Cat Lavoie: I love stories where characters decide to reinvent themselves. Most of the time, real life gets in the way of the big plans you make for yourself—it certainly does in Peri’s case. I was inspired by the frantic energy that comes with wanting to be a better version of yourself… and how hard it can be to maintain that initial enthusiasm. I might have a lot of experience on that front!
CTW: There are a lot of yummy dishes discussed in this book, how did you decide what foods to feature?
CL: I'd love to say I did a lot of hands-on research at fancy restaurants (how awesome would that be!) but lack of time and funds meant I had to rely on Pinterest and my own foodie wish-list for inspiration.
CTW: Peri has a serious junk food addiction, what is one food you wish you could quit but just can't?
CL: Peri and I have something is common… My weakness is also potato chips. I've tried to quit cold turkey, but it's a battle I keep on losing. Why must they be so delicious?
CTW: Peri's professional life is in a little bit of trouble in this book--what's the toughest job you've ever had?
CL: Maybe not tough, but definitely tedious…
I know it’s going to seem odd, but working in a library turned out to be the most boring job I’ve ever had. I’d just graduated from University and I thought I’d found my dream job. But I ended up stuck in the basement (far away from the books) where I had to go through every magazine and newspaper lent out to users and keep a log of any damage (small tear on page 3, page 10 is missing…) And then I’d have to do it all again when the person gave it back to make sure they hadn’t added any extra damage. I can laugh at it now but, at the time, I thought I was going to literally die from boredom.
CTW: Milo is a super sexy and dreamy chef, what real-life celebrity chef is your favorite?
CL: My first celebrity chef crush was Jamie Oliver, and I still have a soft spot for him. Eating at one of his London restaurants is definitely on my bucket list.
CTW: What is your favorite thing about Milo?
CL: His confidence. I'm not a naturally confident person, so I loved writing for a character who doesn't seem to second-guess himself and who has complete faith in his abilities.
CTW: If you could travel the world with any of your characters from any of your books, who would you pick and where would you travel?
CL: That's a really tough question—it's like choosing a favorite child! But I think I'd pick Roxy from Breaking the Rules because I'm sure we'd have a great time eating our way through Paris. I have a feeling she'd be a fabulous tour guide and she’d take me to some pretty awesome bakeries!
CTW: If you could spend one day living in any fictional book, which one would you want to live in and what character would you like to be?
CL: I'd love to spend a day in Bridget Jones' London… and be Bridget Jones, of course! Only the first book, though. (I'm not a fan of what happens in the most recent sequel.)
CTW: What is the best lesson you have learned so far as an author?
CL: I feel like I learn something new every day. But the best lesson I've learned so far is that every writer is on his or her own journey and it's completely useless to compare yourself to someone else. It's a lesson that's easily forgotten, though—and I have to keep reminding myself of it when it feels like all the good stuff is happening to other authors. I think it's a good life lesson too—not just one for writers.
CTW: What can readers expect from you next on your writing adventure?
CL: I don’t think I'm ready to leave the fictional town of Messina behind just yet. My holiday novella, Nine Ladies Dancing, is going to be part of All I Want For Christmas, a Marching Ink collection being released later this month. Some familiar faces and places from Peri in Progress make an appearance.
Also, I'm in the very early stages of planning/outlining my fourth novel—which will also take place in Messina. I'm having a lot of fun getting to know these new characters.
About the Book
You know what they say about best-laid plans…
After a disastrous thirty-first birthday party where she gets stood-up by a man she isn’t supposed to be dating, Peri McKenna decides it’s time to change what hasn’t been working—which is pretty much everything. Her love life is going nowhere fast, she’s bored to tears by a job that makes her the office pariah, and the lifelong junk food addiction that used to be somewhat quirky is now positively problematic. To top it all off, her newly-purchased home is falling apart and wishful thinking hasn’t done much to fix the leaky roof.
It’s time be an adult now that she’s officially ‘thirty-something.’
But when the first step of Peri’s self-improvement plan backfires, she starts to wonder if change might be overrated.
Enter Milo Preston, an up-and-coming chef who’s in town to take over a local restaurant. When Peri and Milo begin working together, she finds it hard to ignore his easy charm and captivating emerald-green eyes. Since Milo is her best friend’s estranged brother, Peri has to keep reminding herself that he is completely off-limits. As they grow closer, Milo introduces Peri to new foods, the joy (and pain) of jogging, and makes her think her luck might finally be turning.
But when the past catches up with them, Peri finds herself back at square one. Will she be able to sort herself out—or will the roof cave in on her once and for all?
Cat Lavoie lives in Montreal, Canada with her tempestuous cat, Abbie. She is the author of Breaking the Rules, Zoey & the Moment of Zen, and Peri in Progress.
If Cat isn’t reading or writing, she’s most likely watching too much TV or daydreaming about her next trip to London.
To find out more about Cat and her books, please visit www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.
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