Interview with Christina Lauren, authors of Love and Other Words - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Interview with Christina Lauren, author of Love and Other Words
By Christina Lauren

Interview with Christina Lauren, authors of Love and Other Words

One of my favorite books this year has been LOVE AND OTHER WORDS by Christina Lauren. It’s a beautifully written story about one girl’s journey that started then—when she lost her mom, to now, when she runs into the love of her life—the boy that broke her heart.

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  • Interview

    Tell us about the premise of LOVE & OTHER WORDS.

    L&OW is the story of Macy Sorensen, whose mother dies when she is young and leaves Macy’s father a list of various things she would do as a parent if she’d lived to see Macy into adulthood. Macy’s father takes this list very seriously; one of the items is to find a place to take Macy away when she needs a break from friends and the social world. It is at this retreat where Macy meets Elliot Petropoulos: fellow book nerd and future love of her life.

    The book begins when Macy hasn’t seen Elliot in eleven years, and then alternates between then and now chapters to reveal what happened to initiate the rift, and take readers along as they fall in love all over again.

    I absolutely loved the book… I pretty much just want to gush about it 🙂 It’s such a beautiful story about friendship, love and loss and I loved the pace of it too. How did the inspiration for the story spark?

    Thank you! Actually, this was a book that we outlined as a YA novel about 6 years ago, and then shelved because we were working on so many other things. But we kept coming back to it because we loved their connection so much, and suddenly it just felt like the right time to do it. It became something new upon re-inspection, and the Then/Now format was born.

    It’s so hard to pin down a story to fit a genre, but this is your first official foray into women’s fiction. What made you want to explore this genre? What can your avid romance readers expect?

    There is a lot of confusion about WF vs. romance, so let’s clarify the distinction here: Women’s fiction is comprised of stories where the female character(s) is/are the primary focus. The story is related to the heroine(s) life, and joins her on whatever her journey may be. Romance may be part of that journey, but not necessarily. By contrast, in romance, the love story is the focus, and any journey for the heroine outside of the relationship, if any, is secondary.

    We are romantics at heart, and we’ve heard from a few of our readers that they’re scared to read L&OW because, to them, women’s fiction means that a HEA isn’t guaranteed. That may be true in the genre as a whole, but for CLo books, we don’t do sad endings–we just don’t have it in us.

    L&OW is the story of what happened to Macy, both then and now. It’s about how she finds her way out of sadness when her mom dies, and how she finds her way back to Elliot as an adult. It just so happens that in this women’s fiction novel, there is a great deal of romance, too.

    Talk to us about the setting. I hear this is a very personal part of the novel?

    It is! The book takes place in Berkeley and Healdsburg, both in Northern California. I (Lauren) grew up in Albany, a small town directly adjacent to Berkeley, and much like Macy, my parents bought a cabin up on the Russian River when my sister and I were 7-8 years old, as a way to get the family away from the bustle of life during the week. This was at a time when buying a house up there wasn’t prohibitively expensive; the cabins we owned throughout the years were funky, but absolutely beloved. Many of the places Elliot and Macy go (Goat Rock State Beach, for example) are incredibly special places to my family. Both my sister and I were married in Elliot’s hometown of Healdsburg; my sister was even married at Madrona Manor, where Elliot’s brother’s wedding is held. Having the emotional connection to these places made writing this novel so much more vivid and nostalgic.

    As someone who married the boy she met when she was 13 years old, I loved reading about a romance that bloomed between two friends, that stood the test of time despite the challenges they faced. Do you believe in soulmates? Do you think it’s tougher to fall in love or find the one when you’re so young? (note to clo: I feel like this question may be a little clunky, so feel free to edit as you see fit!)

    This is Lauren answering, so for sure Christina (who married her high school sweetheart) would have a different answer than I do.

    I’m not sure I believe in soulmates. Or, maybe it’s that I don’t believe that we each only get one, or that soulmates remain soulmates through each phase of our life. I don’t see a soul as this glowing-but-unevolving orb of light inside us, and there’s a twin glowing orb out there for us somewhere. Really, the soul is hundreds of millions of synapses that form a neurological map of who we are and how our values are expressed. By definition, those things change as we grow, experience new things, get hurt, celebrate victories, etc. In the end, that’s way more magical than a glowing orb anyway.

    That said, it’s a pretty lovely notion to think that the person who is Our Person when we are young can still be Our Person when we’re adults–it means we’ve both grown in awesomely compatible ways. I love knowing that it does happen sometimes, even if it hasn’t happened specifically to me. Some of us just aren’t ready to be committed when we’re young, but some of us find that person early and something just clicks inside. That person, for Macy, was Elliot.

    What’s next?! I always love hearing about all your projects

    So much is next! After Love & Other Words, we have Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating out on September 4th, and seriously, this book is so fun and adorable, we are both really, really proud of the lighthearted swoon-fest it turned out to be. L&OW is emotional and sweet and sexy, but Josh and Hazel is all fun, silly romp and we had so much fun writing it. After that, on December 4th you’ll meet Millie and Reid in My Favorite Half-Night Stand. This is also a lighthearted romance, and answers the age-old question, “What happens when you and a group of friends join a dating app together and you and your best friend end up matching . . . but he doesn’t know it’s you?” LOTS OF FUN, we promise!

    Thank you so much for answering my questions! I can’t wait until this book is in everyone’s hands!

    Thank you for having us! We always love to chat with you. <3

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