Do. Not. Disturb. #amreadinglouisebay
Sometimes you just need something a little fun & steamy...right? Enter the What The Lightning Sees series by Louise Bay. During my vacation, I read my share of funny, sexy & sweet--Lightning hit all three of these for me. Haven works at Rallegra, a women's magazine, and Jake or "Harry" is brought in temporarily to help out. They butt heads from the moment they meet, and as luck would have it, they've been assigned to work together. Their quick-witted exchanges and obvious chemistry had me finishing the entire series in under 48 hours! When I did, I immediately drafted some questions for Louise Bay about the series, and fortunately she agreed to play along.
Louise: Until 2013, I’d not written any fiction since school. I walked out of a job I didn’t like and I knew I wouldn’t find something else straight away so I wanted a task or a goal that would keep me occupied and give me some routine.
When I started Faithful I didn’t tell anyone until I was about half way through the book because before then I had no idea whether I’d give up. At the half way point I realized I could do it and more that I was really enjoying it.
JH: Sounds a lot like my process with Come Undone. I didn't tell anyone I was writing for a while. Jake Harrison from What The Lightning Sees seems to have it all—looks, ambition, humor. Is there one thing all leading men must have in your books? If you can say, who was your inspiration for him?
Louise: I think that all the men in my books have to be man enough to deserve the women they end up with. When I say man enough I mean I think I write men who are grown-ups. They’re not perfect but they’ve got broad shoulders and are determined to win their women round.
I didn’t really have inspiration for real life for Jake. Haven came to me first so Jake had to be man enough for Haven and that takes some doing. What’s nice is that they heal each other but it’s not until Haven that Jake realizes that’s what he needs.
JH: Haven writes for Rallegra, a women’s magazine. If you had her job and her deadline, what topic would you write about right now?
Louise: I would right about the rise in self publishing. People who aren’t readers or writers in the genre still see it as a fringe thing. Someone I know asks me from time to time whether I’m still “vanity publishing”.
JH: Oh, boy. Hard to believe they're not seeing the potential. Where did you come up for the title of What the Lightning Sees?
Louise: The title is taken from the lyrics from the Prince song Raspberry Beret. In the middle eight the song goes “The thunder drowns out what the lightning sees.” I’ve always loved the lyric and I thought it fit Haven and Jake well because I see Jake as being Haven’s lightning. He can light her up like no one can and see parts of her that she keeps hidden from most people.
JH: Haven had a few little quirks that were quite endearing, like constantly smoothing back her hair. What physical gesture gives you away when you’re feeling something specific, like nervous, excited or upset?
I have precisely NO poker face. Everything I’m thinking shows on my face, unfortunately. It’s a problem. I also babble.
JH: [Spoiler alert] Ash doesn’t have much of a filter. What do you think she would’ve said if she’d come face to face with Millie in the final scenes after learning the truth?
Louise: It’s true, Ash doesn’t have much of a filter but I don’t think she’d waste her breath on Millie. If she did, I’m sure she would just offer her a single, withering put down.
JH: Thank you for giving me a glimpse into Brit speak. It was fun getting to know some new colloquialisms. Are there any Americanisms that you find weird or humorous?
Louise: That’s so funny because I work quite hard so there isn’t much Brit speak!
We are so used to Americanisms because of US film and tv being so prevalent in our culture so not many surprise me. But one thing that when I’m in America that always surprises is that I get asked if I’m “all set” all the time. Mainly by waiter and waitresses but it’s so funny because we don’t use the phrase at all. It also suprises me how formal Americans are, particularly in business. In the UK we never address each other as Mr Jones or Mrs Green – even if we’ve never met each other before and would never use madam or sir. Oh and how can I forget “fanny pack” *titters*. Fanny is vagina in the UK.
JH: Ha! Fanny can actually also be referred to as the behind in America. Was there a film, song or experience that inspired What The Lightning Sees? All three?
Louise: I love The Taming of the Shrew. I know I shouldn’t – I’m very happy to call myself a feminist – but I do, it’s one of my favorite plays. And so when I was developing Lightning, I liked the idea of someone being softened and opened up by love. That’s where the initial idea came from. Jake is not Petruchio in any way and Haven isn’t Katherine so it’s not like it’s a retelling. But it was an inspiration.
In contrast Ash’s book is very very inspired and influenced by music. I have a playlist for all my books but for me, the playlist for Ash’s book is very important to me. A little exclusive for you – "Where My Heart Belongs" by Gloriana is kind of the theme song. I’ve played it non-stop while listening to it. In fact I’m playing it now. (JH: You can follow Louise Bay on Spotify here.)
Louise: I love a stalker, particularly when it’s mutual!
Ash’s book picks up where Lightning finishes so Ash is trying to put some distance between her and Luke so she can hopefully find a love for herself. We follow her journey. Is that too much of a tease?
JH: That's perfect! Looking forward to getting to know Ash and her filterlessness. (Yes, that's a word.) Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions!
To those reading, you can pick up the first in the Lightning series free right now, or grab the box set at a discounted price. Don't miss any of Louise Bay's upcoming releases (and there are a few planned!). Sign up for her mailing list, and be a good groupie—follow her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
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