This week Pitch Wars mentor extraordinaire author Laura Heffernan released her debut! Learn more about America’s Next Reality Star below.
- Was there a particular reality show or moment that inspired your book?
In 2012, my best friend was cast on ABC’s The Glass House, which aired for one summer. One of the main elements of that show was the viewers voting on what the contestants did, plus who stayed/went. My friends and I become very involved in trying to get people to vote for Stephanie, and I started a blog that recapped each episode. As more people began to read/share the blogs, I realized that I could write and share my work with others. Then I started to wonder what type of reality show I would enjoy being on, if I could create any show, and The Fishbowl was born.
My fictitious show draws on elements of a variety of shows I’ve watched over the years – not just TGH, but also Bachelor Pad, The Real World, Paradise Hotel, and a few others.
2. What have been some of the challenges in plotting a three-book series?
One of the biggest challenges I had was coming up with new ways to test the characters without being redundant. I tend to get frustrated in series where the main couple constantly breaks up/makes up, so I wanted to avoid doing that for three books. It was important to find ways to bring in other types of conflict. Also, I have a tendency to go back and change things, so I needed to make lists of things like “Hey, don’t call that guy Damien, because it’s not his name anymore.”
3. If you could be on a reality show, what would you go on?
This is such a tough question, and one I’ve asked myself a dozen times. I have several friends who’ve done Jeopardy!, which isn’t really a reality show, but would be a cool experience. I’d love to do the Amazing Race, but camping and eating outside really aren’t my thing. It’s too bad Road Rules is over. I could totally drive around the country in an RV, following clues to figure out where to go next.
4. Who are some of your influences?
One of my biggest influences is Sophie Kinsella. I’ve been a huge fan since college, and I’ve read everything she’s published – under either name. My dream is to be able to write like her. Other influences are early Jane Green and Emily Giffin. More recently, I’ve found myself inspired by Leah Marie Brown and Michele Gorman.
5. How did you balance portraying the over-to-top world of reality shows that Jen is on with her internal conflicts?
In early drafts, I let myself really have fun with the reality show world while the plot unfolded. Much of that wound up being reduced in revisions as I layered in more emotion and heightened the internal conflicts. I find that I write better when I’m free to just throw down any words I want in the first draft (I say it’s more like draft 0.5), so I have something to mold and sculpt into a story. My critique partners also helped a lot, pointing out places where I’d gone overboard in one direction or another. Between my CPs and my editor, I managed to find a good line between the two in the final draft.
Aren’t you intrigued? Make sure to pick up your copy today.
Title: America’s Next Reality Star
Author: Laura Heffernan
Publisher: Lyrical Shine – Kensington
Series: Reality Star #1
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance