Lesfic Book Club: All the Love Songs

For our May meeting of the Lesfic Book Club, we discussed All the Love Songs by Nicole Pyland. 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.

Nicole Pyland  4:00 PM

Hi everyone, I’m here!

Reader 2  4:01 PM

Hi from the UK Nicole. Loved the book. Was Kenzie always going to be a neuro diverse character?

Nicole Pyland  4:01 PM

She was, yes. From the start, I’d always planned on that.

Reader 2  4:02 PM

I think you captured her really well.

Reader 3  4:02 PM

Hey yall I made it hahaha loved the book it made me cry a bit

Nicole Pyland  4:02 PM

Thank you. I appreciate that.

Reader 2  4:04 PM

When you wrote the book did you know there was a also a prequel just waiting to be written, which I’ve recently read.

Nicole Pyland  4:05 PM

Not really, no. I wrote ATLS with the intention of it being a standalone book. Later, I kept thinking about Dani & Peyton and their story, and it became one of the books I had to write.

Reader 1  8 days ago

Dani and Peyton are such fully realized characters I was surprised when I found out that their book was written second. Do you tend to dig deep into all of your characters like that while you’re figuring out the story?

Reader 5  8 days ago

I thought i’d missed something when I saw this is now book 2. I read it before book 1 was released I think

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

yes, they literally all live in my head and it’s confusing. my wife was worried at one point that I might say “Hey, I’m off to have coffee with ___.” and it would be a character. Lol

Reader 6  4:05 PM

I’ve never heard of an autistic character referred to as graceful before. Most of the people I know on the spectrum (including myself) are more on the awkward and clumsy side of things. I’m curious as to where this originated. I don’t know everything there is to know about autism so I’m always looking to learn more.

Reader 3 May 31st at 4:06 PM

When you wrote the book what was the inspiration behind lennox’s character

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I didn’t have an overall inspiration for the character. I just wanted the right woman for Kenzie, and that’s where she came from.

Reader 6 May 31st at 4:06 PM

You did well writing all the parts regarding sensory overload.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Thank you. I deal with these things myself, so I used a bit of my own experiences to describe them.

Kenzie felt like a graceful person to me, and it seemed like something that most people wouldn’t notice, but Lennox did and that made it special.

Reader 5 May 31st at 4:07 PM

the gracefulness made sense bc my brain is constantly trying to optimize. As is my wife’s and we’re both on the spectrum

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I say this to my wife all the time “Be more efficient with your movements.” lol

She’s glaring at me right now after having read that.

Reader 5  4:08 PM

So are you also on the spectrum? Or adjacent?

Nicole Pyland  4:08 PM

Aspergers

Reader 4 May 31st at 4:11 PM

You write with do much heart and each character is filled with wonderful nuances and wit. How did you feel about opening yourself up, and allowing yourself to write honestly? Because All of it came through beautifully.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I’m getting more used to it now, but it was hard in the beginning. I think fanfiction helped a lot here because I could post it, people could read it and tell me if they liked it and since they usually did, I got my confidence to write original stuff.

Reader 1 May 31st at 4:13 PM

How did you come up with the concept for adult summer camp? I loved that

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

It was just something that came to me, and I wrote it in my notes and then when I had the idea for Kenzie and the celebrity squad, it all came together.

Reader 7  8 days ago

I took my granddaughter and friends to an all day concert and there was an adult day care tent.  A/C, chargers, water, etc.  Cool.  Love the idea.

Reader 2 May 31st at 4:13 PM

I found it so interesting that you wrote someone who describes herself as awkward doing a job where everyone wants a piece of her. The tension  of these opposing positions was so interesting to read.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Yeah, I feel that in my day job myself a lot. So much of it is not my natural state and over the past decade or so, I’ve had to develop coping mechanisms and keep pushing myself when I’m put in situations I wouldn’t really like.

It made sense to me that Kenzie would use acting in that regard.

Reader 5  8 days ago

I don’t know how many people caught it, but I really like that Kenzie didn’t know how to dance because she never had to learn for a role. There is so much summed up in that one sentence that it stuck with me.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I feel like it was something she and Lennox would both understand. It’s also the reality of being on the spectrum for a lot of us, which I’m sure you understand @Reader 5

Reader 5  8 days ago

Yeah and then Lennox not even questioning or pushing her was so good!

Reader 8 May 31st at 4:15 PM

Not so much a question, but: One of the things I liked about the book was the balance. For me, your book had a great balance of wish fulfillment (imagining falling in love with a celebrity crush) and… reality (in my case, there were scenes that reminded me of the early days of my relationship with my wife)

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Yeah, there’s a suspension of disbelief a little, but it’s nice to think about that the person you’re crushing on is also crushing on you and then it turns out to be real.

Reader 1  8 days ago

And I think anyone could fall in love in a canopy in the woods – great romantic setting

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I remember picturing that thing in my head for whatever reason and feeling like I had to put it in this book.

Reader 6 May 31st at 4:16 PM

I am curious if Maddox will be getting their own book at some point in the future.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

It may or may not be the next book in the series.

Reader 1  8 days ago

Woo hoo – I love Maddox

Reader 9  8 days ago

me too! Here interactions with Kenzie was great.

Reader 2 May 31st at 4:17 PM

All the love songs has a large supporting cast. Is this part of your masterplan for a huge series?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

As my wife will tell you, I never have masterplans. I have little surprises where I tell her upfront “I’m not writing anymore in this series.” Fast forward a few days or even months, “So, I think I’m going to add to that series I told you I was done with.”

Reader 2  8 days ago

Hahaha. Maybe you just need to percolate!

Reader 1  8 days ago

Whoa, I am in awe of that – I can’t even brush my teeth without a plan in place 🙂 So would you say you’re a pantser when you write?

Reader 6  8 days ago

Or perhaps do you plot in small doses (a book at a time) and pants the overall series?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

It honestly just depends on the book. For some of them, iI’ll write a general outline. Recently, I’ve been writing more detailed ones, but I rarely used to outline at all. That’s true with this book. No outline. Just wrote it with no plan.

Generally speaking, I just get an idea and start writing. Then, if I like the side characters I’ve created, sometimes I get the pull to make them fall in love in their own books. That’s how pretty much all of my existing series have turned out coming to fruition.

Reader 4  8 days ago

That is amazing. I think I spend too much time planning. Maybe Going with the flow is the thing to do.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I think it’s about finding your process honestly. Sometimes, outlining holds me back, so I don’t. Sometimes I need it, so I do it.

Reader 4  8 days ago

When is your next book due to come out? And do you have an ARC team?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Always More (1st book in the sports series) just came out and the next one if A Shot at Gold (book 2) on July 16th. I do have an ARC team. If people reach out on my site and request to join, I usually send them the form to sign up.

Reader 4 May 31st at 4:19 PM

You mention fanfiction, where do you post

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I haven’t in years, but I’m on fanfiction.net and archive.

https://www.fanfiction.net/u/4629601/buffy46143

Reader 6 May 31st at 4:19 PM

I don’t know if Reader 5 will have time to ask these before they have to run off, so I’ll ask for them. 1) Where did the idea for the book come from? 2) Was it hard to write the angsty parts?

2 replies

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I had three random ideas that then turned into the book. 1. adult summer camp 2. girl squad and 3. Kenzie’s character

Yes, it’s always hard for me to write angst after I watch them fall in love. I just want them to be happy.

Reader 2 May 31st at 4:21 PM

First book of yours I read was the one with Eve and Ember. I didn’t realise it was part of a series, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book. Do you feel you need to read them in order to get maximum enjoyment?

5 replies

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Depends on the series, honestly. I wrote Fresh Start (book 0) with no intention of writing more. Then, I wrote The Best Lines. So, it can standalone, but Hannah and Alyssa are in book 0.

If you then want to read more about the other characters falling in love, you can read the other books, but I generally write books with just that couple’s story in mind so you can technically read them solo too.

Reader 8  8 days ago

Best of both worlds: I can be so completist about reading series, but sometimes it’s just nice to pick up a book.

Reader 7  8 days ago

I think it’s better read in order.  Chicago still one of my favorite series.  Love Hailey and Charlie.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I read a lot myself, so I like to find the first book in a series whenever I can. It’s why I created the character connection page on my website, so people would always know where to start. I’ve ended up mid-series as a reader at times, and I always feel like I’m missing something.

Reader 1 May 31st at 4:25 PM

Could you see yourself writing full-time if the opportunity presented itself?

4 replies

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I used to think no, but as I’m getting older, I can see myself doing it, yes.

Reader 1  8 days ago

You write so prolifically I assumed that you were full-time until you just mentioned otherwise – you go girl : D

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

No, I have a stressful day job. I usually write most evenings and on the weekends. I’m lucky. I write very fast.

Reader 8 May 31st at 4:28 PM

I also wanted to applaud the representation: I liked that it wasn’t anywhere close to her entire character. And it didn’t fall into the “obstacle or gift” dichotomy, but showed that (like so much else in life) that aspect of her had both positives and negatives for Kenzie

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I wanted to show that it’s part of who she is, but not all of who she is because that’s how I know I feel, and I think that can be applied universally; not just with being on the spectrum.

Reader 2 May 31st at 4:29 PM

What’s your ‘day job’ and how on earth do you fit it all in?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I direct a training team of about 20 people at a tech startup.

