Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Q&A with Lindsay Lovise




Lindsay Lovise is the author of the new novel Never Blow a Kiss. She lives in New York.


Q: What inspired you to write Never Blow a Kiss, and how did you create your characters Emily and Zach?


A: One day I was in the shower (where all the best ideas pop into existence) and wondered how many incredible women’s stories have been lost to time.


I thought, what if there was a secret society of women who were actively doing dangerous jobs, like spying and changing the world for the better, but we never heard of them? Voilà! The Secret Society of Governess Spies was born.


I’d written a decent amount of romance by that time, but never a historical romance even though I loved to read them. Never Blow a Kiss was my first historical romance.


I created Emily with the idea of developing a character with a less-than-pristine past, and that is how her Big Secret was born.


Emily works for the Secret Society of Governess Spies, which is run by a mysterious woman known only as the Dove. The governesses spy on the ton and deliver the information to the police to help hold the upper classes accountable for their crimes.


I wanted Zach to be one of those policemen, and I wanted him to be open to investigating the ton by coming from the lower class, but also wealthy enough to navigate threats from the nobility. My goal was to make him kind, intelligent, and honorable.


Q: How did you research the novel, and did you learn anything that especially surprised you?


A: I did a lot of research online. I learned about the formation of the Metropolitan Police, the railroad, Victorian turns of phrase, women’s clothing, men’s clothing, and Victorian lifestyle and fashions.

The hardest thing for me was getting the proper address correct. It can be confusing when it comes to sons and daughters and brothers and dowagers of different ranks. I had Mrs. Hill written as Lady Hill all the way to copyedits before I realized she needed to be a Mrs. 


Q: Did you know how the story would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I am what the writing community calls a “plantser,” which is a cross between a “pantser”—someone who writes by the seat of their pants, and a “plotter”—someone who plots out the entire book. For the most part, I do not know how a book is going to end. Half the fun of writing for me is finding out what’s going to happen!


That being said, I often reach a point (usually around the 30k mark) where I do a rough bullet-point outline to make sure the plot is moving along. I definitely go back and make changes when I’m finished.


Some books just come easier than others. One book I had to re-write 90 percent of it—multiple times—before I got it right, while others come out fairly similar to the end product.


Q: You’ve written this historical romance novel and have a contemporary romance novel coming out this year--do you have a preference?


A: I’m so excited about that! It’s an absolute dream for me to publish this historical romance series with Forever (Never Gamble Your Heart is coming out in 2025, and Never Tease a Viscount is publishing in 2026), but I’m also thrilled to be publishing something totally different with Alcove.


The book with Alcove is tentatively titled A Wicked Touch, and it’s a witchy contemporary romance that takes place in a Maine apple orchard. I’m originally from Maine, so it was fun to try to capture the vibes of a place I know so well. That will be in bookstores in the fall of 2024.


The books are like my children in the sense that although they are very different, I love them equally.  


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’ve been working on the third book in the Secret Society of Governess Spies series, Never Tease a Viscount.  I’m also working on something totally different: a creepy YA book that has been pretty fun to write so far.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: If you go to my website at www.lindsaylovise.com and sign up for Lovise Letters—which is my newsletter—you’ll be the first to see cover reveals and receive special news and bonus content!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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