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What to do when your muse is a scrumptious feast?
When I decided to write a small town romance it occurred to me that I knew next to nothing about actually living in a small town. So, unlike a saying I’ve heard time and time again, I couldn’t “write what I knew”. Sure I could do my research, I love researching new places and things and creating something new from what I find. But even that idea felt a little distant for me. I decided to just relax and wait for the idea to come. A day passed. Two days, then three. And then I thought, maybe I should just write something else.
My husband and I have been married for twenty years. We have three children, six godchildren, dozens of extended family members, a huge church family, and two fish tanks with an unmentionable number of guppies. Needless to say, alone time is something we take when we can get and cherish like fine diamonds. So we pack the up the car and head to the Eastern Shore, to one of our favorite getaway spots, St. Michael’s, Maryland. After checking into our room we immediately head down to the docks where the ducks walk around proudly like distinguished citizens. We take a ride on the Patriot Tours cruise boat, exploring the Miles River for the billionth time, but it still feels like our first. That evening we head out to dinner, he orders because we always get the same thing. A short time later steamed shrimp, corn on the cob, buttered rolls, Maryland Crab Soup and steamed Maryland Blue Crabs are brought to our table. The aroma is heavenly and we cannot wait to dig in, but first we bow our heads to bless our food. And the moment I lift my head and open my eyes the idea is there. Staring me right in the face I can see my fictional small town as clear as I can see that dozen of scrumptious steamed crabs.
That evening when we arrive back at our room I sit up with my laptop typing out what would become the extensive outline for a town called Sweetland, Maryland. I knew that at the heart of this town would be its rich history and traditions, its loyalty to the land and to family. A few months later I had written HOMECOMING. Two weeks later I read the story again before turning it in to my editor and I remember thinking, “Life should really be this sweet.” And thus the town’s motto was conceived.
Blurb: Dr. Quinn Cantrell made a life for himself in Seattle when he left behind his picturesque hometown—and the unhappy memories of a relationship that ended tragically. His grandmother’s death is an unexpected blow, but there are even more surprises waiting—including a mischievous puppy, a reunion with his far-flung siblings, and an old acquaintance who’s grown into a gorgeous and capable woman. HOMECOMING (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; 4/30/13) is the first in Lacey Baker’s Sweetland series, which stars six adorable Labrador Retriever puppies and the siblings who’ve inherited them. Between housebreaking the pups, trying not to add fuel to the town’s gossip mill, and figuring out what to do with their grandmother’s B&B, the last thing the siblings are looking for is love.
Please tell us a little bit about your current projects? I’m working on book#3 of the Sweetland series and thinking of ideas for the follow up books. Creating a small town takes tones of planning but I’m having a great time!
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer? Wow, I don’t think I “knew”. It was more like “this might just work”. I’d written several short stories and plays but kept them secret for a while. Finally I got up the nerve to show a co-worker and my husband and they both loved my work. Now of course I figured hubby was just trying not to hurt my feelings but my co-worker began bugging me every day for the next chapter so I figured maybe I might be on to something.
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day? My very first editor told me to “let go and write”. She always advised that I go with my gut and write what I felt and to let her handle the job of editing. I catch myself every now and then self-editing while I write. It really slows me down, that’s when I can hear her voice in my head and I stop. I write the story and let the editing happen later.
Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you? The perfect hero in both scenarios is 50% arrogance and 50% compassion. I like for a hero to be confident in who they are and willing to let the heroine be who she is and if she has a problem figuring it out, well, he’s right there to help her along.
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections? I collect salt and pepper shakers. Just picked up the cutest pair of eggs with bright yellow feet!
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why? Italy. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy to try some real pizza and of course to see the beautiful country. For now just thinking of the length of the plane ride makes me nervous, but if I could be whisked away–meaning I close my eyes and when I re-open them I’m there–then I’m all for it.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes? Nope, I am very picky so I don’t try too many things that aren’t already on my personal menu. However, for dishes that I already know I enjoy I will sometimes try different recipes.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without? a computer
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”? I just had one last week! Hubby and I went to the movies to see Olympus Has Fallen, then we went to a restaurant and ate steamed crabs. After twenty years of marriage and three kids, that’s super romantic!
How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you? I think I’m an introvert who likes things a certain way. My family would say I’m anti-social and obsessive. That’s why I don’t allow them to do interviews.
What is your favorite comfort food? Junior Mints
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it? Fall, because its not too hot and not too cold
Lacey Baker is one of the luckiest women alive. Why? Because she gets to live out her life’s dream of writing emotionally fulfilling stories about relationships. A Maryland native she lives with her husband and three children in what most would call Suburban America, a townhouse development where everybody knows each other and each other’s kids. Family cook-outs, reunion vacations and growing up in church have all inspired Lacey to work towards her dreams and to write about the endurance of family.
For Lacey the writing bug bit early, when she was a sophomore in high school. From that point on she’s been writing stories that depict the power of love and the spirit of living. A homebody at heart Lacey enjoys watching old movies and waking up to a nice hot cup of green tea.
The Sweetland Series has a special place in Lacey’s heart because it centers around a Chesapeake Bay community where crab season is the best time of the year and hometown roots are tradition. Two things Lacey believes in wholeheartedly!
Check out her Webpage –http://www.laceybakerbooks.com/
Follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/LaceyBooks