It’s taken me a while to get the whole work/life balance thing. I’m not perfect at it, but in my home office (since I’m working from home right now due to COVID), I have a set space for my day job and a space for my writing. That helps.

Reader 1  8 days ago

That separation is so important.

Reader 2  8 days ago

That sounds….. intense! I am rubbish at working from home. Too many distractions, too many dogs to snuggle!

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I have 2 cats. one is downstairs. the other is and I’m quoting my wife here right now, “Trying to get in trouble.”

So, I get it.

Teresa May 31st at 4:32 PM

Hi Nicole. I loved the book. I would like to know how long it takes to write a book? You always seem to have a book out for us to read!

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

It depends on the book. For ALTS, I finished the first draft of it in a weekend. For some of the others, it’s usually about 2 weeks for a draft. Others do take longer, but that’s usually because there’s something going on at work on in my life and I need to pause until I can get back to it. I’d say I easily hit the 10K a day mark almost every day and sometimes, I write much more.

Reader 4  8 days ago

You are truly gifted.

Reader 5 May 31st at 4:33 PM

Does your wife read your books?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

She’s the first reader. I know how much she likes it by how late she stays up reading it.

She runs the business side of the publishing, so she gets dibs. My writing is also how we met. She read my stuff on fanfiction and messaged me. We got together later after that. So, my writing is a big part of our relationship. I’m very lucky it’s not something she tolerates, but something she’s loves and participates in.

Reader 8 May 31st at 4:34 PM

With balancing both a day job and a writing life, how much time do you work on your writing in an average day/week?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I’m usually at it at least 1-2 hours a night when I’m writing. On the weekends, I’m writing most of the day, but I do stop for breaks and meals (assuming I remember I’m supposed to eat), so I’d say maybe 15-20 on avg.

Reader 2 May 31st at 4:35 PM

I really enjoyed The Fire and The Disappeared. Any plans to go more in this direction again?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I have one idea I’ve had sitting in my notes app. I haven’t written it yet. Mainly, what happens is I get an idea, write that down and then have a new idea (or an old one) pop into my head and I trust that. When my brain is telling me to write an idea, I trust that and do that one instead of going down my list, so I’ll get to it at some point. I’m sure there will be more too. My degree is in criminal justice and behavior analysis, so I’m always into writing more in that genre.

Reader 9  8 days ago

I loved The Fire. One of my top three books of yours. The Disappeared was great too.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Thank you. Both of those were really intense, but fun to write.

For The Fire I spent a whole day just trying to come up the names for the characters because I wanted them to be opposite, Ripley is water themed and Kenna is fire themed.

Reader 9  8 days ago

yes, they were intense as a reader but damn, oh, can I say that word…the way you wrote the characters was amazing. I especially loved Ripley and Kenna connection.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

they were really important to me. for whatever reason, I wanted them to find each other and be together, and I wanted them to have to fight through some stuff and earn it.

Reader 9  8 days ago

Excellent book. Can’t say it enough.That’s deep…how you came up with the characters names.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

It was a lot of googling and finding the right ones

Reader 1 May 31st at 4:38 PM

What’s your favorite genre/trope/fandom to read in (if you even have free time anymore haha)?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I listen to books every day, so that’s how I find time to read. I usually read at least a book a week depending on how long they are. I don’t know that I have a favorite. It depends on my mood. I am 99% of the time though reading lesfic. Outside of lesfic, True crime is up there. I should read books on business, leadership and blah blah blah, but I’d rather read something else.

Reader 1  8 days ago

Who’s your favorite lesfic author?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I have a couple right now. I generally read/listen to anyone that’s on Audible, but I just finished Elle Spencer’s latest and I’m a Brayden fan too.

Reader 9  8 days ago

Glad to know I am not the only one who reads lesfic 99% of the time. 😉

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I don’t think I’ve picked up an actual physical book in years. i’ve been buying books on Audible and listening to a ton of lesfic since before I started publishing. I think I really only have a couple of business books in my Audible library, all the Harry Potter books, The Diary of Anne Frank and the rest is all lesfic.

Reader 9  8 days ago

I’m a Brayden fan too. Loved her Seven Shores series, expecially ELT.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

that’s my favorite in that series as well.

Reader 10 May 31st at 4:43 PM

Are you planning on writing books outside of your comfort zone? Sorry I am late I am making chicken gumbo

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Pretty much everything I write is out of my comfort zone. lol The Moments was out of my comfort zone when I wrote that one. Many of my sex scenes are out of my comfort zone. lol ATLS was definitely out of my comfort zone because it was so personal. I try to tell stories differently whenever I can. I have a few written that will come out at some point that are also like that.

