Today, Coffee Time Romance would like to welcome Amie Louellen. Amie has got a entertaining new book out for all you romantic comedy fans – “Love Potion Me, Baby”. This distinctive story has love blossoming under the spell of shampoo. Intrigued? Read on for the scoop!
Welcome Amie! First off all, do tell - where did you get the idea for such a unique story?
The story idea came from a conversation during a meeting with my critique group. We were discussing love at first sight in romance novels. Of course the believable versus the not believable came up. So my mind started mulling over how to make love at first sight believable (and funny). A love potion was my answer. Then I had to make the love potion believable. Voila! Love Potion Me, Baby was born.
I think it’s believable, and such a fun read! How do you think readers connect so well with the main character, Suzanne?
I believe there’s a little bit of Suzanne in all of us. Even if we women kick butt and take names, bring home the bacon, and any other bad-ass clichés you can think of, we want to believe in fairytales and that there’s someone out there for us. In a world that moves as fast as ours, we need to believe in happily ever after. Suzanne gives us permission to do just that.
Very true – everyone should have a little fairytale in their life. Without giving too much away, how does Brice grow and transform throughout the book?
Brice grows in many ways, in his personal beliefs about love and in his own business ethics. I guess you could say he has a “light bulb” moment and realizes what a jerk he’s been. But for him, having a wife constantly underfoot changes everything for the better even if he can’t see it at first.
You’ve also got some great secondary characters in “Love Potion Me, Baby”, for example Aunt Petie. Her culinary exploits and sayings are peppered throughout. Describe how this adds to the storyline.
I love my secondary characters. They can do and say things that the hero and heroine can’t. I love Aunt Petie’s quirkiness and spunk. And I use her to my advantage for humor and insight, no matter how skewed. Petie adds a laugh into every scene she’s in. Combine her with Brice’s quirky mother and Suzanne and Brice don’t stand a chance.
She is such a quirky gal! Now, when Brice is under the spell of the “love potion” it is quite humorous and heartwarming to read. So is writing romantic comedy fun? Challenging? How and why?
I love writing romantic comedy. I made a conscious decision to learn the craft. Now my muse works in that direction. When I sit down to write it is with humor in mind. There are times when it can be challenging. Not everyone has the same sense of humor and some situations don’t lend themselves to being funny. Luckily I have a BWF (Best Writer Friend) who reads all my stuff and tells me whether or not a joke is working.
I’m glad you took up the challenge though. And how important is the opening of a story to you versus the ending?
I think they are equally important. A writer has to grab the reader with the opening and hook them into wanting to read the rest of the book. On the flipside, if a book ends badly, the reader might likely throw it across the room and never pick up anything else by that author. It’s bad ju-ju either way.
First impressions and final thoughts are so necessary. What about your characters? Have they ever “told” you to change the storyline?
I am a hardcore plotter. I write pages and pages of notes before I begin a book. I mull it over for weeks writing out scenes and even dialog before I actually sit down to write. So to answer your question, yes. Yes, they have. Most of the time they demand changes during my planning stage, but they have been known to step up and demand something different during the story. Crazy thing is they are usually right.
Good thing they spoke up! How do you go about the editing process? What are important stages that you go through when editing a story?
I edit a little every day. When I sit down to write, I go back and read through what I wrote the day before. At the end, I scour the entire manuscript, then pass it on to my BWF. After she’s done, I make any changes she finds and then submit.
It is great that you have a writing and editing buddy. How long did it take to get your first book published?
Nineteen years from when I first started writing seriously. That’s almost embarrassing! But my friends will tell you that I came so close so many times, I think I’ve been turned down by every Harlequin editor—at least once—and by every line they have, some of which don’t exist any longer. I actually sold a book in 2000, but it never made it to print. I never gave up. I always knew my time was just around the corner.
That is inspiration for those budding writers out there! But what inspired you to become a writer?
I guess you could say the praise of a teacher. When I was in the seventh grade I wrote a descriptive paragraph. It was about a frog jumping into a pool of water. I got an A and my teacher praised my use of alliteration. I didn’t know what that meant, but I was hooked.
Ah, teachers. Our unsung heros. Changing gears a bit, what would be your ideal romantic night out?
This is probably where I should utilize my incredible writing skills and make up some elaborate story about moonlight and candles. Instead, I’ll tell you the truth. I’m not a traditionally romantic person. My husband and I are big-time homebodies, and we’ve been married for-ev-ver. Instead of going out, I’d rather throw something on the grill, have a little wine, maybe some ice cream, and watch a movie at home with our son. To me it’s not about what you do, it’s about being together.
It’s true, that’s where the most special moments are made. And, to whet our readers appetites, what upcoming books are you working on?
I have a new romantic comedy coming out in November called Ten Reasons Not to Date a Cop (publisher Samhain). Right now I’m working on another manuscript I hope to place with them. It’s a ‘you must get married to gain your inheritance,’ the millionaire and the secretary story. Yes, it’s a rom-com. I’m also working on a submission for the Wild Rose Press’ Honky Tonk Hearts Series. It’s a Texas take on Sweet Home Alabama. Wish me luck!
Excellent! I am looking forward to those. Thank you so much for stopping by Amie! “Love Potion Me, Baby” is out now from The Wild Rose Press.