The Fire Department called. They are going to do their “annual” (meaning every 40 years, according to city records) inspection of my place for fire hazards. Since I dont want the $1000 fine, I have been looking for things to throw away since I have too much stuff and I know that are going to fine me for it.
Unfortunately, I never throw anything away. Case in point are my old Waldenbooks Lovenotes publications which I have kept for reference purpose. I love looking back and seeing what an author sez, then and now. Since I dont have a scanner, I am typing out the stuff I want to save for all posterity.
This is an old Kleypas interview from when she was promoting her second novel (I think) Forever My Love, which is now impossible to find. (BTW, if you have a copy of FML to give me, I will name my firstborn after you 😉 ) I took a picture of Kleypas that accompanied this article because I remember being skeered by the helmut head back then and, not coincidentally, this picture is nowhere to be found on LK’s website.
Former Miss Massachusetts Lisa Kleypas Talks About Her Writing Career
Twenty-three-year-old Lisa Kleypas may not have won the Miss America pageant in 1985 (Miss Mississippi was victorious that year), but the former Miss Mass. has won the hearts of romance readers everywhere.
Born in Texas and raised in Mass., Lisa was a shy, awkward, overweight little girl who dreamed of becoming both a beautiful young woman and a published romance author. She has realized both her dreams in spades!
“I was a bookworm as a child, ” she told us. “I’d waddle down to the library every day, clear out a shelf of books, bring them home and read them and start all over again the next day. I used to identify very strongly with the heroines of the books. After reading Louisa May Alcott’s books I spent two years being her heroines. I liked the feeling of being someone else for a while. By the time I was 16, I knew I wanted to write books as well as read them.”
Lisa was a 16 yr old summer camper when she tried her hand at writing a romance. She bought some stationary, intending to write letters to her family, and wound up filling a pad with her first novel. When camp was over, Lisa came home, learned to type and worked on her books every day after school.
“I still have a copy of that book under the bed,” she laughed, “It was absolutely terrible. I can see why Avon rejected it, but at the time I was sure that it would sell and I’d be famous! Was I wrong! I was so crushed that my mother felt sorry for me and took me to a RWA conference in New Hampshire. I walked around the room in awe, seeing writers like Barbara Delinsky. I just knew from that moment on that writing romances would be my career someday.”
Lisa persued her goal with a vengeance, turning out 5 romances by the age of 21. Her first sale to a publisher finally came with book #6, WHERE PASSION LEADS, which landed her a four-book contract with New American Library’s Onyx line.
“I figured that WHERE PASSION LEADS was my last shot,” she admitted. “I was about to graduate from Wellesley and was going to a 9-to-5 job, which would have meant less time for writing. I said to myself, ‘Just put away all the shyness you have about sexy love scenes and pour everything youve got into this book.’ I was in my teens when I’d written those earlier books and I was intimidated by the love scenes. I imagined people like my parents standing over me and disapproving. But with WPL, I was able to give of myself fully — including my private fantasies. Fortunately, my letting go paid off. And my parents didnt disapprove after all. My father’s philosophy is that if youre going to be a carpenter, be the best carpenter you can — and if youre going to be a romance writer, write the best and sexiest books around. ”
Lisa’s foremost ambition at the moment is to improve her writing skills with each new book. Her next book, GIVE ME TONIGHT, is a time travel novel about a woman of the 1930s who visits the 1880s.
“People ask how I can write really deep, passionate stories when I’m so young,” she told us. “‘How do you know about real love?'” they wonder. But I think I’m very well equipped to write romances because I am young and idealistic. I still have all my fantasies intact. I’m not jaded or tarnished. And when youre writing a romance you have to look at the world through starry eyes.” [I wonder if Kleypas would say this now – seton]
Does Lisa have any role models in the romance genre?
“I admire anyone who’s trying to do something different or unique,” she said. “There are so many carbon copies out there and its heartbreaking to spend $4.00 on a book and find its promise arent fulfilled, I like writers like LaVyrle Spencer and Jennifer Wilde [Jennifer Wilde doesn’t get enough love among the bodice-ripper crowd so yeah! Lisa!— seton] because they have their own unique voices.”
As for Lisa’s own voice, she feels her books have an old-fashioned romantic flavor that many novels in the genre don’t.
“I have a real sense of the fairy tale in my books,” she asserted. “I dont dwell on whatever the latest trend in romances is. [I don’t think that is true anymore, if it ever was, considering her Robin Schonesque period and her latest jump to woman’s fiction — seton] I don’t force sex or humor if they shouldn’t be there. I dont write westerns because westerns are the hot trend. I try to stay faithful to what a romance really is.”
“I really want to leave my mark on the romance genre,” Lisa continued. “I don’t want to reach a level and stay there; I want to get better with each book I write. Eventually, I’d like to go on to other kinds of novels too. I’d like to set a book in Depression-era Texas. I’ve also been thinking about a World War I novel. [Anyone know if these ideas ever came into fruition? — seton] The important thing is that writing is such fun for me. I cant believe I’m getting paid for the pleasure. I guess I’m the happiest person I know!”