My guest is contemporary fiction author, Lisa Dale. She says about herself, "My fiancé and I are getting married this July 2 in New Jersey. Between the new books and the wedding, I’m insanely busy. And that’s just how I like it! Writing is a great excuse for me to follow my fascinations, so you’ll find lots of interesting little factoids scattered through my work. What I want... is to tell romantic stories that challenge, inspire, astonish, and enchant."
Lisa's one of those New Jersey larger than life residents--in her books--but in life?
If you were to make a reality TV show out of this writer’s life, here’s what you’d see.
- Scene of me sitting in my pajamas, bleary-eyed but intensely writing.
- Scene of me getting up for a glass of water.
- Scene of me getting up to hug my fiancé when he comes home.
- Scene of me knitting, talking with friends.
Yep—exciting stuff! TV producers like to do shows about us New Jersey folks because they think we’re larger than life, over the top, good entertainment.
But in the opinion of this Jersey girl, drama is meant for novels. Not real life!
The other day, a reporter asked me if the characters in my new book, Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier, were based on real people or real-life situations. I told her: Thank God, no!
You see, even though I don’t believe that we’re put on this earth to make trouble for each other, I LOVE a book that puts it all on the line. I love when characters risk everything important to them for love. My characters have to work for their happy endings.
By the time a reader gets to the end of one of my books, I want her to be breathless with anticipation of an HEA—absolutely invested in the action. And for me, half-measures don’t cut it. I push my characters to their limits before they find a way to transcend their own tragic flaws, overcome deadlocked and impossible problems, and find their happily ever afters.
So you would think, in my real life, that I’m the kind of person who likes a little drama. That my characters, as the reporter implied, are born of real life events.
But in fact, I’m a very quiet person. I have a few close friends whom I love dearly. I have a wonderful family, a fiancé who warms my heart. I like knitting, reading, and evenings filled with laughter and intimate conversation. When the occasional bit of real-life drama happens, I try to let it roll off my back. Real life is precious, and I think we’re put here on earth to be peacemakers for each other.
But in my stories…look out! All bets are off. Drama reigns! As a writer, if you’re gonna do drama—you’ve got to make it as intense as can be, because that’s what makes for a big, emotional payoff in the end. It’s go big or go home!
In my new novel, Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier, the heroine is the owner of a Newport, RI, coffee shop (coffee is absolutely fascinating! And each chapter behind with a little interesting history about the seed/bean that is so easy to take for granted!).
There are actually two loves stories in one—two stories that run parallel with each other. The first story is about when the characters fell in love with each other for the first time in high school—a head-over-heels, wild kind of love.
But then, weaving in and out of that story, there’s the story of the present. The characters are no longer in love (something really bad happened between them, I won’t say what). In fact, the hero outright hates the heroine when the book opens.
But as echoes of that first love begin to resurface, his feelings change. Their loves story as adults parallels, contradicts, and overlaps with their love story from when they were teenagers. I wanted to explore the similarities and differences between adult love and young love—and I also wanted to give readers a LOT of bang for their buck. You don’t just get one love story here. You get two.
So far—it’s paid off. Slow Dancing is a TOP PICK for both Barnes & Noble and BookPage magazine. Can I even begin to tell you how cool it is to see my book on a page with some of the bestsellers that I’ve been admiring for years? Kinda surreal.
As for my own real-life romance, I’m getting married in July (the Saturday after RWA national!). My sweetheart and I have been together for a long time now. It’s been a lot of fun planning the wedding! We’ve got most of the big things done.
And luckily, my real-life wedding planning has been mostly drama-free.
- Question: When real-life drama starts to get to you, what do you do? Take a long bath? Grab some chocolate? Or read a book?
- Does this work?
ow as Thea strives to rediscover herself and remain close with the only family she knows, Jonathan’s brother Garret vows to exile her from their lives once and for all. Garret has never forgotten his history with Thea, and he hopes Jonathan’s divorce from her will mean he can reconnect with his brother at last. But his increasingly frequent encounters with Thea—and his unresolved feelings for her—threaten his relationship with his family now more than ever before.
SLOW DANCING ON PRICE’S PIER is the story of one woman’s determination to rediscover a new life while trying to maintain the old. When the bonds of friendship, family, and love are tested, how long will they hold? Excerpt
A lifelong bookworm, Lisa Dale is a firm believer that there are few things in life better than curling up with a novel and a cup of tea. Lisa Dale grew up in rural Northwestern New Jersey before attending McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. She worked briefly in publishing before going back to school to get an MFA in fiction at Fairleigh Dickinson University. A nominee for Best New American Voices and the Pushcart Prize, her writing appears in many literary magazines, such as and more.
Lisa's: Website, Blog