Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Interview + Review: For the Love of Big Orange by Leta Gail Doerr

They say you can never go home. Well, Lacie Joe Jensen never wanted to.

Lacie Joe left small town Kentucky for the big city lights and never looked back. Until now. Her ailing foster-father needs her, his memory is failing. But townsfolk remember all too well the troubles Lacie Joe caused as a youth, and they're not afraid to remind her. 

Lacie Joe has a few allies in town, for starters, ex-boyfriend turned police officer Jay Hayworth. Jay's kept the fire burning for Lacie during her long absence. He's one of the bright spots in Lacie's troublesome past, him and her truck, Big Orange. A suspicious accident forced Lacie Joe to leave town, Jay steps in to remind Lacie she no longer has the right to remain silent.

The beautifully designed cover immediately caught my attention; not to mention that it is set in my home state of Kentucky. This small town romance is about second chances but, when Lacie Joe returns home she discovers that people in Sagebrush have long memories. The author wrote a remarkable story with multiple complicated storylines; all blended seamlessly. The overall character development took a backseat to the story. I would have also liked to see more of the relationship between Lacie Joe and Jay. Overall, a very enjoyable afternoon read – looking forward to more from the author. 

I love the truck!!!

Disclosure: This ebook was provided to me free of charge by the author for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own.

Meet The Author

Leta Gail is a small town girl with big dreams, who shares her life with her husband, son, and little dog Kimmy. She enjoys exercise, (as if), planning family vacations, dreaming up places to go with her husband, reading, tinkering with computer software, and watching her son grow. She is a Project Manager by day working in Information Technology, who moonlights as a writer. She has a monthly column, Blonde Bytes, in a women's publication- Pastelle Magazine, where she writes about fun geeky stuff.

She loves to write about great friendships and deep emotions. She finds the humor in everyday life and creates believable characters she hopes her readers will enjoy. She likes story lines like, life after divorce, strong-willed women making their mark on the world, and finding love in unexpected places. She also enjoys writing tales that salute our nation's heroes.

She enjoys the super support of her husband and inquisitive son while she dreams big and "shoots for the moon", as her husband so aptly states. She loves to hear from readers, email letagail(at)gmail(dot)com.

Visit her at www.theliteraryblonde.com and www.randommoonbooks.com

Tell us about your writing process…

How long do you generally let a story idea germinate before you start the writing?

It all depends on the story, as I’m a very organic writer. My desk is full of sticky notes scribbled with one-liners or comments that I then turn into a scene. It all starts with a character name for me. For instance, when Lacie Joe, the heroine in For the Love of Big Orange, came into mind, she gradually came to life over the course of say, a three week period. It all started with her name, then her beloved truck (Big Orange). Oh, and she’s got to have a man in her life, enter the uber-sexy police officer, Jay Hayworth. All of these folks started out as a tiny yellow sticky note, just look at them now! 

Do you pre-plot the book or write as you go?

Here’s the weird thing about me. I plan everything in my personal life, what I’m going to wear for the week, where we are going to go on vacation (usually a year in advance), what to have on the menu for the week, but I don’t pre-plot my books. Perhaps it’s because I enjoy the freedom. With Big Orange, I had attempted planning, but the story was stiff and stagey. Once I tossed it all away and snuggled up in my office chair with a puppy on my lap, the story unfolded in a way that I truly adore. I hope readers will too.

How do you come up with the characters names/personalities?

That’s a great question! In the technology world, developers often leave a little mark on their work that only they, or people close to them, will truly understand. I too do the same with my character names, and sometimes personalities. 

For instance, in the hit animated Disney movie, Wreck-it Ralph, the developers and film-makers sprinkled in subtle references to Walt Disney in the film. There is a leader board as part of the game, the number displayed is 12051901. This translates to December 5, 1901, which is also Walt Disney’s Birthday. 

In my first novel, The Prince at the Corner Bakery, the hero/heroine are Lillian Grace Duncan and Jagger Davis. My initials are LGD (Leta Gail Doerr) and my husband’s name is Jeff. It seemed only fitting to me that my first novel about finding the love of your life be closely named to how I found my own prince. 

How do you go about revising/editing?

I have a phenomenal group of five writer friends with whom I swap work with. We have formed Random Moon Books, a group of like-minded authors, in that we support quality fiction, but each with a unique style and genre specialty. We are very open and honest with each other about our work, we push ourselves to create stories to be the very best that they can be in order for our readers to enjoy them. Their opinions are taken into account when I work on revisions/edits.

What is the average time it takes to write a book?

For the Love of Big Orange is my third release, which was truly in development for around five months -from the first draft, through revisions and cover design. My novel took much longer. I’m still learning as I go here, but my plan is to release at least two titles per year.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

Yes! For the Love of Big Orange is part of the Bluegrass Country Novella series. The next title, Head Over Heels in the Foothills is my current WIP. I’m also working on the second title in the Shady Oaks Novel series, named 52 Ways to Flirt. The Prince at the Corner Bakery was the first release for that series.

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to share with us?

Thank you for hosting me today. I look forward to meeting new readers. Speaking of readers - I would just like to share that authors appreciate you. I personally hope to write stories for your enjoyment - whether it is action, adventure, romance, suspense or maybe a cozy mystery, authors write for you. 

I am a very collaborative and talkative person. I want to connect with readers, whether it is via reviews, a random email, or an in-person meeting at a book signing, it would be an honor to hear from you and know that a story was enjoyed or appreciated. And it doesn’t always have to be a pat on the back either; constructive criticism can go a long way when shared in a professional manner. I’m always accessible via www.theliteraryblonde.com or letagail@gmail.com or look me up on Facebook at The Literary Blonde. Thanks for stopping by today.

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