For our October meeting of the Lesfic Book Club, we discussed TB Markinson’s novel, Reservations of the Heart. 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://lesficlove.com (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

I usually just drink it when I have a headache, which only perpetuates more headaches but

Anyway… it’s book club time. Thanks for joining us, TB

TB Markinson

Thanks for the invite!

Reader 2

Book club time

Reader 1

Basically how it usually goes is just a ton of questions for the next hour and you can either respond in-line or thread your responses, whichever way is easier for you

What did everybody think of Reservations of the Heart?

Reader 3

Loved it.

Reader 2

I loved it couldn’t put it down… May have gotten in trouble at work for reading 

TB Markinson

I hope not serious trouble. I used to listen to audiobooks at my last desk job. Not sure they figured it out, though.

Reader 1

Audiobooks should definitely be allowed – multitasking

Reader 2

No was told to put my phone in the locker for the rest of shift

Reader 4

Absolutely adored it

TB Markinson

My apologies for the reprimand.

Reader 2 

It’s all good lol thanks for writing such an addictive book

TB Markinson 

Aw, thanks for saying that.

The older I get I can’t multitask as much. Oddly, I’ve been more productive.

Reader 1 

I’ve heard this in theory, now if I could only start single-tasking to figure out if it’s true for me too

TB Markinson 

It’s takes time getting used to it.

Reader 4

Ok. Standard question out of the way. Did you plot this one out scene by scene, or how did you write it? 

TB Markinson

A little bit of both. I used to never plot, but I’ve started doing some plotting beforehand.

Reader 1 

What made you want to switch?

Reader 4

What was your favorite part to write?

Reader 2

Which of the characters were your favorite to write

TB Markinson

Oh, gosh, I really enjoyed the crazy office stuff. I used to have Aurora’s job and crazy stuff happened.

Reader 1

Was Dr. Howie a “name changed to protect the innocent” situation?

TB Markinson

As for switching from pantsing to sorta plotting, I have a crazy work schedule and I had to speed up the writing parts. It helps to know sorta what’s going on.

Dr. Howie is a mixture of several doctors I encountered.

As for my favorite characters, I always like the stubborn ones and both leading ladies fall into that category.

Reader 2

Yes they do lol

Reader 4

What was your biggest inspiration for this novel, specifically?

TB Markinson

Originally, I started this novel thinking I would use a penname since it’s different from my usual books. My inspiration was writing a standalone, not a series. And, I just returned to Boston and a lot of memories from my previous job came back.

Reader 4

What made you decide to stick with this name?

TB Markinson

When I started thinking of all the work to build a new newsletter, website, and social media, it didn’t make a lot of sense. I will say, thinking it would be under a different name freed me some while writing. Not having expectations. I really enjoyed that aspect.

Reader 1

Was it just the standalone aspect that had you thinking about a different pen name? I thought it read pretty quintessentially TB Markinson

TB Markinson

Is it? The standalone was part of it. Also, it’s in third person with switching POV.

Reader 1

I think you have a particular style with your characters and how they see the world. Not sure I could put my finger on exactly how, but I could probably pick out one of your books by tone

Reader 4

Did you find it harder to write with those differences?

TB Markinson

The switching POV takes some getting used to, but I liked digging into both heads of the leading ladies. I like to know what makes them tick.

Reader 1

Curious if everybody else feels that way, can you pick out your favorite authors if you were just given the book with no name?

Reader 2 

I feel like I would be able to but I’m unsure of my ability lol

Reader 1 

Haha yeah, maybe like 75% certainty

Reader 2 

Right hahaha

Reader 4 

It really depends  …

Reader 5 

I could pick out your books no matter the pen name…maybe a few others

TB Markinson

I think with some authors I could pick them out. Like Clare Lydon’s British Rom-Com wit.

Reader 4 

Yes! Some authors have a certain feel.

Reader 1

Did you relate to Aurora or Stella more, or both equally?

 (And that question to everybody else, too – are you an Aurora or a Stella?)

