Author: Leigh LaValle
Series: Yoga in the City #1
Publication date: May 27th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
A sassy new romance from a USA Today Bestselling Author…
After moving cross-country yet again, Hannah Roberts wants to put down roots in Colorado. She’s sunk her life savings into a share of Bloom Yoga Studio, but the studio is losing money, and fast. The building is undergoing a messy, noisy renovation–and the hot carpenter in charge is distracting her yoga students in more ways than one. If Hannah can’t talk the hard-bodied builder out of his power tools, she might as well kiss her dreams goodbye.
When Jake Marshall returned from Afghanistan, he brought back an injured knee and a lot of bad memories. He just wants to finish this renovation, rehab his knee, and head for Alaska to leave it all behind. A sexy yoga teacher doesn’t fit into his plans. But when Hannah offers him private sessions in exchange for quiet hours—he’s all in. He doesn’t expect that while she’s healing his knee, Hannah will poke at all his hidden wounds…and come dangerously close to breaking open his heart.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
I always try to plan my books, but the plot changes as I write them. At the beginning of each book I swear THIS will be the one I write correct the first time. Whenever I change a plot, I toss thousands and thousands of words and lose so much time. Alas, I’ve not succeeded in planning the perfect draft yet. I have to find it while I’m in the words and in the characters.
I plot by creating an outline and putting it into Scrivener. Scrivener is an awesome writing program that integrates ‘note cards’, cork boards, templates, and actual text.
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
Good question. I’m not even sure of the answer. Ideas just come to me like watching a movie in my mind. I see a scene, then scramble to write it down. I also get ideas from my life, the news, and whatever themes are interesting to me at the time.
3. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I was little. In college and after, I wrote poetry and short stories. Raymond Carver and Mary Oliver are two of my favorite authors. I almost went to graduate school to get a Masters in Creative Writing, but ultimately the cost deterred me.
I’ve been pursuing a career in writing romance since 2006. A friend helped me get started. I had an entire week off to myself after the holidays (imagine that) and she said- just write 3 chapters and see what happens. Eleven years later, I’m still writing.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
The most important thing, for me, was finding a community of other writers. We support each other, educate each other, and give each other feedback on our stories. I found RWA early in my career and it’s been invaluable. They offer great writing classes and the conferences are packed full of information about publishing, both traditional and indie. More than once my writing friends have held my hand and kept me moving forward when I was tired or disheartened.
5. Are you into yoga like in your book? Or did you have to do any research for Hannah's character? How much research did you do about soldiers returning from Afghanistan, or do you have any personal connections to someone who was over there or is still over in that type of a situation?
The idea for the Yoga in the City series came out of my own personal love for yoga. I began studying yoga and meditation over 20 years ago. I lived at a yoga center in New England, became a certified teacher, then continued to study and apprentice for years with a master teacher in Boulder, Colorado. Yoga and writing are my two loves (other than my family) and I wanted to bring them together with these books. It’s been really rewarding for me.
As for Jake and his experience in Afghanistan, I did do a lot of research into the lives of soldiers. I read as many first person accounts as I could get my hands on, dug deep into the chat rooms, researched newspaper articles and interviews, and found a wealth of information from therapists who treat the men and women coming home from war. I also looked into amazing programs like the Veterans Yoga Project and The Heroes Project. My husband served in the National Guard during the second Gulf War, though he was not deployed. And my cousin’s husband is serving his fourth tour in Iraq. I drew on their experiences as well.
6. What are your favorite:
I love reading romance, particularly Historical and Contemporary. Some of my favorite authors are Tessa Dare, Kris Kennedy, Penny Reid and Kristan Higgins.
Modern Family, This Is Us, the Lord of the Rings series and any version of Pride and Prejudice
Indie Folk, Reggae, Hip Hop
Mixed nuts, popcorn, apple, and COFFEE
Awards and Nominations:
RT Book Reviews 4 stars…..TOP PICK Night Owl Reviews….Nominated BEST HISTORICAL The Romance Reviews….Nominated for Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award…Nominated Best Historical Romancing Rakes