by Jennifer Dyer
I’m so excited to welcome Viriginia Smith to my series called Authors, Books, & Chocolate where we get to know authors and their books. We’ll be talking about Renovating the Richardsons, a laugh-out-loud contemporary novel with just enough romance to make you say “Aaahhh.”
I love the feel of this cover. It embodies the small town atmosphere in this Goose Creek series. It’s lighthearted and fun, just like the books. (Renovating the Richardsons is book two in the series. Click here for info on The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade.)
About the author…
I’m so excited to have you here today, Ginny! Tell us a little about yourself:
What’s the craziest thing you’ve eaten?
Ginny: If you’re looking for chocolate covered ants, I’ll have to disappoint you. I did try kidney pie in London, and managed to keep it down. Other than that I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food. If I can’t identify it, I don’t eat it.
I am with you on this one. I ate something like kidney pie in London once. Once. Haha. I also managed to keep it down, but I won’t be ordering that again.
What’s your favorite reading spot?
Ginny: For novels, I curl up on a corner of the couch and read while my husband watches TV at night, and then usually move to the bed when his show is over. I read nonfiction in a chair in my living room that I call my “prayer chair.”
What’s your favorite writing spot?
Ginny: I have an office, and it seems to be the only place I can write. I like complete and total silence and no distractions. I have a specific writing computer that I use only for writing when I’m working on a book. Everything else gets done on my laptop in another room. I do that on purpose, because my brain is trained so that when I sit down in my desk chair and turn on my computer, the creative process kicks in and the characters spring to life.
Wow. That’s smart. Distractions are time robbers. A specific writing laptop would help to keep me focused. Wait, did someone comment on Facebook…?
About the book…
So, tell us about your awesome book, Renovating the Richardsons…
Things are finally starting to fall into a steady rhythm in the small town of Goose Creek, Kentucky. Millie Richardson is hard at work renovating a drafty Victorian house into a B&B. Her husband, Al, is busy writing checks for the renovations. And the new vet, Susan, has finally found acceptance from the town–not to mention a hunky new boyfriend, Justin.
But things never stay quiet for long in Goose Creek. The inner-county softball game is coming up, and Millie volunteers Al as team manager. But the softball team is a disaster. If they’re not going to embarrass themselves in front of the whole of Franklin County, Al needs Justin to play. But Justin lives just outside the city limits, and the rules say that players must live in town.
As if that weren’t enough to keep the town gossips busy, a massage therapist has come to town and opened up shop. Imagine–a massage parlor!–in Goose Creek! No decent Creeker will stand for it.
It’s up to Al and Millie–again–to save the day.
Again, this series drew me in. I’m definitely an omnivore when it comes to books, but I often love some explosions or spaceships or swords. Reading this series is like living in a lighthearted, Southern version of Downton Abbey. Think Faulty Towers meets Downton Abbey with a side of Jan Karon’s Mitford series. I can’t wait for the next one. No pressure, Ginny. But seriously…
As far as age level and intensity goes, would you describe your book as…
I’d say Ginny’s books are rated for all ages.
Did you cry while writing this book?
Ginny: Only if you count laughing so hard I got tears in my eyes. There’s one part where a new character introduces herself to a batch of small town (and small-minded) ladies, and the looks on their faces are so vivid in my mind I crack up thinking about it even now.
Oh! I think I know which character you mean. Yes! I could feel their jaws drop and their girdles tighten as they tried to figure out what to make of her. She cracked me up.
I know we’re not supposed to pick favorites, but who’s your fav character and why?
Ginny: That’s seriously hard, but I think in this book my favorite is Al Richardson. He’s so…real. He loves his wife and yet she drives him nuts sometimes (don’t we all?). He can’t stand his obnoxious coworker, and yet inside he’s such a softie he jumps to the guy’s defense when he perceives he’s being treated unjustly.
Yeah, Al’s a big softie on the inside. I related to him because he just wants to get things done and live a comfortable life, the life he envisioned. I do that so often–making my own plans and expecting my life to just follow along and everything to fit neatly in a little box. Things never work out that way…
Is there a character you wanted to smack and why?
Some people might expect me to say Franklin Thacker. In the first book in this series I wanted to smack him, but in this book, not so much. Instead, I’d like to small Frieda Devall, the owner of the Freckled Frog, because she’s such a close-minded busybody.
Yeah, I wanted to smack Frank in book one too. And I love to dislike small-minded busybodies.
You and your main character are in a restaurant that only serves chocolate. What would you both order and why?
Ginny: Millie Richardson would have a chocolate malt, and says so in Renovating the Richardsons. Her friend Violet says chocolate malts are an old-fashioned remedy for depression. I would have a hot fudge sundae because I’ve never been able to resist them.
Ohh! Malts. I remember those. I can’t eat them now because of the gluten. Yes, please, on the sundae! With a warm GF chocolate chip cookie…even better!
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Ginny: Flying or superhuman strength don’t appeal to me. I’d like to be able to turn rocks into food, and feed the hungry.
I love your heart, Ginny!
VIRGINIA SMITH is the bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, an illustrated children’s book, and over fifty articles and short stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship storiesto breath-snatching suspense. Her books have received many awards, including two Holt Medallion Awards of Merit. Learn more about Ginny and her books at www.VirginiaSmith.org.
You can also find Ginny and her 32 books on her Amazon author page. She writes suspense, women’s fiction, Amish westerns, humor, speculative fiction, and more. She’s one of my author heroes! And if you look hard enough, you can find her in her Star Trek uniform…
Thanks for taking the time to join us, Ginny. I can’t wait for you to finish your next book so we can see what happens next with Susan and the other folks in Goose Creek!
And you, dear readers…
Have you read any of Ginny’s novels?
Do you have a favorite chocolate recipe that Millie might serve at the Goose Creek B&B?
What would you order at an all-chocolate restaurant?
See you in the comments! Thanks for reading!
More interviews coming soon!
See our interview with YA supernatural suspense author Beth Teliho here.