Hello all my lovely book peeps! I have the awesome opportunity to sit down with the amazingly talented Laura Chapman here on One Book at a time! I have had the chance to read several of her books and I can't wait to read more!
Let me begin by saying hello Laura! I am so happy to chat with you this lovely Tuesday afternoon! I have always wondered what made you get started writing Chick Lit? Was there a specific book that grabbed your attention and made you think "I can do this!"?
Like a lot of my fellow chick lit enthusiasts, I discovered the genre via "Bridget Jones's Diary" by Helen Fielding. I read it over a sick day my junior year of high school and fell in love. I don't know if there was a specific moment when I decided I wanted to write chick lit. I always knew I wanted to be an author, and there are several genres I'd like to explore. But ultimately when I sit down to write a story it isn't really with the mind-set that "I'm going to write a chick lit." It's more about a set of characters and a story speaking to me. I write them in the way they need to be told. For the Queen of the League series, I could just hear Harper’s voice so well that I knew I had to write her in this format. (And, man, do I ever feel pretentious when I talk about hearing a character’s voice!) I dug into this topic in greater detail recently when I shared why I enjoy reading and writing chick lit on my friend Meredith Schorr’s blog. Basically it comes down to this: There is a lot of bad, scary stuff in the world, and sometimes it’s nice to spend some time focused on the good. You can read the post here (http://meredithschorr.com/2015/12/18/author-laura-chapman-on-why-she-reads-writes-and-needs-chick-lit/) if you’d like the long-winded version.
-----Well let me just add that you are an amazing writer and I look forward to more books from you in the future no matter what the genre may be!
Where did you come up with the concept of writing about Fantasy Football? You go pretty in depth with it, have you played before?
I actually came up with the concept for this series after completing my first fantasy football draft in 2012. My then co-workers were starting a league, and having watched my brothers—who I was living with at the time—participate for several years, I figured I should give it the old college try. (At the very least, it seemed like a good way to make spending every Sunday watching football with them more interesting.) I've since had one or two teams every season since. While I'm by no means an expert—I still haven't won that coveted (and figurative) championship trophy—it has given me a good background for the story. My own fantasy football experience has been a lot less dramatic—and exciting—than Harper's. I've also sadly never been swept off my feet by a super dishy league-mate. I shared some of my best tips for drafting a solid fantasy football team here (http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot.com/2015/09/first-goal-by-laura-chapman-book.html) and some of my biggest fantasy football fears here (http://asoutherngirlsbookshelf.blogspot.com/2015/11/guest-post-and-excerpt-first-and-goal.html).
-----Such a fun concept! I will say I have never tried but it does seem like it would make watching football a little more exciting!
I love the pictures you have posted of your amazing writing space! Is this a full time job for you or do you have a "day job" so to speak?
Thanks! I had a lot of fun decorating my office, and it's very me. I do have a "day job." I am the communications coordinator at a museum. Basically I oversee all internal and external communications including, but not limited to, our social media channels, press releases, website content, media relations, etc. We’re a small enough staff that I also help hang exhibitions, give tours, and other odds and ends that come up during the course of the day. Before that I worked as a corporate journalist writing articles and taking photographs for industrial magazines and company websites. I’ve also worked for a few local newspapers. All of these experiences have been beneficial in some way. They’ve connected me with people I wouldn’t have otherwise met, and I’ve had many unique experiences, which is always welcome for a writer.
-----WOW! You have had so many great experiences! I LOVE you "day job", that would be the dream location for me!
If the series was picked up by say Hallmark, what actors would you pick for the roles of Harper and the rest of the gang?My kingdom to write a movie or TV series for Hallmark! (I’m a big fan.) I’ve always imagined Garrett Hedlund—of the movie version of Friday Night Lights fame—playing Brook MacLaughlin. He’s about the right age and has the right look. I’m more flexible on the casting for Harper Duquaine. She needs to be some who can play uptight and let loose. I kind of see her as someone like Lyndsy Fonesca, but I’d love to see the open casting call for her. And because I’m a big fan of Friday Night Lights the TV show, I’d really love to bring Zach Gilford on board to portray Wade. And to make it a full FNL reunion, let’s at least bring Adrianne Palecki to read for the part of Amelia, Brook’s baby sister and Harper’s BFF. I struggle most with the casting for J.J. But because this is my book, and I can do whatever I want, I’m going to move heaven and earth to bring Oscar Isaac in for a screen test. And then maybe we can grab lunch after. With his Star Wars fame, he might not want to take the role, but I hope he’d at least consider it. But in all seriousness, if the series was ever picked up by anyone like Hallmark, I’d just be delighted to see a greater audience enjoying the story and would probably love whoever they cast.
-----I am a Hallmark mega fan! I watch everything I can and my children pic on me for it! I would love for your series to be picked up by them, it's the perfect story line!
Lastly, When you aren't busy writing your next book, what do you like doing for fun?
So many things. Like Harper, I crochet—though I typically do that almost exclusively during the winter months. I just finished up a baby blanket for one of my friends, and I’m working on an afghan right now. Also like Harper, I am a football fan in real life. I try not to miss any of the Huskers or Packers games throughout the season. I like crafting—I recently made new pillows for my living room, word art for my hallway, and I have some canvas and fabric just waiting to be used. I like experimenting in the kitchen—particularly with baked goods, though I often yield mixed results. I’m a lifelong reader. Right now, in preparation for my 30th birthday this summer, I’m re-reading my 30 all-time favorite books, which has been a lot of fun so far. I am also in a deeply committed relationship with my Netflix and Hulu accounts, and love binge-watching TV shows and movies on my couch, cuddled up with my cats, Jane and Bingley.
Thanks so much for having me as a guest today. And thank you for following along Harper’s adventures in the Queen of the League series!
THANK YOU for joining myself and your many fans today! It's been so much fun chatting with you and getting to know the back story with this fun fantasy football series!
HAVE A GREAT DAY BOOK FRIENDS AND I WILL CHAT WITH YOU SOON!