Reader 4  8 days ago

I think that’s what makes it so authentic. You dig really deep down to the point where the connections between the characters I raw an honest.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I think that’s the Aspergers thing. My default state is that 99% of things are out of my comfort zone.

Reader 2 May 31st at 4:45 PM

Any plans on a different genre, say historical or sci-fi?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

historical- nothing yet. I did just have an idea pop into my mind for a possible sci-fi book. I wrote it down to maybe use later. Sports is up right now. then, I have some different one-offs that I hope people like.

Reader 9  8 days ago

Starting the first book in the first series today. Just finished reading ATLS again.

Reader 11 May 31st at 4:46 PM

Hi Nicole,  Loved both books in this series.  I re-read both in the past couple of weeks.  “Fresh Start” was one of the first books in lesbian romance I read.  It really affected me and turned me into a fan of the genre.  Thanks for the great books!

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Thank you! Fresh Start is special to me. It’s the first real lesfic I wrote that wasn’t fanfic, but my own. I’d written stuff before (that I rarely finished), but not lesfic and nothing worth publishing.

Reader 4 May 31st at 4:48 PM

Being that many of these books a personal, do they ever takes so much out of you that you have to take a break from writing?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Honestly, no. I usually need to take a break from writing because my hands hurt from typing. When that happens, I revise mostly. While I’m revising though, I’m usually itching to get back to writing.

Reader 2  8 days ago

Sounds like you’re a writing ninja lol!

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

that made my wife laugh

Reader 10 May 31st at 4:51 PM

Is there going to to a answer to the brother on The Disappeared?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

No, unfortunately not. I made that a conscious decision that I know some people had a problem with, but I wanted it to be as real as possible. The reality is that when something like this happens, the family so often never gets answers.

I wrestled with a lot. I knew people would want to know, but the truth is, I don’t even know what happened to him. I wrote the book that way intentionally not trying to come up with an answer because I knew I’d find a sneaky way to leave clues and/or to incorporate it and that just didn’t feel like the right way to end the book for me.

Reader 2  8 days ago

As a reader I did want the answer to that question but I respect that life is not neat.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Yeah, I get that. I wish life could be a little “neater” these days.

Reader 9 May 31st at 4:52 PM

I’m just going say it…I love how you write the sex scenes. They have so much passion. Being that writing them are outside your confort zone how is that you write them so well? What’s your process if any at all?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I wish I could tell you I had some grand process where I mapped things out and knew what the heck I was doing, but that would be a lie. I don’t. This will sound cliche for sure, but I do what my characters tell me to do. That includes but is not limited to the sex scenes. If they’re sassier with each other outside of the bedroom, they might be sassier in the bedroom. That kind of a thing. I try to make sweet moments as well as some hot, passionate ones in each book if I can, because I think that’s reality, but that’s the extent of my planning.

Reader 8  8 days ago

From what I read in this book, it works! (Definitely won’t be the last book of yours I read!)

Reader 9  8 days ago

Wow…I love how you just explained that. I feel you hit every sex scene perfectly for ALL your characters.

Reader 10 May 31st at 4:56 PM

What are your favorite characters or couple in your books?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Kenzie & Lennox, Ember & Eva, Dylan & Ada and now Everly & Wyatt.

That’s ATLS, The Best Lines, The Disappeared and Always More (books)

Reader 7  8 days ago

I still vote for Charlie and Hailey.

Reader 9  8 days ago

Loved, loved Ember & Eva. I’ve read that book at least five times.

Reader 10  8 days ago

Dang, I have go with Fresh Start couple.

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I love Charlie and Hailey too. They frustrated the hell out of me though. Lol

Reader 2 May 31st at 4:57 PM

What book are you most proud of?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

I’m proud of a lot of them for different reasons. I think ALTS is probably the one I’m most proud of overall. It took a lot for me to write it because it is, in a way, personal and then to publish and see the reaction from people who read it.

Reader 4 May 31st at 4:58 PM

I think of your books as insightful and honestly therapeutic And I’m sure I’m not the only one. So how does it feel to be the one to have helped so many people gain an understanding and compassion for those on the spectrum?

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Honestly… weird.

I write for myself. Always have. So, to find out that something I’ve written has helped someone be more comfortable with who they are (whether it be this or with their own sexuality) is one of the best things I’ll ever do.

Reader 4  8 days ago

And you do it so well, Thank You!  I honestly can’t remember which one of your books was the first I read, but I will tell you it took me less than a week to read everyone of your books. It was a whole new meaning to binge reading.

Reader 9  8 days ago

Read all of them. Seriously, they are all great!

Nicole Pyland  8 days ago

Thank you!

If anyone is interested, you can hop over to my site, create a login and get some free stuff right now (like The Proposal Series) and the What Happened After (ATLS and No After You). https://nicolepyland.com/

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