Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Interview with Malena Lott, Author of The Last Resort

Malena Lott is an award-winning writer and the author of several novels: Dating da Vinci, Fixer Upper, and she recently updated and re-released The Stork Reality: Secrets from the Underbelly; a novella Life's a Beach; and the anthology Sleigh Ride, with six other authors. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, three kids, a shih-tzu, and spring tornadoes. She enjoys nature, zumba, reading, photography her book club, Book End Babes at www.bookendbabes.com and the new imprint Buzz Books USA, publishing entertaining and compelling stories. See her full works at www.malenalott.com. She also writes YA and fantasy/paranormal under the pen name Lena Brown. Look for those soon! 

Thank you so much for this opportunity for me and my blog. Please bear with me, this is my first author interview and I am a little nervous! Malena, I really appreciate you taking some time to answer a few questions.

First question, did you get to research for The Last Resort in Hawaii? If you did, did you really swim with the sharks and ride the zip line (we won't even get into a massage with the brothers *fans self*)?!

I fell in love with Hawaii on a trip 15 years ago and I'm planning on going back next year. I was newly pregnant at the time so unfortunately I didn't do anything wilder than a helicopter tour and hiking. No zip line or sharks for me at the time. I did get to eat to my heart's content, though! I researched the activities available in Hawaii and watched videos and read as much as I could on it. Since they were all tackling fears that was fun to put the characters' in those situations and see how they'd react. And the massage, well, I think that's definitely a fantasy I was happy to give the reader. :)

As an aspiring writer, first time mom to be and pet owner, I am wondering how on earth you find the time and peace to write with 3 children and a dog?
I've been a writer longer than I've been a wife and mom so I suppose it's built into my DNA. I definitely treat it as a "need" versus a "want" and now it's a job, too (that I love) so I recommend finding a time that you can get some quiet time, which may mean waking before the bears or going to a coffee shop (I'm writing at a hip coffee shop called Evoke in downtown Edmond) and come here each week after Zumba. So it's my "me-time", exercise and then some writing with my Americano. God bless espresso! I write every morning, no matter what's going on with the kids and the dog *does* make me get up and let him out several times, but I've gotten used to it.

Speaking of dogs, I see that you own a Shih-tzu. At Eastern Sunset Reads Blog, we are all about dogs and cats! Tell us a bit about your little four legged child, any goofy quirks or surprising tricks?
Emmy June is a total sweetheart. She lets people pick her up and only rarely nips at annoying children. She loves walks and basically loves to sit under my chair no matter where I'm writing. She also adores ice cubes, especially on hot days!

Okay, now that I have gotten my animal fix out of the way, back to your work. In The Last Resort, Rachel developed a 'magical' chocolate that creates a state of almost transcendence and gives the characters a message. Have you discovered some super heavenly chocolate the rest of us haven't heard of yet? Let us in on the secret!
Ooh. Love that question and I wish I had but let me tell you, I'm always looking! I do recommend giving the choxie brand dark chocolate a try and I'm never disappointed withe Dove dark chocolate. I try not to eat milk chocolate that often, but it's necessary (ha!) I'll grab an almond Hershey bar to get a sugar fix.

Speaking of Rachel, she is so inspirational and the message she gives through out the book during the retreat really made me feel motivated myself. Where did you get the idea for the Mojo?
I knew I wanted a "mash up" novel, getting all my characters together and it really surprised me that Rachel came to the surface, especially since she isn't very likable in Dating da Vinci. But she was already a rising star and popular speaker so it made sense to see her career take off and bring her mojo message to women. And I'm a sucker for a great girls' conference. I'm actually attending Spark & Hustle in a couple of days.
Cyndy has also told me about a great beach giveaway hosted by Buzz books and your group Book End Babes for The Last Resort and it made wonder living in Oklahoma where is the nearest beach? If anyone would like to enter the contest (and it has a fantastic prize package) check out Buzz Books but the contest ends on June 30th so hurry and enter!
We have lots of shoreline thanks to our lakes all over Oklahoma so people who want a beach fix typically visit one of our lakes for that, but as far as seaside, the Gulf would have to be the closest. One of my sisters recently visited Galveston for that purpose, but I'm thankful to be visiting Florida for the first time this summer so I'll have some great beach pics to share from Daytona Beach.
I really enjoyed meeting all your characters in The Last Resort. I am very excited to see that Kelly will be getting her own story soon. Can you give us any hints what is in store for her?
What we learned about Kelly in The Last Resort was that her boyfriend moved out, but she comes from a very wealthy family in Oklahoma City (my first novel to be set in my town) but they discover they have lost their fortune and it affects all four generations of women, who end up living together in a loft in downtown OKC. In Something New, Kelly picks up with the plan she made in Hawaii, but living with her newly divorced mom, her shopaholic sister, who is a contestant in a national wedding show called "Luxe Weddings," and her grandmother who has Alzheimer's and thinks she's 25 again, makes starting over harder than ever. It plays on who we are in the spotlight and the stages of a woman's life and how we get lost along the way. I adore stories of family and how the generations learn from one another.
Thank you again for taking time out of what I am sure is a very busy schedule to share with me and my readers! I hope you have a fantastic summer!
Happy summer to you and Mahalo!~
You can find additional books by Malena on her Website or Goodreads Page
You can also follow her on Twitter


  1. Great interview! Our dogs love ice cubes. :)

    1. Every dog I have heard of except my own nut case seems to like ice cubes, but then again Niko doesn't like water in any form really.