Aug 30, 2017
Interview with Andrea Bolter
A big LoveCat welcome to you Andrea, it’s fabulous to have you join us here today. Grab a glass of something lovely and bubbly, help yourself to a delicious cyber snack, and pull up a banana lounge. We’re always so excited to chat to a brand new author. Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication with Harlequin Mills & Boon?
Hi Michelle and LoveCats! I’m so happy to be joining you. And so excited for my debut with Harlequin Mills & Boon. To tell you about me, my background is in journalism. After about 250 articles and a couple of awards, I decided the time was now or never to fulfil my lifelong dream of publishing fiction. Back in my 20s, I had written an “artsy” literary novel that agents and publishers loved, yet no one bought! I wrote a screenplay that “we enjoyed but have no interest in pursuing.” I did publish a couple of short romance stories in a women’s magazine. When I firmly decided that I wanted to write series romance novels, I read at least 100 Mills & Boons in a row, and then felt ready to try my hand at one. I got very lucky because HER NEW YORK BILLIONAIRE was my first manuscript, and it sold on my first submission.
With all of that "homework" behind you, I doubt luck had anything to do with it! So...Her New York Billionaire is your debut romance. It’s no secret that I love the Romance line (Forever in Australia/New Zealand, Cherish in the UK), but can you tell us what drew you to write for this particular line, and what it is that you love about it?
Although I’d read Mills & Boon along with other romances for years, when I did that concentrated reading of all those books in a row, those in the Romance series were always the ones that I enjoyed the most. So it was only natural to write one. I think what I love is the zoomed-in lens on the hero and heroine. They are together on almost every page, and all of my attention is focused on their journey to each other. Their need for one another is so obvious it’s almost desperate, and I get swept up in that emotional intensity.
Is there a particular incident or inspiration that led to the writing of Her New York Billionaire? And what’s your favourite scene in the book? Would you like to share a (shortish) snippet?
There’s a phrase I had in my head, “There are eight million stories in the naked city tonight. This has been one of them.” (I looked it up and it’s from a 1950s television show called Naked City.) That made me think about how you can walk down a street in Manhattan and point up to any apartment window, and wonder what drama is taking place within those walls. That inspired me to create a story that begins when two strangers both think they have use of the same apartment for the night. I live in Los Angeles, also a populated place, but for some reason the image of peering into a New York apartment window sparked this tale (maybe because I’m nosy)! Here’s a snoop into Holly and Ethan’s first evening together:
Surely Ethan wouldn’t mind if she took one shiny red apple.
Holly hoisted herself up to sit on the countertop. Let her legs and bare feet dangle. She smiled remembering the apple’s symbolism here in New York. Like so many others, she was here to take her bite.
With one satisfying chomp after the next, her mind wandered about what might be.
“Miss Motta!” Ethan looked startled to find her sitting on the kitchen counter after he finished his call. “Must you always make yourself so...so comfortable?”
Holly shrugged her shoulders and slid off the countertop. Whatever. If her sitting on the counter was a big deal to him, she wouldn’t do it.
She jutted out her chin. “I bet you haven’t eaten.”
“Not since early this afternoon on the flight,” he confessed. “Is there food?”
“Looks like there’s eggs and some things for breakfast.”
“We will have something delivered.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“What would you like?”
“You know what? I haven’t been to New York in years. Want to get some famous New York pizza?”
“Pizza it is.” He swiped on his tablet. “Yes, Giuseppe’s. I ordered from there quite a bit when I was last in New York, working on a project. What type of pizza do you like?”
It was nice of him to let her choose. This man was a bundle of contradictions. Scolding one minute, courteous in the next.
“Everything,” she answered, without having to think twice.
“You know—pepperoni, sausage, salami, mushrooms, onions, peppers, olives. The whole shebang.”
“Everything...” he repeated. “Why not?”
“I’ll pay for my half.”
His mouth twitched.
“Twenty minutes,” he read out the online confirmation.
She eyed the kitchen clock.
“I guess I’m staying tonight.” She crunched on her big apple.
A bolt of lightning struck, flashing bright light through the window.
Who are your favourite contemporary romance writers (we’re all devout romance readers here so I’m just going to take it for granted that like the majority of us you love Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Georgette Heyer :))?
Well, I’m going to break romance ranks and tell you that it was actually the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich that changed my life. Something about the experience of those books…so fun and funny and fast and vivid, with crazy secondary characters and wild situations and two yummy men all in the mix. I’ll admit that I eventually moved on, but I found the first dozen or so in that series so entertaining, they are what inspired me to write a so-called “genre” novel. Also, I feel that I’ve been deeply influenced by romantic comedy movies. Is there a more exquisitely drawn romance than “When Harry Met Sally” or “Four Weddings and a Funeral” or “It Happened One Night?” And I’ll just say two more words on the topic of favourite writers. Nora. Roberts.
