1. Céline on September 3, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Well, since you ask… 😀

    With the turmoil of your new life and all those new books, have you had time to think about the future of Dare me?

    • Nancy Kvorka on September 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Celine, so glad you asked this question, I have been meaning to ask about it too.

      • Lauren on September 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

        Hi, ladies! I’ve been itching to work on “Dare Me”, but, unfortunately, the combo of doubled book schedule and newborn has knocked out all discretionary time. Right now, I’m racing to write Pink XI. Once that’s done, I’ll have a better idea of what’s on the table next– whether it’s more Pinks or more stand alones– and whether I’ll be able to scrounge out a couple of months to finish “Dare Me”.

        • Céline on September 4, 2013 at 9:33 am

          So, you have plans for more stand alones?

  2. Jessica C on September 3, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Where did the idea for A Summer Engagement come from? Favourite pre-Raphaelite painter/painting? Your favourite scene to write in Purple Plumeria? With your writing schedule and new addition (a thousand congratulations!) how do you manage to find time to eat and sleep?!

    Ok, that last question is mainly rhetorical…

    • Lauren on September 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Sleep? What is this sleep of which you speak?

      On “A Summer Engagement”… I’ve always loved the Preraphaelites. My two best friends and I were obsessed with them in high school (fueled by an amazing Burne-Jones exhibit at the Met) and decked our dorm room walls with them in college. In terms of more specific inspiration, years and years ago, I’d seen a (not very good) play about the Ruskin/Effie/Millais love triangle. It wasn’t until I’d started writing “A Summer Engagement” that I realized how heavily my ideas for this book were influenced by that particular set of events.

      • Lauren on September 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm

        In terms of favorite Preraphaelite, I’ve always loved Rossetti, of course– and Christina Rossetti’s poetry!– but I might have to go with Burne-Jones.

        In “A Summer Engagement”, I’ve invented my own member of the Pre-Raph brotherhood. In terms of his background and outlook, I was influenced most heavily by William Holman Hunt, but I see him stylistically as closer to John Everett Millais.

  3. Rachel Adrianna on September 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I am in the throes of my senior year (undergraduate in Lit, yay!) and am amazed by everything you seem to have so effortlessly accomplished. I know you wrote Pink I in your twenties, and I just can’t imagine juggling school and writing without getting completely burned out! What seems to be your secret? And how on earth do you come up with so many different and intricate plotlines?

    • Jane B. on September 3, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Will we ever hear from Penelope again? Also, it was great fun having a book set outside of England and France. Do you ever plan to do another Pink in faraway lands?

      • Lauren on September 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm

        As matters stand right now, we probably won’t hear from Penelope again (unless I do a special Penelope novella). If I do a Kat and Tommy book, though, there is a possibility that I’ll bring Alex and Penelope back for a brief visit so they can be a part of that book.

        • Lauren on September 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm

          I’m not sure if this is quite faraway enough, but the plan is for Jane’s book to be set in Portugal….

    • Lauren on September 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      The effortlessness is all an illusion! If it makes you feel any better, I got hardly any writing done in college– it was the longest dry spell, vis a vis fiction writing, that I’ve ever had. There was just so much else going on.

      My secret to juggling? Procrastination. It’s all about the procrastination. You can be very productive on one thing in the process of avoiding something else. I wrote Pink I while avoiding my dissertation and “Black Tulip” and “Emerald Ring” while avoiding law school homework.

      As for the plotlines… I probably shouldn’t admit this, but most of the time, I make them up as I go along. As long as the plot keeps me guessing, I imagine it will do the same for the reader.

  4. Kelsey L on September 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I am curious…do you have more in store for Jack Reid? Along the same lines, after the sequence of events in Plumeria, will Jane be making an appearance in the next Pink book? What was your favorite scene in Plumeria to write?

    Congratulations on the new edition!

    • Lauren on September 3, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks, Kelsey! Yes and no. There’s definitely more in store for Jack Reid, but he’ll be off-stage for Pink XI, “The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla”. Unless the sequence of book changes, he’ll be back in a big way in Pink XII.

      • AngelB on September 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        And I think I know how he’ll be involved. 🙂 I’m geeked about it.

  5. Liz on September 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks so much for answering our questions Lauren! I have to ask if poor Tommy Fluellen will ever get his own happy ending? 🙂 I know you said it might be an out of series book similar to Turnip and Arabella’s story, but didn’t know if you had any plans in that area.

