Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Stefanie London Interview - Forever Starts Now


Photo Credit: Jimmy America

Stefanie London is a multi-award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romances and romantic comedies.

Stefanie’s books have been called “genuinely entertaining and memorable” by Booklist, and “elegant, descriptive and delectable” by RT magazine. Her stories have won multiple industry awards, including the HOLT Medallion and OKRWA National Reader's Choice Award, and she has been nominated for the Romance Writers of America RITA award.

Originally from Australia, Stefanie lives in Toronto with her very own hero and is doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, lipstick, romance novels and anything zombie-related.

      
  


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I think stories allow us to find comfort, escape and hope in stressful times. I know many of my readers turn to stories when they’re dealing with challenges in their personal lives, because it provides them time away from their worries. Romance novels in particular teach us the important lesson that we don’t have to be perfect to deserve love, and that it’s possible to change and grow and find confidence in who we are.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There have been so many, it’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing. I would say any of the book-signings I have attended where I see people holding my books…wow. That never gets old. It reminds me that even though this work can be quite solitary, that there are real people touched by the words I write. That makes every mad deadline dash feel totally worth it.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m working on a number of projects at the moment! I have a brand-new romantic comedy series coming out in 2022 called Paws in the City, about a pet social media agency in New York. It features lots of animal side characters, delicious heroes and heroines you’d want to make friends with.

I’m also working on a small town romance series, set in my home country of Australia. This series focuses on the importance of family and community, and features lots of Aussie culture tidbits. It’s sweet and sexy, and the first book is called A Merry Aussie Christmas, which will be out in December.

Can you tell us when you started FOREVER STARTS NOW, how that came about?
I was talking with my editor about what my next project would be, and she requested a “hunky Thor-type hero.” I’d actually watched a documentary not long before that about “twin strangers” which had put the idea of a doppelganger into my head. What if instead of being a Thor-type hero…people actually mistake him for Thor?! Well, the Australian actor who plays Thor, anyway. The idea of an ordinary man with a celebrity doppelganger fascinated me, because I could see all the ways that might cause someone problems. It turned out to be something which really influenced the themes in this story, as well, because I was focusing on ideas of identity and figuring out who you want to be in life.

TEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT FOREVER STARTS NOW
  • The hero has a celebrity doppelganger in Chris Hemsworth! This was inspired partially because of my editor’s request for a “Thor type” hero and partially from watching a documentary about strangers who look alike.
  • The hero is Australian, and he’s from Patterson’s Bluff…which is a fictional town featured in some of my other books, such as The Aussie Next Door and Her Aussie Holiday.
  • Monroe and her sisters, Taylor and Loren are all named after silver screen sirens: Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Sofia Loren.
  • Forever Falls has an interesting town mascot, a seagull named Goldie who has a funny story about how she came to get that name. I won’t spoil it here!
  • Monroe is the former champion of a baking reality show, Sugar Coated, which is loosely based on Zumbo’s Just Desserts, featuring famous Australian pâtissier, Adriano Zumbo.
  • There’s a surprise guest appearance of a hero from one of my previous books in the Patterson’s Bluff series.
  • This story has a fake relationship trope, which is in my top 5 of all romance tropes.
  • Monroe’s father wears an AFO (ankle-foot orthosis) due to a leg injury and he’s very into woodworking, both of which were inspired by my dad.
  • Ethan’s last name, Hammersmith, was absolutely chosen so I could make jokes about Thor’s hammer.
  • There’s a steamy kiss in a haunted house! Is that a random fact? I don’t know, but it sure was fun to write.
What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope that they’re so engrossed in the story that they’re wishing they could pack their bags and move to Forever Falls.

What part of Ethan and Monroe did you enjoy writing the most?
Their banter. Dialogue and tension are usually my favorite things to write, and Monroe and Ethan have such wonderful chemistry that it really was a pleasure any time they were on the page together. But I also really enjoyed writing about Monroe's family—she has two sisters, a father with whom she’s very close, and people at her work who are close enough to be family. I’m a very family-oriented person, so I love writing about characters who have big, loving families.

