Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Last Kiss by Laurelin Paige!
Please welcome Laurelin to the blog today with a Q&A!
Author Interview: Laurelin Paige
How were you able to write such an intense, alpha character as Reeve?
Honestly? I don’t know. He scared me. He still does. There were many scenes I had to rewrite because he came off too hard or too transparent. It was definitely a difficult process.
When I needed inspiration, I turned to other intense alpha heroes that I love. Naz from JM Darhower’s Monster in His Eyes is one of my main inspirations. I also looked a lot to my critique partner and fed off her reactions.
Did you have the whole story plotted out before writing? Did anything surprise you as you wrote?
As with most of my stories, I began writing First Touch and Last Kiss by fitting key plot points into an outline. This is where I usually dive into the prose, but since I was selling this series before it had been written, I had to write a detailed synopsis for both books. Though I’m a plotter by nature, I find writing detailed synopses very difficult. I don’t always know the details until I get writing so I have to guess. Not surprisingly, my synopses look different than the finished product, but the main points stayed the same. One of the biggest changes was the ranch. I didn’t have a ranch setting in the original plot—all of that part of the story was to take place on the island. The island proved to be a tricky setting for various reasons and a lot of what I’d planned didn’t make sense there anymore. Changing to the ranch was the best solution.
How did it feel to end Emily and Reeve’s story?
I was actually quite relieved. I wasn’t sure I could do it. Wasn’t sure I could get to the end. The story was so layered and complex, and I just didn’t know if I could manage it, so getting to the last page proved a major triumph.
Now that there’s been some time between writing the end and the publication, I miss them. I’m really excited to finally get the end of the story out to readers.
What was your inspiration for the First and Last series?
For a long time, I’d wanted to write a story about a love triangle where one of the characters wasn’t present. Much like the book, Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier or Jane Eyre. At one point, I’d thought it would be a sweeter take on the story. Something where the memory of a dead friend permeated a current relationship so thoroughly that it placed a burden on the characters.
I also wanted to write something in the vein of Gone Girl and Girl on a Train – a psychological thriller, but with romantic elements. I’m very fascinated by characters motivations and a psychologically suspenseful plotline just intrigued me to no end.
I thought, at first, that these were two different stories, and I hadn’t quite figured out what either of them would look like exactly until I read a description of a book that was about to be published (I don’t remember what it was) about a woman who had to go to extreme lengths to look for her sister who’d gone missing. The pieces started to click together, and soon I had the idea of a woman setting off in search of a friend/sister in a dangerous place that required her to face her own psychological demons as well as some very real threats. Next thing I knew, the plot to First Touch had been born.
Who was your favorite character to write in the First and Last series and why?
My favorite character in First and Last is probably Reeve. He continually surprised me with his intensity and depth of emotion. He made me feel things I didn’t think he’d make me feel.
But I also really enjoyed writing Joe. He got to ask all the questions that I wanted answered and he was sincerely committed to his cause.
Did you have a favorite scene to write in Last Kiss? What about a favorite scene to read?
I really liked writing the first scene in the whole book, where Reeve and Emily meet. It was such fun to explore the superficial aspects of these characters, to have them flirt and tease while hinting at deeper agendas for both of them. At that point in the book, I knew everything and the readers knew nothing. I got to drop whatever clues I felt like dropping and that was just fun.
I don’t particularly enjoy reading most of what I’ve written. I’m too anxious about it. Too critical. That being said, I really don’t mind reading the porch scene in Last Kiss. It’s sweet and sexy and gives me all kinds of feels.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m writing Chandler, a standalone novel in my Fixed Universe series that will be coming out in September. On top of that, I’m co-writing Screwmates with Kayti McGee which will be coming out later this fall.
What made you decide to go with a duet instead of a standalone or trilogy? What would you say was the hardest part about writing this duet?
I wanted that awesome cliffhanger, of course! I wouldn’t have been able to torture my readers with the wait between books. But also, and more importantly, the story I wanted to tell was constructed very much to be before a particular event and after. It’s a very clear dividing line, and it felt like the best way to tell it was in two acts.
Anything you’d like to leave the readers with?
I’m so thrilled with the love readers have shown for Emily and Reeve. It was a very difficult story for me to write because of its dark nature, but the enthusiasm for the series has really made the effort worth it.
Reading Order: First and Last series