Multi-published author Carla Laureano is a two-time RITA® Award-winning author, who writes both contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (under the pen name C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, Carla worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before making the decision to leave the corporate life behind to write fiction full-time.
Carla lives in Denver with her husband, their two sons, and a cat named Willow.
How long does it take you to write a book? What’s your writing schedule like?
It really depends on the book and the genre. For contemporary romance, since the world-building and research are less involved than something like fantasy or science fiction, I can have the book done from premise to written (not counting professional editing) in about eight weeks. That doesn’t count a few weeks here and there to incorporate editorial comments.
By the time I start writing, I know exactly where the story is going to go, and it normally takes me a first draft and one revision to get the book ready to go to my beta readers. After they’ve had a chance to read and comment, I do another draft to incorporate their suggestions or fix mistakes they’ve caught, and then it goes to my editor.
I schedule every hour of my day. So in the morning, the first thing I work on when sitting down at my desk is my word count, and in the afternoon, it’s one of my current client projects, whether that’s editing a novel or coaching an author through the publication process. And then I move on to personal stuff like making dinner and spending time with my family! If I’m lucky, I might even be able to squeeze in an hour of reading before bed.
Let’s talk about your new release, The Broken Hearts Bakery (Laureano Creative Media, April 2023). Please tell us about it.
When Gemma left her hometown of Haven Ridge, Colorado, she swore she’d never return. And she’s kept that promise, leaving old shadows behind and building her reputation as one of LA’s preeminent family law attorneys. But when her lifelong best friend begs Gemma to come stay with her teen stepdaughter while she’s on a business trip, she doesn’t have the heart to refuse. She’ll simply keep a low profile, do her honorary aunt duties for Taylor, and be gone before anyone notices.
But Haven Ridge seems to have a mind of its own, and before she knows it, Gemma finds herself caught up with new friends and old rivalries. When Taylor is targeted by teen bullies, Gemma does the only thing she knows how to do: ply her honorary niece with baked goods and words of affirmation. Soon her temporary lodgings are ground zero for teenage girls seeking sugar and consolation for shockingly adult problems—which the girls soon dub the Broken Hearts Bakery.
Complicating matters is an unexpected reunion with Gemma’s high school sweetheart, Stephen, who is determined to change her mind about him, the town, and the nature of love itself. Because as it turns out, her niece isn’t the only one nursing a broken heart.
What inspired it?
The title came first, and I thought it up several years ago. I had absolutely no intention to write any more food-related books, but the phrase just kind of popped into my head and wouldn’t let me go. There have actually been a couple of different iterations of this book with different plots and Gemma and Stephen underwent a major transformation over time—it took me a while to find the right story to tell.
If someone asked you to describe yourself with one word, what word would that be?
Oh, now that’s not fair. Asking someone who routinely writes 100,000-word books to use just one word? Hmm… my friends would probably say intense. I would say eclectic. People are usually surprised by the breadth of my interests and experience.
God often uses our writing to teach us something. You first visited Divine Detour in 2014, shortly after the release of Oath of the Brotherhood. What has writing taught you (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the last ten years?
Writing has taught me that there’s always room to continue learning and growing, no matter how long you do something. I’m never embarrassed or ashamed by things that I published at the beginning of my career, but I can definitely point to the ways I’ve grown and changed both in how I see the world and how I approach literature.
Publishing, on the other hand—the business side of writing—is probably where God has spoken to me the most. You go into this business bright and optimistic and soon learn that it’s even harder than it looks and it almost never goes to plan! Over and over, the Lord has taught me to trust Him and give those plans over to Him. When I traditionally published my first book in 2013, I had no idea that ten years later I would be independently publishing! But God knew what was best for me in this phase of my life and career and I’ve never been happier. Had I stuck too rigidly to what I thought should happen, I would have missed out on the blessings that this new step has brought me. Truly His plans are always higher than mine.
Thanks, Carla! It’s nice to have you back at Divine Detour.
Thank you for having me! It’s always nice to visit you and your readers here.
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To order The Broken Hearts Bakery and other books by Carla, go to: