Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Lala Corriere, and her characters from Cover Boys & Curses. It’s a fantastic romantic suspense with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Harlan and Lauren.
The Antagonist: Harlan Coal
How did you first meet your writer?
Fighting with all of my nefarious ways to worm my way into her dreams. It’s crowded up there. She’s often a lucid dreamer and sometimes I think she purposely blocked me out. I’m mad at her for that, but at least she finally got it right. She got me.
Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
In life I shunned the idea of too much notoriety for good reasons. But this is after the fact. The answer is a resounding yes. I enjoyed quite a remarkable run at the game of life. I may have been a bit despicable but I had my redeeming qualities. And I always knew I encompassed the whole of what celebrity status looked like. Tall, dark, handsome, well- educated and rich.
What are your favorite scenes in the book?
You’ve already surmised that I’m quite narcissistic. The answer is obvious. All the scenes with me. My life was about coercing great sums of money out of fools. Lost souls. They thought I was a guru. Their savior. All I saved was their money and that’s not even true. I gladly spent it all.
And your most prized possession?
Seriously? More of the same. I’m not going to deliver you any spoilers for Lala, because she GOT me. She’s darn good at getting into my smooth qualities, and my very bad addictions. I can say that my most prized possessions are my ego, my money and power, and of course, my farm hands. All have served me deliciously well.
The Protagonist: Lauren Visconti
If you could rewrite anything in your book what would it be?
I’m human. I have faults. I would rewrite the whole damn story about me getting sucked into Dr. Harlan Coal’s world. Naiveté? Vulnerability? While I present myself as a strong and independent woman I let myself succumb to his magic. I was his prey. But then again, if I rewrote the book it wouldn’t be my true story.
What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?
Their deaths. I wish it wasn’t so. I try to remember all of our good times. I was spoiled rotten and there were plenty of wonderful memories but I can’t access those as much as—well—as the end.
My mother died while running a vacuum. Are you kidding me? She had a heart attack. The machine, still running when we found her, grew so hot it started melting the carpet.
My father perished in our family jet along with my fiancé. They were on their way to our rehearsal dinner and the following wedding in Chicago. One snowstorm. One plane. Two of the most special men in my life had been taken away from me in an instant.
What is your greatest fear?
My saga continues on. I can’t shake the fear that has consumed me ever since my grandmother died. Then my mother, then my father and fiancé. I still have the Lauren Visconti Curse. Everyone I love dies.
You’ll understand when you read CoverBoys & Curses, beginning on the first page. People around me drop like flies, sticking to the floor or ground or whatever, as if the entire earth was covered in a giant carpet of extreme flypaper. I fear this curse most of all.
He prays for prey. His prayers have just been answered.
Lauren Visconti loses everyone she loves. They don’t walk out the door. They die. The Lauren Visconti Curse.
Her in-your-face magazine, CoverBoy, might have crossed a few lines. Now it appeared the curse had morphed. Now anyone Lauren had any emotion toward, good or bad, was doomed to be slaughtered. Success came with the magazine’s dichotomy—photos of almost naked men juxtaposed between serious investigative reporting. Her articles ran true stories. Most readers had heard of sex-slave trafficking. Most didn’t know it occurred in their own backyards. Some readers knew about podiatry mutilations—the hacking off of elongated second toes and even the total amputation of little toes, all in order to fit into the expensive designer shoes. Very few had heard about revirgination. CoverBoy’s articles named names. The Obeah Voodoo scared Lauren. But could it help save her? More likely any help would come from the handsome psychologist. This is what Lauren had to believe.
THEY SAY WOMEN DON’T KILL themselves with a single bullet to the head.
They’re dead wrong.
The entire funeral screamed of blasphemy. Payton Doukas’s father, of fierce Greek Orthodox persuasion, insisted that viewing the body was a necessary ritual in the institution of a proper burial. As self-proclaimed host of the event, he was none too thrilled that his daughter had decided to blow her brains out. In compromise, Payton’s casket commandeered a corner of the chapel veiled behind cranberry colored sheers. I kept trying to peer through the fabric while knowing I would avoid any sight of what might be left of my best friend.
