Intimate Conversation with LaQuette
A native of Brooklyn, New York, LaQuette spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator. Writing--her escape from everyday madness--has always been a friend and comforter. She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she'd forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic.
She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. Contact her on Facebook, Twitter, her website, Amazon, and her Facebook group, LaQuette's Lounge.
BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
I have been very fortunate in that my entire life I've been surrounded by an incredible inner-circle that has always told me, "Yes, you can do that." I'm living proof that when a child grows up hearing that sort of unconditional support that it plants a positive seed that grows and thrives. My late grandparents, my mother, my siblings, my husband, close friends, all of them believe in me so fiercely that if ever I doubt myself, I just draw from their stores of belief and it carries me over until I can run on my own steam again.
BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
I don't specifically write my work for anyone on population or gender. I write for every reader. I want anyone who decides to pick up a book written by LaQuette to feel as if there is something they can connect to in the text. I write in several sub-genres of romance for that very reason, diversity is something I strive to include in my work. I assume anyone in any profession can be a role model, but as a parent my goal is not to have outside influences impact my children in a more meaningful way than I do. That being said, although I am extremely proud of the work I've done as an author, I don't sit down with the goal of creating something that's worthy of a role model. I just want to create the best story I can every time I place my hands on my laptop keys.
BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
Divided Heart is the second book in my Queens of Kings series published on Hot Ink Press and it's due to for release on February 22nd. When I sat down to create the original book, Heart of the Matter, I always knew that I couldn't fit enough about those characters in one book. It was always planned as a series that would allow the reader to take a journey with these characters, Heart and Kenneth Searlington, during the varying stages of their romance.
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Getting to explore live beyond the "The End" in the first book. I wanted to know what happened when the warm and fuzziness of knew love wore off and real life began to seep into their love affair. How would these two very non-tradition characters react to being a a very traditional setting.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
My plot bunnies usually form out a question. I might be going about my day and see something my mind finds interesting or maybe I'm listening to a song on the radio, whatever it is, something just stimulates my mind to ask the question, "I wonder what would happen if.,.." And then my mind just keeps going until it's worked out some rudimentary scenario that I can use as my first etchings of a story.
My stories are always character driven. I have ideas about major events in the plot and how to connect those points in a linear fashion, but ultimately if my character doesn't want to head in the same direction as the plot, I always follow the character and plot around the characters' development.
BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
Divided Heart finds Heart and Kenneth Searlington two years after they've been married. The reader gets to see how their relationship has evolved and how their interaction with one another has evolved...if it has evolved. The first book was all about them getting to know each other and watching them fall in love. Well, they're already in love when this book begins, so we get to see how that love stands up to some very difficult real-life issues like balance home and work, and figuring out how to go from existing as a single entity to adopting a couple's mentality.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
Heart Searlington is a female police captain in the NYPD. Before meeting her husband she dedicated every waking breath to her career and because of that it has paid off in her making leaps and bounds up the administrative ladder in her organization. She tough, she's smart, and she's extremely compassionate to the people and the community that she serves.
Her major flaw is that although she sees redemption in others, she very rarely affords herself the same opportunity.
Kenneth is a cocky business mogul who takes immense pleasure in taking care of his knew bride. He is always willing to give to her and help her through her emotional hurdles, but he never figures out how to care for his own emotional needs at the same time.
These two are an amazing pair, but they're so complicated, and more hardheaded than my two and four year-olds. Makes for interesting reading, but very frustrating experiences for the author and the characters.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.
My books always feature women of color in very strong and positive roles. My characters are not perfect, they're very flawed, beautifully so, but they are always placed in more mainstream situations with respect to their livelihoods, their education, and their lifestyles. This is purposely so. In literature and film, women of color are often marginalized in their ability to portray these kinds of positive characters, so I feel my books provide an opportunity to change that.
BPM: How does your book relate to your present journey?
Many of my female leads share a similar educational background, meaning they've complete college and graduate school as have I. However, that's pretty much where the similarities end. I'm as strong as my characters, but I display it in different ways than my they do, less dramatic ways.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Lack of communication ruins everything.
BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
When I decided I wanted to write a story about a female detective, I knew I needed to understand what life as an NYPD detective would look like. I contacted a friend of mine whose husband had retired from a more than twenty-year career as a narcotics detective in NYPD. I visited with the two of them, and let him just tell me what a real cop's life looked like and I modeled Heart MacKenzie-Searlington after that. I also showed a little bit of my friend's husband's personality in the story by creating a character that kind of mimicked some of his more outrageous qualities. That character's name is Big Willie, and he's such an amazing character that he appears in both Heart of the Matter and Divided Heart.
BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goal in this book was to depict how love, real love changes throughout the evolution of a relationship. It doesn't stay the same, it has to either grow and adapt as time moves forward or it dies and gets left behind. I think I accomplished that.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I am beginning to storyboard for my next book. I'm not exactly sure what the major points or people are yet, but sooner or later it will flesh itself out. I have so many people in my head fighting to tell their story, eventually one of them will scream loud enough so that I can hear them clearly above the rest.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I'm on Amazon exclusively, so if you want to find my work, that's a great place to start. They can also check out my Facebook Author Page which has links to both my Amazon page as well as my blog. I'm also on Twitter. Drop me a line and say hi, I respond, I love chatting with my readers about the hardheaded folks in my books.
Connect with LaQuette, Romance Author
Purchase Divided Heart: Queens of Kings by LaQuette
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance; Adult Content 18+
Buy Link: Smarturl.it/DividedHeart