Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"To Katie With Love," by Erica Lucke Dean

Today we're pleased to feature our KBoards interview with Erica Lucke Dean, author of the newly-released novel To Katie With Love.

We received an advance review copy of the novel, and this chick-lit romance is one the most fun books we've read this year. The writing is delightful, the twists are ingenious, and - as with all books we've seen from Red Adept Publishing - the editing and formatting is flawless.

This book deserves to get good exposure from the To Katie With Love blog tour which kicks off today. Check the blog tour page for upcoming interviews and reviews of the book!

Now, on to our conversation with Erica Lucke Dean!

Congratulations on your new novel. In a few words, how would you describe your book to someone who hasn't heard about it?

I think of it as a love triangle between a girl, her dream guy, and the reality of that same guy. Somewhere along the way, she has to reconcile those two people she fell in love with.

In the book, the likable Katie James is a 29-year-old lover of romance novels, to the point that she memorizes page numbers for favorite scenes. Did you have someone in mind that you modeled her after?

I might resemble that character just a little. But seriously, I borrowed a bit from my OCD tendency to read books over and over again if I really like them, and blended that with my Mom’s chain-reading of romance novels when I was a kid. I swear we could have built a backyard fort out of her discarded books.

The novel is told in the first person, from Katie's perspective. How did you come to that writing decision? And did it lead to any challenges in the writing of the book?

I really love first person narration. To me it feels more personal, like the narrator is speaking directly to the audience. The only challenge that creates is you can only reveal what the main character knows. I originally had several chapters from Cooper’s point of view but in the interest of keeping the mystery, I decided to take those out. I like the way it turned out.

The scenes with Katie and Cooper are funny and authentic. We found the book's handling of dialogue to be superb. How do you approach the writing of dialogue?

Thank you! I actually love writing dialogue. I just disappear inside my head and figure out what I would say in the situation. If it doesn’t sound natural, it won’t work. It helps that I talk to myself a lot. It’s a valid excuse for a strange quirk, right?

It is indeed! Katie and Cooper have a major misunderstanding - and surprising revelations arise as that gets resolved. We thought the writing of that was ingeniously handled. As an author, do you do extensive outlining? Or are you a "seat-of-the-pants'er"?

I try to at least go into the story with a rough idea of how I’ll get myself out of it. But in the case of To Katie With Love, I had a revelation somewhere in the middle and ditched my original plan, for the ending as it is now. I felt like a genius when the idea hit me, so I’m glad it’s working for people.

The final chapter in the book is brilliant writing; we loved the twist! At what point in the writing process did you settle on that final scene?

I wrote that last chapter when the idea for the ending came to me. That way I knew where the story had to go. I was so excited, I wanted to blurt it out to everyone I knew, but I managed to keep my lips sealed. It’s hard to keep juicy secrets.

You make interesting use of chapter titles in this book. Can you comment on that?

While I was writing the book, these silly snippets came to me as I’d write each chapter, and I thought it might be fun to start each chapter with a tease. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep them up the whole way through, but with a little help from a friend, I was able to make it work. My editor and my publisher thought it would be fun to ditch the chapter numbers in place of the titles. I think it works. I hope it does anyway.

How long did it take you to write the novel?

I wrote chapter one on a napkin (several napkins actually) in a smoky karaoke bar while I waited to take my turn at the mic. After going home and revising chapter one until I was happy with it, I let it sit for several months while I planned out the rest of the characters in my head. Once I had them in place, I wrote the rest of the book in three months. Oh, and then I had to go back and redo chapter one again. Ah, editing…

Something tells us you had a lot of fun writing the book. Was it an enjoyable process for you?

I had so much fun writing this book. I was working at a bank at the time, and used many of my coworkers as inspiration for some of the characters. I got so involved in the story, I felt like I was almost living it.

What's your ideal writing environment?

I like to write at night, when it’s quiet and everyone is sleeping. I need to be able to let the characters pull me in until I feel detached from the real world.

Who are some of your favorite authors? Read any good books lately?

This is one of the hardest questions ever. I really don’t have favorites. I have moods. It all depends on what mood I’m in. I’ll read just about anything if the mood strikes. From Shakespeare to Stephen King. I’ve even been known to read Fan Fiction.

We enjoy your blog posts and Facebook updates. Do you use those as a warm-up for your writing sessions?

My blog posts and Facebook updates are really just me being me. I’ve always tried to embrace whatever life tosses at me and make the most of it. So if my latest fashion disaster will make people laugh, I’m all over that. I may as well let someone get joy out of it, right?

We like that attitude! Let's get a bit more personal. Tell us five random things about you!

  1. I can name several different breeds of cow by sight. This party trick actually enticed my husband to ask me out on our first date. He was impressed.
  2. I have turned clumsy into an art form. But as often as I trip over things and fall down, I’ve never broken a bone.
  3. I can write backwards in cursive just as well as I can forward. It’s a neat trick. A college boyfriend did break up with me over this, though. He thought it meant I practiced witchcraft. I don’t, by the way…I’m just weird.
  4. Unlike most women, I hate to shop for shoes. I have big feet and I can never find what I’m looking for.
  5. I sing dirty show tunes around the house. I take old standards and change the words around. My husband says I missed my calling.

Cow identification... if I had only known that in my dating days! Are you planning a sequel? Can you tell us about your next writing project?

I do have a sequel in the works. I’m about halfway through the first draft, but it’s sitting on the back burner for a bit while I tackle another project. I’ve just finished a paranormal romance about a kindergarten teacher who discovers she’s a witch. It’s a lot of fun.

Erica, thanks for talking with us. We're pleased to feature your book on KBoards!

Thank you for having me!





To Katie With Love is available now to download to your Kindle!


  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. Congrats on the release! I am one of those people who don't really like buying shoes either...I have wide feet plus my feet get hot so I tend to wear sandals or flip flops as much as possible, LOL.