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The Layover: A Discussion with Lacie Waldon

In March I met a large group of Instagrammers who were focused on books. One of the participants in this group turned out to be Lacie Waldon, the author of The Layover. At that point, her debut novel hadn’t been published yet. Along with Lacie, this group had many discussions on her novel, and some on her upcoming novel From the Jump. My book club here in The Hague was also fortunate enough to have Lacie join one of our meetings where we discussed her book. It was so lovely to have her. From all of these interactions,

I have decided to write a blog post about Lacie and her books. Along with my personal interactions with Lacie, some of the following information comes from questions that @ink_drinker64, @aneedleinmybookstack, and Kristin Mauro posed to Lacie. I hope you enjoy it.

The Layover is a fun easy, rom-com. It’s a great book for the beach or for beside the pool when you just want something to relax with.

The main character in The Layover, Ava, is a flight attendant. Ava, along with her colleagues, and specifically her male counterpart, Jack, end up on a weekend-long layover in Belize, due to mechanical problems with the plane. Jack is Ava’s arch-enemy and she isn’t happy about having to deal with him on the flight or the layover.

The book is set mostly in Belize with beautiful images of swimming in bioluminescent waters, exploring a luscious island, and eating seafood nachos. It is the location of summer dreams and romance.

The first photo is my husband's from Joffey's Caye Belize. The second is Hidden Valley Reserve in Belize and is from unsplash

When planning this novel Lacie’s agent suggested she write about something she knows, and maybe make it a romance novel. Lacie herself has been a flight attendant for 16 years. She loves to travel and has visited 52 countries (@aneedleinmybookstack), as well as having lived on 3 continents. Her destination of choice for her first novel was Belize because she had once had a fun and spontaneous trip there, in which she met a number of interesting and enjoyable people. Even the characters of Ava and Jack are apparently very loosely based on Lacie herself and her husband Isaac. Lacie claims that she treats her husband in a very similar manner to how Ava treats Jack and like Jack, her husband is never mean back to her.

When it comes to writing, Lacie told @ink_drinker64 she can remember writing stories from before she was 8 years old. Lacie told our book club that she actually has sat down and studied many books to learn how to be a better writer. One thing she learned was that romance novels have very specific expectations of their male heroes. They need to be hyper-masculine and having Jack as a flight attendant wasn’t alpha enough. Having him as a former pilot helped with that. She also knew that she wanted people to read her books as an escape, a place to disappear into. Her writing style makes the reader feel as though they are talking to a friend. In my opinion she achieved her goal in The Layover.

After two previous books were rejected by publishers, Lacie began writing The Layover. It took her 5 weeks to write. When she sets out to write she writes full time, as though it is her normal job. She aims for 2000 words a day for a book that is 70 000 to 90 000 words. During our group Instagram discussions, she will often tell us she is disappearing for the day or the weekend just to write. As well, she has mentioned the many ways her husband helps keep her away from technology, so she can focus solely on her writing.

In June Kristin Mauro asked Lacie if a second book was in the making. Lacie’s response:

My airline offered voluntary leave during the pandemic, and I took the time off to write and revise Book 2. It's officially approved and out of my hands, which feels GLORIOUS!

The book now has a name, From the Jump, and will be released in Summer 2022. This time the main characters are not flight attendants. Their names are Liv Bakersfield and Lucas Deiss and the novel takes place in LA and South Africa. Below is the write-up from the publisher. I have pre-ordered it and can’t wait to read it.

Lacie has also informed our group of friends that she is now working on book three. However, she hasn’t given any details away. I can’t wait to read this one as well.

Finally, @ink_drinker64 asked Lacie if she had a message for her readers? Lacie’s response:

Thank you SO MUCH for reading The Layover!!! Seriously. Becoming a published author has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, but I always only dreamed about my part in it. It never occurred to me that people would actually have to give up their own time to read what I'd written. I've been blown away by the fact that so many of you have been willing to take a chance on an unknown author, and I will be forever grateful!

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