LISSA LINDEN: ONE MATCH FIRE

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When I was growing up, I never went to sleep-away camp—but there always seemed to be something magical about it: the inside jokes campers shared, the songs only they knew, the intense bonding that came from creating a home away from home with a group of kids your own age. As debut author Lissa Linden says, it’s intense. Her brand-new novel, ONE MATCH FIRE, is set at a summer camp, when two former campers reunite—and rekindle their childhood romance (pardon the pun). I will refrain from making any jokes about their smokin’ hot chemistry (okay, maybe just the one?) and just leap right into the interview.

Welcome to the blog, Lissa! Congrats on the release of your debut novel, ONE MATCH FIRE. What’s the book all about, and what inspired you to write it?

Thanks so much! ONE MATCH FIRE is the story of Amy and Paul, two old friends who used to spend summers together and reunite when Amy shows up to take over Paul’s job running the summer camp they used to attend.

In some ways, I was inspired by my own years at summer camp. Camp relationships are intense. For a lot of kids, it’s the first time they’re truly alone in the world, figuring out who they are and who they want to be away from family influence and expectation. As a camper, you spend weeks living with people who become your family, but in the years before smart phones, those relationships tended to be seasonal. But Paul says, “Those weeks are a lifetime.”

So, I wanted to send adults to back to camp. So much life is lived during those summers, and I wanted to play with the idea of putting adults back together on a common ground that was so influential in who they’ve become as twenty-somethings.                                           

ONE MATCH FIRE is your first book—double congrats! Tell us about your journey to publication—any unexpected twists and turns?

Definitely! ONE MATCH FIRE is the third novel I’ve queried seriously, but it’s my first of this heat level, so it was kind of new territory. I actually ended up with an R&R (Revise and Resubmit) that I was working on when Carina Press offered publication off a #CarinaPitch submission, which then led to two offers of agent representation. All of this happened within about ten days, which left me spinning! The publishing industry can be so slow, but when it’s fast, it’s fast.

You write “contemporary romance about women you’d like to hang out with, and the men who can keep up with them”—love this description, by the way! So, tell me—what are your heroines’ must-have qualities? And when you’ve finished a book, are you bummed that you can’t just walk into your local pub and sit down with your leading ladies IRL?

I’m so bummed that I can’t hang out with these women! My leading ladies all tend to have a few characteristics in common: they’re driven, outspoken people who take charge of their own desire and are trying to balance their strength and vulnerability. These are characteristics that I recognize in many friends and colleagues, so I just want to grab a pint with all these women and cheers each other for kicking ass in this thing we call life.

If you really could grab a drink with Amy from ONE MATCH FIRE, what’s the first question you’d ask her?

Honestly, I’d probably ask her to regale me with stories of campers trying to light one-match fires.

When I was thinking back on my own camp experiences while writing ONE MATCH FIRE, I came to the conclusion that half the stuff the staff had us do was for their own benefit, and watching a bunch of kids trying to light fresh wood on fire with only a hatchet and a single match has to have been one of those things.

I suspect there were many laughs had at their nightly “meetings,” and I want in on that.

What’s your greatest dream as a writer? Your deepest fear?

My greatest dream would be to earn enough pennies that I could retire early and buy a cottage in the Welsh countryside, where I could sit in the pub, nursing a cider and nurturing good conversation between writing scenes.

But that’s at least twenty years away. So, let’s talk fear.

Illegal downloading. I always knew that downloading books without purchasing them was a problem, but didn’t really understand its impact on new authors until I became one. If people download my book instead of buying it, it doesn’t count as a sale. If my sales are low, I may not get to publish another book – even if people have been reading ONE MATCH FIRE. It’s a scary thought.

What didn’t I ask that I should’ve? Whatever it is, please answer it here!

Author is lucky number thirteen on my list of paid jobs. From fast food to pet food and a bunch of stuff unrelated to any kind of food, I’ve dipped my toes into a lot of gigs – including three actual careers before the age of thirty.

Although I’ve been pretty set in my day job for nearly a decade, all the past experience comes in handy. Just wait until I write about the adventures of an airbrush tattoo artist moonlighting as an ice cream truck driver who writes copy on the weekends…

BACK COVER COPY
A sexy, summer camp-set reunion romance from debut author Lissa Linden

When Amy left her beloved summer camp, heartbroken and ashamed, she swore she’d never return. Twelve years later, she’s desperate to unearth the person she was before turning into a workaholic. When her old camp advertises for a new director, Amy leaps at the chance to start over—only to find herself face-to-face with the very guy who broke her heart.

Paul hasn’t forgotten kissing Amy beneath a shooting star, or how she bolted from camp without saying goodbye. When she shows up to take the job he never thought he’d leave, Paul can hardly believe his luck. Amy is now a woman with killer curves and a sexual appetite to match. With serious vibes between them, and him nearly dead from the celibacy of life at camp, they strike a deal for a few days of sexy fun in the wilderness.

But when feelings that started long ago enter the mix and it becomes clear Amy will only trust him with her body—not her heart—Paul desperately wants to break through the armor she’s built to protect herself. And although Amy knows there’s something special about the way she reacts to Paul, something beyond skin on skin, the stakes are high enough to scare her.

With a past like theirs, they’ll either ignite a future…or burn out for good.

BIO

Lissa Linden writes contemporary romance about women she’d like to hang out with, and the men who can keep up with them. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading, traveling, or reading about traveling. Luckily, her husband is completely on board with spontaneously booking trips to say, eastern Europe. A proud history and languages nerd, Lissa is fluent in Shakespearean insults and dirty jokes through the ages.