Greatest thing you learned in school?
Time management, especially in university. Being self-motivated, setting deadlines, sticking to a schedule and juggling priorities has held me in very good stead to be a full-time author.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Oh, that’s a good question! I think I’d love to introduce Monroe to Darcy from Bad Bachelor. Both ladies are a little prickly, strong-willed and passionate about their chosen fields. I think they’d get along famously.

TEN RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME
  • I was born in Australia, but both sides of my family are from other countries (England and Italy).
  • I’m a qualified makeup artist and used to work in the beauty field.
  • English was my best subject in school, and Maths (yes, we use the plural) was my worst.
  • I have a Bachelor of Business with a major in Human Resource Management.
  • My favorite video game franchise of all time is Resident Evil.
  • In my spare time I love to knit.
  • I once lost a hotel upgrade to Tom Cruise and Katie Holms.
  • I’ve lived in Canada for almost 7 years.
  • I’m asthmatic and have to take medication for it every day.
  • I kill plants unintentionally.
Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
I think it was to the Gold Coast in Queensland? Gosh, it was such a long time ago I can’t really be sure.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Do something that terrifies them…like moving to the other side of the world or changing careers.

Best date you've ever had?
My husband saved his pennies (we met when we were broke university students) and took me away for the weekend to stay in a fancy hotel and to have dinner at a restaurant that I loved, which sadly no longer exists. It was so romantic and generous. I’ll never forget it.

What was the first job you had?
I worked as a retail associate at Wendy’s (which is not the same as it is in America. In Australia, Wendy’s is an ice cream shop…kind of like DQ.)

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
I still remember being 9 years old and getting homework for the first time. Needless to say, I was not impressed. But my dad sat me down and told me that work is part of life, and that what I could achieve in life would be correlated to the amount of effort I was willing to put in. He’s a very hard worker and it’s made me follow in his footsteps. My work ethic is something I’m proud of, and it’s a defining part of who I am.

What is your favorite restaurant in town and why?
I could never have just one! In fact, my group of girlfriends started a “supper club” where (in normal times) we go out once a month and rotate responsibility for choosing and booking the restaurant. The only rule is that we can’t visit the same place twice.

First Heartbreak?
The first time I read Little Women.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
When I moved to Canada with my husband and left my family behind in Australia.

Where can readers find you?
My WEBSITE is the best spot to find out about my books. (Bonus! You can grab a free book when you sign up to my NEWSLETTER

If you want to hear more personal day-to-day updates, then my FACEBOOK group London’s Lovelies is where it’s at! It’s one of the most positive spots on the internet.


What happens when two people who’ve given up on forever find it in each other…?

Single men are as scarce in Forever Falls as a vegetarian at a barbecue. That is, until Ethan Hammersmith moves in. After his fiancée gave him an ultimatum, he left Australia and never looked back. He isn’t in America to find a new girlfriend, though. He’s searching for the father he never knew. But now it’s like he has a flashing sign above his head that says “available.” Thankfully, the manager of the local diner is willing to give him cover—if only she weren’t so distractingly adorable.

Monroe Roberts, town misanthrope and divorcée, knocked “forever” permanently off her wish list ever since the love of her life skipped town with the cliché yoga instructor. And good riddance. She’s got this struggling diner to keep her busy, trying anything to boost sales…until a hot Australian strolls in and changes everything. Monroe’s restaurant is packed full of women who aren’t there to order food, unless Ethan is on the menu. This could sink her business faster than ever. So—light bulb—what if they pretend to be together?

It sounds like the perfect plan. Until they realize there is some very real chemistry in this fake relationship. But is it enough to heal two hearts that have been so deeply wounded?

You can purchase Forever Starts Now at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you STEFANIE LONDON for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Forever Starts Now by Stefanie London.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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5 comments:

  1. The fact they are not technically closets, but more like mini storage units.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you looked in my closet, you'd find that I'm a clothes horse. My closet has a lot of clothes and I just gave away 5 bags of clothes and 3 bags of shoes.

    ReplyDelete