It’s a pleasure to welcome author Lisa Stanbridge to talk about her new book, Lonely in Paris. Lisa recently placed third in the Romance Writers of Australia, Sweet Treats contest. This is a highly prestigious award and it attracts many, many entries. Congratulations Lisa!
Some getting-to-know-you questions.
Late nights or early mornings? Late nights all the way. My imagination comes alive at night and that’s when I do my best writing. Unfortunately, I also have a full-time job so late nights are not a good idea as I always wake up tired.
What’s for breakfast? Bacon, eggs and hashbrowns. Yum!
Night out or Netflix? Netflix for sure, I’m such a homebody.
G &T or Tea/Coffee? I like tea and coffee, but I’ll always choose coffee first.
Perfect weekend? A weekend at home with hubby, relaxing, writing, watching movies or playing games.
What did you want to be when you grew up? An author! It’s nice to be able to check that off.
What is for dinner tonight? Can you cook? What would you rather be eating? I can cook and do enjoy it, but tonight we’re having spaghetti bolognaise which hubby is cooking!
What brings you joy? Lifts your spirits, and chases away a down mood. Going to the beach. Not to swim, but to walk along the sand. There’s nothing quite like the ocean breeze washing away the worries of the day.
Your hero? A family friend named Barry. He’d have to be in his 80’s now and I haven’t seen him for years, but he ‘saved’ me twice in my life and I’ll never forget him. The first time was when I was at a wedding and I was probably about 12 years old. I didn’t have anyone to dance with and I desperately wanted to, but he came up and gave me my first dance. I was flying high for the rest of the night!
The second time was about a year later when my Nana died. I loved her so much and I was absolutely devastated. At her funeral, I wasn’t allowed to sit in the front row with my family and instead had to sit by myself in the row behind. There were some other people around me, but no one I knew. I couldn’t stop crying throughout the whole funeral but I had no one to comfort me…until Barry came up and held me while I cried. He is truly my hero.
Do you have any non-writing-related interests? Is reading considered a writing-related interest? Because I love reading but always struggle to find enough time to do so. I also love gaming, the relaxing type. Animal Crossing, House Flipper, Stardew Valley, and Pokémon…just to name a few.
What would surprise people to know about you? I used to dance when I was younger. All types of dance—tap, highland, jazz, Irish, and ballroom. Never professionally, but I danced for a good few years in my teens. Sadly, I never kept it up.
Life lessons-what do you wish you’d known earlier? That adulthood is hard!
Let’s talk about your new book Lonely in Paris which was released, today 16th January 2023
Lonely in Paris is a bit of a passion project. Ever since I visited Paris a few years ago I’ve wanted to write a story set there. I did try writing one about three years ago but I wasn’t happy with it so it went into the ‘maybe’ pile.
Then I decided to join a Paris anthology and I wrote a new story, which is how Lonely in Paris was born. I knew it would work better as romantic comedy/chick lit and so that’s what I did, and it pretty much wrote itself. It’s a fun, light-hearted romantic comedy with some serious aspects because you can’t have romance without a little uncertainty.
The eBook is available from the 16th of January and will be Amazon exclusive. Anyone can purchase it from Amazon, but anyone with a Kindle Unlimited subscription can read it for free. A paperback will be available wide but will be delayed by a couple of weeks.
Tell us about it.
Jane’s #1 rule in Paris: Don’t fall in love
After ending a disastrous relationship, Jane accepts a job in the City of Love. The trouble is she speaks very little French, has no friends to enjoy Paris with, and she’s awfully lonely.
Then she meets Jacques DuPont.
Rich, handsome, and the cream of the Parisian crop, Jacques is living the dream. Just not his own. His father wants him to follow in his footsteps, but Jacques wants to earn his success. Trapped in a life chosen by his family, he’s always been alone.
Until he meets Jane.
He’s from money. She’s not.
He’s a planner. She’s impulsive.
