Meet Ophelia London, author of Playing at Love, my favorite contemporary romance novel of the year.
You hear about chemistry and you feel chemistry in the real world. But Jack and Tess, two fictional characters HAVE chemistry. How did you come up with it? Contain it? Write it?
Aww, thanks! I’m so glad their chemistry comes across on the page. That doesn’t always happen. A lot of what I write comes from my real-life experiences. I think when you take something that actually did happen, it’s much easier to make it feel real to readers.
You left one very open question yet satisfying conclusion in Playing at Love. Does this mean we get more of Jack and Tess?
In the spin-off (coming soon…hee-hee) we see Jack and Tess about six months later. But they’re only secondary characters this time. I won’t give anything away further.
What about Tess’s BFF Mac? Do we learn her fate?
Mac was so much fun to write. I love to write humor, and Mac was definitely my comic relief. Most of the funny lines come from her. And YES! We do get more Mac. The spin-off is about her and another character from the first book. I’m already in love with it.
Were your characters inspired by anyone in real life?
Yes and no. But mostly yes! (My friends call me the “Taylor Swift of romance novels.” So, if we date, be nice to me. Otherwise, you’ll most likely be used as fodder!) One of my most recent breakups was used as inspiration for some of Tess’s trust issues. I’ve been in the dating game a loooong time. I have a whole lot of personal experiences to draw from.
Are you more a Mac or a Tess kind of girl?
Mostly Tess. But I wish I was as quick-witted as Mac.
On your website you have a list of 40 things to do before age 40. How is that list coming along and what inspired it?
I finished the list on the morning of my 40th birthday back in April. Just under the wire. The inspiration was that I felt really stressed about that particular birthday, so I thought it would be beneficial to do things that made look forward to it and prepare for it. And it ended up being a total blast. I tried so many cool things that I probably never would have, otherwise. At the birthday party my friends threw for me, they gave me a book with 40 MORE things to do in the next 40 years—all contributed by friends and family. Some of them are pretty major, like visit The Holy Land and eat every kind of Blizzard at Dairy Queen. I have a lot of work to do!
What task has been the hardest to do?
The one that I put off the longest was “run the stadium stairs.” I love to run but was waiting for the weather to get nice. Then time kind of ran out. The morning I set out to tackle that item, I couldn’t find a single high school track that was open. I drove around for 2 hours. I was about to jump the 15-foot fence at one school but since I was leaving town the next day, I didn’t want to miss my trip because I was in the slammer.
You’ve seen Star Wars, the Phantom Menace 16 times? How many times did you see the other five movies and which is your favorite?
The original trilogy was a staple at my house growing up. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen those three. Let’s just say…a lot. Attack of the Clones, I saw in the theater 3 times and Revenge of the Sith, I saw 5 times. I really like the new movies, but I’m a Hans Solo girl through and through. The Empire Strikes Back is easily my favorite Star Wars movie.
You love all things Hitchcock, will you ever write a horror/thriller?
I did write the first few chapters of a teenage slasher story, a la Scream. But I ended up with too many suspects and not enough plot. Even as the author, I didn’t trust anybody! For now, I think I’ll stick to romance.
What is your favorite karaoke song to sing?
Oh boy, now there’s a great question! Right now, my favorites are “Miss Odis Regrets” (Ella Fitzgerald) “Only Prettier” (Miranda Lambert) and, of course, “Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jepsen).
Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really. I prefer to have the dishes done and a clean email inbox before I start. I have another kind of writerly ritual, however. Right after I got the news that Entangled Publishing was going to buy my first novel, the song playing in my car was “Just My Luck” by the British band McFly. Now I play that every time I’m celebrating something exciting in my writing career.
You love cupcakes and chocolate in general. What is your favorite treat?
Oh, man. That’s a toughy. At the moment, my absolute favorite cupcake is chocolate ganache from this little local bakery called In the Mix. I want to weep just thinking about its utter deliciousness.
About Ophelia London
"Playing at Love," the first book in my Sweet Kisses series, will launch into the ebook universe on September 25, 2012 Its spin off, "Speaking of Love..." will land in January 2013.Both are part of Entangled Publishing's brand new Bliss imprint. Isn't that the cutest name?
My dreamy little debut print novel, "Abby Road," is slanted for a March 2013 release.
Until I find true love and/or become a famous pop star, I’ll keep writing about it.
I love great books, sweet treats, complicated sweaters, live music, looking at Adam Levine, and all things Hitchcock. I can dwell for hours over changing a comma to a semi-colon. Pretty shoes make me happy, as do pretty cupcakes and chocolate in general. I loathe writing query letters. It sometimes takes me a week to read a 250-page novel because I’ll read a sentence, smile, think about it, love it, then reread the entire page to relive the full effect. I dream about being at the beach practically every day but love being cozy at home most of all. I don’t deny that I’m not cool enough for Coldplay but a bit too cool for Mandy Moore—both are all over my iPod. I’ve attended 20+ shows at London’s West End, and I saw (in the theater, first run) "Star Wars, the Phantom Menace" 16 times. Most days you can find me wishing I was wearing a fabulous hat or singing karaoke in my car. I find Ryan Seacrest both fascinating and repulsive. I firmly believe that my conflicting personality makes me charming; as does my sarcasm
Learn more about Ophelia on her blog and facebook. Follow her on twitter @ophelia_london and Goodreads. Buy Playing at Love on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
In celebration of Playing at Love's release Ophelia is giving away a new iPod loaded with a playlist inspired by the book!
a Rafflecopter giveaway