Laura Simcox, Author of Summer Promises, is in the Tea Room

“Welcome to Teatime Romance, Laura Simcox, author of Summer Promises.  We’re delighted to spotlight you today in the tea room.  Be advised, etiquette is to be observed at all times. Keep your hands within the confines of the table and hold your pinkie finger up at an angle.”

Thanks!  I’m really excited to be on your blog.

“Forgive my excitement. We tend to be silly in the tea room at times, especially when there’s too much sugar involved.  But honestly, when I heard we were going to have a fellow Crimson Romance author on the blog, and a pirate lover to boot, me piratey self emerged.  So ignore me manners and commence with ye introductions, lass.”

Hi, I’m Laura. I’m a romance author. I’ve had this job for about a year. It’s the weirdest, coolest job I’ve ever had and I’m not quitting! And I’ve had some pretty cool jobs.

Unusual jobs are par for the course with me. This is probably because try as I might, a standard work environment and I just don’t mix well. Now, I’m not going to go all diva and say “Oh, nooo. I could never work in an office. Oh, nooo. I would never work a 9-5 job.” That’s silly. Because I can. And I have. It’s just that I don’t have the skills to thrive in that environment. I have two college degrees: a BFA in Theatre and a MFA…again in Theater. Overeducated and underpaid. I could quote you Shakespeare or tell you about Post World War II Theater in Eastern Europe, but I probably couldn’t answer a multi-line phone system to save my soul. Just ask the temp agency in Chicago about my stint as the receptionist for the executive office of the Illinois Lottery in 1993. Actually, don’t.”

“Hogs and swallows, you’re a well-propertied woman, Laura.  Do continue.”

So…most of my working life has been spent in weird places, mostly as a costume designer. I created costumes in the back of an old garage on a state of the art sewing machine which perched on top of plywood and saw horses. When I hauled open the dented garage door, I had a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains. Another weird place: An old pharmacy that had been converted to a costume shop in the tiny downtown of a Midwestern farm community. And yet another: I spent years fitting actors in a third floor walk up Sunday school classroom in upstate New York.

“Ahem… Did any of those actors turn out to be Johnny Depp by chance?”

Yeah, theater is strange. But what does it have to do with romance writing? All of the above. I’ve been so many places on a theater company’s dime that it would be dumb for me NOT to use my experiences as fuel for my writing. So I did. While I don’t do theater anymore (at least not for now) I have in my brain a vast landscape of people and places…a virtual mosaic of story pieces. Add an ability and desire to write, throw in a huge helping of a life spent reading romance novels and dunk it in a cuppa hot water. There’s my tea! (wink) And I’m happy to drink it. Alllll day long.

“Is that why the rum is always gone?”

My contemporary romance novel ‘Summer Promises’ debuted this week from Crimson Romance and (shocker) it is set in a summer theater. The story of a young woman with a sense of adventure and a lot of heart who works in theater is a story I was destined to write. So I did it. And then I joined Romance Writers of America. And then my local chapter, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. And then I listened, learned and asked questions. I spent hours online researching the romance publishing industry. My eyeballs were stinging, and they’re gonna stay that way, I’m afraid. There’s a lot to learn and it’s always changing.

“Having yer own crew is a great and mighty prize, Laura.  I’m sure HOCRW is very proud of ye.  But do tell us about your call story.”

My story of being published is one of those ‘right place at the right time’ tales. In one of my epic online learning excursions, I came across Crimson Romance. I pitched my novel and waited. Three days later, I got a request for the full manuscript. A month later, I got the ‘magic e-mail’ telling me that Crimson wanted to buy my book. Still grinning. — 😀

“Oh, this be a wonderful tale.  Please do go on.”

The next day, I jumped headlong into the romance author’s world. Create a website? Uhh. Sure. Here it is: A Facebook author page? What’s that? Ok, I’ll learn. And here ya go: Goodreads? Yeah I’ve heard of that. Must investigate. Voila!  A blog too? Yeah, ok. Twitter? Nooo. I don’t wanna tweet. But…I….oh! This is fun. Heh heh.

Silent pause.  “Oh, sorry!  I was all a twitter finding you on Twitter.  So what else has happened since you got The Call?”

None of this stuff I just shamelessly listed existed before June. Everything’s changed for me. Going online now is air traffic control time. (Secret: I haven’t figured out how to manage it yet. It’s sucking my life away even though it’s FUN.)  The one thing that hasn’t changed? My writing. My ideas. My stories. And storytelling is the best part of being a romance author.

“Everyone has that one book that knocked them on their heels and made them fall in love with romance novels.  What was the first romance novel you ever read?”

When I was twelve, I read ‘A Rose in Winter’ by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Sigh!!! Hook, line, sinker. I’ve never stopped.

“Now, we hope this never happens but if your house is on fire, which five romance novels do you grab on your way out?”

I’d grab ‘A Rose in Winter’ because I still have it…it’s yellowing and dog eared and deserves to be saved. I’d also scoop up ‘The Corset Diaries’ by Katie MacAlister, ‘Just Like Heaven’ by Julia Quinn, ‘Undead and Unwed’ by Mary Janice Davidson and ‘Venetia’ by Georgette Heyer. They all have humor, adventure and heart-stopping romance. That’s all I ever ask for…genre is not as important to me as a great story.