Reader 2 

Definitely a Stella

Reader 5 

Combination of both

TB Markinson

Oh gosh, that’s always hard for me to answer. I never base a character on myself or on one particular person. They’re a mesh of everything.

Given I’m closer in age to Stella, I probably relate to her more.

Reader 3

What did you have the most fun with when writing this book?

TB Markinson

I love writing dialogue. That’s always my favorite part.

Reader 5

Hey T.B I’m super late, just woke up couldn’t sleep last night for nothing…..I absolutely loved this book and I felt I could relate a lot to both Stella and Aurora!

TB Markinson

Aw, thanks!

Reader 1

Do you prefer to write with background noise or silence?

TB Markinson

Music. I can’t write in cafes, but I always listen to music in my office.

Reader 5

I do have to ask you….When writing Stella and Aurora was it easy to switch the POV. How do you determine whose POV to write at which time?

Reader 4

I was gonna ask, when you did a little plotting for this one, was it about who would talk when? Or was it planning specific things within the novel ?

TB Markinson

When I started, I knew each chapter would switch. And usually the switch happened when I needed the other character to react. It’s kinda fun to see both sides. How simple things are interpreted differently and then cause problems. Everyone brings in their own experiences to all situations. And that distorts their perceptions and actions.

Reader 4 

Which is one of the reasons why I adore your novels. The way your characters act and react to others is always fascinating and captivating.  I read Claudia Must Die rapid fire (in 3 hours or so).

Reader 5 

That’s the other book I’m dying to read! I might just have to buy it too!

Reader 4 

Read it!!! I loved it  buy it or It’s on KU.

Reader 5 

I gave up KU at the moment…..

TB Markinson

When I plotted, I knew the POV of each chapter and the thing that had to happen. I didn’t plot out how to get to that one thing, though.

Reader 1

Do you have a favorite part of a book (or favorite part of the romance) to write?

TB Markinson

Oh geez. Each romance has an arc to it. And I like all the parts. The Meet Cute. Falling in love. The black moment. And then the HEA. It’s hard to pinpoint which one I like the most. Depends on my mood, I think.

Reader 3

What gave you the most trouble when doing research for this book?

TB Markinson

When going to a Red Sox game to refresh my memory, the weather was complete shite. Rain and so cold. I really didn’t enjoy that day.

As for the medical school aspect, I worked at one for over 3 years.

Reader 4

Whoa. Cooooool

Reader 6

Oh no. I’m late. The clocks have gone forward here and didn’t figure that in. Hi TB. As a very low level manager, I could totally relate to some of the ‘managing people’ issues Aurora has. You sound like you have some experience in this area?! Any specifics that made it into the book?

Reader 4

Would you change anything from this novel (or another), if you could?

TB Markinson

Oh, I’m trying to remember the office shenanigans that I included and the ones that ended up on the cutting room floor. I penned the majority of ROH last January. The missing alcohol actually happened, but there was a twist in real life, which I probably shouldn’t share. I wasn’t the employee in charge of that snafu.

I’m sure when I proof the audio, I’ll cringe a lot. There’s always a way to improve a story. Change word choices. Add a different twist. But there’s no way to make a story perfect. I live by the mantra one of my teachers told me: A story is never done. There are only deadlines.

Reader 4

As a wannabe author, I can completely understand this. As a fan, I think you might be incorrect. 

Reader 5

Yes love that saying!

Reader 1

Love that mantra

Do you have a release date for the audio yet?

Reader 2

I love that mantra

Reader 3

If Mackenzie could be a superheroine who fights villains while riding dinosaurs, which dinosaur would she pick to ride?

TB Markinson

I haven’t had time to work on the audio yet. I need to contact some narrators to see who has time in their schedules. There’s always a long to-do list for all projects.

Reader 1

Oh gotcha, thought you meant it was pending. Yes, those to-do lists never end.

Could you talk a little about your Village Romance series? What was it like collaborating with Harper Bliss and Clare Lydon?

TB Markinson

The first dinosaur that came to mind was T-Rex, but I don’t think Kenzie would limit herself with just one choice.

Reader 3

I would expect her to say, “All of them!”

