Lesfic Book Club: Blend

For our March meeting of the Lesfic Book Club, we discussed Georgia Beers’s novel, Blend. If you weren’t able to make it, check out the transcript below.

A couple of notes on the transcript:

If you want to join us live, we discuss lesfic novels every month at http://tinyurl.com/lesficlove (sign up or follow me on Twitter to find out what we’re reading next). Some chat participants requested that their names be obscured, so below you’ll see that everyone has been anonymized as Reader 1, Reader 2, etc

Reader 1

Hello, thanks for joining us!

Georgia

Thanks for the invite!

Reader 1 So, what did everyone think of Blend?

Reader 2

I loved it.

Reader 3

It was very warm and soothing

Reader 5

I love it… It went together like a nice rose sweet n sassy

Georgia Thanks for all the kind words

Reader 4

Its very warm and soothing and they gradually grow together which is hard to do so gradually as you’ve done it.

Reader 5

So I got a question…. Why kayaking?

Georgia

I needed something solitary, yet soothing. A workout, but something that would allow for deep thought.

Plus, it didn’t seem to fit Piper and I liked that

Reader 3

If Piper and Lindsay were wines, what would they be?

Georgia

Hmmm……good question. What do YOU think they’d be?

Reader 3

haha oh no, I don’t know enough about wine to answer that!

Reader 1

hehe and are you asking for the traditional or the celebrity descriptors?

Georgia

Lindsay would be a rosé, kind of light, maybe a little fruity and playful. Piper would be a Zinfandel…deep and complex and robust and hard to figure out

Reader 1

Perfect answer – did you already think about that or was that off the top of your head? I’m impressed either way

Georgia

I did not think of it. LOL. It stumped me for a second there

Reader 5

You sure know a ton about wine n had me on a wine kick for a good minute so far lol

Reader 7

Did you have to drink a lot of bottles to research your book properly?

Georgia

I absolutely did.

Still am.

Reader 8

How did this story come about? What inspired you?

Georgia

I’ve always been a fan of wine and I’ve always been interested in learning about it. I found a local wine bar that had a great atmosphere with sort of an idea that I might want to do a wine book. Turns out the owner and I became fast friends and after that, it just seemed inevitable

Reader 1

Were you Mr. Can I Taste That while you were researching?

Georgia

Ha! No, I’m much too polite to be him

Reader 4

That guy irks me how does Lindsay stay so calm lol

Georgia

She’s a better person than you or I.

Reader 1

Anyone else get thrown off the ending because of Mr. Can I Taste That? I thought he was up to something.

Reader 3

Totally – like he was very important in reviewing or something

Georgia

Nope. He’s just a guy without manners

And an actual customer at the wine bar here

Reader 2

I’m curious as to how Edgar and Rocket might have got along if things got to the point that Lindsay and Piper moved in together.

Georgia

Reader 2 – they’d have come to an understanding. Eventually…

Reader 6

Oh! So, question. The characters both ask this question in some way, but I wonder if there’s an answer. Was the friction because of the underlying chemistry or was the chemistry enhanced by the initial friction?

Georgia

Reader 6 – yes

Reader 6

Hahaha dammit

Reader 8

If you could change one part of the novel, what would you change?

Georgia

It’s too recent to want to change it. Ask me again in a year or two!

Reader 8

But that makes me want to ask you things about older books….I will refrain.

Reader 1

Also, you better expect her to come knocking in a year or two now that you said so

Georgia

I’d better start rereading my older stuff then!

My memory ain’t what it used to be!

Reader 2

I’m also curious as to what happened to Zack.

Georgia

He got fired

Reader 6

I wanted them to sue his ass

Georgia

Piper tells Lindsay that she saved his firing for her

He didn’t do anything illegal, though. Just uncool

Reader 6

True. Then blast his ass on social media

Reader 1

Very uncool, Zack.

Reader 3

I was wondering what his motivations were… money?

Georgia

Greed, sure. He probably would’ve gotten a better position at the other restaurant

Reader 10

Hey Georgia. Did you mean to make Piper such a bitch or is she just misunderstood?

Georgia

Haha! Don’t sugarcoat it for me, Reader 10

I didn’t think she was a bitch. I thought she was a control freak who had issues she couldn’t deal with properly and that had her out of control.

Reader 10

That’s fair. I am a bit blunt

Reader 6

I was glad that Piper’s mom and sister owned up to the setup in the end. I kept thinking that Ellen had to plan this from the beginning

Reader 2

I thought it was quite obvious what Piper’s mom was up to from the beginning.

Reader 4

Control freak covers her perfectly they tend to be on the bitchy side lol

Reader 9

Yeah, I found with Piper that I could understand _why_ she acted the way she did, but… I found it difficult to find any reason to care about a character that reacted in the way she did. I finally became comfortable with Piper about the time Lindsey did.

Georgia

It’s a fine line to walk when writing an ice queen.

Reader 6

I feel like, because we saw glimpses of her humanity, I would absolutely give her leeway

Georgia

That’s always what I shoot for, Reader 6. I’m glad you felt that. It doesn’t always work, unfortunately

Reader 1

I think she definitely comes off as cold in the beginning, but I understood her throughout. Then again I think I’m more of a Piper than a Lindsay so it’s probably all perspective

She’s one of those people who you can count on to make the right decision eventually, even if it takes her a while to come around, like with the layoffs storyline

Reader 5

I loved the protectiveness at the graduation party piper showed

Georgia

I was hoping that the party would get people to connect with Piper a bit more

Reader 2

There were still a few times I wanted to slap Piper though.

