Monday, March 7, 2016

Interview with Lucinda Whitney

Interview with Lucinda Whitney, Author of

The Secret Life of Daydreams

Today I am thrilled to have interviewed Lucinda Whitney, author of The Secret Life of Daydreams, a sweet LDS romance set in beautiful Portugal. After reading her book, I thought it would be fun to ask her a few questions.

1. I love the prior connection between these two main characters. Are they based on anyone you know?
In a way, both Josh and Sofia are a little of me and my experiences, but they’re not based on anyone I know in particular.

2. The descriptions of Portugal are beautiful and make a great setting for the story. You grew up there? Do you have pictures you'd like to share? Is the aunt's house a real place?
Yes, I’m Portuguese and my family moved to Braga from Lisbon when I was ten. I know Braga very well, I always walked everywhere growing up. Braga is the third largest city in the country and it dates to before the Romans so it has a very rich history and diversification.
I have several pictures that I myself took when I went on trips to visit my family.
Tia Joana’s house is based on a house that belonged to my father and his first wife and their children. It’s a beautiful house but unfortunately I’ve never seen it inside. It’s abandoned (but not listed for sale) and I don’t know who owns it now. I wish I could take a tour.

For pictures that inspired the book:

Josh and Sofia's Pinterest board, with pictures of everything else, including Tia Joana's house (it's called Casa do Souto):

Pictures of Braga and Citania de Briteiros:

3. What do you miss about Portuguese cuisine?
Everything! The ingredients, especially the fresh fish, the bread made every day, the wholesome snacks. Everything tastes better there and the dishes are cooked healthier and from scratch.

4. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing fiction for almost four years. I wrote a lot of poetry in both Portuguese and English when I was in high school and university, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally committed to writing a romance novel.

5. What was the inspiration to your story?
I can’t pinpoint a moment of inspiration. On and off, I’ve had Josh’s story in my mind for the past fifteen years. Basically, it’s the old time “What if” question: what if a guy had the chance to go back to the place where he served his mission years later? And what if he was no longer active in the church? From there, Josh’s story evolved and, of course, Sofia was a very important part of it.

6. Are you working on another book? What is it? When do you expect it to be finished?
The book I’m working on right now is a story I started a little over two years ago. I wrote a third of it but I’m starting again with new elements and slightly different backstory.

It’s the story of Simon, an American who has lived in England since he was fifteen years old. He’s a literature professor and researcher and he comes to the university in Braga for a school year. Simon is LDS and he’s very traditional and reserved and he loves books more than people sometimes (who can blame him, right?).

He meets Isabel at the public library in Braga. She’s everything he’s not. Isabel is a few years younger than Simon and she doesn’t attend university. The grandmother who raised her has recently passed away and Isabel is having a hard time with it. Isabel’s passion is cooking and she knows that good food is what brings people together. She’s so different from Simon that inevitably problems arise between them.

I’m hoping to see it published later in the year.

7. Why did you want to write LDS characters?
I blame it on Josh. When he came to me as a character, he was already LDS and a returned missionary. From there it became easier to decide to write about LDS characters.

Religion is important in people’s lives and it has the potential to change them and the decisions they take. It can also be a point of conflict or of common interest in a relationship.

Having joined the church when I was young, the change it brought to my life it’s something that stayed with me and I like knowing my characters are also subject to similar changes. It’s just part of their lives. Additionally, I write clean and wholesome romance stories (no sex and no coarse language) and that fits well with a religious sub-theme. 

Book Description:

Sometimes the dream you never planned for is the one you can't live without. 

Six years after a painful divorce, Josh Conrad is happy traveling the world as a photographer. When he arrives in Portugal, he plans to complete the assignment as quickly as possible. What he doesn't plan for is Sofia, the girl he baptized eleven years earlier on an LDS mission, and soon he's making excuses to prolong his trip.

Sofia Monteiro leads a structured life in Braga, Portugal, teaching high school by day and caring for her mother by night. After she reconnects with Josh through mutual friends, the memory of a failed relationship and her new graduate program are enough reasons to stay away from him.
As they collaborate on a project, Josh is wary of repeating his old mistakes and Sofia hesitates to spend time with an American who's only passing through.
Can two people with wounded hearts bring themselves to trust their dreams to each other?

The Secret Life of Daydreams is a clean and wholesome contemporary LDS romance set in Portugal.

Author Bio:

Lucinda Whitney was born and raised in Portugal, where she received a master's degree from the University of Minho in Braga in Portuguese/English teaching.

She lives in northern Utah. When she's not reading and writing, she can be found with a pair of knitting needles in winter, or tending her herb garden in the summer. She also works part-time as a substitute teacher.

You can connect with Lucinda Whitney in the following places:
Amazon Author Page:

The Secret Life of Daydreams

is available in eBook and Paperback