Jill Shalvis is the author of the new novel The Lemon Sisters. Her many other books include Lost and Found Sisters and Rainy Day Friends. She lives in the Sierras.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Lemon Sisters?
A: What appealed to me about writing this story was the life swap. The wild adventurous sister taking over what she thinks is her staid, boring sister’s life. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.
I raised three girls and also love the idea of complicated sister relationships, although I’m not sure my daughters would want to try swapping lives, given how different they all are from each other!
Q: You've written other books about the town of Wildstone. How connected are the novels to one another?
A: They’re connected only by setting, so readers can feel free to read in any order. I set the books in Wildstone, a fictional town on the mid California coast, which means it’s got beaches, but also ranches and wineries. In real life, that area is one of my very favorite places, so it’s a happy writing spot for me.
Q: Do you usually know how your novels will end, or do you make changes along the way?
A: I always THINK I know how the story is going to end. I’m a plotter. I have a outline, a road map, so to speak. However, as I do in real life, I get lost a lot. So let’s just say my synopsis doesn’t always match the end product.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?
A: The Lemon Sisters isn’t just a story of second chances. It’s also a story of trust and loyalty and unconditional love (um, twice over actually), which can be found in the most unexpected of places. This story is near and dear to my heart. Hope you all get a chance to read it!
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m putting the finishing touches on Wrapped Up In You, which comes out in September. I’ve got a misplaced small town sheriff/rancher who finds himself in San Francisco, and a woman who runs her own taco truck. Their worlds collide in the most unusual of ways. Magic happens. Stay tuned…
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: This job is both the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding fun. I mean, what other job can you go to work in your bunny slippers and get paid to make things up? I feel so grateful every single day for the readers, so I’d like them to know I love them!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb