Laura is a nurse by day and an author by night. She's written 50 books for Harlequin and is thrilled to launch To Love - the first book in her new series The McNallys. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about To Love.
Please give us a short introduction to what To Love is about.
I wanted to write a series around an Irish family where each of the siblings get their own story. To Love is the first book in the series and features Jazz McNally who is renovating her grandparents mansion into a bed and breakfast. She and her twin sister Jemma are going to run the B&B. The Bed and Breakfast plays a role in the story as does the gazebo overlooking Lake Michigan. Each of the siblings will either get engaged or married there.
What inspired you to use vandalism as a catalyst for your book?
I can't write a story without some suspense so I decided to open this story with some vandalism that turns out to be something far more sinister. I don't want to give anything away, but the vandalism also highlights a small town mystery that will be solved by the sixth book.
Nursing is an intense job - how do you make time for your writing?
I love caring for people and working critical care is intense. Writing is my escape from the emotionally draining days at work. I tend to write mostly on the weekends and on my days off. It's like having two jobs...lol. When I get into my stories the rest of the world falls away.
Tell us more about Jazz McNally. What makes her tick?
After finding her fiance kissing her bridesmaid Jazz is looking for a fresh start. When she was young she was a tomboy and always followed her grandfather as he did repair work around the house. She learned a lot about construction and when she was given the chance to help her twin turn their grandparents home into a B&B in order to keep it in the family, she jumped at the chance.
In most Romance Novels, the hero is a billionaire or a very successful businessman or a soldier - why did you decide to make Dalton a drifter?
Dalton is a tortured hero in this story. Again, I don't want to give too much away, but he turned to a life of drifting after an emotional loss. It's not until he begins helping Jazz, protecting her and ultimately saving her life that he realizes that he needs to forgive himself in order to love again.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Boy, I wish I had other special skills! I do give presentations at work, which is something I didn't do in the past. I used to be afraid to talk in front of groups, now I can present easily and even make people laugh. I guess that may be the only other special skill I have.
Did you plan from the start to make this into a series? Can the books be read as stand alones?
These books can be read alone, they are the complete story of each sibling. There's a very minor mystery in the small town that is threaded through the stories to keep the reader engaged in the series. But it's not something that would prevent the stories from standing alone. I love to read a series so I decided right from the beginning to do this as a family series.
How was your journey to become an author? Was that something you always aspired to?
I loved writing from a very young age. I write my first book when I was thirteen and my first romance at 17. Those stories were terrible, but I was undaunted! My parents were very pragmatic though and wanted me to have a job I could always depend on, so I went into nursing. Thankfully I love science and very much enjoy my nursing career. But at some point I would love nothing better than to write full time. A girl can dream, right?
What is the most challenging aspect of being a writer?
Honestly for me it's finding time to write. Juggling the full time day job with my writing and my family is always a challenge. If we have family gatherings on the weekends, I get up super early just so that I can still get some writing done. So far I haven't run out of ideas...but I do worry that some day that may happen.
What are your favorite types of books to read? Do you prefer to read them in paper or digital format?
I love reading romance and suspense books. I prefer digital these days only because I can make the font bigger. I'm also getting hooked on Audio books. They are a great way to destress while driving. Traffic jam? No worries.
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on the third book in the McNally series, To Laugh. It's almost finished and I hope to have this available by January 2019. To Cherish, the second book in the series is available for pre-order now with a release date of November 1st.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I'm on facebook https://www.facebook.com/LauraScottBooks/ and Twitter @laurascottbooks, and you can always check out my website at www.laurascottbooks.com to sign up for my newsletter or just to drop me a note. Authors are stuck in their homes all day long (and in their imaginations) so we love hearing from our readers!