Author Interview: Jayci Lee – Booked on a Feeling is a friends to lovers contemporary romance and it features a bookstore! A book lover’s dream romance! This post may contain links to purchase books & you can read our affiliate disclosure here.
Jayci Lee writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. At times, she cannot accommodate real life because her brain is full of drool worthy heroes and badass heroines clamoring to come to life.
Because of all the books demanding to be written, Jayci writes full-time now, and is semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator. She loves food, wine, and travelling, and incidentally so do her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal, and she hopes her books will do the same for you.
Synopsis for Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee
Lizzy “Overachiever” Chung, Esq. has her life mapped out neatly:
* Become a lawyer. Check.
* Join a prestigious law firm. Check.
* Make partner. In progress.
If all goes to plan, she will check off that last box in a couple years, make her parents proud, and live a successful, fulfilled life in L.A. What was not in her plans was passing out from a panic attack during a pivotal moment in her career. A few deep breaths and a four hour drive later, Lizzy is in Weldon for three weeks to shed the burnout and figure out what went wrong. And what better place to recharge than the small California town where she spent her childhood summers with her best friend, Jack Park.
Jack Park didn’t expect to see Lizzy back in Weldon, but now he’s got three weeks to spend with the girl of his dreams. Except she doesn’t know of his decades-long crush on her–and he intends to keep it that way. She’s a high-powered attorney who lives in L.A. and he’s a bookkeeper at his family’s brewery who never left his hometown. He can’t risk their friendship on a long shot. Can he? When Lizzy decides that the local bookstore needs a little revamp, of course, Jack is going to help her bring it back to life. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to ignore there might be more than just friendship among the dusty shelves and books…
Sometimes the path to the rest of your life has been in front of you all along.
Author Interview: Jayci Lee
Jayci Lee, I’m so excited to talk to you today about Booked on a Feeling, out July 26th, 2022. Thank you for joining me for this author interview.
I’m so happy to join you today!
Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind Booked on a Feeling?
It started as a little blurb about an overachieving lawyer, Lizzy Chung, and one of Tara’s older twin brothers, Jack Park, when I signed with St. Martin’s Press in 2019 for A Sweet Mess. I knew exactly what the second book, The Dating Dare, was going to be about even as I was writing A Sweet Mess, but the premise for Booked on a Feeling came to me out of nowhere in mere seconds. Sometimes this book writing business is so weird.
The friends-to-lovers trope (one of my favorites) and the bookstore renovation element came later during a brainstorming session with my lovely editor, Mara Delgado-Sanchez, and my amazing agent, Sarah Younger, over Zoom. We were so excited that we were all talking at the same time and gesturing wildly with our hands. I feel like I should plot all my books with them from now on. So. Much. Fun.
And while I was writing Booked on a Feeling, I realized that Lizzy’s story was inspired by my career as an attorney and how I transitioned into becoming an author. Her journey resonates deeply within me and it was cathartic in helping me truly settle into my new profession as an author.
Lizzy is an overachiever who returns home with a huge case of burnout. Something I can relate to all too well. Can you tell us more about Lizzy?
Lizzy is both confident and insecure about herself. She has achieved so much with her life, shining every step of the way, but she doesn’t have the certainty of a person who follows their dream. She always presents a strong and put-together front but she struggles with debilitating anxiety. She is fun, loyal, generous, and brave, and I hope my readers love her as much as I do.
Jack is Lizzy’s childhood best friend, and she is the girl of his dreams. Can you tell us more about him?
Oh, my gosh. Jack? Well…he’s my dream book boyfriend. I developed a HUGE crush on him while writing Booked on a Feeling. He is genuinely kind and quietly strong, and he loves very deeply. I’m almost jealous of his unwavering devotion to Lizzy. Haha. He is courageous enough to see his unrealized potential and do something about it. He loves his mom just enough to make the mom in me happy. He is a great brother, friend, and boyfriend. He is fit and handy with tools. Gah. Lizzy can’t decide whether to cuddle him or climb him like a tree most of the time. Don’t you want to make him your book boyfriend, too?
Can you tell readers what tropes and/or themes to expect from Booked on a Feeling?
