Thanks Lacy for taking the time out of your busy day to stop by the blog. Some of the movies listed below were my favorites.
Lacy's book The Last Page was a light, easy, romantic read. Check out my review here.
Now on to the Guest Post and Interview:
Recently, it dawned on me that out of my top favorite five movies, three of my favorite feature female protagonists who are writers.
These movies are “Little Women”, “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Anne of Green Gables”. These three movies also give me such a cozy feeling and I often find inspiration just by watching them from the beautiful settings to also character traits I admire.
From Little Women, I admire Jo’s bravery. Jo went against the status quo of her time (settling down, getting married) and sought adventure in New York and sought to be published. She also cut off her hair to earn money so their ill sister could see their mother in her time of need.
From Anne of Green Gables, I’m inspired by Anne’s uniqueness. Anne is always set on being set apart and different with all of her introductions as always, “I’m Anne with an E”. She also seems to have a strong strength about her. She doesn’t care what others think about her and her uniqueness.
From Something’s Gotta Give, I admire Erica Berry’s humor. She sure suffered heartache from Jack Nicholson’s character, but she turned her heartache into success by penning an award winning play.
Each movie inspires me aesthetically, as well. I’ll take the simpler life we see in Little Women any day from the hustle and bustle from the city of Houston I live. Their beautiful home in Massachusetts is also gorgeous.
In Anne of Green Gables, I’ve always adored Prince Edward Island. It’s always been a dream of mine to visit Prince Edward Island because it’s so gorg! (gorgeous).
In Something’s Gotta Give, OMG! - HER HAMPTON HOUSE – I love it. The interior design is so incredible. I love the décor and have often referred back to the movie for inspiration for my own personal style. Not to mention the incredible beach-The Hamptons. The beach is one of my favorite places on earth. Now on to memorable quotes because we love quoting movies, right? (or is that just my husband and me? :) )
In Little Women, Jo is told, “There is more to you than this if you have the courage to write it.”
As writers, we have to have courage. There will always be fear waiting to be invited into our mind- fear of opinions, fear of reviews, fear of ranking, but what a horrible way to live. People will always have their opinions. At the end of the day, courage is a must for every writer. Fear has to leave and courage has to take its’ place. The courage to write. It’s just the way it has to be.
From Anne of Green Gables my favorite quote is, “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive-it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half as interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for the imagination then, would there?”
Even though it’s been said, “nothing new is under the sun”, our world is still a very interesting world. No one knows everything. As writers, we get to explore such an exciting world and bring fresh, new perspectives. That’s incredibly fun.
My favorite line from Something’s Gotta Give is where Erica Berry is at dinner and is discussing with everyone about her play she’s writing: Erica Berry: [on her play] It’s about a divorced woman, a writer. She’s this high-strung, overamped, controlling, know-it-all neurotic. [Everyone stares at her]
Erica Berry: …who’s incredibly cute and loveable.
That’s one of my favorite “laugh out loud” moments, for sure. As writers, we can’t help at times but interject a little bit of ourselves into the character, but of course we make them cute and loveable, fluffy and cuddly, right?
Funny again, how my favorite quotes revolve around writing :)
Analyzing my latest release, “The Last Page”, because that’s what writers do, we look for any tiny holes to thread a link, attaching ideas together- I see how three of my favorite things from the movies tie in for my main protag, Norah. She had the courage to create in a peaceful serene environment, at a simpler pace of life. She let her unique business idea create a new opportunity for her. And out of chaos, her greatest opportunity presented itself (like Something’s Gotta Give). Beauty was created out of her ashes and she arose happier than ever before (Little Women).
Since I love twitter, I think it would be fun to see how you would describe your book Twitter-style. How would you describe it in 140 characters or less?
Oh fun! A great marketing strategy for sure that I’ll use. Here’s my 140 characters. : What’s a girl 2 do when her world crumbles apart? She gets back up again in style & goes on the ride of her life #thelastpage norah’s story
When did you know you wanted to become a writer or have you always known?
I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve always imagined stories and ideas. As most people, my earliest memories of life are limited quite a bit. But besides remembering being in kindergarten and crying because I didn’t want the “sandman” to come and put sand in my eyes (like the teacher said would happen), falling out of my desk in the first grade, and also gluing my hands together and one day being the line leader and being extremely excited, there are a few memories in my earlier years that stood out to me and made me fall in love with writing. I remember 2nd grade. I remember we had to describe a scarecrow’s picture for a writing prompt and I really enjoyed that. I also remember writing scripts with my neighbor and wanting to “put on shows”, like little comedy acts that you see on Saturday Night Live. But at that age, I wasn’t watching SNL, I watched Nickelodeon’s “RoundHouse” and I loved the skits and thought skits were fun to write. Then, there’s 5tth grade. 5th grade is the moment that really stands out forever in my memory and seems like that pivotal moment in my life where I had that epiphany of , ”Aha, I want to be a writer.” I wrote and illustrated a story about a kitten in the snow and titled the book appropriately, “The Snow Kitten.” I drew and wrote it on notebook paper and put it in a three-leaf folder with the illustrated cover taped neatly on top. Then I wrote a book about two sisters who escape their evil stepmother and venture out into the Australian outback. They have to cross a distressed wooden bridge and face all sorts of things-snakes, scary animals, etc. My favorite teacher in the whole world, Mrs. Jetters (3rd grade teacher) let me come back to her class and read my book to her students. That moment made an impression in me and I think that was one defining moment in my life when I knew I wanted to write stories for others to hear. Also, I was obsessed with reading and reading competitions when I was younger. I also alphabetized all my books, which were held in three white wooden shelves in my closet. I had “dreams” of one day having a huge library in my own home,-the kind that “Belle” in Beauty and the Beast would go and visit and borrow books. Books have always been a part of my life. I would write stories on scraps of paper and my favorite were notebook legal pads. After writing a few pages, I remember at night before I drifted off to sleep, I would dream about going on, “Regis and Kathie Lee” (at that time Kathie Lee was hosting, not Kelly Ripa) and promoting my book. I’d dream of them saying, “Wow, you’re so young and accomplished for a young girl to write such a book!” So I was always a dreamer J I went into my undergraduate studies knowing that I wanted to be a writer. That’s why I majored in English Literature. The University that I went to did not have a creative writing program or I would have majored in that. I loved English Lit though. I loved reading and analyzing and giving my point of view. The writing stories continued all throughout college and I’d often pretend I was taking notes but really I would be penning a story in my notebook. I’ve always written, always journaled, (I have about 30) and have always romanticized books. I guess I have always had it in me to be writer.
