I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time
Please welcome Amy Impellizzeri author of Lemongrass Hope.
Amy Impellizzeri will be awarding a signed copy of the book (US Only) and a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Don’t forget to use the rafflecopter code below to leave a comment for a chance to win.
by Amy Impellizzeri
1. What or who inspired you to start writing?
I can’t remember a time I did not write. Although my writing has certainly taken various forms over the years. (For 13+ years, I wrote nothing but legal documents, as a corporate litigator!) As a child, I kept the most detailed journals and diaries. And I’m sure my grandmother, Lois, was my first accidental inspiration for memorializing all those thoughts and dreams into a tidy place. At her core, she too was a writer and a dreamer. She passed away nearly 20 years ago, and I keep some of her writings in a folder to refer to when I need a little inspiration.
I came up with the idea for my first novel, Lemongrass Hope, after I took what was supposed to be a one year sabbatical from my 13-year corporate law gig. I had never wanted to be anything other than a lawyer, and so when I embarked on my sabbatical, it took me by surprise that I started to re-evaluate – for the first time – choices I had made and paths I had taken in my professional life. This second-guessing and re-evaluation must have had my subconscious working in overdrive, because while I did not leave the law to write a book, when an idea came to me about exploring second chances and roads not taken in the context of a unique love story, I decided to pursue it.
The novel that I am working on now – Secrets of Worry Dolls – has evolved over the years since finishing Lemongrass Hope, and incorporates more research than my previous novel. I definitely credit my legal training for my research skills! Secrets of Worry Dolls arises from my love of and fascination for Central America (part of the story takes place in Guatemala) … and also my love for a special gift I received as a child – a small box of worry dolls.
That I would tell you – if we met in person – “You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go DO them.”
And I would mean it.
While many readers try to read me into Kate from Lemongrass Hope, the truth is – I find myself most wanting to be like Ian. First, I am a hopeless romantic and sometimes tragic optimist. Second, if I had the chance to run away to Botswana to write and drink marula booze, I’d say: Sign me up! (After I found a babysitter and dogsitter, of course!)
Also – I’m crazy good at blackjack.
I’ve heard a lot of readers – especially at book clubs – try to cast the roles of Kate, Ian, and Rob.
Some intriguing recent suggestions have been:
Rob – Mark Ruffalo
Ian – Michael Fassbender
Kate – Keira Knightley or Katherine Waterston
There was a series of events that led to me finally submitting my debut novel to my current publisher.
A best-selling author had read an excerpt of my novel and agreed with my long-held hope that I had a “real book” and a “commercial book” on my hands which set the ball rolling. I also worked with New York Times best-selling author, Caroline Leavitt, who loved Lemongrass Hope and encouraged me greatly. Finally, a mentor and colleague of mine at the time – Beth Smith – former magazine editor of Hybrid Her, encouraged me to submit to Nancy Cleary at Wyatt-MacKenzie, an award-winning indie press that Beth knew well from her days in the publishing industry – and the rest is history!
The best advice I ever received was from a friend on the day of Lemongrass Hope’s release, who said: “from here on out, you refer to it as your FIRST book.”
The worst advice I ever received was from a potential agent who suggested I change the ending of Lemongrass Hope. I declined.
I need to know two things before I start writing in earnest: the ending and the working title.
I am not big on outlining. I spend my time getting my thoughts on paper and edit later. My current work in progress has some “notes” at the beginning of the document about where the story is heading – but frankly, I use them as very vague mile markers and I am flexible about shifting and changing the story as it evolves. I try to let the characters stay true to themselves while still surprising even me!
I love to travel, and so I do enjoy incorporating experiences in other towns, other countries, and other cultures into my writing. In Lemongrass Hope, I wrote about a cruise to the Bahamas, and I had in fact, been on a similar cruise while writing the book. In Secrets of Worry Dolls, I am writing about the very beautiful region of Central America. My fascination with the area stems in large part from time I spent in Costa Rica several summers ago, and I supplemented my experiences with a tremendous amount of research.
My current work-in-progress is entitled Secrets of Worry Dolls. It is a tale of sisters, mothers, complicated choices, and courageous love. Like Lemongrass Hope, it will weave some magical realism into the storyline, and will take place partly in the fascinating country of Guatemala – the place where the “Worry Dolls” legend is said to originate.