He’s serious. She’s definitely not.
They couldn’t be more different, but they will fall. Hard.
Together Jane and Jacques will learn why Paris is the City of Love. But when an expiring visa, a jealous colleague, and a manipulative family threaten their fledgling relationship, their loyalties will be tested to breaking point.
Jane broke her #1 rule, now they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice for love.
Are you writing anything else?
Lonely in Paris is book 1 in a 3-book series
Confession: Lonely in Paris was meant to be a standalone, but as I wrote it and the characters grew, I just knew it could be a series. Rather than having different characters in the other 2 books, they’ll instead feature Jane and Jacques during their evolving relationship and the many blips along the way. Book 2 is scheduled to be released on 16th May 2023 (pre-orders will be available when Lonely in Paris is released). Book 3 I’m aiming to release on 16th September, but that date isn’t set in concrete yet. I’ll see how much progress I make on it when I release book 2.
Questions about Writing.
What is your writing process like? Like my current manuscript…a work in progress. It’s an area I’m still trying to perfect. Juggling writing and working full time is something I still haven’t got right.
Do you have any other projects are in the works? So many, my mind is full of ideas and future series. As I mentioned above, I’m working on books 2 and 3 of this series. I’m also editing manuscripts I finished a few years ago that I plan to publish in 2024.
Have you ever resuscitated a project you’d shelved? What helped it work better the second time around? My debut novel, Abandoned Hearts (published in 2020), was a resuscitated project. It took me 6 years from start to publication because I just couldn’t get it right and I kept sitting on it. In that 6 years, I worked on my writing, perfected my voice, learnt and learnt and learnt, until I finally I got it right.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known at the beginning of your writing/publishing journey? Drafts don’t have to be perfect. I often expected perfection first go and sometimes even led myself to believe my first draft was perfect even though it was far from it. There’s nothing wrong with a dirty draft where you just spill the words on the page and then go back and fix it later. I’ve started doing that recently and it’s such a great feeling. The words flow better without the pressure of getting everything right.
What is the most difficult part about writing for you? Actually getting it down on paper. I get the idea in my head and it all sounds so amazing, but then it comes to writing it and I really struggle sometimes. Since I’ve started writing dirty drafts though, it’s made this a little easier.
Did you do any research for your current book? Yes, because it’s been a long time since I went to Paris, so I needed to make sure what I remembered was still relevant (and in some cases, it wasn’t). I also had to make sure I got the French translations correct.
Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special? Oh, this is hard, as I have many. 🙂 Michael and Claire in Abandoned Hearts are close firsts, as is Jacques in Lonely in Paris. But there’s also Hamish in my unpublished manuscript, The Final Masquerade, and Gavin in another unpublished manuscript (planned for 2024 release) Oceans Apart. How do I choose?
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions? I think anyone can be a writer, but if someone doesn’t feel emotions it’s going to be a lot harder for them. But since I’m an over-emotional person, I can’t even comprehend not feeling emotions.
Best money you have spent as a writer? Purchasing Atticus to format my manuscripts and paying an editor to get my manuscript up to scratch.
Do you have a favourite author and why? I’ve got many, but my top two would be Katie Fforde and Sophie Kinsella. They were instrumental in helping me find my writing style and voice.
What are you reading now? Let it Snow by Beth Moran
What books or authors have most influenced your writing? Ha, see above!
What favourite book/story you have read as an adult? It’ll always be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I agree and the BBC 1995 Adaptation With Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is about as perfect as you could get.
What favourite book/story you have read as a child? The Tin Can Puppy by Wendy Orr and Brian Kogler
Thank you so much for talking with us and good luck with Lonely In Paris.
I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Lonely in Paris and have posted a review on Good Reads and in last month’s blog post.
Buy link for Lonely in Paris: https://books2read.com/LonelyinParis
Buy link for Abandoned Hearts: https://books2read.com/AbandonedHearts