Interview with Kayley Loring, Author of The Plus Ones
01 Oct 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, The Plus Ones?
The Plus Ones is a standalone steamy romantic comedy story, but it features characters from three of my previous books (Tonight You’re Mine, Come Back to Bed and Rebound with Me). When I published Tonight You’re Mine earlier this year, I was surprised that so many women asked me if Keaton would get his own story. Keaton was the hero’s best friend and a source of conflict in Tonight You’re Mine, so I didn’t write him as someone the reader was supposed to fall for.
For over a year, I’d been saving an idea for an enemies-to-lovers fake relationship story about the two single friends in a group of friends where everyone else is married and then they have to pretend to be a couple so they can hang out with their friends at a couples-only resort. I realized that I could make that book about Keaton and Roxy (the heroine’s best friend from Tonight You’re Mine) and that their friends would be all of the other characters I’d written about in books that were set in Brooklyn.
I totally overcompensated for Keaton’s behavior in Tonight You’re Mine and made him really funny and charming. It ended up being my favorite book (of mine) so far.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
Circumstances! I was a professional screenwriter (under a different name) for fifteen years. Studios paid me a lot of money to write PG-13 family comedies and romantic comedies, but they never ended up turning my scripts into movies. It was a fun career, but I got tired of only having people in Hollywood reading my writing and I got really tired of the creative limitations of comedy scripts. The next logical step was to move to a more affordable city to write and self-publish romance novels. I completely changed my life and as soon as I’d started writing the first novel, I realized that novel writing and being an author is literally the opposite of screenwriting and being a screenwriter. It was humbling. I decided to take my time learning about the genre and the business while quietly building up my backlist and hopefully getting better with each book. Now, I’d have to say that my readers inspire me to continue being an author. It’s so rewarding to hear from fans.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Just Kids by Patti Smith
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
JK Rowling. “Does it bother you that I’ve referenced Harry Potter in every book I’ve written? Because I can’t help it.”
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Being able to describe and re-live the feeling of falling in love, over and over again, and sharing it with readers.
What is a typical day like for you?
When I’m in writing mode: Feed adorable animals, write obsessively while forgetting to eat, compulsively respond to readers as soon as I get the notification, apologize to the people in my life for spending more time with imaginary people than with them, obey my Fitbit when it reminds me to get moving.
When I’m in-between novels: Do every single thing that I had put off doing for the last month or two…I’m always trying to get better at the work-life balance thing. Maybe next year.
What scene in The Plus Ones was your favorite to write?
When the six friends are at the couples-only resort in Antigua they participate in a Game Night three nights in a row. All of those scenes were fun to write because it was an entertaining way to show who these characters and couples are, but my favorite to write was the final Game Night. They play The Newlywed Game and Roxy realizes just how well Keaton knows her, even though she thought they’d hated each other for years.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
“Work hard and be nice to people.”
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