And finally, we love pets of all shapes and sizes here at the LoveCats. Do any furred or feathered friends share your life…or maybe you have plans for one to grace the pages of an upcoming book?
I don’t know if this is true where all of you readers are, but it’s great to be a dog in L.A. at this particular moment in time. It’s really only in the past couple of years that I’ve started to notice dogs EVERYWHERE. Inside restaurants, markets, hospitals and even offices, no longer left in a hot car while the driver is off having all the fun. I don’t know if something “officially” changed, but lately bow wows have just about the same rights as all citizens in my wonderful melting pot of a city. As to including animals in future romances, much like a man with a baby, a hero who is good to his pet is hard to resist!
Andrea is giving away a signed copy of Her New York Billionaire to one lucky reader (winner's choice of either the North American edition or the 2-in-1 UK edition that also features The Waitress's Secret by Kathy Douglass). To go into the draw just tell us if, given the chance, you'd like to spend a week in New York.
Andrea's debut Romance is a September release! But it's on the shelves now in Australia (so you can go and grab the two-in-one with me! :-) ).
Barnes & Noble
Michelle is a doughnut fiend who's also rather partial to champagne and walks along the beach. She writes romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon…and is also enrolled in a PhD.
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Congratulations on your debut, Andrea! We're so excited to have you on the blog. Wishing you all the success int the world :)ReplyDelete
I've been to New York a few times now, and am planning to go on another trip soon. I have a strange relationship with that place - parts of it I find way to overwhelming, but other parts I adore. But I guess that's New York in a nutshell, there's literally a bit of everything!
I'm so jealous of your travels at the moment, Stef! :-)Delete
Hi everyone! Thanks so much for welcoming me. Stef, I think you're right that everyone has a sort of love/hate or anyway a love/overwhelm with New York. When I was young, unmarried and sort of a wandering gypsy, I attempted to live in New York twice. Both times I lasted a year. I joke about the lyric from the song New York, New York, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere" and the truth was I never could! It can feel like you're forever on a treadmill, walking as fast as you can just to stay in place. But, yet, it's surely one of the most exciting places on earth with endless amounts of things to do and see. And native New Yorkers are a particular breed - how they're sort of brash and in your face yet they're the nicest people you'll ever meet and they'd give you the shirt off their back.Delete
I can pass. I truly am VERY content staying home with company and visiting company. If said company went with us, fine, but it isn't on my bucket list.ReplyDelete
Went to New York City (with two full coach buses) on a Grade 12 field trip back in the mid seventies. We were told that girls could only go outside the hotel if boys were with us. One guy became known as the 24 Dollar Man (as the Six Million Dollar Man was on TV at the time). He took a $2 cab ride to be with a $20 hooker. He was our small-town doctor's son and, I must say, that I have seen his picture on FB through the years, and he looks like Grizzly Adams. He has been unemployed most of his life, only getting jobs at a local gas station. He recently married (in his fifties), so I hope things have turned around for him - although I still wonder how he was reprimanded back in the day....
OMG, Laney4, what a story!Delete
It's funny but I've always thought of New York City as one of the safest places you can be, despite its reputation as a big ferocious city. Because there are always people around. You're never alone in New York. I'm much more likely to feel afraid in the woods! But maybe that's just me - city folk!Delete
It's so lovely to have you here, Andrea! Congratulations on your debut release. :-) I love the sound of HER NEW YORK BILLIONAIRE. Am looking forward to hunkering down with it soon and losing myself in it. And one reason for that is *NEW YORK*! I'd love to visit one day. The city looks so vibrant and alive and full of contrasts. Whenever I see it in films and on TV I think it must be a place full of inspiration -- perhaps it's that eight million stories you mentioned. :-) I'm curious now...do you get to visit the Big Apple very often?ReplyDelete
As I mentioned, I did live there a couple of times and also a brief move to New Jersey when I was a teenager when my dad was following a job. After I was married I had the pleasure of taking my husband to NY for the first time and seeing it through his eyes. To stand in the middle of Grand Central Station, for example, with all the bustle and the grand architecture and the images we all have in our minds from movies and photographs really does take your breath away. Years later, we took our daughter who caught the bug as well, standing in Times Square with the neon lights so bright nighttime feels like day. She cried in the taxi on the way to the airport, she so didn't want to leave.Delete
How great to have a new author, Congrats, Andrea! I love NYC stories. I have been on 2, 5 day weekend trips to NYC to see some shows with my friends, once in the fall and once in the spring. I would love to visit in the Christmas season to see the decorations and the Rockettes holiday show. Somehow Florida in december is not the same as a cold Christmas!ReplyDelete
Oh, Laurie, New York with Christmas lights sounds spectacular. :-)Delete
I love the elaborately decorated shop windows at Christmastime. And the crisp smell in the air. Very romantic!Delete
I would want my week in New York to be at Christmas, so I can see all the decorations and parades and shows and eat all the treats and go ice skating and walk through Central Park.ReplyDelete
Sounds like heaven, Therese. :-)Delete
Another beautiful time of year is about now. Generally the sun is shining but the muggy heat has passed. And leaves are changing colors.Delete
Andrea you sound like a woman after my own heart! I am a huge Stephanie Plum fan and romcoms are my crack :-)ReplyDelete
If I had a chance I would spend a month in New York in sme dinky little apartment in the East Village and just "be". I adore it!RWA 2019 is in NY so guess where I'll be? Michelle - there's your excuse to go!
