Our latest Lesfic Book Club featured Anna Cove, who joined us to talk about her novel, Lucky Love. If you weren’t able to make it, check out the transcript below!

A couple of notes on the transcript:

  1. If you want to join us live, we discuss lesfic novels on the 3rd Sunday of every month at http://tinyurl.com/lesficlove (sign up or follow me on Twitter to find out what we’re reading each month).
  2. Some chat participants requested that their names be obscured, so below you’ll see the author’s name in bold, while everyone else has been anonymized as Reader 1, Reader 2, etc.

Anna Cove
I’M HERE!
I’m excited for this because I forgot how much i loved this book. It has all the elements that intrigue me. So thanks for voting it in!

Reader 2
It was a really fun read!

Reader 1
It took a few tries but I kept suggesting it until it was voted in.

Anna Cove
All these books in this series are based on, or at least start at, some of my best friends from college. Alice–complete with her vintage clothes–is probably closest of all!
I’m afraid my friend Mary will read it one day and go… THAT’S ME

Reader 1
I was just going to ask where the inspiration for Alice came from but you beat me to it!

Reader 2
Ooh, interesting, because she’s so unique, and apparently not lol

Anna Cove
I mean… Mary even had a pug named…. Donald!
she is super unique as a human, which is why I ripped her off. haha. In some of my other books, the characters got reeeealllly far away from the original inspiration

Reader 1
What was your favorite part of the book to write?

Anna Cove
Hmmm. Well, it’s hard to remember exactly since I can’t remember last week never mind last year, but i definitely loved the plotting part of this book.
And my favorite part…
was maybe their arguments
i love writing arguments
and seeing how far apart I can drive them before I bring them back together again
(maybe a bit sadistic?)
I was actually a little nervous about this one… because Lena says some pretty shitty stuff

Reader 3
Perhaps but maybe but also gives it a bit of realism

Anna Cove
Exactly!
i’m pretty sure, at one point, I got a review that said Lena was a horrible person. And she does make some bad choices and say some bad things. But every time I go to pull back on them I resist because it’s more realistic. None of us is perfect…. but most of us deserve redemption and forgiveness.

Reader 4
The arguments are what kept me intrigued.
More realistic than many others I’ve read

Reader 2
I loved how long it took Lena to learn her lesson. Definitely true to real life!

Anna Cove
for better or worse, right? LOL.

Reader 2
Do you always do your plotting by hand? I loved looking through the notes that you shared above.

Anna Cove
Yes. Always.
for some reason it just flows out more easily that way
i’ve considered writing a whole book by hand to see if it makes a difference

Reader 2
Hehe that’s making my hand cramp just thinking about it

Anna Cove
Right? But it’s appealing to me because it’s slower.
And I like slower things these days.
I feel like I may be able to tap into the _great writer’s mind_ that way.

Reader 5
That might change when the baby arrives;-)

Anna Cove
haha. I have a feeling I’ll be getting in a quick 100 words whenever I can!

Reader 2
Plus that would make a killer item in the Anna Cove museum some day

Anna Cove
Yes!
Someday.

Reader 3
Unless you go over board with nesting and toss them
It was good that you allowed them both their flaws without using it as an excuse for behavior especially Lena. Or a basis for forgiveness.

Reader 5
I felt like I understood their flaws without excusing them.
I liked that

Anna Cove
That’s great! Thanks.
I try to make the characters somewhat realistic. It’s always a work in progress.

Reader 1
If this book were going to be made into a movie, who would you most like to see cast in each of the roles and who would you least like to see cast into each of the roles?

Anna Cove
OH!
oh jeez
you know what? I usually cast my characters with real actors. Let me see if I did that for this book

Reader 2
That’s a difficult question – so many choices!

Anna Cove
so true…
and it’s been a while. The girl on the cover, though she’s probably not an actress, actually became Alice in my head
Let me think on that one for a few minutes.

Reader 2
Did anyone else have particular actors they were picturing?

Anna Cove
Yes! I’m always curious how readers picture the characters

Reader 4
The book cover was always in my head. Throughout the entire book.
She’s….nice to look at.

Reader 2
I have a terrible habit of ignoring the author’s description of characters and forming my visions of people based on their personalities – so I would probably be way off from Anna
You said your favorite part was the arguments – do you have a least favorite thing to write, either for this book or in general?

Anna Cove
Bummer, it looks like I did this plotting *all* by hand. Which means I didn’t cast the characters originally…. which seems impossible now. Though I think I imagined Lena as Tig Notaro, and Alice as a cross between Emma Stone and Zooey Deschanel (the latter in style)
Least favorite thing to write — endings!
I sent this manuscript to my editor and she was like…. uhhh…. there’s no resolution here?
I did have the scene at the end with the dinner, but it just wasn’t enough.
She helped me pump it up a bit with the emotion. I try to add conflict throughout the books, so when I get to the end, I don’t always know how to write the right scene.
I noticed in my notes that I scanned, that I didn’t feel like the characters were working for me in the first draft. I didn’t have an idea who _Alice_ was… which is so crazy because she’s so solid in my head now.
That’s frustrating to me sometimes too…. when I can’t see the characters, but they’re right there. Just ’round the next bend.

