Lacie Waldon has a hot romcom debut coming out June 15, 2021: The Layover. I've been following Lacie on Twitter for a couple years now, (time flies!) and I was so excited when she landed a book deal. Her social media is so witty and fun, I had high expectations for her novel. One of the perks of being a librarian, is having access to advance review copies of books, so I jumped at the chance to read The Layover early. Lucky for Lacie, it definitely met my high expectations. Wondering what I thought? Here's my 5 Star review:
Wow! What a debut! This book managed to do what all good writing is supposed to do, hook the reader in the first sentence. And it kept me hooked in the second...and the third...throughout the book. The first thing that pulled me in was the voice. Ava is a sassy little thing...measuring up at a scant five feet tall. Her observations are witty, funny, and sometimes unexpected, all in a delightful way.
I appreciated how the author was able to weave in memories from Ava's childhood in an unobtrusive manner that didn't detract from the story. As situations happened, it caused Ava to recall certain moments from her past, just like what happens to all of us.
I absolutely loved the insight into the life of flight attendants. The banter between Ava and Jack was fresh and funny and I enjoyed it all the way through.
And let's not forget the remarkable cast of characters. The author includes just the right details to make them each spring to life. Small details that paint them as real people, not flat characters in a book. Fellow flight attendant, Gen, is kind of a scene stealer in the best ways possible.
This was easy to read. I read it in two sittings. (Could have easily finished in one if I'd started reading earlier in the day.)
A lot of things happened in this book that I wasn't expecting and the book was all the more enjoyable for each of them.
This book was a real treat.
You can preorder your copy of the book right now! And I highly recommend it. It's a perfect summer read.
SJ: Querying and rejections are par for the course for authors. Can you tell us a bit about how you landed your agent?
LW: Querying is the WORST! I queried two other books before I got signed. One only took me six weeks to write, but the other was a year-and-a-half slog. I only did one round of queries for each (sending to 3-5 agents), then decided while waiting for responses that neither was the best book I could write. Thankfully, my third book got requests before I could convince myself that it was terrible too.
SJ: What made you decide to publish?
LW: I’m pretty sure that was always the goal. I’m way too lazy to write just for fun.
SJ: Are you a plotter or a pantser? How does that work for you?
LW: Pantser. And, thank you for asking, it does NOT work well for me. My agent has suggested repeatedly that I save us all a little time by working out the plot in advance. One day, I’m hoping to take her advice.
SJ: What inspired you to write The Layover?
LW: I’ve been flying for most of my adult life, so I thought it would be easy. (I was incorrect.)
SJ: I loved the insider look at being a flight attendant. That’s a whole new world I was totally unfamiliar with. What the best layover you’ve ever had?
LW: There have been so many fun ones, but I think my favorite was the day I got an R&R (revise and resubmit) from my future agent. Her email came through while I was flying, and I was trapped in the back of this plane with my mind spinning. I was desperate to write something she wanted, but I wasn’t sure if I could go in the direction she was suggesting. When we landed in Albuquerque, I told my crew to go to the hotel without me. I got a cheap rental car and asked the rental agent for suggestions. An hour later, I was cruising down the Turquoise Trail with no idea where I’d end up. The landscape was spectacular, I had the rest of the day and all night to get lost, and it felt like the whole world was stretched out ahead of me.
I didn’t do much but drive and eat some spectacular Mexican food that day, but when I finally got back to the hotel eight hours later, I had figured out how to do the revisions she’d asked for. That wasn’t what makes that layover my favorite, though. It was the drive. I needed that little adventure to remind myself that I didn’t need any of this (getting an agent, selling a book, publishing) to change my life. The world is full of ways to do that all by myself.
SJ: The characters in The Layover are so nuanced and fun. I especially enjoyed Ava and Gen. Do you do detailed character sheets before you start writing or did they just come to you? LW: Yay! I’m so glad you felt that way about them. I’ve never done character sheets. Unlike the plot, the people have always just appeared fully-formed in my head.
SJ: Who would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with?
LW: Isaac Waldon. He makes everything fun, and he’d probably find a way to build us a mansion out of bamboo.
SJ: Did you celebrate when you found out The Layover would be published? What did you do?
LW: Coincidentally, we finalized the deal while I was road-tripping down the Californian coast. I actually had to pull over at a gas station so I didn’t lose service once we hit Big Sur. In other words, the celebration was pretty built in. But I did manage to talk myself into several slices of cake!
SJ: What’s your favorite social media outlet and why?
LW: Instagram. It’s so fun and friendly. Everyone just seems to be there to celebrate the good things in life.
SJ: This is your debut novel. (And it’s excellent!) What did you learn throughout the process? What’s been your favorite part so far?
LW: Thank you! I learned that it takes FOREVER to hit shelves. (A year and three months, to be specific.) But my favorite part has been all of the incredible relationships I’ve formed along the way. From people within the industry, to other authors, to amazing bookstagrammers, my world has expanded exponentially. And I’ve had such a fun time getting to know all of these people who share a passion for books!
SJ: Are there any more flight attendant romcoms in your future?
LW: Definitely not. Once was fun, but flying is still my job. I write to escape reality.
SJ: Who are some of your favorite authors? LW: There are so many! But now that I know a few of them personally, I can narrow my answer down to a few who have been amazingly encouraging and supportive to an unknown author whose book hasn’t even been released yet (me.) Kerry Winfrey, Samantha Young, Libby Hubscher, Devon Daniels, Angie Hockman, and Sarah Hogle are all super talented writers and really lovely people. If you’ve somehow missed their books, check them out!
Congrats on the debut, Lacie. I hope it's a smashing success!