Several months back, when I complained—yes, I admit it (Lol!)—about the book I’d been reading, a friend suggested I try Laurel Blount’s debut novel.
I’m more of a suspense girl, but sure, why not try a new romance author. I am so glad I did. Laurel has an amazing talent of keeping things fresh and flowing. I’m hooked! I just read her latest release, Hometown Hope!
Please welcome Laurel Blount!
Giveaway: Hometown Hope
Sign up: Giveaway Link
INTERVIEW WITH LAUREL BLOUNT
Where did you get your ideas for your books? Everywhere! Usually, my stories start with an interesting character or a “what if” situation and develop from there.
How long does it take you to write a Love Inspired novel? It varies depending on how much revision I have to do, but usually about four to five months.
Who’s your all-time favorite character? Oooh–so hard to choose! If you mean a character in someone else’s book, I’d say Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. His quiet, relentless integrity really resonates with me. If you mean a character I created, I’d say Abel Whitlock, the country-guy hero in my debut novel A Family for the Farmer has a special place in my heart. But so does building contractor Hoyt Bradley–the hero in my latest release Hometown Hope. And then there’s Jacob Stone–the kind-hearted minister in A Baby for the Minister—nope, can’t choose. I love them all! Sami: I have to say, I really loved Jacob Stone.
Tell us a bit about your new release? Hometown Hope is officially a July release for Love Inspired, but the paperback actually releases on June 18–my birthday! How sweet is that? This book started with a character–unapologetically blue-collar widower Hoyt Bradley whose little daughter Jess hasn’t spoken a word in the three years since her mom’s death. When Jess finally does speak, she asks her father to help save a beloved bookstore, owned by Hoyt’s former classmate Anna “Brainy” Delaney. Anna and Hoyt share a prickly history, but Hoyt’s willing to do anything to keep Jess talking–and Anna’s warm heart goes out to his book-loving little girl. And as they cooperate to help Jess heal, these two opposites stumble headlong into an unexpected romance! Sami: I loved little Jess!! And Happy Birthday!!
What is your typical day like? I get up around five a.m. and stagger to the coffee maker. Caffeine in hand, I have some quiet time, reading the Bible and praying. Then I write until about nine-thirty. I stop and jump into homeschooling my two younger kids. Once homeschooling is done, I may sneak in a second writing session in the afternoon. Then it’s housework, farm chores and cooking! I enjoy supper with my husband and kids, and I often read at night. Then I go to bed with the chickens so I can get up and do it all over again the next day.
When did you start writing? I think I was born holding a notebook! I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write stories and keep a journal. I dabbled in writing a novel when I was in my twenties, and started getting serious about my writing in 2015 when I entered Love Inspired’s Blurb 2 Book Contest.
When did you receive your first book contract? I got “the call” in August of 2015 after finaling in Blurb 2 Book! I can show you the exact spot in my kitchen where I took that call, too! I hung up on my sister when I saw New York on my call waiting screen–but she forgave me.
What did you do with your first Advance? Attended the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference! And it was so worth it! Sami: I LOVE the ACFW conference.
What is the hardest part about being an author? I love writing! But–some parts are tough. Writing professionally means writing even when you’re not in the mood or when you’re dealing with life’s junk so that you can honor your deadlines. It also means accepting constructive criticism with humility and a commitment to improve your writing.
On a lighter note–writing means I’m chronically distracted because I’m always hashing out scenes and plots in my mind. I can be very absent-minded–and this can impact other areas of my life. Just the other day I was working out a storyline in my mind as I was tidying up. I later came across a roll of toilet paper I’d intended to put in the bathroom perched on a pile of folded clothes in my closet. This sort of thing happens a lot!
Who is your favorite author? I love so many authors–usually, it’s whoever I happen to be reading at the moment!
Now for the important questions:
Pepsi or Coke? Pepsi (Even though I’m a Georgia girl through and through)
Candy, cookies, or cake? Pie, darling. Pie. Buttermilk pie is a particular favorite!
Coffee or Tea? Coffee for the caffeine, tea for the company.
Favorite vacation? Love the beach–but basically any place with people I love and lots of free time makes me happy.
Favorite TV show? Call the Midwife and the Great British Baking Show
Favorite Movie? Probably While You Were Sleeping. Love that one!
Any hobbies? Pets? Activities? Tons! I read, go antiquing, garden and can. My sis and I recently took up pickleball, too! We have four spoiled rotten cats, three of which are rescues, dairy goats, cows, ducks and a very bossy goose. Sami: Can I come visit?
Be sure to visit Laurel’s website at laurelblountbooks.com
Thank you, Laurel, for joining us this month!
Be sure to join me on July 18th for a Giveaway and Interview with Carrie Stuart Parks!