Reader 2
I kind of want to go back and re-read it thinking of Tig – I feel like that would have made me think of Lena totally differently than I did lol

Anna Cove
Aunt Helen was also one of my favorite characters in this.
I always love when the confidant is an older woman who seems to understand.

Reader 1
Do you think you will ever be bringing these characters back in the future at any point?

Anna Cove
I don’t know. Probably not, to be honest. I love them, but these are standalones.
The problem is too many ideas and not enough time!

Reader 2
Does Lena’s ex have a story in your series? I was curious about their relationship and her background

Anna Cove
Lena’s ex does not have a story.
Tara is there, well, at first she was there to show how Lena messed up in the past
I think, at one point, I wanted to make Alice jealous.
But it didn’t turn out that way.
Tara was one of those characters that wasn’t really in the first draft of the book…
she was there, but not formed at all.

Reader 2
Ooh interesting, and she became so insrumental in Lena’s storyline

Anna Cove
Right!
She’s all about helping Lena see the light
well, in the end

Reader 2
I have to admit I kind of hated Alice’s friends for coming up with the “make Lena jealous” idea

Anna Cove
Yeah, that was bad.
especially since they didn’t really know Lena all that well
my friends are not that manipulative
but it’s fun putting a little manipulation in a book!

Reader 2
Yeah, you gotta have someone that people love to hate
So are you a music-while-you work author or a complete silence author?

Anna Cove
This has changed a lot over the years. At first, I used binaural beats in my sprints to help me focus. Then, it was silence. Then nature sounds. Now, sometimes, depending on the state of my brain while I’m writing, I listen to music with words and sometimes write in silence.
But I LOVE music and it’s hugely inspirational to me
I often try to capture a mood in a song in my books
it’s hard, though
The one page I didn’t scan in my notebook…. I wrote “Tori Amos – China”… it was the start of a playlist that I never finished for the book
I constantly listen to music during plotting and all the formatting for the books. Basically whenever I can.

Reader 1
Now that you are a more experienced writer and looking back at the story as it is now is there anything that you would change if you thought it might improve the story?

Anna Cove
This book was really an outlier for me, as it was much more playful than pretty much all my others. Honestly, I wasn’t able to bring myself to read the whole story again, partially because I’m in the editing stage of a book right now and that’s enough mental anguish at one time. LOL. I’m sure if I read through it all I would change something, but I’m of the mind that I did the best I could at the time… and if I want to do better on something, I’ll do it on the next book. I have such fond memories of making this book (some of it probably made up–haha) that I don’t really want to taint that

Reader 2
Haha! I think that’s a great description of every author’s journey. Before: “It’s gonna be great!” During: “Wow, this sucks.” After: “Wow, it was pretty good!”

Reader 6
Have you ever been to Melrose MA? It’s what I imagined the city to be when you described it. Also, there is legit a purple Victorian house on a side street.

Anna Cove
I have been to Melrose! But not in a long time…
I grew up in one of those Victorian houses, but it was blue not purple. Probably got the purple from my time in Northampton, MA.
If I choose a town in Massachusetts, it’s usually in or around Northampton, or Central Mass where I grew up
This one… I think I used Gardner as a template

Reader 2
Stephen King has Maine, you’ve got MA – let the battle for the rest of New England begin!

Anna Cove
omg. Me and Stephen King in the same sentence… STOP IT! LOL.

Reader 1
Speaking of Stephen King, do you think you’d ever write a horror story?

Anna Cove
In another life, I wrote a story with ghosts. I don’t know if I’d go full horror, but I do love the idea of spirits and planes of existence. I love playing with that.

Reader 2
We need some lesfic ghost stories – untapped genre right there

Anna Cove
oh yeah totally!
Man, I have so many ideas. I wish I could bring them to fruition faster.
I keep thinking there’s a magic bullet to write a clean first draft. I keep searching for it. My holy grail.

Reader 2
Which one of your books has been your favorite to write so far?

Anna Cove
ooo. All of them when they’re the newest.
But probably… Sweet Surrender

if i had to choose
because that one was actually about a crush I had… that i had to work out on paper rather than real life

Reader 1
Which book was the hardest to write?

Anna Cove
Some of them are just harder than others to bring to… completion. _Just Jada_ was one of those. It just refused to form into the shape I wanted it to take. _Halfway Home_ was probably the most emotionally challenging because it dealt with addiction and the challenge of loving someone with an addiction.

Reader 2
I loved Halfway Home – you did an excellent job wih it

Anna Cove
Thank you!
Plus… that one has roller skates!
my obsessions always find their way into my books.
So… I want to tell you guys a secret. My name (it’s a pen name, though I’d answer to it all day these days) came from my great great aunt Anna Banana. She was a “spinster” and an oddball, and I always wondered, as an adult, what her inner life was like.

Reader 7
I like oddballs

Reader 4
Then you’re in the right place.

Anna Cove
So in taking her name, I feel like I’ve kind of created this whole life for her too. It’s a tribute to her, anyway. Plus, it’s a great name for lesfic!

Reader 7
Have you written under any other name

Anna Cove
Yes, my first few stories were under my own name.
But they never felt right.
Lesfic is the first genre I’ve written that’s closest to what’s in my heart. Does that makes sense?

Reader 5
Totally

Reader 1
And for today’s random question… what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Anna Cove
BLACK RASPBERRY!
Mint chocolate chip is another favorite of mine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s