Tule Author Q&A: Laurie LeClair Dishes Out Letters, Loves & Laughs

Laurie LeClair took a moment to discuss the process and characters in her new release, Dear Cupid.

When we first meet Gemma, she’s not really a romance “believer,” how did you come up with her transformation?
With the last name of Valentine, you would think Gemma would believe in romance. But, nope. It didn’t trickle down to her. Practical librarian Gemma lives life on the outer edges—observing, but not really participating—and, because of that, she makes assumptions about romance. Being forced to dive in and become a part of the Dear Cupid column, she finally understands the wide range of emotions from the lovelorn’s deepest longings and cherished dreams about falling in love, even if they don’t make sense or follow any rules. She discovers it includes herself when her growing feelings for Sean—her best friend’s brother—comes to light as they grapple with answers for the column and acknowledge that opposites attract.  

When you first pictured Sean, who did you see?
Sean McCleary is Irish and I imagined the dark hair and blue-eyed look. Broad shoulders and an athletic body also come to mind… Hey, no judging, please. Sean’s a former high school football player, after all. Of course, he’s all that. (Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) With that said, strangely, I think of Dean Cain. I have no idea why, but I see his face and hear his voice in my head when I’m writing Sean. Could it be the superhero thing?? 

What kind of research did you have to do for this book?
There were several different research avenues I took for this romantic comedy. (I know, research is not humorous in the least.) Lots of internet searches ensued which led me down one path only to abandon it and start another one. That’s another way to say there were lots of stops and starts and brainstorming sessions. Also, this was many years in the making with trips back home to New England and knowing I wanted to set a series there someday to honor my love for the region. Next, growing up, my dad owned an antique shop in a small town, so I remember his days of constantly reading, studying, and discussing antiques and their history. He appraised items for estates and became somewhat of an expert in certain collectibles among his colleagues. Who knew clocks and milk glass and silver and markings were so fascinating?! Last, my husband and I went back home to New England in the fall to research many small towns (other than our own) and I fell in love with the look and feel of the communities all over again. I hope I took the best from every one and brought them together to create an unforgettable hometown in Cupid’s Corner. 

Which character’s columns were easier to write?
I found myself putting on different “hats” for the Dear Cupid column. As a woman, Gemma’s answers were easier for me to write because love and a person’s tender heart are involved. However, it went against Gemma’s nature and that was a challenge to make her stretch and grow with each answer she gave. Sean’s short, to-the-point answers were harder, but they contained a wisdom of their own. It’s funny how much I learned about communication styles and how to give Gemma and Sean their own side but melding them together worked out better for the column—and them—in the end.

What are you currently reading?
I just finished Lynne Marshall’s Their Christmas Miracle and Jane Porter’s Take A Chance On Me. (Loved them!) Now, onto more of my Tule TBR pile… I can’t wait to get lost in the next story! 

Bestselling author Laurie LeClair writes romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and contemporary women’s fiction. Laurie’s habit of daydreaming has gotten her into a few scrapes and launched her to take up her dream of writing. Finally, she can put all those stories in her head to rest as she brings them to life on the page.

Laurie considers herself a New Texan (New England born and raised and now living in Texas). She lives in Central Texas with her husband, Jim, who thankfully indulges her love of chocolate and storytelling.


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