Happy Saturday! All week, I have had the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2019 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m wrapping things up with the debut novel & romance categories, including Carla Laureano and her Carol Award nominated novel The Saturday Night Supper Club! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.
Carla Laureano is the two-time RITA Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night. Visit her at her website.
THE SATURDAY NIGHT SUPPER CLUB
SERIES: Supper Club #1
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: February 6, 2018
Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.
Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.
Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life–and love–outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?
Hi, dear Carla! Welcome back to the blog!
Q: Why do you write fiction? And, why specifically Christian fiction?
Carla: I write fiction because our world is in desperate need of connection. We as humans need to feel seen and understood to feel happy and safe, which is something that is in short supply in our disconnected society. I purposely write characters with real problems and struggles, particularly women who are struggling with their sense of identity, in the hopes that my readers will be able to see themselves in the pages and realize they are not alone. I write Christian fiction specifically because many of the questions both my readers and my characters ask have the same answer: Jesus.
Carrie: I love this. Yes. ♥
Q: Other than the Bible, what are a couple of your most cherished books and why?
Carla: I am the odd writer who doesn’t get particularly attached to individual stories. Don’t get me wrong, I love books, and story plays a huge part in my life, but everything I read becomes part of me and shapes my worldview. I rarely re-read. Because of that, it’s hard to pick out specific favorites. I will say that The Secret Garden is special because it’s the first book that I can remember being touched by and truly immersed in as a child.
Carrie: That’s a special one for me too ♥
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Carla: “Completely sadistic. Just when everything is going really, really well, she messes everything up for us! Granted, we still have baggage we have to unpack before we have our happily-ever-afters, but couldn’t she just give us a break once in a while?”
Q: Which of your main characters (either in The Saturday Night Supper Club or over all you’ve written) is most like you?
Carla: There are definitely shades of me in Rachel from The Saturday Night Supper Club, but if we’re going for most like me, it would have to be her friend Analyn Sanchez. We’re both driven, type-A, ENTJ, Enneagram 3 types, and it takes some work to let go of that expectation of perfection.
Carrie: I can’t wait to read her story!!!
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from The Saturday Night Supper Club & why do you love it?
Carla: Near the end of The Saturday Night Supper Club, Alex tells Rachel: “You are not the sum of your accomplishments or failures.” I love this quote because it’s very easy to see our worth in terms of lines on a resume or mentions in a bio. If we haven’t accomplished x and i, then we must be less valuable, when in truth our value is intrinsic as humans made in the image of God.
Carrie: This is so important to remember & so easy to forget….
I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2019 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most from Carla Laureano’s Q&A or the Carol Award finalist The Saturday Night Supper Club?