Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Cat!
Thank you so much for having me, Kathleen. I'm a chick lit writer from Montreal, Canada and I have three published novels: Breaking the Rules, Zoey & the Moment of Zen, and Peri in Progress. When I'm not reading or writing, I love watching TV and posting silly pictures of my cat, Abbie, on Instagram.
How long have you been a writer?
My first novel was published in 2012, but I've wanted to be an author ever since I discovered books and learned how to write.
Do you have a day job, or is being an author your career?
I work for an insurance company as a health claims analyst, but I hope I'll be able to write full-time someday.
What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer.
I read a lot as a child and started writing (really bad) poetry and short stories when I was a teenager. It wasn't until I was in my early twenties that I decided it was time to sit down and write a book. (Thankfully, it never saw the light of day.) For many years after that, I worked on-and-off on a story that would eventually become my debut novel, Breaking the Rules.
Please give a brief description/storyline about Peri in Progress.
Peri in Progress is about a woman who decides to shake things up in her life, but things don't go according to plan. She ends up working for her best friend's brother—a sexy chef who is completely off-limits. Sparks fly and Peri's life gets a lot more complicated.
What was the inspiration for this story?
I love stories about people reinventing themselves and the idea for Peri in Progress came to me a few years ago after I made (yet another) New Year's resolution to be healthier.
How did it feel to have your first book published?
It was a dream come true! I think I celebrated for about a week. The publication of Breaking the Rules also gave me the confidence to keep going and write more books.
Do you write books for a specific genre?
I write Chick Lit.
What genres are your favorite(s)? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why?
I'm a huge Chick Lit fan, but I also enjoy women's fiction as well as mysteries and thrillers. Two of my favorite books are The Other Side Of The Story by Marian Keyes and Confessions Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. Both novels are funny and have characters you think about long after you've finished reading.
Do you have a special spot/area where you like to do your writing?
I have a small writing nook in the middle of my apartment—it's nestled between the living room and kitchen and has a perfect view of the television. (Not always a good thing, but I can't write without a bit of background noise.)
How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books?
I'm inspired by many things—from a TV show or song I like to a conversation I happen to overhear on the subway or bus or something that happened to me. Sometimes I just let my imagination go into overdrive and start asking a lot of questions—what if this happened or what if that happened?
When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?
I wish I could adhere to a strict schedule, but with a hectic day job and other obligations, it's not always possible. However, I try to devote most of my lunch breaks and weekends to my work in progress.
What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?
I love writing dialogue—I'll often stare into space as imaginary people have conversations in my head. (It can get a bit weird.) Backstory is something I struggle with—I want to give enough information so the reader feels like they know the character, but I don't want to slow down the story too much. Striking a good balance can sometimes be difficult.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?
If I'm not writing, I'm most likely watching television or reading.
What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?
Keep writing! It took me a while to realize that is really is the answer to most writing-related woes.
What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?
When someone reaches out and says they've enjoyed one of my books. It's the best feeling in the world to know that a reader connected with one of my characters or my book made them laugh.
How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?
I have a newsletter that I've started sending out on a monthly basis. I also love interacting with readers on Facebook and Twitter.
Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination?
Most of it is purely from my imagination. The idea for my second novel, Zoey & The Moment Of Zen, where a woman is sent to a resort to get over an ex-boyfriend, came to me when I went on a trip to Mexico after a bad breakup—but none of Zoey's experiences are based on my own. (Thank goodness!)
What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer?
There are many… but Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes are at the top of the list.
What is your definition of success as a writer?
Writing novels that connect with readers and having fun in the process.
Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us?
I'm currently working on my fourth chick lit novel. It's still in the very early stages so I can't reveal many details, but it's going to take place in the fictional town of Messina, CT where my two previous novels were set.
Thank you Cat for visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews, and sharing with us a bit about yourself and your writing career!
About The Author
If Cat isn't reading or writing, she's most likely watching too much TV or daydreaming about her next trip to London.
Author Amazon Page
Peri In Progress by Cat Lavoie
Publisher: Marching Ink, LLC
Publication Date: October 28, 2015
Format: eBook - 206 pages
Kindle - 567 KB
Nook - 339 KB
Genre: Chick Lit
Buy The Book:
Amazon - CA
Amazon - US
Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
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?
My Book Review:
If you are looking to read a thoroughly enjoyable chick lit tale on a cold winter's day, then look no further, Peri In Progress by author Cat Lavoie is the book for you!
When Peri McKenna turns thirty-one, she realizes that it is time to take control and make some changes in her life, a time for a new and improved Peri! Seriously, who hasn't wanted a do over at some point in their life! So Peri makes a list of changes she wants to make: eat healthier and cut out junk food, get more exercise, make repairs to her crumbling home, and have a mature romantic relationship. But with changes comes obstacles and stumbles along the way: her clandestine relationship with co-worker Declan Perry causes problems at work, she still craves junk food, and oh yeah ... she develops a crush on her best friend Elsa's older brother, chef Milo Preston. So what's a girl to do when she is a work in progress?
Oh my goodness! Author Cat Lavoie sure does know how to weave a delightful chick lit tale that easily keeps the reader engaged and in stitches. Set in Messina, Connecticut and told in the first person narrative, Peri McKenna takes the reader along for the ride as she embarks on a journey of personal self-transformation. There is something about Peri that is so relatable, she is sassy and determined to make the necessary life changes, you can't help but cheer her on. This is a lighthearted fun story that has a nice amount of wit and humor while describing Peri's personal journey, her awesome relationship with best friend Elsa, and an unexpected but complicated romance that will put a smile on the reader's face.
Peri In Progress is a poignant and entertaining story, it is a wonderful example of a chick lit tale at its very best!
RATING: 5 STARS
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