What was the hardest part of the writing process?
The hardest part of the writing process for me is the temptation to want to spend more time studying the craft than actually writing. There is “this way to write, and that way”, and it’s very easy to put off writing in effort to study the craft more in hopes and effort to become “an expert”. Because let’s face it, there are a lot of great writers out there who have perfect form, dialogue, character arches etc., but I can’t let my love of learning keep me from “putting off” writing. The only way to be a better writer of books is to write more books. It’s like public speaking. The only way to excel in public speaking is to speak in public. You can read books all day until you’re blue in the face, but until applied knowledge takes place, that knowledge is just knowledge. Writing is like a skill. It’s like a surgeon who has to apply what he or she is learning into practice.
What inspired the concept for The Last Page?
I took a script writing class my senior year of college. We had to write one act of a screenplay for our final. This was five years ago. That’s why Norah’s story was created. Yet, Norah at the time was named, “Regan” J The story changed a little bit, and I think as I grew up, I found more of my voice as a writer. But overall the concept was there-the journal, heartbreak, moving on, healing, therapist, beach home, handsome stranger… :)
Can you tell us a little bit about your writing environment and/or and rituals you go through before sitting down to write?
Yes! Besides usually having hot tea to drink, which currently I am drinking Roobius white truffle and it’s delicious, or having coffee, I always begin the writing process in my mind. I tell myself that I have what it takes and it’s going to be a good day of writing. Then I imagine how it will feel after I have written the copy for the day. As far as environment, I’ll take writing outside any day! Yet I live in Houston and we get pretty hot days in the summer (and oh yeah, in the fall…and okay… in the spring.,…ok, so it’s hot pretty much all year minus 4 months or so). I like to write usually at a table of some sorts. I’m one of those writers that can write basically anywhere. I also free hand at times and enjoy doing that. I really like writing on airplanes, too, for some reason.
What is your favorite Book or Series?
My favorite book is “Redeeming Love” by Francis Rivers, although, I haven’t read it since I was 18. So my tastes may have changed a bit since I’m approaching my 28th birthday. Actually, I know my tastes have changed. But that book captured my attention in such a way, that for 48 hours my freshman year of college, I skipped classes, ate all my meals in my dorm, and did nothing but read until I finished the entire book. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before with any other book.
If you could be a character from one of your favorite books, who would you be?
I know this sounds funny, but I think it would be fun to be Samantha Sweeny from “The Undomestic Goddess” by Sophia Kinsella. She was a lawyer who was desperate to escape a situation at work so she got a on a train and rode it to a house in the country, outside of London. Somehow, she ends up getting a job as a housekeeper and has no idea how to sew, cook, clean, or anything. I think the reason why it would be fun to be her is because she’s in the country and she learns how to be domestic. Who wants to be a maid? Right? Well, I think the countryside would be so lovely and romantic. I think I’m a country girl at heart and would LOVE to have a garden and even a farm! So, I liked the environment Samantha was thrown into.
Do you listen to music while you write, if so what’s on your playlist?
Yes! I absolutely love the soundtrack of “Something’s Gotta Give”. It’s super French, Brazilian and Jazz. Lots of fun. Also, SGG is one of my favorite movies. I probably listen to the soundtrack every day because it really makes me feel “just happy”. I that feeling when I write. When I was writing “The Last Page” I listened to “Shut up and Let me Go” by The Ting Tings because I felt like that really portrayed Norah at the beginning of the book. The song, to me, exudes confidence (and Norah really needed to be confident at that moment). She was so bold to approach Truett and was pretty awesome. When The Last Page is made into a movie J, I would love for that song to be played as Norah exits the bathroom! Now that I’m writing book 2, my song for Chloe is by Kelly Clarkson-“Mr Know it All”. Chloe has always been prejudged her whole life because of her family and money. I feel like the lyrics to this song are perfect for her and her situation. Other than that, I love a good Coldplay mix, as well as Damien Rice Pandora playlist (his happy folk songs, not melancholy songs). I definitely listen to a lot of music that makes me happy- “Benny and the Jets” “Bitter Sweet Symphony”-the Verve, U2…etc. I do listen to Henry Purcell playlist at times when I need to really concentrate. It’s relaxing and I feel like it makes me more creative, or smarter. (Or is it that what studies tell us and therefore, I think I’m smarter and more creative because of the study?)
If there was one thought or feeling you would want readers to take away from reading The Last Page, what would it be?
Honestly, I would just love my readers to have fun, feel good, and when they are through with the book, feel like they went on a momentary vacation. And to just enjoy life for a moment. You know how you watch those certain movies, and there is something about those movies that make you “feel good? For me it’s “Something’s Gotta Give”…”Little Women”…”Confessions of a Shopaholic”. I just really would love for readers to feel that way when they read a book by me. Thanks for having me! :)
You can purchase a copy of The Last Page at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.