Twitter: @Lissa_Linden

Instagram: @Lissa_Linden

Web: https://lissalinden.com/

When I was growing up, I never went to sleep-away camp—but there always seemed to be something magical about it: the inside jokes campers shared, the songs only they knew, the intense bonding that came from creating a home away from home with a group of kids your own age. As debut author Lissa Linden says, it’s intense. Her brand-new novel, ONE MATCH FIRE, is set at a summer camp, when two former campers reunite—and rekindle their childhood romance (pardon the pun). I will refrain from making any jokes about their smokin’ hot chemistry (okay, maybe just the one?) and just leap right into the interview.

Welcome to the blog, Lissa! Congrats on the release of your debut novel, ONE MATCH FIRE. What’s the book all about, and what inspired you to write it?

Thanks so much! ONE MATCH FIRE is the story of Amy and Paul, two old friends who used to spend summers together and reunite when Amy shows up to take over Paul’s job running the summer camp they used to attend.

In some ways, I was inspired by my own years at summer camp. Camp relationships are intense. For a lot of kids, it’s the first time they’re truly alone in the world, figuring out who they are and who they want to be away from family influence and expectation. As a camper, you spend weeks living with people who become your family, but in the years before smart phones, those relationships tended to be seasonal. But Paul says, “Those weeks are a lifetime.”

So, I wanted to send adults to back to camp. So much life is lived during those summers, and I wanted to play with the idea of putting adults back together on a common ground that was so influential in who they’ve become as twenty-somethings.                                           

ONE MATCH FIRE is your first book—double congrats! Tell us about your journey to publication—any unexpected twists and turns?

Definitely! ONE MATCH FIRE is the third novel I’ve queried seriously, but it’s my first of this heat level, so it was kind of new territory. I actually ended up with an R&R (Revise and Resubmit) that I was working on when Carina Press offered publication off a #CarinaPitch submission, which then led to two offers of agent representation. All of this happened within about ten days, which left me spinning! The publishing industry can be so slow, but when it’s fast, it’s fast.

You write “contemporary romance about women you’d like to hang out with, and the men who can keep up with them”—love this description, by the way! So, tell me—what are your heroines’ must-have qualities? And when you’ve finished a book, are you bummed that you can’t just walk into your local pub and sit down with your leading ladies IRL?

I’m so bummed that I can’t hang out with these women! My leading ladies all tend to have a few characteristics in common: they’re driven, outspoken people who take charge of their own desire and are trying to balance their strength and vulnerability. These are characteristics that I recognize in many friends and colleagues, so I just want to grab a pint with all these women and cheers each other for kicking ass in this thing we call life.

If you really could grab a drink with Amy from ONE MATCH FIRE, what’s the first question you’d ask her?

Honestly, I’d probably ask her to regale me with stories of campers trying to light one-match fires.

When I was thinking back on my own camp experiences while writing ONE MATCH FIRE, I came to the conclusion that half the stuff the staff had us do was for their own benefit, and watching a bunch of kids trying to light fresh wood on fire with only a hatchet and a single match has to have been one of those things.

I suspect there were many laughs had at their nightly “meetings,” and I want in on that.

What’s your greatest dream as a writer? Your deepest fear?

My greatest dream would be to earn enough pennies that I could retire early and buy a cottage in the Welsh countryside, where I could sit in the pub, nursing a cider and nurturing good conversation between writing scenes.

But that’s at least twenty years away. So, let’s talk fear.

Illegal downloading. I always knew that downloading books without purchasing them was a problem, but didn’t really understand its impact on new authors until I became one. If people download my book instead of buying it, it doesn’t count as a sale. If my sales are low, I may not get to publish another book – even if people have been reading ONE MATCH FIRE. It’s a scary thought.

What didn’t I ask that I should’ve? Whatever it is, please answer it here!

Author is lucky number thirteen on my list of paid jobs. From fast food to pet food and a bunch of stuff unrelated to any kind of food, I’ve dipped my toes into a lot of gigs – including three actual careers before the age of thirty.

Although I’ve been pretty set in my day job for nearly a decade, all the past experience comes in handy. Just wait until I write about the adventures of an airbrush tattoo artist moonlighting as an ice cream truck driver who writes copy on the weekends…

BACK COVER COPY
A sexy, summer camp-set reunion romance from debut author Lissa Linden

When Amy left her beloved summer camp, heartbroken and ashamed, she swore she’d never return. Twelve years later, she’s desperate to unearth the person she was before turning into a workaholic. When her old camp advertises for a new director, Amy leaps at the chance to start over—only to find herself face-to-face with the very guy who broke her heart.

Paul hasn’t forgotten kissing Amy beneath a shooting star, or how she bolted from camp without saying goodbye. When she shows up to take the job he never thought he’d leave, Paul can hardly believe his luck. Amy is now a woman with killer curves and a sexual appetite to match. With serious vibes between them, and him nearly dead from the celibacy of life at camp, they strike a deal for a few days of sexy fun in the wilderness.

But when feelings that started long ago enter the mix and it becomes clear Amy will only trust him with her body—not her heart—Paul desperately wants to break through the armor she’s built to protect herself. And although Amy knows there’s something special about the way she reacts to Paul, something beyond skin on skin, the stakes are high enough to scare her.

With a past like theirs, they’ll either ignite a future…or burn out for good.

BIO

Lissa Linden writes contemporary romance about women she’d like to hang out with, and the men who can keep up with them. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading, traveling, or reading about traveling. Luckily, her husband is completely on board with spontaneously booking trips to say, eastern Europe. A proud history and languages nerd, Lissa is fluent in Shakespearean insults and dirty jokes through the ages.

Twitter: @Lissa_Linden

Instagram: @Lissa_Linden

Web: https://lissalinden.com/

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