Time of My Life is a gender-flipped Dirty Dancing. Pole fitness instructor Janey needs a new partner for the end of cruise Talent Show after her friend Penny drops out due to illness.
When Frank steps up, she’s beyond skeptical, but she really doesn’t have anyone else who can help. As he learns the routine, Janey starts to fall for Frank. Unfortunately, if she acts on her feelings, she could lose her job.
What have been the challenges of writing within the Oceanic book series? Do you need to have read the other books to read yours?
The primary challenge was just figuring out how to balance several very busy authors with different schedules, especially since we’re living in 4 different countries (and multiple time zones). Once we talked through all the logistics and things really started getting moving, for me it was largely smooth sailing.
You don’t have to read the other books in the series to enjoy mine, but I recommend it. You might see someone you recognise.
Is character or plot more important?
To me, the character drives the plot. If Harry Potter had just kept his head down and gone to classes, Voldemort would have killed him in the first book. If Katniss Everdeen hadn’t stepped up to take her sister’s place, the Hunger Games series wouldn’t exist. Plot is important, but it’s the character’s choices that make things happen.
What’s your favourite word and why?
My favorite word has always been “defenestrate,” because it’s fun to say. But sadly, it’s not one I manage to work into conversation very often.
What advice do you have for someone suffering from writers’ block?
Just write. Put words on the page. They don’t have to be good. You can go back and edit anything. And once you start letting your fingers go, often you’ll figure out how to get where you wanted to go. Sometimes it helps to write an unrelated scene for another story. Sometimes it helps to skip ahead and write a later scene.
How much planning prior to writing a novel do you feel is enough?
I don’t do a lot of planning. Usually, I have a list of vague ideas and concepts, some characters, and a few major plot points before I start. Time of My Life is unique in that I knew 90% of what was going to happen before I started, because the source material served as a type of outline.
What’s your writing day like? Where do you like to write? Longhand? Need coffee?
For the past year, I’ve been home with my son. When he goes down for his morning nap, I race through my shower and breakfast so I can write for about 20-30 minutes before he wakes up. A couple of mornings/week, I take him to the daycare at the gym so I can keep going. Then, with luck, I can write after he goes to sleep. It all depends on how frequently he wakes up. (Excuse me – the thunderstorm just woke him up. I’ll be back.)
Coffee is essential since I don’t sleep anymore, but when I’m at the gym writing, I mostly drink water. While eating Cadbury mini eggs. At the gym. Yup. I unfortunately don’t get to work in my office much anymore, but I adore the space. (Yes, that’s a fitness pole.)
Laura Heffernan is bringing geeky realness to a bookshelf near you. When not watching total strangers get married, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys board games, travel, board games, baking, and board games. She lives in the northeast with her husband, new baby, and two furry little beasts.
Janey’s never felt this way before, but passengers are off-limits. It’s only one dirty dance…What could go wrong?
Legend says everyone who boards the Oceanic Aphrodite finds love. Janey’s on the ship to teach pole fitness, not for romance. Then she meets Frank. He’s everything Janey isn’t––refined, classy, rich––but his good looks and charm make him undeniably appealing.
Unfortunately, he’s also a passenger. When Janey’s partner can’t perform in the end-of-cruise talent show, Frank offers to fill in. He’s never done pole, but she’s got time to teach him.
As they grow closer, Janey finds herself hoping the legend is real––but if she gives in to temptation, she could be out of a job.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.