Q&A: Carla Laureano (Five Days in Skye)
Q: Why did you choose the setting of the Isle of Skye? Did you have a chance to visit?
At the busiest point in my corporate career, my husband and I took a vacation to Scotland, ending with several days on the Isle of Skye. I immediately fell in love with the island’s rugged beauty and the sense of peace that lingered there. It was the first time I had slowed down long enough to just enjoy myself in what felt like years, and those few days prompted me to make some big changes to my life.
So when I decided to write an overworked businesswoman in need of rest and perspective, Skye seemed like the natural setting.
Q: The book is about two characters whose lives collide on this enchanting island and the story that unfolds. Can you tell us about the main characters and what brings them together?
Andrea Sullivan is a hospitality consultant—her firm’s “closer”—but the disastrous end to her last deal in London jeopardizes the promotion she’s worked toward for the last three years. When she’s forced to cancel her tropical vacation to meet with a celebrity chef about his family hotel on the Isle of Skye, she sees it strictly as a chance to redeem herself to her company… regardless of how handsome or charming her client is.
James MacDonald is used to women falling at his feet with no more than a smile. Andrea, though, seems immune to him—and that makes her a challenge. But as he gets to know the woman beneath the executive, he realizes she’s holding her successful life together by a thread, and he makes it his personal mission to show her there’s more to life than just work.
Neither of them expects to have their preconceptions and prejudices upended by the other, and they certainly never dream that a mere five days could put into question everything they thought they wanted out of life.
Q: What do you hope readers get out of this book?
The characters in Five Days in Skye are far from perfect, and they both have pasts they regret. I hope that readers take away the idea that God’s grace is for everyone, and it’s abundant, regardless of who you are or what you’ve done.
Q: Where do you get your best ideas?
I wish I could answer that question with certainty! It would certainly streamline the writing process. I think God has a theme in mind for each book, even if it takes me a while to discover what that is.
As far as characters, plot, and setting, I’m usually inspired by fairly mundane things: a snippet of overheard conversation, a few lines from a song, or an event from my own life. In the case of Skye, I had been watching way too much Food Network. I started thinking about the celebrity chefs who had become famous as much for their looks and their onscreen personalities as for their cooking ability, and the idea of James was born.
Q: What can readers expect from you in the future?
My next project is a three-book young adult fantasy series called Song of Seare, the setting of which I based on dark ages Ireland. The first book will be released by NavPress in May 2014 under the name C.E. Laureano. I also hope to return to the MacDonald family and the Isle of Skye soon: Ian and Serena, James’s sibling