I love Lisa Tucker. So much that I've officially added her to my ever-growing list of authors I'm in love with. She's the author of six novels. Her latest, The Winters in Bloom, is coming soon (more on that in a minute) and the just released fascinating and incredibly sweet short story, Agoraphobics in Love. Warning: Once you read this story, you're going to want to snatch up everything Tucker's ever written. (Trust me, I know!)
When I fall for an author, I have a million questions about them. So I'm beyond excited that Lisa Tucker has agreed to be my guest at Barnes and Noble to answer them. (Btw, I only asked ten, not a million!)
But first, here's a peek at her short story and novel.
Together for over a decade, Kyra and David Winter are happier than they ever thought they could be. They have a comfortable home, stable careers, and a young son, Michael, who they love more than anything. Yet because of their complicated histories, Kyra and David have always feared that this domestic bliss couldn’t last - that the life they created was destined to be disrupted. And on one perfectly ordinary summer day, it is: Michael disappears from his own backyard. The only question is whose past has finally caught up with them: David feels sure that Michael was taken by his troubled ex-wife, while Kyra believes the kidnapper must be someone from her estranged family, someone she betrayed years ago...
(Want to know more? I bet you do! Pre-order it asap!)
And now, without further adieu, here's my Q&A with Lisa Tucker:
Lisa Steinke: What is your favorite thing about your novel?
Lisa Tucker: Five-year-old Michael, the Winters’ son, is my favorite character. I always love the children in my books best; they bring such an honest perspective to the story. My favorite page is 262. I still can’t read it without choking up. In general, I would say The Winters in Bloom is my favorite of all the books I’ve written. I feel so grateful that these characters found me and trusted me with their secrets.
LS: What was your highest point while writing your book? Your lowest point?
LT: The highest point was the writing I did over the summer, when my son was home from grad school and reading the scenes as I completed them. The Winters in Bloom is his favorite book, too, and it felt so magical, having him be part of the process. The lowest point was early on, when I couldn’t get a handle on the structure. I had literally hundreds of files with the chapters arranged in different ways. When I finally figured that out, I knew I could write the rest of the novel.
LS: How did you come up with the title for your book?
LT: Initially, the book was called The House of Doubt, which came very directly from the first line of the novel. But as the story progressed, I felt House of Doubt didn’t really fit the optimistic book I was writing. Normally it takes me a long time to find a title, especially if my first one doesn’t work, but this time I was lucky. I woke up one morning knowing it had to be The Winters in Bloom.
LS: If you could see one celebrity reading your book, who would it be?
LT: Wow, that’s a tough question. I’m going to go with Kate Winslet, because I respect her enormously as an actress and for her volunteer work with autism. I also think she’d be perfect to play my main character, Kyra Winter. (Oddly, they even have the same initials!) This book has two strong parts for women in their thirties, as well as a part for a teenage girl and a part for an older woman in her sixties. I would love to see it made into a movie, but we’ll have to see what happens with my film agent.
LS: What is the last book you read? What is the next book you want to read?
LT: The last book I read was The Weird Sisters by the wonderful Eleanor Brown. Next up, I’m going to read A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.
LS: What's the best compliment you've received about your book?
LT: Having Pat Conroy read and endorse the novel was a dream come true. I have his words memorized: “Few contemporary novelists come close to understanding families in trouble with the insight and compassion of Lisa Tucker. The Winters in Bloom is one page turner you will not want to miss.”
LS: What's the one thing you cannot live without?
LT: My family of course, but since they’re not a “thing,” I guess I’ll have to go with my computer. Oh, how I love my laptop. I would take it to a desert island, though obviously I’d have some problems finding a place to plug it in.
LS: What is the oldest piece of clothing in your closet?
LT: A shirt I wore my first day at the University of Pennsylvania—almost thirty years ago! It’s just a polo shirt, but it was the most expensive thing I’d ever owned up until then, and I can’t seem to throw it out.
LS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
LT: I would be at the ocean. Doesn’t matter where, as long as I’m near the water.
LS: Are you working on another book? Any hints you can give us about it?
LT: I just published a short story, “Agoraphobics in Love,” which is about Emily and Jules, two lonely people who find each other through an online support group. “Agoraphobics in Love” is probably the only real love story I’ve ever written. I’m also working on a new novel, but I can’t talk about it yet. The story is at that fragile stage, where I’m afraid if I talk about it, it might disappear.
Thanks, Lisa! (Can't wait to find out about that next novel!)
To learn more about Lisa Tucker, visit her website.