    • Lauren on September 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      The original plan was for Tommy Fluellen to wind up with Kat Reid. (Their book was going to be Pink X.) Miss Gwen hijacked their book, but if I can manage it, I’d still love to write their story one of these days. It’s all contingent on how my deadlines work out.

  6. Gina on September 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    For the next pink book, what has been most fun about the writing process so far?

    • Lauren on September 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      In “The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla”, Eloise is back in Cambridge– the American Cambridge. This is the first time I’ve set any of these back in the U.S., so it’s particularly fun for me to revisit Cambridge in 2004, as it was when I lived there then.

  7. Becky on September 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Hi Lauren– I must have missed it, sounds like your little one was born??? What a crazy, joyous time for you. Many congrats, I hope you’ll share a photo!!

    • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Thanks, Becky!!

  8. Sheila on September 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Lauren, thanks for this opportunity. Any thoughts of a sequel to Ashford ? I am also very interested in more Pinks, esp about the next generations, and of course, anything you can write about the Dear Boy. I am so hoping to see him in Sally’s book.

    • Kelsey L on September 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you for asking this! I was also curious Lauren if you have any plans to write a sequel about Bea?

    • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Thoughts about a sequel to “Ashford”, yes. There was a whole, complicated third storyline that I didn’t get to incorporate in the main book and would love to revisit (those of you who have read the book know which one I mean!). I’m guessing, though, that that’s one of those projects that will probably languish on the “if only” list.

  9. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on September 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    By chance, the opera singer who recently had a child in Plumeria, but doesn’t want to bother the father because he recently made a love match… is that Turnip’s child?

    • Sara on September 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      I had assumed it was Lord Vaughn’s child. I think the opera singer is mentioned in his book as well.

      • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

        You called it, Sara! It’s Lord Vaughn’s child. (Although Vaughn doesn’t know.)

        • Sue G on September 5, 2013 at 9:45 am


  10. Abby on September 3, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    And along with the question about Tommy Fluellen, will Kat Reid be appearing in a book again? I enjoyed the brief glimpses of her in Passion of the Plumeria.

    • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

      I’d still love to give Kat and Tommy their own book one of these days. In the meantime, though, she’s pretty much off-stage.

  11. Laura on September 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Hi!!! First of all congratulations!!!!!
    I was wondering about Jack and Jane. Will they get their own book? What do you have on store for them? Do you have any idea of how many more pinks books are comin our way?

    • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Without giving too much away, the answer to that is… yes.

      Right now, the plan is for the series to officially wrap up with Book XII, Jane’s book. (So two more books.) But I’m not ruling out some extra side books for characters like Kat and Tommy, if time permits.

      • Jane B. on September 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm

        Yes! Side books,and plenty of them! You have so many secondary characters I’d love to know better.

  12. Rachel on September 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    I think most people have already asked what I was really curious about (Tommy and Kat and then Jack) so I will just ask a general question. I am sure each character and book have special places in your heart but if you had to pick a favorite book and favorite character that you have written, what and who would it be? Thanks and I will keep reading anything you feel like publishing!

    • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Thanks so much, Rachel! I’d probably have to go with “Mistletoe” and Turnip…. They were just so much fun. (Especially the Christmas pageant scene.)

  13. Am7 on September 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    How did you know you were ready to publish? I really want to be an author, but I get really scared about everything. I worry it won’t be perfect, and people won’t want to read it and all these doubts. So how did you get over any doubts and commit to writing a whole book, and how did you know your book needed to be published? I know J K Rowling had books she written pre-Harry and didn’t publish, because she didn’t think they were good enough.
    Thank you and you’re amazing with your busy life.

    • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      There’s no such thing as perfect, and, for the most part, I’m not sure you ever feel really ready. Every book has its flaws– or, at least, elements that you as the author will perceive as flaws, because you were there for all the bumps and setbacks during its creation and know where the weak bits in the scaffolding are.

      That being said, there are times when you know that the book just isn’t right– like J.K. Rowling, I have some old manuscripts that are never making it out there into the light of day.

      My suggestion would be to write your book, and then, once it’s entirely done, show it to a friend whose reading tastes you trust (and tell her to be honest!). If you don’t have a friend you trust to give you a fair opinion, it might be worth joining an author group, like Romance Writers of America or Mystery Writers of America, and finding a critique partner. After that, the next step is to query agents.

      • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm

        Ooops, I only answered half of your question and skipped the “how did I know” bit. In my case, I’d always known that I wanted to be a writer, so not writing wasn’t an option. I’d completed manuscripts before, but that had been back in high school, so when I sat down to write Pink I, I knew I had a little window of time– the summer after finishing General Exams– and if I was serious about this whole novel writing thing, I had to make use of it. Then, once the summer was over, I had a significant enough chunk of the story written that the momentum kept me going through all the distractions and other obligations of the following year and a half.

        As for knowing that it was ready to be published, I handed it off to my college roommate, who read it and made some excellent suggestions.

  14. jeffrey on September 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Lauren: Your teaser on Pink XI involves a little of what I would term the supernatural. (sounds VERY exciting, BTW) Your short story in JAMMDI about Jane’s ghost at Northanger Abbey shows you are really-really good at putting a ghostly mood on your readers. Have you ever considered doing a stand-alone gothic thriller? We all know you enjoy that sort of read!

    • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      I do love gothics– but since my metier seems to be humor, I’m not sure how well I’d pull off a real gothic thriller. On the other hand, Barbara Michaels managed it, so there is a role model….

  15. Julie H on September 4, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Hi Lauren!

    How do you keep yourself focused on the current writing project when you have so many other stories waiting in the wings? I know that you’re always planning a few books ahead, so how do you stay excited about the book you’re writing while you’re thinking ahead at the same time? Sometimes I suffer from “grass is greener…” syndrome when I’m writing. 🙂

    • Lauren on September 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Me, too, Julie! It’s a sad truth that any plot idea is invariably more attractive than the one you’re working on. (Which was, in turn, more attractive when you were working on the last one.) I deal with it by what I call the tipping point method. If I make it to a certain point (for me, fifty single-spaced pages) I have to keep going with that book, since, clearly, there was enough in it to get me that far. Sometimes, my brief love affairs with other story ideas are less about those stories and more about my problems with the current manuscript. Once I knuckle down and make myself work through, the allure of the other idea fades.

      It also helps to remember that you’ll feel just as frustrated with that grass is greener plot idea when you’re actually working on it.

      I keep a plot notebook for other ideas, and scribble down bits and pieces of plot and dialogue as they occur to me. If I’m still in love with one of those ideas by the time I finish the book I’m actually working on, then I know it’s a keeper– but I find that most of the time, the attraction fades with time. I’ve found for those ideas that stick, the having to wait actually improves them, since there’s been time for the subconscious to mull and refine them.

  16. AngelB on September 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Regarding Purple Plumeria…I’ve felt that, out of all your books, this one was really left open for more story to follow, in particularly the relationship between Jane and Gwen and Jane’s “adjustment phase”. Will we see any of this in Midnight or just in Jane’s book?

    • Alice on September 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      I totally agree with AngelB! I felt like Plumeria really breathed new life into the series (not that the series was lacking in any way) and made it possible for it to go in several directions. I am so intrigued! Can’t there be more than 12 Pink books!? And I am thinking Jack Reid and Jane will be having a love affair…..

      • Betty S. on September 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm

        I agree also. There is just too much to find out about for the Pink series to finish at XII. You have a way of weaving so much together that makes your readers want more, so I hope it doesn’t end there. I have three people that I discuss all of the Pinks with, and we don’t want it to end yet. Hope there is a chance to reconsider.

  17. Jennifer on September 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    How did Bea escape on the safari? Maybe I missed something while I was immersed in some of the other plot lines. But that question has been bugging me since I finished the book.

  18. Courtney on September 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Hello Lauren!

    I do hope you consider more Pink books besides Sally and Jane. I can’t let go! XD

    My big question: will we be seeing more of everyone’s favorite garden vegetable in Manzilla?

  19. Cate on September 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Lauren,sorry this is a week late,but I loved Plumeria.It’s the series game changer.Jane’s realised she’s in the middle of a dirty game,and is turning into a Regency George Smiley.I can’t wait for Jack Reid to enter her life.
    If you do carry on with the side books(& I hope you do,because the Pinks are a highlight of my reading year),please give Tommy and Kat the book they deserve,and let use have a whole Colin And Eloise novella/BOOK. I so want Serena to have an HEA,…and give that oily oik Jeremy a comeuppance to make us all cheer 🙂
    Many congrats on your own life changer….it all gets better after the first year-honest !And thanks so much for all the fun

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