Interview with Louisa Edwards

Jen: Readers, please help me welcome Louisa Edwards back to Romancing the Book. Louisa, will you please share a short bio with us?
Louisa: I was born in Austin, grew up in Virginia, and went to college in Pennsylvania. My first job out of college was in publishing in New York City, where I lived for five years before getting married, moving to a small town in Ohio, and starting to write full time. Now my life has come full circle, and I’m back in the city of my birth, writing like crazy and enjoying the wonderful food, live music, and fun atmosphere of Austin, Texas.

Jen: Tell us about Just One Taste and where it’s available.
Louisa: Just One Taste is the third book in the Market trilogy that began with Can’t Stand The Heat and then On the Steamy Side. All three are available at all major bookstores, and as eBooks.

Here’s the blurb for Just One Taste:

He has a hungry mind.

Bad-boy chef Wes Murphy dreads his final semester cooking class—Food Chemistry 101—until he meets the new substitute teacher. Dr. Rosemary Wilkins is a feast for the eyes, though her approach to food is strictly academic. So Wes decides to rattle her Bunsen burner by asking for her hands-on advice—on aphrodisiacs . . .

She’s got love down to a science.

Rosemary is a little wary about working with Wes, whose casual flirtations leave her hot under the collar. But once they begin testing the love-enhancing power of chocolate, oysters, and strawberries, it becomes scientifically evident that the brainy science nerd and the boyish chef have some major chemistry together—and it’s delicious . . .

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Louisa: I was definitely a reader first—I read my first romance around age eleven, and I never looked back! As a reader, I’m very eclectic and love all kinds of romance, so it took me a while (and some very astute advice from my agent) to realize that my voice is best suited for contemporary romance. After a failed attempt at a paranormal, I started writing a book set in a Manhattan restaurant with a chef hero, assuming it would never sell—but everything clicked! My agent sold it to St. Martin’s, on proposal, in two weeks. I could barely believe it when she called to give me the news!

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Louisa: That’s really hard. Hmm . . . I guess the words I hear from readers and reviewers the most often are: smart, sexy, and delicious!

Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Louisa: I usually end up doing errands and marketing stuff in the morning, and most of my intensive writing after lunch. There’s a daily word count goal I try to stick to, between 1,500 and 2,500 words. An important part of my process is to begin by reading through what I wrote the day before, to get myself back in the mindset of the characters.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Louisa: For me, beginnings are always a struggle. I tend to rewrite the first 25 to 50 pages over and over and over, searching for the best hook, the most solid foundation on which to build the rest of the story. The easiest—well, none of it’s especially easy! But I’d have to say that the sex scenes are a lot of fun to write, as are the kitchen and cooking scenes.

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Louisa: Definitely, the best part of being a published author is having the chance to interact with readers. There’s nothing more fun that getting reader mail, and any opportunity to meet readers in person, I tackle it like a linebacker! I love knowing that my stories, my characters, have connected with people and given them hours of entertainment and emotion.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Louisa: Another tough question! Probably my favorite character so far is a secondary hero, Frankie Boyd. He’s a sous chef at Market, plays bass in a punk band at a dive bar downtown, has a sexy British accent and spiky black hair and a metric ton of secrets. He’s also head over heels in love with a young server at the restaurant, Jess, and has no idea how to deal with it. Frankie and Jess’s unconventional romance has spanned all three of the Market books, and I get more reader mail about the two of them than about any other aspect of the trilogy. It’s incredibly satisfying to know that readers love Frankie as much as I do!

Jen: What has been your highlight of your career to this point?
Louisa: I’ve been so lucky—a slew of great reviews on every book, including a starred Booklist review, the wonderful support of my publisher and other authors in the romance community . . . it’s hard to pick a highlight. I think I’d have to say the fact that St. Martin’s had enough faith in my writing to go back to contract for another trilogy before the second book had even come out—the fact that I get to keep writing the books I love is the best highlight I can think of.

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, is there anything else you dream of doing?
Louisa: It’s funny; being a published writer is one of those dreams that has a lot of goals that keep moving further and further down the track. Publishing more books, growing as a writer, hitting a bestseller list, reaching more readers . . . those are the things I dream about!

Jen: What’s next for you?
Louisa: Next up is the Hot trilogy! Starting in August 2011, look for Too Hot to Touch, Some Like it Hot, and Hot Under Pressure—an exciting new trilogy featuring a team of talented chefs working to win a high-stakes culinary competition, and finding true love along the way. It’s set in the same world as the Market trilogy, so expect some familiar faces to pop up . . .

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Louisa: My website is www.LouisaEdwards.com, and you can sign up for my newsletter there. That will keep you up to date on new releases, recipes, free reads, excerpts, giveaways and more! You can also follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/louisaedwards) or “Like” my official fan page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/LouisaEdwardsFanPage).

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Louisa: If you’ve seen all three of the covers for the Market trilogy, I’d love to know which one you like best!

Jen: I understand you’re giving away an autographed set of your Recipe for Love novels—and that all are eligible so long as they live in the U.S. or Canada.
Louisa: That’s right! I wish I could open the giveaway to international readers, but apparently that’s not legal. Silly lawyers! Still, good luck to all US and Canadian readers, and I hope you enjoy the Market trilogy!

Jen: So to enter the contest, you need to leave a question or comment for Louisa. Then to finish your entry, you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to contests.bookblog@gmail.com. The winner will be chosen on Thursday, October 28.