Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
- Read our review for Perfect Timing here at OBS.
A new book has been released called Perfect Timing written by Laura Spinella. I got the pleasure of interviewing her for this article for Open Book Society. If you like what you read, please go buy her book on Amazon here.
Laura Spinella: A complete and total ineptness for anything mathematical. Okay, let’s say that this shortcoming at least narrowed my scope. I don’t know that I’d ever tag the word “author” to my inspirations, but I’ve always had a compulsion to write and to tell a story. I see them as two separate things because a lot of people can write; maybe fewer have a need to tell a story.
Heidi: Can you please tell us a little about Perfect Timing?
Laura Spinella: At glance you might think this is standard romance with a rock star at its epicenter. The rock star part is intended to take the reader away from the ordinary. And I do think, in his element, Aidan Royce earns his ovation. But that’s not what this story is about; it’s about the rhythm of lasting friendship, and the beat of a love story subject to incredible odds. It’s about family and figuring out what makes you truly happy, then being brave enough to embrace it. Perfect Timing is relationship fiction set to the sometimes extraordinary and always precarious tempo of life.
Heidi: What inspired you to write Perfect Timing and where did the idea to make Aidan an aspiring rock star come from?
Laura Spinella: Ugh. I suppose you’d like the truth here. Years ago, when the Goo Goo Dolls were a bit a younger, and so was I, myself and a group of friends saw them in concert. I remembered thinking lead singer John Rzeznik was so pretty he made your teeth ache. And he did strike me as the quintessential “rock star.” Tuck that away for 20 years or so, let it ferment—go on to learn a bit more about life and figure out how something so outside the lines might fit into a relatable story and there you go.
Heidi: With Aidan being a rock star in this book, I have to ask what is your favorite genre of music? Who is your favorite singer(s) or band(s)? Was Aidan modeled after anybody in particular?
Laura Spinella: I would be wildly interesting if my answer to this question were classical music, wouldn’t it? But see above for a hint at this answer, though I think there’s a touch of a young Jon Bon Jovi in there as well. Of course, being as I don’t personally know any “rock stars,” Aidan is very much pure imagination. I did study piano for a lot of years, but my musicality stopped when we stopped paying the piano teacher. I probably listen to the same music everyone else does. I went through a Nickelback phase a few years ago, but I also retreat to a lot of old stuff—Cat Steven, Billy Joel, Elton John. I love Broadway show tunes. I’d probably listen to anything but calypso music.
Heidi: How long did it take you to write Perfect Timing?
Laura Spinella: Perfect Timing is a truck novel. I wrote the original draft about six years ago. From there it went on to live a quiet existence in a desk drawer. While I loved the characters, I wasn’t sure if it told the right story, not in the draft stage. After Beautiful Disaster, my first novel, it seemed that the thing readers enjoyed most was the story of Mia and Flynn’s relationship. At that point, I knew Perfect Timing (which was actually called The It Factor back then) had the right ingredients. It took about a year to reinvent the “recipe,” aka storyline.
Heidi: You broached what could be considered a touchy topic to some with Patrick and Eric’s relationship. It was interesting to see Isabel being so prejudiced about it in the beginning to slowly learn to not only accept it, but embrace it and them. What do you hope readers will take away with them in regard to that relationship?
Laura Spinella: This is one of my favorite parts of the book. Isabel learns an incredible life lesson because of Patrick and Eric, and it ultimately leads her back to Aidan. On the other hand, I would go as far to say that the “stress” of living a lie did cost Eric dearly. I never considered Eric and Patrick’s relationship a “touchy topic,” though, I suppose, some people might see it that way. More than anything I wanted their story to fit seamlessly into the telling of Aidan and Isabel’s story. It wasn’t my intention to consciously send a message, but if it does, so be it. I simple wrote based on plausible real life circumstance.
Heidi: If Perfect Timing were made into a movie, who would you like to see cast as some of the lead characters?
Laura Spinella: I totally admit to cheating here—I’m honestly not much of a movie watcher. I certainly don’t know many contemporary actors at a glance. Anyway, a friend who loved Perfect Timing and is much more in the know gave me a few choices. After Googling them, a fellow named Garrett Hendlund does look like he could pass for Aidan. Jennifer Lawrence (who I had heard of) seems to capture Isabel’s independent nature. But she also suggested Shailene Woodley—at a glance, she appears to have an “Isabel look” to her.
Heidi: I personally am sad not to read any more about this amazing couple, but do understand that all good things must come to an end. Do you have another book in the works and if so, when can fans expect to see it?
Laura Spinella: I’m currently revising the draft to Color Outside the Lines, which involves an intense and turbulent relationship between newspaper reporters Aubrey Ellis and Levi St John. The plot also centers on a psychic element that takes an unusual twist. Of course, for anyone who enjoyed Perfect Timing and didn’t get a chance to read Beautiful Disaster, I believe they’d find that story equally satisfying.
Heidi: Where do you do the majority of your writing from?
Laura Spinella: From the sunroom of my 113-year old house. I like to think its ghosts have been my muse on more than one occasion. But I can write from anywhere. If you’re going to take on the seemingly endless, often cumbersome, task of writing a novel, letting location influence you is a bad idea.
Heidi: What do you love most about writing?
Laura Spinella: I love sitting down here at 7 a.m., glancing up at the clock and realizing it’s almost noon. That’s a good writing day. It’s not so wonderful for getting the wash done, remembering dentist appointments, or making sure there’s food in the house—but there is a euphoric feeling attached to indulging in that level of concentration.
Heidi: What advice do you have for those trying to break into the writing business?
Laura Spinella: It’s wonderful to have feedback. It’s important for people close to you and outsiders to read your work—especially if you’re in the querying stage. That being said, choose carefully what advice you decide to take. Everyone has an opinion. It doesn’t necessarily make them correct. Take your writing advice from a trustworthy, experienced source. The second part of that is no matter what you achieve—whether it’s snagging an agent, getting a book deal, or writing book two—you’ll always be chasing something. Finding satisfaction in what you have accomplished will help keep the big picture in perspective.
Thank you so much for reading Perfect Timing at the Open Book Society! I really enjoyed chatting today! For more info you can always pop over to my website, lauraspinella.net