I’m hella excited for this week’s interview because her debut novel Must Love Silence was one of my 2020 faves (seriously, pick up a copy if you haven’t read it yet). We’re talking turkeys, mantras, and a doggy bakery that sounds like the perfect start to a romance novel.
Lucy Bexley is a Lesbian and Queer Romance author. Her books such as Must Love Silence and Just My Type combine humor and characters with real struggles who aren’t bound by them. Lucy has a deep love for Lesfic, MarioKart, The West Wing, and bad jokes. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her wife, dog, and two cats. The people in Boston are nicer than you’d expect but the gang of turkeys that live on her block are much meaner.
Speed Dating Round
Let’s jump straight in with some easy questions.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Book you’re reading right now? Plain Bad Heroines and Honey Girl
Book you’re looking forward to reading? With Teeth by Kristen Arnett
Favorite color? lately, it’s been pink–an answer I never thought I’d give!
Favorite movie? You’ve Got Mail
Favorite actress? Sandra Bullock
A joke? I always go my podiatrist for advice
He’s very sole-ful
Last thing you ate/drank? Coffee though I really need to have some water because it’s noon.
Favorite thing to cook? I actually don’t like to cook at all! We recently got a pasta attachment for our mixer and that’s fun
Word you can never spell right? rhythm
Favorite season? Fall, I run very warm so summer is torture for me
A bucket list travel destination? The Galapagos Islands
Would you rather be cold or hot? COLD
TV show you’re bingeing right now? The West Wing (again)
One feature you want in your dream house? Clawfoot bathtub
Favorite beverage? grapefruit seltzer water
One random thing about you? part of my jaw is cadaver bone because I had to have an emergency surgery a few years ago.
The one app you always end up opening? Twitter
A nostalgic TV show? FRIENDS, my sister and I always watched this together.
Best decade? I will let you know
Favorite romance trope? Forced proximity, especially snowed in
Playstation, Xbox, Switch, or PC? Switch
PC or Mac? Mac
Horoscope? Sagittarius but Scorpio (my rising) is also a close match
Your favorite pairing? I like those muppet critics, Statler and Waldorf
The Tea and Biscuits Round
Let’s settle in with a cup of tea (coffee, whatever you like to drink), pull up a comfy sofa and talk about books and writing.
Tell me about your favorite place to write? (if you’d like to include a photo make sure you have the rights to it if it’s a public place and attach it to the email you send through to me).
Because I started writing in earnest in early 2020 I’ve pretty much only written in my apartment. If I need to focus/am on deadline I write at my desk with my phone across the room to limit distractions.
What is your writing software and hardware of choice for each phase of writing (Planning, writing, editing, formatting, etc). PC? Laptop? Phone? Mac? Windows? Scrivener? Word? Google Docs? And why do you love it?
I’m kind of a goldilocks, meaning that I’m always searching for the perfect fit. For my first novel, I wrote in so many places (notebook, phone app, 4thewords, scrivener, word, google docs, the backs of random envelopes lost to the winds of time/recycled by my wife) and it was an actual nightmare. Entire scenes were lost. I wrote my most recent book on Google Docs (and in my notes app, notebooks, and scraps of paper–I’m not perfect).
I write a lot on my Macbook Air or if it’s late at night and an idea wakes me up then on my phone, but if I really need to focus I connect a keyboard to my iPad. I don’t have anything set up or logged in on my iPad besides Google Docs (no texts come through and I’m not logged into any social media). I’ve really been enjoying writing this way lately because there are fewer distractions plus I love my keyboard.
When you start a new project, what’s the very first thing you do?
I usually start with a bit of dialogue or scribbling down the idea in a notebook. Then I send a frantic DM to Bryce Oakley with the idea.
How do you get to know your characters?
For me, the best way to know characters is to write them, the more I write the better I know them, then I go back to the start and revise now that the character is better realized. I also daydream a lot about what my characters would do or say in different situations. One thing that happens is I change character’s names as I get to know them better.
Do you prefer to plot or see where things take you?
I do a little of both. I have a loose outline and I try to go into a chapter knowing the goal or the big movement. But I’m pretty flexible and I like to see where things take me. Usually, I come up with something better/funnier/more authentic than my first idea.
Do you like listening to music when you write? If so, do you have a playlist you’d like to share (include a link), or an artist you’d like to mention?
Nope, I like silence for the most part. Sometimes I wear earplugs with noise-canceling headphones (I know everyone is SHOCKED by this).
I do like to create playlists for my books and characters and I listen to those while I’m doing other things like doing dishes or cleaning my apartment. Taylor Swift features pretty regularly on those and I link them all on my website.
What’s your number one piece of writing advice?
Come up with a mantra that works for you. A mantra can set you free from that place you’re stuck in. One of mine is “don’t be so precious about it”.
What was your writing process start to end for your most recent release?
This last one was a little different because it was part of a series I wrote with Bryce Oakley and Stephanie Shea. We wrote about three best friends and each novella has a different author where we tell one of the friends’ love story.
So that started out with the idea and brainstorming in our DM group. Then a call where Steph shared an INCREDIBLY organized doc for character summaries, which I now aspire to. From there we planned a joint timeline and wrote down joint events in a spreadsheet. We also read each other’s chapters to give feedback, tweak dialogue, and make things consistent. Also, to support and encourage each other.
Usually, I have an idea and I write a snippet and a summary. For me it often starters with one good line or in my next book, a title. Then I do a basic outline. Then I start writing. I try to write in order but I’m always writing the epilogue. I love knowing where my characters ultimately end up. When I’m writing I write all the time. Pretty much every night for a few hours but also conversations and scenes throughout the day on my phone or in my work notebook.
Somewhere in there, I have a crisis of faith and that’s when I start sharing chapters for feedback. I also have calls or text convos in there with my editor, because she is the nicest human in the world Amanda Elle Edits (@elle_edits). During this tumultuous time, my friends also reassure me a lot.
Once I finish a draft and revise I send it to my editor to read and also highlight any concerns I have for a few writer friends.
I will say every book has been different! I also think novels are different than novellas. For my first novel, I drafted it and then completely rewrote it. And then edited. That was all before I really showed it to anyone.
What do you love about the genre you write in?
I love the guaranteed HEA or HFN in romance. But I also love writing character growth. I love seeing people try to be their best selves, even when it’s hard.
If you’ve got any Writing Interns (AKA pets) you’d like to share with us, tell us all about them here (attach any photos to the email):
Abigail, we used to call her Abby but now that’s she’s a mature lady I call her Gail. My wife adopted the cats a few years before I met her from a shelter in New York. They’re sisters. When we met Abigail DID NOT like me. She used to sit on top of a very tall armoire and then dive-bomb onto me right as I was falling asleep. But now she cries and I carry her around like a little baby.
Her sister Lily is the sweetest cat. She’s 13 but has a major Peter Pan thing going on. She’s constantly chasing her own tail and getting dizzy. Right now she’s trying to climb onto the keyboard as I type.
We adopted our pit bull mix, Copley, from a shelter about 8 years ago. She was absolutely wild when we got her but great in the house and very sweet. She probably has the best dog life for a city dog. We live right by a golf course that’s all rolling hills and surrounded by woods, so every morning she gets to run off-leash for about an hour. On Saturday mornings she walks me directly to her favorite store in town called Polkadog bakery where she then guilts me into buying her treats.
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