Novel Spotlight: Redesigning Rose finally made it off my To-Be-Read list and I loved it! I had a chance to chat with Lydia and get some insight on her characters. Grab a cup a tea and learn a bit more about Redesigning Rose and Lydia’s goal to get her characters to their happy place.
Thanks for joining us here at Eat ~ Write ~ Love!
Gardening and tea were such a huge part of the way the characters in Redesigning Rose soothed themselves. Can you share your favorite kind of tea and also your experience with gardening as a form of relaxing?
Orange Pekoe is my go-to tea for relaxing but I’ve also developed a fondness for David’s Tea Organic Chai which is pretty much black tea and cinnamon. It’s heaven in a tea cup. Gardening is something I find therapeutic, relaxing, invigorating and energizing! The creative aspect of it makes my mind whirl, and I love sitting out amidst my gardens with a book or a glass of wine. One of my most Zen things to do in the garden – and this is probably going to sound very bizarre – is to stand around watering the flower beds or even the grass. I could spend hours roaming from garden to garden with the hose. It’s almost meditative for me. See, told you I’m a little weird.
I liked Becky as a side-kick to Rose’s “demure” view on things, were you looking to create a Yin & Yang for their dynamic? How did she inspire you while writing her character?
I knew Rose needed someone in her life to kick her in the butt, to make her think, and to get her outside herself and not take herself so seriously. I hadn’t intended them to be quite so polar-opposite, but I think it worked well in that they both ended up learning from one another. Becky inspired me to have more fun and to get a little silly sometimes, and how to be a better friend. And they both taught me to take a bad situation and turn it into a positive.
I was surprised by the ending –did you feel you needed an explosive event to happen in order to push the characters through their journey? Or just curious what you wanted the character Becky to learn from the experience?
I wanted Becky to have her own opportunity for growth, and I wanted Rose to be able to help just like Becky helped her. I also wanted to juxtapose what Rose went through with Frank to what Becky goes through and show that the two situations have startling similarities. Sorry, I know that’s vague, but I personally loathe spoilers so I won’t say anything more!
Do you think it’s common for people to find themselves leaving relationships only to discover they never really knew their partner? I really felt for Rose as she would look back on her marriage feeling betrayed.
Sometimes I wonder whether we ever really know anyone, but then I come around and force myself to stop reading so many novels with crazy spouses. Gone Girl, anyone?
Rose obviously never really knew Frank, but I think after enough time passes, she realizes her own mistakes and grows from the experience. Have you ever gone through something horrendous only to be grateful afterwards that it happened? I think Rose feels that way. She’s stronger from the experience and much smarter. I don’t think she’ll make the same mistakes again. She won’t stay quiet, or ignore her intuition and she’ll be much happier for it. And because of this she’ll look back and be grateful for the experience, regardless of how agonizing it was at that time.
What are you hoping readers take away from Rose and her motley crew of friends?
Fantastic question! Friendship is important. Family is important. Doing what you love is important. Love is important – but not if you lose yourself. Trust yourself. Never regret your mistakes – learn from them instead and be happy and grateful for what they taught you. Find “the happy.”
The Book: Redesigning Rose
Rose Parker’s husband has been lying. About everything. When a conversation with her husband triggers questions, Rose Parker uncovers alarming answers that shatter her perfect life. But it is only when she shoves her belongings in her SUV and drives off that Rose realizes just how far from perfect her life actually was. She has nowhere to turn. While debating between distressing sleeping arrangements–her mother’s house full of questions or a hotel room with too much solitude–Rose bumps into an acquaintance from her gardening class and allows bubbly, exuberant Becky to indulge her in a wild night full of whiskey, weeping, and whispered confidences. Suddenly, Rose has a new friend, a roof over her head, and two gorgeous men moving her out of her marital home.As Rose struggles to settle into her new life, she remains determined to comprehend her past. And with time and distance and especially wine, comes knowledge. Frank wasn’t the only one lying to her. Rose was lying to herself.
The Author: Lydia Laceby
LYDIA LACEBY is a co-founder of the fiction book blog, Novel Escapes. Since 2009, she has read and reviewed as much women’s fiction as humanly possible while designing, organizing and expanding the blog from two reviewers to seven. In her spare time, she knits cute baby hats, would pick cheese over chocolate, and longs for the days she was able to cheat on her allergy free diet.Lydia began her career writing a soap opera at the tender age of thirteen. It never aired. Redesigning Rose is her first novel.