“Aye, all good books ye’ve mentioned. But tell us, what is your secret passion?”

I want to be like Katherine Bone and say pirates!!! And that’s true. But my number one secret passion is silly guy comedy movies. Some of them border on genius stupid. I LOVE ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’. And ‘The Hangover’. And ‘Tropic Thunder’. Can’t help it. They make me snort-laugh.

“Aha!  Now we know why the rum is always gone. But why do you write romance?”

I believe in the promise of Happily Ever After. It DOES come true. And the more real and flawed it is, the sweeter.

“Two people setting their eyes on the horizon, a promise of love wafting in the air. Or is that my clothes?  Your pardon, I digress. Is there anything in your book that comes from personal experience?”

Ha. Yeah. A lot of it. The only thing that’s not personal experience is the ‘showmance’ (theater romance…aka hookup in most cases but sometimes it’s for real.) I took my experience working in summer theater, created the characters and put a shiny spin to it. I hope the story is entertaining, fun and heartwarming, too.

“Aye, there’s nothing a pirate loves more than pure, nonsensical, inebriated fun.  Speaking of imbibing… what is your favorite kind of tea, and how do you drink it?”

For you Southerners: Unsweet. No lemon. No sugar packets. No sweetener packers. Light ice.

For you non-Southerners: Iced Tea.

How do I drink it? All day long, my friends. All day long.

“Thank ye for spending the day with us in the tea room, Laura.  If you stick around long enough, there might be an appearance of rum.”


22 thoughts on “Laura Simcox, Author of Summer Promises, is in the Tea Room

  1. *sniff* I’m so happy someone else had a thing for A Rose in Winter! Congratulations, Laura. And it’s a pleasure to meet another theatre geek, though I dare say you’re a pro. I’m just the goofball climbing the riggings and making sure the cannons get pointed in the right direction. 😉

  2. I’ve got the rum right here, me hearties. Care for a swig? *passes the jug for the Teatime lasses to….ah….put a drop or ten in their tea* Thank ye for havin’ me over today!

  3. Laura,
    Welcome! I was never a theatre geek, but I was a band geek. I used to play in the band for summer theatre. Does that count? How about the fact that i always had a thing for those cute backstage guys that worked the lighting and sound? No?

    “Summer Promises” sounds great. I can’t wait to read it.

    Thanks for coming for tea and I hope we see you again!


  4. Welcome Laura! Thank you for joining us here at Teatime-it’s great to have you here!

    What an interesting background you have! I feel positively boring by comparison, lol.

    I did theater back in high school and still have fond memories of my stint as a nun in The Sound of Music my junior year. The year before that, I was part of the backstage crew for Grease and The Crucible.

    I know a number of members of HCRW-what a lovely talented group of ladies! 😀

  5. Hey Lisa! I was a nun in The Sound of Music, too. Although the sound wasn’t very pretty. Thanks for the great comments and warm welcome. I’m pretty partial to HCRW ladies, too. 😀

    • Hi Jo Ann. Thanks so much! My life has been kind of wacky, which is probably why I’m thrilled to be a homebody (for the most part) now.

  6. Pingback: Laura Simcox, Author of Summer Promises, is in the Tea Room « ljsimcox

  7. Hi Laura, congrats on your debut!! What a thrill! It’s one I hope to experience some day too. I understand well that feeling of not quite fitting into the 9 to 5 world. I’ve been there and done it and even though I would instantly turn into a workaholic, I would still rather put that need to work 24+ hours a day doing something I truly love rather than doing things the way someone else wants it. Best of luck and wishing you great success with your new career. : )

    • Hi Amy! Thank you very much. It is a thrill! And if I could do it 9-5 I’d be even more thrilled. Squeezing writing in is a challenge, but yet, worth it. 😀

  8. Woot!!! Laura’s in the tea room and we’re having a partay!!!

    Wow!! Laura, you’ve led such a fantastic life. I really admire you, especially that you’ve found success writing with a young child at home. What tips can you give readers and other authors about juggling writing time and life?

    And if you could pass along one important lesson about your first sale, what would you advise other aspiring authors?

    • Yarr, Katherine! I’m happy to be at this tea partay. 🙂 Thank you, and hmmm tips? Well, I haven’t figured out exactly what works for me yet, to be honest. But one thing that’s worked so far is giving myself enough realistic time for my own self-imposed word count deadlines that I feel successful. If I say I’m going to write 2,500 words…that’s two days. Usually I can do that in one, if my son’s in preschool in the morning AND he takes a nap in the afternoon. No nap, it’s not gonna happen. So I have the next day to make up the slack. Victory!

      First sale lesson….I would advise new authors to ask specific questions about the contract. The person offering it to you EXPECTS questions. You’re not bothering them. And they’ve already made the offer. Plus, your mind will be more at ease with answers. Be proactive. Also: at this point, your book is not your baby. It’s your product. Treat it like the gem it is. It doesn’t need a diaper and a cuddle. It needs the best editing and marketing possible. 🙂

      • “…your book is not your baby. It’s your product. Treat it like the gem it is. It doesn’t need a diaper and a cuddle. It needs the best editing and marketing possible.” I’m saving that quote. More people need to hear it.

  9. Pingback: Teatime Romance Blog’s 2012 Year in Review | Teatime Romance

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