Q&A with Lissa Reed, author of the Sucre Coeur series. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect (Sucre Coeur Book III) is out August 3rd.
Hello! I am so happy to be here today. I live in the DFW area of North Texas, where I work from home and write in coffee shops. Absolutely is my third novel, and it’s the final installment in a romance trilogy – the series centers largely around the employees of a Seattle bakery and the people who love them. But in this one I uprooted the main characters and shipped them to England for fun and drama and catastrophic hilarity!
Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?
If I don’t previously know a thing about a book, then good cover is going to catch my eye, there’s no escaping that. But the blurb is what can make me flip through and check out a few passages. And if I like what I read in the passages, then it’s coming home with me. There’s a whole process to it!
What does ‘romance’ mean to you?
Oh…hm. Dancing in the kitchen, singing your favorite songs to each other. Reading together on the couch. Being able to do your own things, but supporting each other. Seeing something random while you’re out and about and buying it because you know your person will like it. In-jokes. They love your pets as much as you do and vice versa.
What are your current projects?
I am, for the first time in three or four years, working on something that is not centered around a bakery! And it’s got something of a supernatural element to it, in that one of the characters is a sort of angel – and he’s not a love interest. It’s an F/F story about an ordinary woman with major depressive disorder who gets a second chance to figure out what she wants from life. I’ve been wanting to write it for a very long time. I have no idea what will become of it, but it’s getting written one way or another.
What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
Motivating myself to do it. I find myself sort of frozen, sometimes, with my book ideas. That I’ll never find a way to do them “right.” So I end up having to push myself into writing, just get myself out of the house – I am of course the ultimate cliché, I have a coffeeshop I go to – and sit there with a Pomodoro app and make myself do writing sprints. I have a hard time with the “first drafts are always crap, just pour words out and go back and edit later” thing. I do it, but I have the worst time with it, I know I edit while I write more than I should. It’s so difficult to get out of my own way and just write. The days that I manage it, man! I love those days.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.
At this point, if anyone follows me on Twitter and Instagram, I don’t think there are any surprises left…I mean at this point, it is not going to surprise anyone that I am terribly disorganized, or that I love seltzer water, or that I am learning a second language, so I have to dig deep.
I guess it would be something of a surprise to learn that I can sort of play the autoharp. I am not very good at it. I have an Oscar Schmidt 15-chord autoharp that I call Giles, and I love it. An autoharp is a fairly easy instrument to learn to play, and I like that in order to play it, you’ve got to hug it. It’s great.
There are very amateur recordings out there of me singing and playing pop songs on the autoharp. These are things that exist! And one of these days I’m going to record my cover of “What’s Up” by 4 Non-Blondes, it’s pretty epic.
Author: Lissa Reed
Series: Sucre Coeur
Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.
As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.
Interlude Press: store.interludepress.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lissa Reed is a writer of ﬁction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her ﬁrst composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary ﬁction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Hold // Five winners receive Absolutely, Almost, Perfect eBook:
Smelling of soap, a blue bath towel slung around his hips, Craig drops a kiss on Alex’s forehead before he takes his own seat. He slides the Ivory Square of Doom to his side of the table. “Right, we have to work this out.”
“Do we?” Alex cuts a finger of toast and dips it into his egg. He concentrates on the simple task so he doesn’t have to look Craig in the eye. “I mean, really. Neither of us actually wants to go. Why can’t we just RSVP with a sad but firm no and send them the nicest thing on their registry?”
Silence stretches long enough that he does look up. Open-mouthed, Craig stares at him. A forgotten toast finger drips egg yolk onto the tabletop. “You…” Craig shakes his head and puts down the toast. “You spoke to my mother. Many times you faced this woman on Skype or Facetime and had actual conversations with her, and you still somehow think that is a reasonable course of action.” His eyebrows lift, and he lets out a low whistle. “You know, I’ve held your balls in my hand. Were they brass all this time, and I just missed it?”
“Oh, come on, Craig.” Alex runs a hand through his hair. “Yes, I spoke to your mother. She’s nowhere near as scary as mine.”
“See, now, there’s an excellent reason for both of us to go to this damn wedding, so I can show you in person exactly how wrong you are.” Craig lifts his mug of tea and coughs out a laugh. “Your mother is frightening, I grant you: half my size and twice as intimidating as I can manage on my best day. In fact, our mothers would get on like houses afire, which should give you an idea as to why I, at least, cannot get out of going to this wedding.” He takes a sip of tea, sets the mug aside, and reaches over the table to catch Alex’s hand in both of his. “Alex, even apart from my mother’s insistence… Chloe is one of my oldest friends. I have to do this for her. But I can’t do it without you. I know it won’t be easy, but I need you there with me.”
At the sight of their joined hands, a lump grows in Alex’s throat to match the one in his stomach. “It’s just… your family…”
Silence falls again, interrupted only by Fitz tap-tap-tapping across the checkerboard linoleum of the kitchen floor and whining to be picked up. Craig scoops him up and scratches Fitz’s fuzzy little ears. “They won’t bite, Alex. They’re just…”
“Just people, just your family, I know.” Alex’s chest tightens. “Just your mother, your father, your sisters, your brother who you don’t even like, and I guess there’s an Aunt Lorraine now, and this Chloe chick and God knows who else gathering for the Wedding of the Century, where they’ll get to meet Craig’s neurotic train wreck of a boyfriend and judge us. They’ll judge me for being an uptight, deadbeat American and you for clearly having some kind of episode, to decide that I was an appropriate choice for a boyfriend.”
The lump in his throat swells and cuts him off.