Today I'm sharing Lisette Brodey's new romantic comedy, Love, Look Away
At twenty-nine, Sage Gordon has had it with love. The owner of Sage Earth Gifts, a metaphysical gift shop in the old-money town of Swansea, New York, Sage is content to run her quirky store and enjoy her dog, Rufus, and her two cats, Finlay and Babaloo.
She is convinced love isn’t for her. As a child, her best friend, Jimmy Cole, the boy she thought she’d marry someday, disappeared in the middle of the night with his family and was never heard from again. Haunted by the loss, she was wary about love as she moved into adulthood, never really connecting with the men she dated, clinging to the hope that Jimmy would return.
When she’s set up with Caleb Dunlap, a gorgeous marketing executive in New York City, Sage struggles to let go of the past, but she does. Happily, she finds herself engaged … then … not so much. If only Caleb had betrayed her before she sent out the save-the-date cards.
When an obnoxious customer causes Sage's neurotic assistant, Margie, to quit on the spot, Sage finds a friend in Godiva Jones, a woman she hires on the same spot. Godiva, twenty years older than Sage, brings much-needed friendship and wisdom. Having recently broken up with the love of her life, Freddie, Godiva also relates to the pain of heartbreak. She is disturbed, however, when Sage professes that she wants love to look away from her … forever.
In no time at all, life takes another turn for Sage when an old friend (and long-time admirer), Adam Canoga, shows up at Sage Earth Gifts to let her know that he’s opening a new men’s clothing store in town. Discovering she is no longer engaged, he asks her out, but with regret, she tells Adam that she has no interest in dating.
Sage’s resolve to do without love becomes an even greater challenge when an Australian visitor, Benton Bradley, walks into Sage Earth Gifts and impresses Sage with his warmth and Aussie humor. Despite her best efforts to keep love at arm’s length, she finds herself developing relationships with both Adam and Benton, two completely different, yet wonderful, men. But Sage is stubborn, still haunted by her past, and finds herself wholly unsure of what to do.
When did the writing bug first bite you? How many books have you written since then?
I have been writing since I learned how to write. Even at a young age, I was making up songs and poems. When I was in elementary school, I would make little magazines for my mother. I think I called it “Pueblo Magazine,” and for all the money in the world, I couldn’t tell you why.
So, I was always a writer, but it took many years before I wrote my first novel. What got in the way? Well, for a long time I didn’t know what I wanted to write. I thought perhaps I wanted to be a playwright or a screenwriter. Then, I went through years of writers’ block, which in retrospect I know happened because I simply didn’t know what I wanted to write and didn’t have the semi-clear visions I have today.
In 1996, I finished my first novel, Squalor, New Mexico, and I haven’t stopped writing since. Love, Look Away is my ninth book.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Literary fiction is probably my favorite, but I really do love writing romantic comedies, as humor has always been a part of everything I write. I love being able to write an entire book filled with it.
What is your writing routine?
Once I start writing for the day (in the afternoon), I will drain my brain for as many hours as that day’s writing takes me. When I’m finished, I go to another document and summarize what happened in the scenes I wrote. Additionally, I record the date/day and location that it took place. While the reader may never know what day a scene took place, as a writer, I need to keep track of everything for the sake of continuity and consistency.
Before I finish for the day, I always look over everything I wrote and edit where I can. Then, to help ensure that I make progress the next day, I think about what comes next. This thought process should end right there, but as it is for many writers, it doesn’t. It tortures us in perpetuity. I go to sleep still thinking about what comes next until my overworked brain turns itself off. But this isn’t always a bad thing; I have often dreamed answers to plot problems that plagued me.
The next day, I read over the prior day’s work, make some more edits, then go to work again.
I know this will be hard, but I’d love to know who your favorite author is. Also, what is your favorite book?
This is actually impossible to answer. Some of my favorite books have been David Copperfield (Charles Dickens), Angle of Repose (Wallace Stegner), Of Human Bondage (W. Somerset Maugham), and Look Homeward, Angel (Thomas Wolfe.)