OMG! The PhD will be finished... What an excellent idea, Amy. :-)Delete
I'm going to hold you to that Ms Douglas!Delete
What an awesome way to celebrate the PhD being out of your life, too!
Now to convince Mr Douglas of the necessity of this plan. ;-)Delete
Amy, you are right on! I think the East Village is actually my favorite part of town with every kind of person/restaurant/shop imaginable. But that's what I love about big cities in general, that there are so many differing neighborhoods to explore. In NY you can go from the posh "old money" of the Upper East Side down to the hipster artists on the Lower East Side to the stockbrokers on Wall Street and cross into leafy Brooklyn all on the same subway line.Delete
Congratulations on your debut novel's release, Andrea. That is such an exciting moment, right? And I love the title, which draws me immediately, being the combination of two of my favourite things: billionaires and New York. ;-)ReplyDelete
I've visited NYC twice, once for the 2003 RWA conference and in June this year. Neither stay was long enough to appreciate even a tiny slice of those stories. have the 2019 conference pencilled into my schedule. (Michelle, you should totally do the same!)
My favourite New York thing is simply walking around and seeing, listening, breathing in the atmosphere. And then sitting, eating, glass of wine in hand, with good company or people-watching and dreaming up one of those stories.
Bron, I was going to say you and Bron are wicked women, but actually I think you're both very wise -- New York in 2019 sounds perfect! :-)Delete
NY is definitely one of those places where you come home with blisters on your feet from so much walking! The blocks are short and New Yorkers walk fast. During travel I always have the shoe dilemma - cute or comfortable? It's so rare to find a pair that's both, isn't it? And when I say comfortable I don't mean okay to walk a few blocks, I mean sightsee all day and into evening. How does everybody else do it?Delete
Huge congrats on you debut I have it calling to me from my TBR pile and it won't be long before you take me away on a fabulous journey can't wait to read this one.
What a great post Ladies I do love learning about authors and their lives
It's always so much fun to welcome a new writer to the ranks, Helen! :-)Delete
Thanks for making me feel so welcome. As new to romance writing and also with most authors working from home, it's beyond my wildest dreams to have made so many online friends around the world. I'm sure there are bad eggs out there, but everyone so far has been so supportive to me and cheering me on. BTW for those readers who like a journey - my next stop is Sin City! HER LAS VEGAS WEDDING will be released in March 2018. I don't know if I'll always write about big cities but that seems to be my "meat" right now.Delete
March? We'll be shelf buddies again! :-)Delete
Yay, Michelle! The honor is mine!Delete
Andrea, huge congratulations on your debut release! I hope you gather lots of fans with it. Thanks for dropping by the LoveCats today to share.ReplyDelete
Who wouldn't like a visit to NY? I've never been so I'd probably spend all my time wide eyed, taking it all in. Maybe for a conference one day...!
Annie, AA and Bron have innocently (???) mentioned that the 2019 RWA conference is going to be New York. Now how much fun would that be? :-DDelete
I haven't been to RWA yet but I hear you're so busy you hardly leave the hotel. So it'd be fun to come several days earlier or stay later to enjoy the city. I'd imagine especially if you've traveled from Australia! And if you really wanted to do it up, I'd recommend taking a three-hour train trip to Washington, DC for a couple of days. Another amazing place to visit!Delete
YES Annie! The more the merrier!Delete
And I'd definitely recommend staying on longer. Have been to NY conference twice now - once we had a week before, the second time it was just 5 days of conference then home again - I was jetlagged for a month! :-)
Great advice about getting the train to DC, Andrea. I've never been to Washington but its on my bucket list!
Jetlagged for a month LOL! I feel that way on every trip...Delete
A week in New York sounds amazing. My sister did just that not that long ago.
