Q. Welcome, Helen, and thanks so much for joining us today. Can you tell us a little about your November release, Marriage Under the Mistletoe?
Marriage Under The Mistletoe is my second book for Harlequin Special Edition and continues with the lives and loves of the residents of a small Australian seaside town called Crystal Point
Q. Can you describe your writing process? Do you have a daily routine?
I’m now a full time writer and try to write every day. I’m not particularly organized in my process and am something of a pantser – but by the time I settle into writing a new book I’ve usually had it percolating in my head for six months or so. I write a brief outline and then get started. Ideally, I like to get at least six hours writing time in every day.
Q. You have a great fondness for animals. Can you tell us about your menagerie?
Yes, I do have something of a menagerie – eight horses (including a miniature pony who roams the back yard and watches TV through the window) , two dogs, three birds, two adorable Ragdoll cats and a house cow named Ginger. No goats or Alpacas yet, but I’m working on that one :-) . I’ve always had a strong connection with animals - and horses in particular – and I love the time I get to spend with them every afternoon. It’s all part of that work/life balance for me.
Q. Your love for horses played a large role in your first book. Is this an element readers can expect in your other books?
Hopefully, yes. It’s fabulous to be able to incorporate my horses into my stories – in fact, two of the horses in my first book Made For Marriage were actually horses I have owned. Because animals are such a huge part of my life, I love making them part of my character’s lives too.
Q. How do you balance social media and promotion with your writing schedule?
I try to keep the work at the forefront. There’s no point in doing a whole lot a promotion if the books don’t get written. In saying that, I did a book tour for the release of my first book and it was a lot of fun, connecting with readers and other writers. I’m on Twitter, have my own website and belong to a couple of other sites (Special Edition Authors & LoveCats Downunder) where I blog. Plus there’s Facebook and Goodreads. I will be doing some promotion for my next two books, but I always try to get my writing hours in for the day before I do anything else.
Q. Can you tell us about your journey toward publication?
I had a very long apprenticeship. I submitted my first completed MS to Mills & Boon way back in 1987 and sold to Harlequin Special Edition in 2010. It took many, many rejections before I sold to the line that has long been my favourite. A couple of years earlier I’d quit my day job and my husband and I had a ‘sea change’ of sorts, which gave me the time to really commit to the craft and work towards getting published. I worked with a freelance editor for over a year and jumped into the contest circuit, which led to signing with my agent Scott Eagan and then selling to Harlequin six months later.
Q. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Keep writing, don’t give up. In time you will find that one editor or agent who really connects with your story.
Q. Can you tell us about your next release and what you are working on now?
I have my third book in my series, His-And-Hers Family, releasing in January, and I am currently getting books five and six ready to submit to my editor.
Thank you so much for having me, it’s been great to be here. I have a signed copy of Marriage Under The Mistletoe to give away to one commenter.
Marriage Under the Mistletoe, by Helen Lacey
Strong. Sensible. Dependable. That was Evie Dunn's type. Certainly not young, fearless gorgeous firefighter Scott Jones. She knew the wisest course was to keep her distance, but she couldn't resist the allure of a holiday fling. Now the widowed single mom found herself with an unexpected post-Christmas gift—she was having Scott's baby!
Scott came to Crystal Point to see his sister tie the knot, not fall for the alluring owner of the town's oceanfront B and B. He knew he was all wrong for Evie, but he would do anything to win her heart and build the family he'd always wanted. All he had to do was persuade Evie to take the biggest risk of her life…on love.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
And releasing in January... His-and-Hers Family, by Helen Lacey
Fifteen years ago, Fiona Walsh made a choice: to give her daughter up for adoption. But she'd never given up hope of meeting her little girl. So when opportunity for a reunion came knocking-in the form of her daughter's tall, dark and sexy uncle-she opened the door to her past...and found true love on her doorstep!
Businessman Wyatt Harper liked his life carefully ordered, with details falling neatly into place. As Cecily's guardian, her welfare came first. Yet his searing attraction to Fiona turned his entire world upside down-it was unlike anything he'd ever felt! This could be for keeps. But Wyatt had been burned before, badly. Could Fiona's tender ways win Wyatt's scarred heart-and make them into a family?
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
You can learn more about Helen on her website: www.helenlacey.com
The winner of Helen's autographed book will be announced tomorrow, so help us welcome Helen to The Hot Pink Typewriter for your chance to win:-)