I also love the writing of Dylan Thomas. When I was in college, I had several small parts in the play Under Milkwood. For those who may not know, Under Milkwood was originally a radio play for voices that was adapted for stage and screen. Trivia alert: Dylan Thomas was from the town of Swansea in Wales, which is where I got the town name I used in Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! and Love, Look Away. Our favorite authors do influence us in many ways.
I have many favorites from indie authors as well, but I don’t want to mention a few because I’d really hate to leave so many great authors off the list.
If you could sit around a table and share a drink with a group of authors, who would you invite?
Truman Capote would always be great fun. It’s a long story, but when I was only a teenager, I used to be backstage at a national nighttime talk show (filmed in New York City) every night because a friend of mine was the co-host. A few times, Capote was there (he was doing the talk show circuit in those days), and I got to observe him up close and personal, not only onstage but backstage. He fascinated me unlike any other celebrity who did those shows.
Aside from all of the late authors who I would be fascinated to meet, I’d love to sit around with many of the authors (both indie and mainstream) who I’ve gotten to know from social media. I actually have already met many of them in person: too many to count.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend much of my spare time thinking about how I wish I had more spare time.
My number one leisure activity is going to the movies. I probably see films in theaters more than anyone I know. I go three times a week on average. But … I only do so because there’s a second-run theater two blocks away and nighttime shows are only $3.50. There’s an indie theater that’s only a ten-minute walk, and I go there because I get special discounts. No way would I be doing this if I had to pay the steep price in most theaters.
I also enjoy watching shows on Netflix and Prime, walking my dog, reading, and getting together with friends.
Is Love, Look Away a stand-alone or part of a series?
Love, Look Away is a standalone novel, but, it takes place in the same fictional town (Swansea, NY) as my first romantic comedy, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! I really loved the characters in Molly and I thought they’d make great supporting characters for Love, Look Away. I made very sure, however, that nothing in this novel gives away the ending in Molly.
As you know, Katie, I just published a blog on my website explaining why LLA is not a sequel. (You can read that here) But, as I concluded, if I ever decide to write another romantic comedy set in Swansea, I’ll have to give in and call it a series.
What made you want to write the story? Who is your favorite character of the book?
I had just finished writing two literary fiction books, (a novel and a collection of short stories), and I really needed to write comedy. Also, I had lots of notes with different ideas that I’d collected over the years. I took a good look at them, decided what I could use and what didn’t work, and I put together a rough outline.
It’s so hard to pick a favorite character, but I’d have to say I most enjoyed writing the Australian character, Benton Bradley. Aussies say some funny stuff and he was no exception. I did feel a kinship with the main character, Sage.
Tea or coffee?
Herbal tea. Believe it or not, I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life.
Music or no music (when writing)?
I cannot write with any kind of music. Sometimes, however, I will edit with classical music if I’m trying to drown out noise.
Coke or Pepsi?
Pepsi, if I have to choose, but really Diet Dr. Pepper. As much as I love it, I try to drink as little as possible because it’s not really the best choice.
Paperback or Kindle?
Kindle because I can buy a lot of books, don’t have to find anywhere to keep them, and I can always read wherever I am.
Paperback because, well, I really love to hold an actual book. I also find it much easier to flip back a few pages to reread a passage if I think I’ve missed something.
Dogs or cats?
I have both a dog and a cat. I love them both for different reasons. But really, it depends on the dog or the cat. I am a big animal lover and adore all animals. Orangutans and elephants are among my favorites, and very sadly, both are endangered.
Summer or winter?
Now that I live in Los Angeles, I prefer winter, because it never really gets too cold and I like being able wear more of my wardrobe. When I lived on the East Coast, I preferred summer, though I hate humidity. Really, fall and spring are my favorite seasons.
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Katie. I’ve really enjoyed spending this time with you.
Lisette Brodey is a multi-genre author who writes strong, character-driven novels/stories, infused with humor, centered on the lives of flawed human beings in both tragic and funny situations. She writes mostly women’s fiction and literary fiction, but has written a YA paranormal trilogy, and a 1970s coming-of-age novel. She was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She spent ten years in New York City, and now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to writing, she occasionally works as a SAG background actor in movies and television. And she loves animals.
Katie Mettner wears the title of 'the only person to lose her leg after falling down the bunny hill' and loves decorating her prosthetic leg to fit the season.
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