Behind The Book With Laurie Beach
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Behind The Book With Laurie Beach
Last year I had the pleasure of doing a Q&A with author Laurie Lokken Reese who writes under the name Laurie Beach. I recently read her second book in The Crickley Creek series Blink Twice If You Love Me which this edition of Behind The Book will be about!
Q: Laurie for those who haven’t read Blink Twice If You Love Me, would you like to tell the readers a little about the book?
A: Sure! Thank you so much for having me back!
Blink Twice If You Love Me is the story of Krista, a young woman who has been held down by circumstances and small-town politics. She is much more than she appears, and when an outsider comes into town and recognizes her worth, she eventually sees it too. This book is for readers who enjoy Where The Crawdads Sing, and tropes like unequal social status and opposites attract.
Q: Last year when we did the Q&A together, you mentioned that the character of Johnny was based off of your husband. Would the character of Krista be based off of you?
A: Ah, yes. Johnny. I’m still in love with this character, and he does bear some personality similarities with my husband, who is also a former Army soldier. Krista, however, is not like me (that would be Charlotte from The Firefly Jar). Krista gets her name from a beloved friend of mine who is constantly trying to improve herself, takes criticism better than anyone I’ve ever known, and has a strong personality and devotion to family that makes her invaluable to others. The Krista character is all of that, but she’s thrown into unique situations that she handles like no one I know. Like so many literary characters, with each page, she took on a life and personality of her own.
Q: What lessons do you hope readers learn after reading Blink Twice If You Love Me?
A: There are so many lessons woven in—many that were a surprise to me as I wrote the book. It is a second chance love story filled with hope, but the happy ending does not come without hard work and perseverance. There are elements of grief and healing, and it explores a human’s ability to overcome things that are hurtful and unfair. It is also romantic and funny—there is humor in the face of hardship, it shows how families can heal and relate in new ways, and it gives solid examples of how love can take many different forms.
Q: How long did it take writing Blink Twice If You Love Me?
A: I wish I could remember! I can’t give you the exact number of weeks or months, but I wrote it quickly. When my first book was picked up for publication, the contract was for a series. I so badly wanted to be an overachiever that I wrote the second book fast. I had trouble with the ending, though. Thankfully, the first step with a traditional publisher is to send the manuscript to a developmental editor. She pointed out the hiccups and, thanks to an old iron bathtub from Krista’s marsh shack, the ending came easily the second time around.
Q: Which scenes in the book did you have the most fun writing?
A: I really enjoyed writing the fishing scene where the shark bites the line. That’s probably because I enjoy research, and I learned about all kinds of sharks and their personalities. Here’s a fun little tidbit I was told by a fishing guide: Tiger sharks may be the most dangerous because they don’t have the ability to taste. Most sharks will let go of a person after one bite because they taste bad, but a tiger shark will eat every last scrap. They’re not picky eaters.
I also enjoyed the scenes where Johnny looks out for Krista from afar. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had someone who trusts us to handle danger on our own, but is right there in case we need help? That, to me, is romantic.