Pancakes + Writing: Meet Author Laura Chapman

I always love to chat with authors and get insight on their writing lives, this always includes fun stories, great recipes and some insight on what makes them tick!  Today we have Laura Chapman, who just released her second novel The Marrying Type, which is a fun romp through the bridal world, mixed in with a little reality television and a heaping dose of confronting an old love while learning about oneself.  

Let’s raise a champagne glass to Laura Chapman and The Marrying Kind.

Welcome! 

Congrats on your second novel The Marrying Type! How was your experience this second time around? Did you go about your  planning things differently? Character development, writing process? 

There were both good and bad differences between writing my first and second book (though mostly good). The planning was pretty similar. I created character sketches for each of the major characters, and I used that to build a scene by scene outline for each book. The second time around, though, I better understood how to create conflict and tension to build up to a satisfying resolution. That made writing book two go a bit faster. Both books required quite a bit of editing and revising, but that’s all part of the process. The Marrying Type took less of it than Hard Hats and Doormats in the grand scheme. The one kind of bummer difference between books one and two was how thrilled and excited I was the whole time I wrote the first book. I was doing my dream after years of talking about it, and I already felt like a winner. But by the time I wrote book two, I’d gone through rounds of editing and agent rejection on book one. I could also already imagine some of the criticism I might receive, which challenged me to write better, but also gave me some anxiety. I realized that while writing is fun, there’s so much more work to come after, which dampened the fun and excitement.

Share some insight on your heroine Elliot and her personal journey ? 

When we meet Elliot, she doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself and is pretty lonely. She’s eager to please her family, and even when she knows she’s right, she lets their opinions influence her. After learning that her father has blown through their business’ finances, and that they’re in danger of bankruptcy, she agrees to participate in a reality TV show, called “The Marrying Type,” to supplement their income and also attract some bigger dollar customers. One of those new clients turns out to be a blast from her past: the only man she has ever loved, who is helping his sister plan her dream wedding. In “The Marrying Type,” Elliot has to sort through a lot of old and new feelings and circumstances to decide what she actually wants from her life both professionally and personally. It isn’t as easy as she’d like.

 What are you EATING right now that you love?

I  wish I didn’t love food so much. (While I’m writing this, I’m eating a cinnamon bagel with peanut butter on it, and it’s amazing.) Lately I’ve been trying to find healthier ways to make some of my favorite dishes. (It doesn’t always pan out, especially when I find myself at some of my favorite restaurants here in Lincoln, and I want to eat everything.) Here’s a recent recipe I made that has a lot of good nutritional benefits and isn’t too high in calories. It also has few ingredients, was easy to make, and it tastes delicious.

Greek Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes
(Serves 2)

¾ cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 large egg
½ cup all-purpose flour (wheat or white)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup blueberries

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl starting with the yogurt and egg, which you will want to be smooth before you add the dry ingredients. Cook the pancakes on a stove, as you do, and serve however you like.

 

What are you LOVING right now ?

I recently watched and loved Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. This show is hilarious—the opening title song alone is golden—and I can’t wait for the next season. My cat Bingley recently started sleeping on my pillow at night and has figured out an unobtrusive way to cuddle my head without waking me up. It’s pretty sweet. My other cat, Jane, likes to parrot me when I’m on the phone. Luckily the people on the other end of the call think it’s funny to hear my cat meow after everything I say, or we might have problems. Right now I’m writing a new project, which means I am not doing too much reading (I have a tough time doing both at the same time), but I recently read and adored Zoey and the Moment of Zen by fellow Marching Ink author Cat Lavoie. If you love chick lit, this is a must read.

 

 

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

 Author Bio:

Laura Chapman is the author of The Marrying Type, Hard Hats and Doormats and the Autumn and Tuck series, which appear in Merry & Bright and A Kind of Mad Courage. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix  marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel.

 Connect with Laura!

Twitter: @lmchap
Facebook: laurachapmanbooks

Website: www.laurachapmanbooks.com

Blog: www.change-the-word.com

 

Find the Book!

Amazon: http://bit.ly/themarryingtype

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marrying-type-laura-chapman/1121256561?ean=2940151308946

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25009611-the-marrying-type

 Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).

With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.

Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.

Cupcakes, Ex-Boyfriends & Zoey Everwood

 EDITORWe are chatting with Zoey Everwood, the heroine from Cat Lavoie’s second novel ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN who shared  what she’s eating, writing and loving these days.  

Thanks for stopping by Zoey! (Please send a hello to Cat for us!) 

 

EATING  Cupcakes! Is there anything better? I’m not much of a cook, but there’s nothing I love more than trying a new cupcake recipe. My absolute favorite part is the frosting—I could eat an entire tub of vanilla-almond buttercream. When I’m not overdosing on sugar, I love the fresh spring rolls from this little Vietnamese restaurant close to my coffee shop. My boyfriend and I (ummm… ex-boyfriend, I’m still not used to calling him that) used to go there all the time. They have the most amazing noodle soups. And now I’m hungry again!

Zoey-the-Moment-of-Zen-FINAL-662x1024

READING My friend Owen is an English Literature student so he’s always telling me about the books he has to read for his classes. When he found out I hadn’t read Pride & Prejudice, he ran out and bought me a copy… and a pile of other novels he thought I should read. I don’t think I have enough of a lifetime to get through them all. Right now I’m taking a break from fiction and reading business books because I want to expand the coffee shop soon. Maybe. If I can get my aunt Nessa to agree with my plans.

Pride_prejudice

LOVING Is it bad if I say I love my coffee shop? Despite all the stress that comes with owning and managing a business, Everwood’s Coffee Shop feels more like home than my own apartment. One of my first memories is sitting behind the counter and watching my parents work. They died when I was five years old but I always feel like a little part of them is still alive when I’m in the shop. And, of course, we have the best coffee in Messina, Connecticut. You should drop by the next time you’re in town!

 

catlavoiecat_lavoid.jpegCat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie–who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows–even though she’s not particularly good at either.

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and–had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night–she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).

Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd–and is afraid she might be both.

Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.

Connect with Cat!

Website: http://www.CatLavoie.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Catenabi

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CatLavoieAuthor