Reader 9

And… I don’t like _everybody_ I meet in real life; so it isn’t a surprise when some characters aren’t quite right for me

Reader 6

It’s hard. And I’m sure there are people that would have cut her off. But that’s why Lindsay is who she is. Or you don’t have a book

Reader 3

I actually thought Piper and Lindsay would have clashed more than they did

All things considered, they weren’t too mean to each other

Georgia

Truthfully? I have trouble with conflict. I don’t like to make people clash. It’s a problem. LOL

Reader 6

I totally get that. I am way too kind to my characters sometimes.

But I liked the balance in this book

Georgia

Right? We’re supposed to put them through the wringer. And I’m always all, “But I LIKE them!”

Reader 3

oh, it’s so lovely in the story though! don’t get me wrong, I love some fiery enemies to lovers, but this book was charming!

Reader 1

Haha yes, killing your darlings is so hard

Reader 4

I have the opposite lol i like the conflict the bleeding heart i guess you can say

Reader 6

And at the same time, when it’s the right person, how can you not forgive when the other is genuine?

Reader 8

I was about to ask if you enjoy writing “enemies to lovers” into your novels.

Georgia

I do like enemies to lovers, yes. I like to write office romances and more often than not, they start as enemies

Reader 5

I loved the turmoil piper had to face within her in order to open her dang eyes n see she messed up

Reader 1

So speaking of redeeming Piper, I loved her grand gesture, signing Lindsay up for sommelier classes.

Grand gestures have come up in previous book clubs and it seems like there’s a wide range of author feelings on them. Georgia, do you like writing them? Do they come easy to you?

Georgia

I love writing them (because I am a romantic and *I* would make a grand gesture). But they’re hard because what *I* consider a grand gesture might be totally lame to you. You know?

Reader 4

A grand gesture is supposed to show you listen and know the person you nailed it!

Georgia

It also has to reflect the character. It can’t be totally out of left field. Or if it is, it needs to be discussed that it is so it’s not completely out of character

Reader 8

I think big gestures are in the eye of the beholder. Not to be too predictable, but How I Met Your Mother (the tv show) said it best. Gestures are defined by those receiving them. Something could be wonderful to one person, yet creepy to another.

Reader 3

Yes – and I loved the grand gesture of the sommelier classes, too, because they were something Lindsay hadn’t even thought of doing for herself

So it’s Piper knowing and seeing her

Reader 9

Right. That felt so Piper and so much the best proof she could offer Lindsey in that moment of her recognition.

Reader 10

I think it was a moment that showed that Piper understood what was important to Lindsay and therefore a perfect gesture.

Reader 8

What was the hardest part of writing this particular book? Aside from the research you had to do on wines.

Georgia

I think it was making Piper icy, but not totally unlikeable. I always have trouble with that

Reader 4

I love piper! Her icyness is justified

Georgia

Thank you, Reader 4! I glad you thought so

Reader 8

I think you always humanize the “ice queens” in such a way that we can see beyond the stereotype.

Georgia

Thank you. That’s the goal, always

Reader 4

She was always the control freak and her father her sounding board with him gone it makes sense she would retreat a bit

Reader 10

Blend was my first GB book. What should I read next?

Reader 8

ALL OF THEM.

Reader 8

Too Close To Touch was the first I read, but that was…a long time ago. Lol

Reader 6

I really appreciated starting from scratch. Lesfic has relatively few moms and kids, especially believable ones. There are times when I know an author has never had a kid. Lol that wasn’t a problem with your books

Reader 5

shape of you had me trying cycling…

Georgia

Good for you! Spin is HARD

Reader 8

Of your collected works, What is the one you’re most proud of? ( you can say you’re proud of all of them…)

Georgia

That’s a tough one, but I’m going to go with Starting from Scratch

Reader 1

What’s your favorite part of a romance to write?

Georgia

The first kiss

Reader 8

Not the first…time?

Georgia

Nope. The first kiss

Writing the first sex scene is HARD

Reader 4

Why the first kiss?

Georgia

Because to me, all the tension/flirting/arguing has built up to that moment, that first physical, sexual contact

Reader 7

Do you have to do research for the sex scenes like you do for the wine?

Georgia

Haha! I’ve been around a while. I think I have the hang of it…

I mean, I *think*…

Reader 10

Research is important lol!

Reader 2

If you have a chance to make one of your books into a movie which book would you most want to see become a movie?

Reader 4

Blend!!! Hands down is my favorite type of love story lol

Reader 4

I loive hallmark just needs to be more lesfic love then hetro

Georgia

I watch a lot of Hallmark, too

Reader 10

Do you enjoy this type of interaction with your readers?

Georgia

I do. I’m always a little nervous, but yes, I enjoy it

Reader 11

Do you ever worry you’ll run out of stories? I’m impressed how you keep coming up with new ideas.

Georgia

Every single day, yes.

But I have learned to remind myself that an idea always comes along eventually. And that’s been true so far.

Reader 6

With so many books, how do you come up with character names?

Georgia

I have a list of names that I keep on my phone. Whenever I hear one I like, I jot it down.

I have used some over again, but not for main characters.

I also tend to decide what year my character was born, then check “most popular baby names” for that year

And I have a name book

Reader 6

Not a question, but an observation. I think of you as a writer that never has an awkward sentence.

It just blows me away.

Reader 1

Agreed – definitely a wordsmith!

Georgia

Thank you for that, Reader 6!

And Reader 1! I really, really appreciate that!

I do love words. Numbers? They hate me. But words and I are pretty good friends

Reader 3

Thank you for joining us!

Reader 1

Yes, thank you Georgia! We appreciate you chatting with us

Georgia

No problem at all! I’m so honored you asked me

Reader 8

I cannot believe we just chatted with Georgia Beers. THANK YOU!!!

Georgia

Hahahaha! You flatter me. Thank YOU

This was a lot of fun.

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