Sunday, September 11, 2016

0 Lisa Brown Roberts, author of THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH, on the importance of a strong critique group

We're thrilled to have Lisa Brown Roberts swing by to give us the scoop on her latest novel THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH.

Lisa, what scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

I really love the “grand finale/grand gesture” scene, and early readers and reviewers have let me know they love it, too, which makes me so happy. I had so much fun writing to it and creating the build-up to it. But I can’t say much else because of spoilers!

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

Probably other YA romances by authors like Kasie West, Kelly Oram, Morgan Matson, and Marnie Bates.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH?

That romance novels are nothing to be sneered at; rather they’re stories of transformation with powerful heroines in charge of their own journeys. That real heroes are partners- funny, smart, and thoughtful, and willing to take on the bad guys if necessary. Also the importance of friendship- Vivian is surrounded by supportive women, including her mom, her book club, and her best friends.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

The Replacement Crush is my fourth published novel. Before I published my first book (How (not) to Fall in Love), I wrote two other novels that shall never see the light of day, and that’s for the best! Participating in a critique group of published authors who mentored me made all the difference, and I highly recommend that. But you need to find knowledgeable, constructive critiquers who know their stuff, not people who tell you everything you write is good, or people who tear apart everything without valid reasons and suggestions for improvement.

I joined the critique group in 2004 and my first book was published in 2015—so yeah, a long journey, but much of that had to do with a lot of personal life crises I was going through at the same time. I credit my author friends for getting me through all of it, because I believed that if I stopped attending group meetings, my chance at making it as an author was probably over. So even when I wasn’t writing I still attended meetings and learned from what everyone else was working on.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I typically get up between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. every day and get in at least two hours of writing before seeing my son off to school and heading to my day job. I’m a morning person, so this works for me, and I love writing in the early hours when no one else is stirring. I brew a pot of coffee, then queue up my book’s music playlist to put me into the groove of the story, then I write.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Everything changed for me when I decided I didn’t want to look back on my life and regret not writing. Something clicked for me internally, and it was like a match to kerosene. There were other life circumstances that impacted me too, but I think everyone can tap into this deep passion and desire. If you want to write, you will find a way and make the time.

Also, I’m a firm advocate of writing every day. Some days I might only make notes on future projects, but most days I’m generating word count. I’ve discovered writing is like any other muscle and the more you use it the stronger it gets.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on several other YA romances for Entangled Teen that will be releasing over the next couple of years, both print single title books and e-books for their Teen Crush imprint. I’m excited about all of my projects. I never get tired of watching my characters fall in love, with lots of funny banter and swoony kissing along the way.


The Replacement Crush
by Lisa Brown Roberts
Entangled: Teen
Released 9/6/2016

True love can’t be strategized.

After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart.

But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.

Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.

Purchase The Replacement Crush at Amazon
Purchase The Replacement Crush at IndieBound
View The Replacement Crush on Goodreads


8287979Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn't recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life's painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.


Have you had a chance to read THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH yet? Do you have a knowledgeable and constructive critique group? Do you tap into your deep passion to write? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Anisaa, Sam, Erin, Susan, Michelle, Laura, and Kristin

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