I had an aunt that brought me a small box of worry dolls when I was a child. You are supposed to whisper your worries to the small hand-made woven dolls, place them under your pillow, and allow them to “worry” for you so that you can sleep at night. Of course, dolls that hear so many worries would hold a lot of secrets, don’t you think?
Set in the past, and present, LEMONGRASS HOPE is a captivating and unpredictable love story, with a dose of magical realism and time travel. LEMONGRASS HOPE weaves together ordinary lives and events to tell an extraordinary tale of connection, loss, renewal, and of course, hope. As Kate Sutton’s decade-long marriage to Rob erodes and unravels, Kate fears that the secrets she guards from the world, including Rob’s emergency room proposal, and a whirlwind love affair from her past, have always doomed her fate. When Kate unwittingly receives a glimpse at what her life could have been had she made different choices all those years ago, it is indeed all she could have ever wanted. A confirmation of her greatest hope … and her greatest fears. Read the book hailed by New York Times Best-selling authors and reviewers, including Jacquelyn Mitchard, Oprah’s very first book club selection author.
Kate felt him before she saw him.
The rush of October air from the hastily opened door in the coffee shop blew a crumpled napkin containing her son Michael’s baby tooth out of his hand and made Kate shiver at the same time. With her back still to the door, Kate bent down to scoop up the shrouded tooth, eager to quiet Michael’s renewed tears and replace the napkin in his clumsy hands. But in doing so, she dropped her oversized handbag on the floor where it flayed open, all of its contents exposed grotesquely.
“Michael. It’s ok.” Kate stroked his hair and pulled Michael to her chest, his tears and bloody slobber streaking her sweater like some horror movie version of a water color design. Michael’s tooth remained balled up in her hand.
His first lost tooth.
The tears, the moment, the crouching hug. It all felt familiar somehow, and Kate’s shoulders shook again with a sense of déjà vu.
Next to her, Kate’s younger son, David, started playing with an elaborate display stand of coffee mugs for sale. When she turned to stop David, she found herself facing the man whose entrance had blown the napkin out of Michael’s hand and had set this confusion in motion.
Kate stared at him, waiting for him to notice her. See that it was her. And then –
“Kate.” He looked sad – defeated, she thought – as he said her name.
Or is that my imagination projecting on him?
After all, she felt disappointment that this messiness was how they happened upon each other now, after all this time.
“I wish -” He surveyed the scene in front of him.
Wish what, Ian? Because I wish too. I wish so many things.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Amy Impellizzeri is a reformed corporate litigator, former start-up executive, and best-selling author. In 2009, she left her 13-year litigation career to write and advocate for working women, later joining the executive team of the award-winning website, Hybrid Her (named by ForbesWoman as a “Top Website for Women” in 2010 and 2011). Through her work at Hybrid Her, and as Vice President, Community & Content, for its later re-brand, ShopFunder, Amy worked closely with hundreds of creative and inspiring entrepreneurs and fundraisers, writing and marketing their stories to new audiences.
In October 2014, Amy transitioned to full-time writer, with the publication of her first novel, Lemongrass Hope (Wyatt-MacKenzie 2014), which debuted as an Amazon best-seller (Romance/Fantasy and Romance/Time Travel). Oprah’s very first Book Club Selection author and New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author, Jacquelyn Mitchard, has called Lemongrass Hope a “fine and fresh thing – a truly new story.” Lemongrass Hope was featured by Library Journal and Foreword Reviews Magazine, and has been a favorite with Book Clubs and numerous Book Bloggers (including as the #1 favorite reviewed selection in 2014 by The Literary Connoisseur). Lemongrass Hope was recently selected as an INDIEFAB 2014 Book of the Year Finalist (Romance) by Foreword Reviews Magazine.
Amy’s first non-fiction book, Lawyer Interrupted (ABA Publishing 2015), is due out Summer 2015. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, ABA Law Practice Today, The Glass Hammer, Divine Caroline, Skirt! Magazine, among more.
Please connect with her by visiting her website: www.amyimpellizzeri.com …
or via Facebook, (https://www.facebook.com/ImpellizzeriAmy) …
or Twitter. (https://twitter.com/AmyImpellizzeri).
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Amy Impellizzeri will be awarding a signed copy of the book (US Only) and a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a signed copy of the book (US Only) and a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.