Today I'm welcoming another new to me author who is talking about her new novel and debut in her The Maryland Shores series, Letting Go: The Maryland Shores.
Enjoy the interview!
What must you let go to find true love?
When Maren Mitchell lost her husband, she felt adrift in choppy waters. She adjusts course as she's not one to ever act quickly. The handsome, decisive surgeon Steve Kramer devoted decades to advancing his medical career, but his personal life sailed past him...until Maren corners his curiosity. He encourages her to become a co-worker, but will she become more?
Lauren Hi Welcome to The Reading Frenzy. Tell my readers a bit about your debut novel Letting Go.
Letting Go is a women’s fiction/contemporary romance novel set in the DC/Maryland area, and in particular, along the Chesapeake Bay region. When Maren, the heroine, lost her husband in a violent car crash, she lost her anchor of sorts in life and battles anxiety about all things medical, combined with living in a particularly tense time in our nation’s and the region’s history.
When her son becomes ill, she meets a compassionate surgeon, Steve, at the same hospital she’s just been offered a job. She has to decide how/when to move forward. Steve is different from any man she’s know with a mix of the lovable and annoying as would be in most relationships.
Without spoilers here, the novel features their lives, families, and strengths used to overcome weaknesses, as they navigate their individual differences…and yes, navigate the Chesapeake, spending days…and a few nights aboard Steve’s boat.
Readers will likely enjoy the nautical theme throughout, the strength of the characters, and often some humor regarding motherhood, men and even a familiar football rivalry on the east coast.
I said debut novel and this is your first foray into fiction but you’re a non-fiction writer from way back. So why the switch from non-fiction to fiction?
My non-fiction books (under another professional name) parallel my work as a therapist so they deal with serious events such as separation, divorce, anger, and passive-aggressive behavior.
I’d taken some time away from the keyboard to finish graduate school and begin that second career in life, but had always had the goal to return to writing. As a good friend put it, maybe I’d spent enough time away from the keyboard and gained so much life experience, that I could tackle fiction, which had always been a creative stretch and goal for me. In 2013, it was just time to do it!
The title says Book One of The Maryland Shores. How many books do you plan?
How will they be related?
Minor characters in Book One will become major characters in subsequent books.
Thus, some of the characters return providing the opportunity to develop minor characters in greater detail and with a sense of humor as well. Of course, I’ll introduce new characters as additional families are created and people deal with complications in their lives. It’s my goal to write perhaps two more in the series.
The novel is set in the recent past. Why did you choose this time? Will the other novel(s) be set in this time frame too?
I wanted to write a fairly modern novel, and when looking for the backdrop or timeframe that would lend itself to internal anxiety, I chose the year following 9/11 terrorist attacks. People were very much on edge in the DC/Maryland region during this time.
The second book will begin at some point in 2003, and as for the third, I’m not quite sure, but it will follow along the lives of the characters in the first two.
So now that you’ve penned your first novel do you have a preference in either writing fiction or non-fiction?
Generally, I just love books. I’ve seen where self-help books can be hugely beneficial, especially when combined with therapy or couples/family counseling in many cases, and for lifelong learning non-fiction is fantastic.
When your mind needs a distraction and entry into another world, fiction often can fill that void. A good story takes you away for a little while, and I honestly hope that I can model and teach a few things perhaps with the forum of fiction, creatively weaving in those elements. I like both novel writing and non-fiction, and sure plan to write more of each.
I’m especially interested in hearing from readers how the characters resonate for them. They can reach me through this email address or through my Facebook page, messaging me.
Lauren thank you so much for stopping by and telling my readers about you and your new novel. Good Luck! Will there be any author/signing events where people can meet you in person
I do have a book signing scheduled May 17th in Easton, Maryland, and hopefully more as the season progresses. I look forward to doing festivals and events as time allows. There is a reading guide in the back for book clubs if featuring Letting Go: The Maryland Shores.
The best way to keep tabs — both for this novel and for travel to the Chesapeake area — would be to check out the posts on the novel’s Facebook page and travel blog there so go to: www.facebook.com/lauren.monroe.novels.
Again, I invite readers to be in touch emailing email@example.com or messaging through the novel’s fan page. They can also follow the book at Good Reads and on the Pinterest page for Lauren Monroe, Novelist.
Connect with Lauren - Facebook- Goodreads- Pinterest
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Lauren Monroe is a Maryland-based novelist. A native of Western Pennsylvania, she has resided in various parts of Maryland, including the eastern shore.
Below is a Press Release for the novel
Shore Thing Publishing
Queenstown, MD • firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shore Resident Releases “Think Spring” Novel & Travel Blog
Can Steelers and Ravens fans co-exist in one book? How did
Marylanders live through the tense weeks of October 2002?
In a new “think spring,” women’s fiction novel, a former Pittsburgh
author turned Montgomery County, Maryland then Eastern Shore
resident has penned a new novel capitalizing on many knowledge bases.
Loriann Oberlin, who has successfully been published with nine nonfiction
books to her name, tackles fiction using the pen name Lauren Monroe.
“I hadn’t created anything of length for eight years,” she reports, with Overcoming Passive-
Aggression being her last book while adding another career. “Across the big bridge, one’s
mind relaxes a little and so I set a goal.” In 2013, the author resurrected a novel begun in the
’90s. “Back then, I wrote like a journalist,” she says. “Now with more experience, an ear for
dialogue, and a greater sense of relationships, I kept some things, changed others, and have
hopefully created realistic characters living in a particularly tense time in Maryland history
and navigating life’s difficulties in general…and sometimes the Chesapeake!”
Oberlin contributed to national magazines including USAir, The Saturday Evening Post,
Elegant Bride as well as the Pittsburgh Business Times and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette before
moving in 2001 to Maryland and obtaining a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins. Lauren
Monroe represents a symbolic pen name—Monroeville (outside of Pittsburgh) where she
lived and grew as a writer; Lauren because she always liked that name.
Letting Go: The Maryland Shores combines nautical and medical themes, plus life in and
around the Beltway, coupled with a bit of romance and remembrances from the author’s
origins in Western Pennsylvania. She will continue the series with at least two more titles.
“I will definitely return to non-fiction writing, but I’m enjoying this right-brain effort,
providing an all-around escape or vacation read,” she says, also assuring, “Yes, I did create
Ravens fans, too!” Banking on years of magazine travel writing—and now as a member of
the Eastern Shore Writers Association, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and the
local Power Squadron—her blog adds to the tourism effort on the novel’s Facebook page, to
entice others to Maryland’s shores. https://www.facebook.com/lauren.monroe.novels