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.
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
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!
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!
Find the Book!
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.