I’m so excited to welcome friend and author, Laura Heffernan, on the blog today. Her Reality Star series is out now. Hello, Laura!
Author Name: Laura Heffernan
Title: Reality Star Series
Genre: Chicklit/Romantic comedy
Release Date: Out Now!
Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical Shine
How would you describe the Reality Star Series?
When Jen auditions for a reality show, she’s looking for a free adventure and hopefully a real shot at the cash prize. She couldn’t have imagined how her life would change.
What sparked the idea for this series?
A few years ago, my best friend went on The Glass House, a reality show that aired on ABC. People relied on viewer voting to stick around, so I spent a lot of time watching the show, talking about the show, and trying to get people to vote for her. Ultimately, I started thinking about how much is real vs. fabricated and what type of show I’d want to do. Then AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR was born.
Oooh, how fun the first book sprang from a real-life, reality-show experience. How long did it take for you to write the books? Did you do have to do any research?
I tend to write fast. For ANRS, most of the research was talking to Steph – which I did about a year before deciding to write the book. That book took about 6 weeks for a first draft, but I spent several months editing. SWEET REALITY and REALITY WEDDING were both done under contract. I had about 6 months to write a publishable draft of each. Much of SR is pulled from a cruise I took with my best friend many many years ago, so the only research I did was to run baking shows in the background while it was on. REALITY WEDDING is similar – I paged through some magazines to look at dresses and watched a lot of shows like Bridezillas and Rich Bride, Poor Bride. I love reality TV, so this wasn’t exactly a hardship.
Sounds like the best kind of research! For you, what’s the hardest thing about writing?
Getting started is the hardest part, especially now that I have a new baby. It’s so easy to get distracted doing 100 other things. But once I get a chance to sit down and focus, I really enjoy it.
What do you love most about it?
I love being able to share my stories with the world. I love giving new characters a voice and exploring activities that you don’t see in books all that often (or you didn’t, when I started writing). I love creating intelligent female main characters and showing them going after the things they want in life.
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read the Reality Star Series?
The reality show is largely a backdrop. The settings will enhance the experience if you enjoy it, but it’s possible to read and enjoy the series without being a reality TV fan.
What’s one piece of advice you would offer your younger writer self?
Write the book. Take the plunge. But know that the process takes a really long time, and try to be patient. (Yes, we’re not good at this, but try anyway.)
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
Right now, 99% of my time is taken up with my son, but when I get a free moment, I love board games. So much that the first book in my upcoming GAMER GIRLS series, SHE’S GOT GAME, is set at a board game competition.
A series on board game competitions sounds fascinating–can’t wait! So, here can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)?
Thank you, Laura! The Reality Star series is available now.
Laura Heffernan is the author of the Reality Star series (available now) and the upcoming Gamer Girls series (2019). When not watching total strangers get married, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, and new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her husband and two furry little beasts.
Some of Laura’s favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, board games and reality TV.
REALITY STAR SERIES
America’s Next Reality Star
SEEKING THE SMART ONE
Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash, it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.
Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .
SUGAR, SEA SALT, AND SHOW BIZ
Jen Reid’s life after The Fishbowl has been great–she’s gone from being a broke twenty-four-year-old Seattleite with no love life and no job to the twenty-five-year-old who got the guy, moved to Miami, and is starting a bakery with her best friend. She thinks her showmance love might be about to propose. And with mouthwatering goodies based on everyone’s favorite shows, her business, Sweet Reality, is destined for success.
That is, until a killer competitor opens right across the street. If she’s going to save Sweet Reality, Jen has to come up with a secret ingredient–like the recipe that won Totally 80s Bake-Off. Jen can get it–if she steps back into the spotlight. Soon she and her boyfriend are out to sea on a cruise ship full of reality stars, including her nemesis, Ariana; her lying, cheating ex; and some wicked producers looking to bring the drama. Separate cabins, “surprises” from her past, and scenarios tailor-made to spark fights are just the beginning. But with her self-respect, her business, and her future on the line, the fallout from this made-for-TV plotline will be all too real . . .
SAY I DO – OR ELSE
When Jen Reid escaped a reality TV cruise with her relationship intact—if not her hair—she swore she was done with the cameras for good. Sure, she and Justin met, had their first kiss, and got engaged with tape rolling, but manufactured drama and ruthless producers have shaken them up more times than she can count. With Jen’s reality-themed bakery just getting started and her brand-new lawyer fiancé in a pile of debt, they’re a long way from glitz and glamour, and that’s fine by Jen. Until the Network calls and tells her that unless she says “I do” to a wedding special, Justin will be out of a job.
Now Jen has two weeks to plan an all-expenses-paid “dream wedding”—and dodge the tricks and traps of a showrunner happy to mess up her future in the name of ratings. Luckily for Jen, she’s got plenty of experience with cake and popcorn. But when real-life drama and reality TV twists collide, the cliffhangers may just follow her right down the aisle . . .