I’ve never interviewed anyone on my blog until today, dear readers. To inaugurate me into my role as hostess is my friend, the indefatigable Aimee Laine, author of Little White Lies from J Taylor Publishing, which released 7/1/11.
By way of background, I met Aimee at Absolute Write, a fantastic site for writers of all experience levels and genres. At the time, she had one novel in her ubiquitous writer’s trunk and so did I. We shared our second attempts with each other, a little older, and a lot wiser. What novel did I beta read for her? Little White Lies. So in a sense, I’m sort of the proud Godmother here. Despite living on opposite coasts, we’ve met over dinner twice, the last time being two nights ago when we practically shut down the Apex, NC restaurant after yakking for four hours.
Aimee, you wrote Little White Lies in 2009. You’ve been incredibly prolific since then crafting a total of eight completed novels, including two under your Young Adult pen name of Emi J. Gayle, and are working on a ninth and tenth that are nearly complete. You must write at lightning speed. How many days did it take you to write Little White Lies (LWL)?
Aimee: It took me forty five days to write the first draft.
That’s a blistering pace. From start to finish though, writing a novel is a process that extends far beyond the first draft. What happened in between day forty six and the day you signed your publishing contract with J Taylor?
Aimee: I did the usual query stuff, the rejections and partial responses after I’d edited it four or five times. Then I wrote book three, then four and I sat on Little White Lies for ten months. One day, it dawned on me! I should rewrite it. So I did. It wasn’t until then that it actually generated serious interest.
As writers, especially those starting out, we grow stronger and more capable through practice, reading and studying the works and advice of others in the business. It’s so hard though to have an objective perspective on your own work. What did you learn in those ten months that allowed you to return to LWL and transform it into a novel you’re proud to share with the world?
Aimee: I’d spent time learning about some of the things that make people go ‘oooh!’ and the things that make people go ‘ewwww’. I also learned a lot about building tension and stretching out all the ‘aha!’ moments. Little White Lies might be classified a romance, but it’s a mystery, full of suspense and a bit of a thriller. It needed a few tweaks and a bit of an overhaul. Once I did that, the second pass of beta readers couldn’t put it down.
You decided to sign with an independent press, J. Taylor Publishing. Both Aimee Laine and J Taylor will make their simultaneous debuts on July 1. What made you choose that route?
Aimee: I’d been eyeing the Indie publishers for a long time. In fact, I was ‘days’ away from a contract with another bigger name (whom I won’t mention, but who is also considered an Indie). I bailed on that relationship for many reasons, but one that stood out most. I wanted my books to be published electronically AND in print at the same time.
I also choose Indie because I am a small business owner at heart and I wanted to be actively involved in the process, every step of the way including the marketing. I am a marketer at heart.
Most of us grew up reading books made from trees. I can’t help but feel somewhat wistful that many aspiring authors may never hold a book of their own words in their hands. Do you think the rise of e-readers such as the Kindle helps or hurts authors?
Aimee: I think it helps. Books are not made from trees. Books are made from words that form sentences that form paragraphs and combined they create a story. The media that it’s in is of no consequence. I LOVE my Kindle. I’ve had it for seven months and haven’t bought a paper book. In fact, I’ve read MORE since getting my Kindle because I have instant access. No physical bookstore will be open at 1am on a Sunday, when I’m ready to but and start a new book. But … well … the ebook stores are.
Well said. Let’s talk about Little White Lies. It features a mysterious heroine, Charley, who has encountered the hero, Wyatt, three times prior to their fateful final meeting. He, however, is unaware of who or what she is. What keeps drawing them back together?
Aimee: A little bit of fate. A little bit of coincidence. A little bit of meddling family.
All of your adult novels are paranormal romances that deal with the concept of soul mates, men and women who are destined to be together, sometimes having to overcome great obstacles to do so. Is this a paranormal concept you’ve decided to explore or is there a touch of Aimee Laine’s philosophy embedded in there?
Aimee: Ah, yes. It’s very much me. I truly believe that fate gives us a situation and what we do with it is what determines the next path and the next opportunity we might have. I don’t believe fate keeps us together … that’s on us. But something has to drive people toward each other. Might be coincidence (which to me is fate). Might be meddling families (which to me is fate). No matter what, something sparks the connection and we have to figure out what to do with it.
Your heroine, Charley, is not the demure ingénue from classic romances nor the butt-kicking bad ass we see in many paranormals. She is strong-willed and ferociously protective despite the many forms she takes in your novel, yet we as readers are always very clear that love drives her actions. Is this a bit of a glimpse into the real Aimee?
Aimee: Absolutely! I’m strong-willed and ferociously protective. I think some people THINK I kick ass and take names (I’m a tough one in the work world), but I’m also intensely focused on being fair. As a writer though? I’m totally not fair to Charley and Wyatt. As for if Charley and I are alike though? No!, I cannot do half the stuff Charley does in the book … she is a shape-shifter for goodness sake!
Wyatt, your hero—alpha or beta male? Which do you prefer to write and why?
Aimee: He’s a blend. Which is actually on purpose and you’ll have to read the story to know why I say that. I prefer guys that can wipe away a tear, build a shed, get dirty, hold a hand bag for their women, open doors and take care of them. I don’t like men who think they know best and show it exclusively. I want them to be a partnership in life (like my husband) and thus that comes through a lot in the males I write.
Last question. Little White Lies is sub-titled “Mimics of Rune”. Does this mean we will be seeing more from Charley in the future?
Aimee: Yes, you will. In fact, every one of my novels is set in Rune, North Carolina, a made up town that squeezes the mountains and the beach, is based loosely off the town I live in, but with some key North Carolina landmarks adjusted for geography. So you’ll see a LOT of Rune in the coming years. You can even map it through each book! Now, for Charley … oh yeah. She’ll be in a short titled Misguided that will come out this winter in an Anthology. She’ll be in Surrender (a work in progress that tells Cael and Lily’s story), Redeemed (Maggie & James’s story) and has a cameo appearance in First Kiss(es) which is my first Emi Gayle story. So you’ll get to see her a lot!
Fantastic news for Little White Lies fans, of which I am certainly one.
Thanks for joining me today, Aimee. I hope everyone will mosey on over to pick up a copy of Little White Lies at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, All Romance or ask your local bookstore. I wish you the greatest success with your debut!
Thank you, Claire! This was a lot of fun! I love talking about writing and, of course, Little White Lies. If anyone has questions, I’ll respond to comments for the next few days or at my Q&A with Aimee Laine Group on Goodreads.
When the government needs a body double for a covert operation, they hire shape-shifter Charley Randall. For two centuries, she’s played every part from foreign dignitary to office drone. The role she wants most, though, is one she’s denied herself three times already.
FBI Agent Wyatt Moreland believes Charley’s photographic memory is the key to his latest assignment. He’s oblivious to the true extent of her abilities, but he can’t deny the sense of déjà vu at their introduction.
Unlike Wyatt, Charley knows this isn’t their first meeting.
It’s their fourth.
The girl he vowed to love, sixteen years before, stands in front of him in her true form – one he’ll never recognize.
With each reconnection, Charley loves him more, though she realizes this is her last chance to explain. Only absolute truth can bring them happiness, but can Wyatt forgive her deceptions? Or will lies tear them apart forever?