I think I already spoiled this question in one of my prior answers. Haha. So this book has a friends-to-lovers trope and the themes include finding yourself and fighting for your dream. And bookstores! Booked on a Feeling is my love letter to all the incredible indie bookstores out there. You guys are my heroes!
Do you have any favorite scenes in Booked on a Feeling?
I do… How do I share it without spoilers? I love it when Lizzy texts Jack about how hungry she is, when Lizzy eats off Jack’s face, when Jack thinks he’s literally panting after Lizzy, and their first kiss, of course.
Author Interview: Jayci Lee: Let’s Chat About Writing
I would love to know if you’re a plotter or a pantser. What seems to work best when you’re working on a new manuscript?
I’m a pantser at heart. The closest I’ve come to plotting is writing a synopsis. I like to know my characters well—their personality, what makes them tick, what they regret, what they hope for—before I start writing, and then I let the characters tell their story. I’ll think of the situation and they’ll respond according to who they are.
I love delving so deep into my characters’ POV (I usually write dual POV) that when I come back to the real world (chauffeuring kids, feeding family, etc.) I feel like I’m coming out of a meditation or waking up when I’m not ready to—dizzy and disoriented. Then I know that it was really the characters telling the story with me in the backseat.
Do you have any favorite snacks, music or rituals for your writing? For instance, are you blasting music or need complete silence?
I prefer quiet but I’m good at tuning out noise, so I could write at busy cafes, parking lots—just about anywhere I can prop up my laptop. Dark chocolate and kettle corn are my deadline munchies.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Gosh, I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like I’m not a new writer. I feel like I have so much to learn about writing and the publishing industry that I always feel shy about giving advice, especially to fellow writers who are probably far more knowledgeable than me.
I guess one thing I can say is that you have to persevere. I don’t think things ever become “easy” or “smooth” in this profession. Rejections will come in all shapes and sizes no matter where you are in your career. You just have to learn to adapt and regroup. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t stop writing. You are not alone.
What started your foray into reading and loving the romance genre?
I started reading romance when I was thirteen when my best friend handed me her Harlequin novel. I was immediately hooked. By the time I was fourteen, I knew that I wanted to be a romance writer someday. After becoming a lawyer and practicing law for fifteen years, I realized that someday may never come if I don’t write my book now.
Reading Recs, TV Casting & More
Booked on a Feeling is one of my top Summer 2022 reads! What are some romances on your TBR and/or must read romances?
Aww, thank you so much! I’m looking forward to reading Fake It Till You Bake It, The Sizzle Paradox, and Before I Let Go, just to name a few off the top of my head.
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Do you have any favorite TV shows or movie franchises?
I sure do. Stranger Things, any and all Jane Austen adaptations, Doctor Who, Two Weeks Notice, Teen Titans, and K-dramas like Business Proposal, Crash Landing on You, and Guardian (also sometimes called Goblin).
Lizzy and Jack spend a lot of time revamping their small town’s bookstore. What are your favorite bookstores?
The Ripped Bodice and Bel Canto. I want to live there.
Who is the ideal reader for Booked on a Feeling?
Wow. I’ve never thought about that. Ideal? Hmm. People who love happy endings. People who love to laugh. People who love books. People who love love.
This is not your first foray into writing. You’ve written many other romances. What are you hoping readers understand or feel when they read your books?
I want to provide my readers an escape. I hope my readers will fall head first into my world and join my characters’ journey. I want them to feel the anticipation and thrill my characters feel as they fall in love; their heartache as they fight for that love; and their joy and elation when they get their happy ending.
I also want my readers to understand the Korean-American diaspora a little better. To accept Asian-Americans as fellow Americans. We have more similarities than differences. And different isn’t bad or weird but wonderful.
For my Asian-American readers, I want them to feel seen. We are more than some quirky side characters. We are main characters who deserve to have our stories told. Not just stories about our struggles and “otherness,” but stories about our love, laughter and happy endings.
Author Interview: Jayci Lee – Connect with Jayci
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me, Jayci! How can readers best connect with you?
They can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @authorjaycilee (but I’m most active on Instagram).
I also have a website, www.jaycilee.com, which I really try to keep updated.
Oh, and they can join my newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/jayci-lee-newsletter.
Thank you so much for having me!