, they find old hurts and bad memories threaten their newfound happiness. Both must decide if they can let go of who they were in order to hold onto something new and wonderful.
What's a writing day like for you?
Crazy. I have every intention of following a schedule but it rarely happens. Take today. I planned on starting my novella Prince Not So Charming, but the PTSA sent out a plea for volunteers to help take in the donations for the flood victims. So I packed up my computer and headed to the school to sit and take donations. I wrote a grand total of 251 words in between organizing supplies and packing boxes for the trip south to help flood victims. On most days I try to get in 1-2K in words, but sometimes I don’t. I try not to berate myself too much. After all, I’m not just a writer – I’m a mama, a daughter, head housekeeper…you know, a regular woman with a lot of balls in the air.
Do you have a favorite or interesting reader meet moment?
This past June, one of my readers drove four hours to come to the book launch for Charmingly Yours. That meant a lot to me. She’d never come that far north before and brought her family, taking a mini-vacation. We took pictures together and I cherish that. I really love meeting people who’ve read and enjoyed my books. That’s why I do it. If I can provide an afternoon of forgetting about a sick child or the stack of bills on the dining room table or the impending divorce then I’ve done my job. So I love when readers tell me they loved the book and can’t wait for the next one. It’s like giving me extra battery power to move on to the next book.
Getting a book to market often takes a village. Who has helped you on the way?
Too many people to name. But I’ll try. My college roommate Dianna was the person who planted the seed of writing a book. My friend Karen read my first messy drafts. The RWA chapter NOLA Stars took me under their wing and taught me about writing, craft, industry and friendship. And from there I tumbled into a vast ocean of wonderful authors who were happy to give advice, share my books with their readers, give me promo quotes, invite me to blog with them, and shake their cheerleader pom pons. It’s truly amazing the gracious women (and men) within my profession who are willing to help other writers. And then, of course, there are my Montlake team, Montlake fellow writers and my critique/brainstorming partners – Winnie, Jennifer, Phylis, Christopher and Kellie. See? LOTS of people! And can I be honest? Not my family so much. They expect food from me. And not my dogs because they demand endless petting and outside visits to bark at the garbage men. I’d be more successful without my dogs and kids…but would I want to be without them? Nah, I love ‘em too much. Let’s just say I’m truly blessed.
What should readers expect from your titles?
My books are deeply emotional, sometimes funny and always romantic. It’s escapism at its finest!
About Liz Talley
Liz Talley is the author of sassy contemporary romances, including the RITA-nominated The Sweetest September. A finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award in the Regency romance subgenre, she made her debut in contemporary romance in June 2010 with Vegas Two-Step. She went on to publish fifteen more titles. Her stories are set in the South, where the tea is sweet, the summers are hot, and the men are hotter. She lives in northern Louisiana with her childhood sweetheart, two handsome children, three dogs, and a mean kitty. Readers can visit her at www.liztalleybooks.com to learn more about her upcoming novels.