Divorced, Payton’s mother left a much different thumbprint on her daughter’s final service. She did this theme thing. The altar in front of me brimmed with potted plants, buckets of cut daisies, and an odd assortment of gardening tools, sunbonnets, gloves, and clunky looking black rubber shoes. I guess it could have been nice if Payton had lived to love the garden, but she couldn’t sustain the life of a Christmas cactus. I knew better. If Payton had a theme it was the little foil package of not-so-clunky black rubbers, also known as condoms, she kept tucked inside her fake crocodile purse.
I hadn’t spent much time in the desert. It must have been Payton’s final laugh to go and kill herself in Tucson in June. At 109 degrees, the historic church didn’t have air-conditioning. A few floor-stand fans blasted out hot air. The tired looking surroundings offered a splintered cross, suspended above the altar and impressive in size. It seemed to be the only adornment other than the temporary garish gardening exhibit and those wretched cranberry sheers.
Carly Posh sat next to me. A gifted Los Angeles interior designer, she preferred to dress as if she’d just returned from some combat boot camp. Always organized and in control of both body and mind, Carly was the fine stitching that kept our tapestry of friendships woven together.
To the left of Carly, Sterling Falls constantly adjusted the miniskirt that seemed to be sticking to the wooden pew. Late to arrive, she’d wedged her slim body toward Carly from the opposite side of the church. I didn’t see her face, but there was no mistaking who she was. Sterling’s trademark wardrobe was skimpy and bright, but not as shiny as her long lacquered fingernails adorned with even brighter gemstones. Her fingers looked like popsicles with giant chunks of lime and cherry ice swirls clinging to the sticks. When her dad became the legendary jeweler to the stars, Sterling was quick to partner up with him. Their sign on Rodeo Drive simply read, ‘Falls & Falls’. Falls of cascading diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, that is. Fair to say that Sterling was the shellacked gold threads embedded in the fabric of our friendship.
Payton’s father rose to the altar and conveyed his final goodbyes to his Petroula—Payton’s given name and one she loathed. The heavy Greek accent made his words difficult to understand. Instead his grieving eyes, red and swollen against an ashen face, communicated his story of deep loss.
I had been witness to this type of grief far too many times. I admit my mind was drifting from the service when Sterling shoved the latest issue of my magazine across Carly and into my lap.
The sound of her voice carried loud enough the family members in the pew ahead of us turned and shook their heads in disapproval. “What’s up with this, Lauren? Are you asking for death threats? These types of stories are going to get you killed.”
Buy the Book:
Lala’s mother first taught her the love of books by demonstration, finding daily time devoted to reading. Lala was no doubt a premiere and loyal monthly subscriber to Dr. Seuss’s children’s books, and years later, one of the first teenage girls to hide Erica Jong’s ‘Fear of Flying’ deep under the folds of her mattress
Since early childhood, Lala has been passionate about all the arts. She is a painter and a former stage performer. Early work careers blended high-end real estate sales and President of an interior design firm.
Her fifth grade teacher, Miss Macy, was the first mentor to suggest she consider a career in writing. That extension of the arts, the written word, turned into a full time passion in 2001.
Published in regional magazines, newspapers, writer’s guides and journals.
Award winning poetry.
Endorsement and long-term mentorship by the late Sidney Sheldon
Endorsements from Andrew Neiderman [author of the Devil’s Advocate], Paris Afton Bonds, and many others remarkable authors.
Her first novel, Widow’s Row, was released in November, 2010
Her second book, Coverboy, released January, 2012.
Look for Evil Cries, winter 2012/2013
Lala writes suspense with romantic elements. While she enjoys vivid descriptions of the most nefarious of characters, she also insists on including a redeeming social message in her work, bringing readers to experience human conditions in ways that many may not be familiar. ‘With a deeper awareness,’ Corriere says, ‘comes acceptance, small or life changing.’
Readers and reviewers applaud her hallmark original plots, her in-depth character portrayals, rich scene settings, and authentic dialogue, all delivered with a fresh new voice.
Lala is a desert rat. She nestles there with her husband of over 20 years, Chuck, and the kid-cats, Bibelot, Sidney and Charlotte. She has three sons: Jason, University of Colorado. Cameron, Vanderbilt University. And Tyler, University of Puget Sound.
She’s a full-time writer. Interests include her professional critique partnerships and active memberships, art, gardening, entertaining, bridge, and enjoying the abundant wildlife that have found a sanctuary on her grounds.
Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, Google +, at Lala Corriere
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!