Friday, August 24, 2012

Blog Tour: Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie: Q&A and Excerpt



Follow the tour HERE
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Author Bio:
Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).
Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.

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Q&A

Q.  What inspires your writing?

I'm inspired by daily life. I love watching how people interact with each other in everyday situations. A lot of my day is spent commuting to and from work so that's also a big source of inspiration. I've been known to 'accidently' overhear a conversation or two on the bus and/or subway and draw from that.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

Using my imagination. I love creating characters, shaping the world around them and discovering their backstory. I also love researching where these characters live and the jobs that they go to every day.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

Having to deal with rejection is definitely tough. When I started querying Breaking the Rules, I knew that I had to have a thick skin and that it wasn't going to be easy. But it was a lot harder than I expected and I struggled to stay positive when all I kept hearing was no.

Q.  If you could not be an author, what would you do/be?

I've always been fascinated with lawyers. I watched a lot of legal dramas growing up so I'd like to think that I'd be a lawyer (a really tough one with crisp designer suits and an icy stare) if I wasn't a writer.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

Something fun like… Cat-titude!

 Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

Pride and Prejudice. I'm a bit ashamed of the fact that I was in my twenties when I first read it but I fell in love with it instantly.

Q.  Which part of your book(s) was the easiest to write?

I really enjoy writing dialogue, especially the banter between friends.

Q.  Which part of your book was the hardest to write?

The interaction between my protagonist, Roxy, and her sisters. I don't have sisters and Roxy has two of them. Despite this, I hope that I was able to capture the dynamics of their complicated relationship.

Q. Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind your book cover?

From the very beginning I knew I wanted my design to have a yellow taxi to symbolize New York City, a red phone booth for London and a cupcake for the main character's passion for baking. And pink, lots of pink! Since I can't draw to save my life, a friend sketched out my idea and I sent it over to my cover designer. We went back and forth a few times (the cupcake had blue icing at one point) until I felt it was the perfect cover for my novel.

 Q.  Which character from any book are you most like?

Becky Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. We're both shopaholics (I cannot be trusted with a credit card and a computer) but I think we also share a bubbly personality, vivid imagination and a positive outlook even when things are a bit crazy.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

Definitely autumn. I'm not a huge fan of summer so I love when the days start getting a bit chilly and you can wrap yourself up in a warm sweater. Also, the hockey season starts in autumn so that's always an exciting time.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

This is my first blog tour so I've never written a guest blog post before. I've written countless posts for my own blog but when I was asked to write for someone else's blog, I had the worse case of writer's block. It was like writer's block combined with writer's sheer panic. I felt like I'd never be able to write another word ever again. But one day (in the middle of the work day when I should have been focusing on something else entirely) I wrote my first post. The panic faded a little bit when I realized that I hadn't been cursed with eternal writer's block.

 Q.  Are you working on something new?

Yes. I'm currently working on my second chick lit novel. It's called Zoey & the Moment of Zen. The story revolves around a woman who gets sent to an island resort to get over an ex-boyfriend.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you enjoy Breaking the Rules.

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Read an excerpt:
I've never been good at keeping secrets from Oliver Frost. It might be because I'm a terrible liar but, most likely, it's because he's known me all my life and can read my face like an open book. Every eyebrow twitch, every blink, every fake smile. And, right now, I feel like I'm strapped to a lie detector. At any second the needles might go haywire like they do in the movies when the devious main character is lying through her teeth. 
                Calm.
                Breathe in. Breathe out.
                Cough.
                "I really don't like the sound of that," Ollie says, sitting on the edge of my bed, shaking his head. "Are you sure you don't want me to go to the drugstore and get you some cough syrup or something? Or I could make you soup. Or tea with honey."
Under normal circumstances, I'd appreciate all this attention. But I've been trying to get Ollie out of the apartment for the last twenty minutes so the last thing I need is him hovering over me. Maybe relying on my lackluster acting skills wasn't the best idea. Faking an illness was all I could come up with to convince Ollie that I need to stay home without making him suspicious. My original plan was to accidentally 'twist' my ankle while walking up the stairs but, in the end, I decided to keep it simple and go for the common cold. There's less limping involved.
                I don't think Ollie has any idea that I've been planning a surprise farewell party for him—which is a miracle since I've been sneaking around every night this week and coming home from the grocery store with enough food to feed a small army. The party is tonight and I have a million things to do. And I can't do them with him here.
                I touch my supposedly feverish forehead and erupt into another coughing fit. "You should go," I say in a raspy voice, grabbing a handful of tissues. "I wouldn't want you to catch my germs and get sick before leaving for London."
"Right," Ollie says, turning away from me. "I can't believe I'm leaving tomorrow."
I can't believe it either. I want to say something but I'm afraid we'll start talking and get really sentimental and I can't deal with that right now. I've been trying to keep myself busy so I don't have to deal with it at all. But I know that sooner or later I'm going to have to face the fact that my best friend and roommate is flying halfway across the world to help supervise the construction of a new earth-friendly building in London. I choose later.  
                "You should really go or you'll be late. I'll call you if there's anything I need, okay?"
                He nods and plants a quick kiss on my forehead. I close my eyes and hope he can't hear my heart beating out of my chest. I'm so close to pulling this off.
                "Promise me you'll rest and take it easy today?" Ollie says, picking up his messenger bag off the floor. "And if Greta calls, please don't answer. Better yet, hang up on her." He slings the bag over his shoulder and looks back at me. I wave and watch as he walks out of my room. A few seconds later I hear the front door close with a bang and start breathing again.
                Time to get to work. I pull at the comforter and sit up, letting my legs dangle over the edge of the bed. As soon as my feet touch the floor, the day is officially going to begin and I'm not sure that's what I want. Letting myself fall back into bed, I stare at the ceiling. If today were just any other ordinary day, Ollie would be screaming at me from the kitchen, telling me to get my butt out of bed. And by the time I stumbled to the coffeemaker in my bathrobe, he'd already be dressed and ready to go to work. It's very hard to pretend like I'm not jealous of Ollie. He loves his job so much that he's getting a fancy promotion. He’s living his dream. Ollie's wanted to be an architect ever since he was a kid sneaking off to read Architectural Digest while the other boys were flipping through girlie magazines. When we were twelve years old, Ollie and I made a pact; he would become a famous architect and I would be a celebrity chef and open my own restaurant, which Ollie would have designed. Then I'd let him eat there for free, of course.
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Book Description

 August 7, 2012
When twenty-seven year old Roxy Rule’s best friend and roommate accepts a glamorous new job overseas, she expects their relationship to continue as it’s always been—carefree and easy—until they share a heart-stopping kiss moments before his departure. Overcome with mixed emotions, she fights the urge to over analyze the situation and resumes back to her normal life in New York City, working for an intolerable boss at a dead end job, creeping further and further away from her own dreams of becoming a professional chef.

While things become more complicated between her and Ollie, Roxy is sure that nothing can come between two lifelong best friends—not even mild jealousy over a thriving career or a silly little kiss that meant nothing. In fact, it was such a meaningless and forgettable kiss that she convinces herself that it’s not even worth mentioning to her fiancé, although it is all she can think about.

Roxy’s already topsy-turvy life only gets more complicated when her sisters Steffi and Izzie suddenly become her roommates. Steffi is six months into a pregnancy she refuses to discuss and Izzie is in the throes of a premature midlife crisis. Roxy tries to take control of her career, her love life and her sisters – but can she really handle it all? And can the Rule family keep it together – or break under the pressure?

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Connect with Cat! 

Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.
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