LAVENDER IN BLOOM BY LILY VELEZ
(+ a $100 Amazon GiFt Card Giveaway!)
Lavender in Bloom by: Lily Velez
Publication Date: July 25th, 2016
Genre: Historical, Coming-of-Age Romance
It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France
Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.
Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.
Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.
Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.
What was the inspiration behind Lavender in Bloom and how did you further develop it?
Lavender in Bloom started off as a simple 500-word story back in July 2013.
At this point, I’d recently developed my character Noah Capet. While doing some casual free-writing for Noah to learn more about his background and personality, this tale of forbidden romance simply emerged out of nowhere. I didn’t plan it in the least.
By that I mean I let my characters run the show. It’s kind of like that William Faulkner quote: “It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.”
In this case, it was Noah who was moving and I was just along for the ride. The story was almost more of an afterthought in its initial stages. But as time passed, whenever I’d write from Noah’s perspective, I’d find that he’d keep wanting to go back to it. Clearly there was something there that needed to be cracked open.
In the year that followed, I’d go on to write tens of thousands of words for Noah and Jeremie, fleshing out their world more, their personality, the nature of their relationship, etc. At the end of 2014, I even wrote an 18,000-word ‘novelette’ to include in a collection of short stories I’d meant to publish (which I never did). Mostly because the story just didn’t seem to be in its right incarnation.
Another year passed, and with it I wrote more and more scenes between Noah and Jeremie. At this point, their story was haunting me. In fact, I often ‘joked’ to a friend that I felt as if it were a past life of mine nagging at me to be written because I just felt so emotionally connected to the story! It was New Year’s Eve when I realized that if I didn’t just write it all down and put it into the world, it would haunt me for the rest of my life.
So, on April 18th of this year, I started to write a manuscript. I wrote it in 21 days (it helped to have years’ worth of scenes, back-story, and development already in my head!), and then spent 7 weeks editing it so that I could publish it just in time for a late July release. I really wanted it to debut in July since it was in the month of July that the original 500-word story was first written, so it’d be like it came around full circle. 🙂
And now, here we are! What a journey it’s been!
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway
Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at http://www.lilyvelezbooks.com.