TB Markinson

Working with Harper and Clare was a blast. We started the collab by taking a road trip through the Cotswolds last March. Harper’s Mrs drove the minivan. We all worked closely to ensure we were staying as consistent as possible, meaning we read first drafts and that always makes me nervous. Although, when Harper and I cowrote Life in Bits, she read my first draft as well. Sending Harper Bliss a sex scene nearly caused my heart to stop.

Reader 1 

Haha I bet!

I love the writer road trip – sounds like a dream

Reader 4 

Agreed

Reader 2 

Ditto agreed

TB Markinson 

It was fun and we popped into so many quaint pubs. I miss living in the UK.

Reader 2 

Sounds like a dream

Reader 4 

Sounds perfect to me.

Reader 2

Was the Anne of green gables reference just a toss in or were their last names chosen for that reason?

Did that make sense

TB Markinson

The Anne of Green Gables came to me quite early. It was my favorite TV series when I was a kid. It was my way of paying tribute.

Reader 5

I really loved that.

Reader 2

I thought it was really cool its my favorite book series of all time so to see it was great

Reader 1

One of my faves too

Who’s your favorite author, either lesfic or in general?

TB Markinson

Just one?

Reader 2

Lol

Reader 1 

That’s fair, it was a hardball question

Reader 5 

Right it’s hard to limit greatness to just one

Reader 6

Any more collaborations in the pipeline?

Reader 5

So I’ve always wanted to see my name in a book…. So thank you for that

TB Markinson

Yes, a novel I cowrote with Miranda MacLeod is coming out in November. Clare and I are planning to cowrite a book in 2020.

Reader 4

With Miranda MacLeod???

TB Markinson

My answers for favorite authors always disappoints people.

Reader 1 

Feel free to pass, although now I’m curious why it’s a disappointment

Reader 4

Not possible.

Reader 2

Try us

TB Markinson

Yep. Miranda and I go way back. To the 6th grade.

Reader 4

6th grade??? THAT IS SO COOOOL

Reader 1

That’s awesome

Reader 5

Just say them. Everyone has there own opinions who the better authors are so no judgement

TB Markinson

Charles Dickens. John Steinbeck. Ernest Hemmingway. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Jane Austen–she’s the one people prefer.

Reader 5

Very nice!

Reader 2

I’m down with your choices very nice

Reader 4

I can dig most of that. There are almost no wrong answers when it comes to that question.

Reader 1

Same, the classics are classics for a reason!

Reader 2

Alright yall wife is saying it’s bed time night yall

Reader 1

Night Reader 2!

And we’re at the top of the hour, any last-minute questions for TB?

TB Markinson

Good night, Reader 2. Thanks for chatting.

Reader 5

Night Reader 2!

TB Markinson

I’m a historian, so the classics speak to me on many levels.

Reader 4 

I love this. I am, too.

TB Markinson 

I always say history is the greatest story ever told.

Reader 4 

…any chance of an historical fiction novel on the future??

TB Markinson 

I wouldn’t stop researching to write it.

Reader 4 

I can understand that. I had a similar issue for my senior seminar paper.

Reader 2

Thanks for writing such an amazing story @TB Markinson

TB Markinson

Aw, thanks for saying that.

Reader 3

What kinds of stories do you think you would never write?

Reader 5

Yes I really loved Reservations of the Heart!! It was beautifully written. And the first book I’ve finished on over a month

TB Markinson

I don’t know if there is a story I wouldn’t write if the muse pulled me in a certain direction. I do avoid historical fiction, simply because I love the research aspect too much.

Thanks so much, Reader 5!

Reader 1

Well, thank you so much for chatting with us, TB

Loved Reservations and definitely looking forward to all those collabs on the horizon

TB Markinson

Thanks for having me. I appreciate the support.

Reader 4

Thank you for joining us!!

And for writing it.

TB Markinson

My pleasure, Peri.

Reader 5

You are welcome! Thank you for having amazing stories you share to the world!!

TB Markinson

Aw, thanks. I’m always so nervous when I release a new book.

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