Monday, October 1, 2012

Lucie Simone's Blog Tour

Lucie Simone has a passion for travel, yoga, and writing. She has a degree in Journalism, a Master of Fine Arts in Television Production, and is a certified yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance. Her love of comedy (and living under the delusion that she might one day be an actress) resulted in a stint studying improvisation, which, ironically enough, taught her to be a better writer. Her short story, A Taste of Italy, won the New York Book Festival competition for best ebook and is a bestseller at Amazon UK. The release of her debut novel, Hollywood Ending, a romantic comedy about life in Hollywood for the not-so-rich-and-famous, marked the launch of her small press, Simon & Fig, which publishes Chick Lit, Lad Lit and Women’s Fiction exclusively. Lucie lives, loves and writes in the City of Angels, but considers New York City her second home and visits as often as her bank account will allow. 

Q. What inspired the plot for "Picture Perfect"?

After completing my first novel, Hollywood Ending, which is about life in Hollywood for the not-so-rich-and-famous, I wanted to explore life in showbiz for those who have made it. The glamour,  the gossip, the high stakes, all the things we love about Hollywood! And I’ve always had a love affair with the small screen (I have a master’s degree in Television Production), so I couldn’t imagine a better setting than that of a cable network.

Q. Would you say you’re more like Lauren, or the exact opposite? Why?

There is definitely a bit of me in Lauren. We both use food for comfort in times of stress, and we both come from small, Midwestern towns that we were itching to get out of at an early age. We also share a deep love for New York City and have best friends who write poetry and supply chocolate truffles and wine in times of need.

Q. Do you have a writing ritual? If so, what does it consist of?

I don’t really have a ritual, per se, but I usually write with a favorite movie playing in the background. I’m not sure why this works for me, but somehow I’m able to focus better with a little bit of distraction around me. My top flicks to write to: Marie Antoinette, Before Sunset, and Just Like Heaven. But I’ve also been known to toss some 80s classic films into the DVD player now and then, like Ghostbusters or Sixteen Candles.

Q. What is your process for creating a character?

I work hard to make sure my characters are fully developed, living, breathing, people that readers can really enjoy. I write character bios, covering everything from where they were raised to what types of foods they crave. I create character profiles with pictures of the actors that would play them in a movie, the places they live, the people and things they surround themselves with. And I even started using Pinterest to post all these things on a virtual corkboard. You can check out Picture Perfect’s Pinterest board here:

Q. How did the idea of launching your own press, Simon & Fig, come about?

I spent a year querying literary agents for my debut, Hollywood Ending. After hearing the same thing over and over from them (Chick Lit doesn’t sell) while still being assured that I “clearly write well” and have a “fun voice,” I wasn’t ready to stuff all my years of hard work into a shoebox under my bed. So, I decided to publish it myself. This was in 2010 before self-publishing took off like crazy, and I wanted to create an avenue to allow other Chick Lit books to see the light of day, despite the publishing industry’s claim that it’s dead. Since then, Simon & Fig has released 4 novels and more are on the horizon!

Q. What are you currently reading?

I’m just finishing up Catherine McKenzie’s Spin. It’s fantastic!

Q. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love the surprises. Even though I plot out my stories and research my characters, there’s still room for creative inspiration to crop up when you least expect it. In fact, one of the characters in Picture Perfect, Giles, was a complete surprise. There I was busy working on chapter two, and suddenly he just showed up. I think he adds a lot of humor to the story. Picture Perfect wouldn’t be the same without him.

Q. What is your ultimate goal as an author?

What I’ve always wanted, ever since I was a little kid, was to entertain people. So, my ultimate goal is to expand my readership so I can keep entertaining more and more people.

Q. What can your fans expect next?

I’m working on a Women’s Fiction novel entitled Roses in Bloom about two sisters who are total opposites and are both facing life altering situations. Together, they learn to overcome their fears in order to find their greatest joys.

Q. What is your advice to aspiring authors?

Read a lot. Great writers are great readers. And really work on your craft. Take workshops, join a critique group, study the works of your favorite authors. Publishing isn’t just about finding an agent and an editor anymore. You can find your own path. But what hasn’t changed is the level of quality that readers expect from authors. They don’t care who publishes your book. They only care that it’s good!

Title:  Picture Perfect
Author:  Lucie Simone
Genre:  Chick Lit
Publisher:  Simon & Fig
Release Date:  August 28, 2012
File Size/Pages:  456 KB/306 pgs
Source:  CLP Blog Tour   

My Rating5/5

Summary:  For Lauren Tate, a high-powered TV producer, sex, lies, and scandal make for a great movie-of-the-week, but when she becomes the target of a smear campaign, even the most salacious of Hollywood’s tales can’t compare to her real life drama. With her soon-to-be-ex-husband leading the effort to sully her reputation, and her former assistant threatening to snatch her hard-earned position at Timeless Television out of her hands, Lauren’s perfectly planned life quickly begins to unravel at the seams. Clawing her way back to the top of the TV food chain is no easy task, especially in an industry where backstabbing is a sport and gossip is a full-time business. But Lauren learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart is missing in action. Can she salvage her career, her reputation, and her love life? Or will Hollywood be the death of her?

Review:  First and foremost this cover will definitely trick you; this novel was nothing like I thought it would be, which was great, in my opinion. Lauren Tate is a 36-year-old television producer at Timeless Television. Her life seems to be well put together, minus the fact that her ex-husband has her served with divorce papers and is obsessed with wiping the floor with Lauren. Alan, her ex-husband, immediately comes off as the ultimate jerk who thinks that no one is above him, which is a good thing because while I was reading, I was steady rooting for Lauren to move on without Alan. After a few public arguments, Rebecca, Timeless Television's matriarch, decides that it's time for Lauren to take a break and get her life together, despite the fact that she bagged Hollywood's hottest hunk, Jack Ford, for her television movie. Lauren flies to New York to see her best friend, Justine, and when things start to look up for Lauren, things start to go incredibly wrong when she returns to Tinsel Town. This novel was a really good read, it definitely wasn't your ordinary chick-lit novel; I had NO idea how this story would end. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book…and I can guarantee you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat towards the end of this novel! You DON'T want to pass this book up!

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Samantha March said...

Great review!

Paula said...

Very Nice Review and Q/A session!