Oh, that sounds fabulous, Mary. Feeling rather jealous of your sister. :-)Delete
I'd like to come to visit Australia and New Zealand some day. I have a very good friend in the Newport section of Sydney. She and her husband used to live in L.A. and even though we've only seen each other a few times in 20 years, we've stayed friends and now our daughters are friends. She and I use those old dinosaurs known as email and telephone, while our daughters use FB messenger, Snapchat and Instagram.Delete
Congrats on your first release, it sounds delicious! My Australian family and I managed three nights in New York and adored every bit we could cram in and vowed to return. We barely slept. Would go back in a New York minute:)ReplyDelete
Oh, Sara, that sounds wonderful! :-)Delete
I love that expression - New York minute. And that Billy Joel song New York State of Mind. In my book, I think Holly and Ethan represent two sort of symbols of New York. Ethan is upholding generations of family duty and Holly arrives to the city with a suitcase full of hopes and dreams. It sounds corny but I really did want to make New York a character in the book so I give it lots of page time!Delete
Welcome and compliments Andrea Bolter.
I would very spend a week in New York, if given the chance.
Hi Franca! I see we're of the same mind -- a week in New York does sound fab. :-)Delete
So what would we do? I like how people sell stuff right on the streets, so I'd load up on sunglasses and scarves and funky earrings. I'd love to eat in a restaurant that overlooked Central Park. There'd be pizza, of course (I even have pizza in the book), and Italian bakeries. One of my favorite excursions is to take a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Also the Costume Institute at the Met Museum. And Broadway musicals!Delete
Hi Andrea - welcome to LoveCats! Lovely to meet you here. and mega congratulations on your debut book - what a great title and the book is now on my TBR pile. New York? Absolutely. Would love it! :)ReplyDelete
There's just something magical about New York, Helen, isn't there? :-)Delete
I'm so glad everyone seems to really like the title. Ethan was so clear to me as a character who wears a suit. He's noble, handsome, damaged and has a sense of humor - what more could we want in a billionaire?Delete
Hi Andrea, how lovely to have you as a guest on LoveCats. Welcome! I liked hearing about your inspiration for your story and its big city focus. The Romance line is obviously a favourite for me too!ReplyDelete
The first time I visited New York was many years ago for work - I was also a journalist working in womens magazines - it was January and bitterly cold with ice and snow. My next visits were for the Romance Writers of America conference which thankfully are in summer! New York is a fabulous destination for a self-confessed shopaholic - apart from its many other attractions. After the last RWA conference, I shared a taxi back to the airport with Amy Andrews. We both vowed we'd be back in 2019!
I'll be there! :-)Delete
Well, Kandy, as long as you're bursting our fantasy New York - yes, winters in Manhattan have their moments of perfect white snowflakes falling on your nose but, in reality, when the weather is harsh its about slogging through black ice. And coming from Cali where most of our summers are blistering hot but a dry desert heat, that humidity in New York with the city smells of said pizza rotting in trash cans and...oh never mind, let's go back to Tiffany's!Delete
We could do a LoveCats tour of New York...we'll just have to hold our noses when we trot past those trash cans Andrea mentioned. ;-)Delete
Don't worry, there will be other smells, too - sweet flowers in window boxes and fresh-baked bagels and endless choices of perfume in Fifth Avenue stores!Delete
LOL. Thank goodness!Delete
Fifth Avenue stores? Oh, happy sighs. :-)
Michelle, I've noticed your discussion of boots on Facebook. I remember a street in Greenwich Village that used to have one shoe store after the next - a whole block's worth. Don't know if those shops are still there but is that where we'd find you, toddling with the weight of your shopping bags, eyes rolled back in your head in sheer bliss?Delete
Add a beer in a bar after that shopping spree and you have my idea of heaven! ;-)Delete
Of course at a place with sidewalk tables so we can watch the world walk by!Delete
I went to New York as a child with my family. We had gone on a long family vacation & during the trip we saw Niagara Falls from both the Canadian side & New York. I thought New York was o.k. but too busy for me. I like living in the suburbs, where we have a lot of stores, etc but it's not too busy where I live. I prefer reading stories set in New York.ReplyDelete
Your trip sounds like fun, Sarah. But if one hates hustle and bustle, I doubt New York would be the place to be. Reading stories set in New York, though, is fun -- they always seem so glamorous. :-)Delete
Sarah, I think a lot of people share your perspective. It's crazy that Manhattan is a small island yet with the population of a small country. It's definitely too much for some people. How do we define the glamour of New York stories? The first things that come to mind for me are money, landmarks, fashion, food, fast living. What else do you think when you think New York romance?Delete
Congrats on your debut--and selling the first manuscript! I spent a week in NYC when I was a few years out of college. Stayed with a couple I barely knew and he swallowed fire for a living or something bizarre. Loved every minute. Desperately want to go back! But I'd be content reading about NYC. Please pick me. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, Cathy, that sounds like a fabulous adventure! Colour me pea-green. ;-)Delete
Now just after I've talked about all the diversity in New York, Cathy comes up with fire eater! I hadn't thought of that one. Hee Hee. REALLY, REALLY you'll find every kind of person in New York!Delete