Monday, February 10, 2020


Welcome, Carla. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There’s always something of myself in each of my characters, even the ones that are completely dissimilar to me. I find it’s easier to relate to them if I give them some of my own quirks or background. For example, Melody in Brunch at Bittersweet Café graduated high school at sixteen, just as I did. In my recent release, The Solid Grounds Coffee Company, Ana is the same personality and Enneagram type I am, though I’m not quite as type A as she is. 

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t think of myself as particularly quirky, though it may surprise people to know that while my books are all about modern career women, I love many old-fashioned arts: I’m an avid knitter and crocheter, and I can cross-stitch and do blackwork embroidery. Years ago, I used to make historically accurate costumes, but I no longer find sewing relaxing so I only do it when I have to.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I spent all my free time as a kid writing short stories—when I wasn’t reading, that is. I knew that someday I would publish a book; I just didn’t expect it to take until I was 35!

It took me until I was 40. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read very widely, both in Christian fiction and general market. I love romance, women’s fiction, literary fiction, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, memoir, you name it. The only thing I won’t read is horror. I’ve never really had the stomach for it.

I don’t read horror either, even the Christian horror books. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
It’s an ongoing process, for sure, because I can easily get caught up in the need to do more all the time. It’s helped to block out my time: I only work on publishing-related tasks while my kids are at school. When they’re home, it’s family time. And I make sure to schedule myself time every day for reading, prayer, and exercise. Having boundaries helps me ensure I’m not getting too caught up in one thing or another.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Usually, they just come to me. I’m very “auditory”—what they sound like is important. Once I’ve come up with potential names, I then check them against my favorite naming tool, The Secret Universe of Names. It’s about naming convention based on language theory and lists personalities according to sounds contained in the name. Every time a name hasn’t quite worked for me, I’ve checked the book and found that the stated personality was not right for the character. Now I just go there first.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Personally, my proudest accomplishment is raising two boys who are turning into Christlike young men. Professionally, I’m fairly pleased with having published twelve books in seven years.

What is your favorite food?
Indian butter chicken. I order it any time it’s on the menu at an Indian restaurant and make it at least once a month at home.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
It’s not necessarily related to writing itself, but rather the business of writing. I have the tendency to overextend myself and then get stressed out, so in the last seven years, I’ve learned to differentiate between the “must dos” and the “nice to dos.” Once all the “must dos” are finished, I can move on to the other stuff, but otherwise I have to let it go. Let’s just say I’m a work in progress on this count.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Solid Grounds Coffee Company is the third book in my Supper Club series, featuring characters we’ve seen in the first two books: crisis publicist Analyn Sanchez and professional climber Bryan Shaw. As the book opens, they both experience devastating professional setbacks: Bryan loses his sponsorships because of a poor decision, and Ana gets put on leave when she refuses to compromise her morals for a client. When Bryan buys a coffee farm in Colombia with the intention of starting a roasting business in Colorado, Ana and her marketing savvy are his only hopes for success. Despite their wildly different personalities and approaches to life, romance blossoms in the process, as does a deeper understanding of who they are in Christ.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can always find me at my website, on Facebook, or on Instagram. Subscribers to my mailing list also receive a free romance novella. I love to hear from readers, so please get in touch!

Thank you, Carla, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Solid Grounds Coffee Company (The Saturday Night Supper Club) Paperback
The Solid Grounds Coffee Company (The Saturday Night Supper Club) Kindle
The Solid Grounds Coffee Company - Audio book

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Winnie said...

Thanks for the lovely interview, Lena and Carla! I enjoyed reading it. Thanks, also, for the chance to win a copy of this book! It sounds wonderful!

Winnie T. from Utah

Jackie Smith said...

I love her books and am anxious to read this one! Thanks for your giveaway.
Jackie S. in GA

Chanel M. said...

Great review! I like learning about Carla's character naming process and how she shares a trait with each character. Thanks for the giveaway!

Chanel M. In PA

Pam K. said...

I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and am looking forward to reading Ana's story. Thanks for the giveaway and chance to win The Solid Grounds Coffee Company.


Lucy Reynolds said...

Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed the interview. Blessings from WV.

Abigail Mitchell said...

This looks good. And I love coffee! 😁
Abigail in VA

Carla Laureano said...

Thanks for your enthusiasm, friends! I'm looking forward to sharing the book with you. Good luck in the giveaway!

Caryl Kane said...

Sounds like a fun read!

Caryl K in TEXAS

Pam said...

I loved The Saturday Night Supper Club and look forward to reading this one! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Pam G. in Ohio

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.