We love learning more about our authors here at XOXO! In this Q&A, we found out why LuAnn McLane loves her boy bands so much she had to write a series about them! Volume 2 in the Heartthrob series, IT’S GOTTA BE YOU, is available today.
1. What is your latest book in the Heartthrob series, IT’S GOTTA BE YOU, about?
After the success of the Heartbeat reunion, the youngest of the Heartbeat brothers, Oliver Heart, wants a shot at a solo singing career. But to seal the deal, Oliver must agree to create a media feeding frenzy by (once again) faking a romance with former pop sensation Belinda Beal who is desperate to revive her career or face financial ruin. In It’s Gotta be You, Oliver and Belinda are already experts at public displays of fake affection having despised playing this game with the paparazzi back in their glory days. (think young Justin Timberlake and Brittany Spears) The pretend romance leads to sizzling sex, although neither will admit that they are falling for each other. But when the farce comes to an end, true love becomes a game changer.
2. The Hearthrob series is about four very different brothers. Do you have a favorite, and if so, who is it? Why?
Such a tough question! I adore Grady, Jimmy, Jesse and Oliver… but the brother who would be most fun to hang out with (for me, anyway) would be Jesse. He’s the happy-go-lucky Heart brother, a buff, blond surfer who wins girls over with his comedic charm. Plus, his house is a gorgeous surf shack, chock full of retro beach movie memorabilia. He’s a huge Beach Boys fan and collects vinyl records. What’s not to love?
3. What was your favorite boy band growing up?
Oh… showing my age, here! I had several boy bands that I adored… beginning with The Beatles and then, The Monkees (I was boy crazy at a very young age). But my favorite boy band during teeny bopper days was The Osmond Brothers. I saw them in concert twice, and yes, I screamed my fool head off. I knew when I started brainstorming that I wanted Heartbeat to be brothers, making the relationship between them deeper and more emotional. Later, I adored the songs of the Bee Gees (Yes, I was a dancing queen). And finally, I got to relive my boy band fascination when my daughter became a big fan of NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. I listened to lots of boy bands from the 90’s as inspiration for the Heartthrob series.
4. If IT’S GOTTA BE YOU had a soundtrack, what would be the top five songs on its playlist?
Music is a huge part of my creative process. I title most of my chapters with song titles. I carefully listen to the lyrics before making the choices, time consuming but it fuels my muse and readers have come to expect this from me. Of course, It’s Gotta Be You, by The Backstreet Boys! The lyrics to this song fits the story perfectly. I also listened to a lot of Bee Gees music as inspiration for this story and titled nearly all the chapters with Bee Gees songs. So, More than a Woman, by the Bee Gees needs to be on the playlist. Too Much Heaven, by the Bee Gees. If I Can’t Have You, by the Bee Gees, and Lonely Days, by the Bee Gees.
5. What is your favorite way to procrastinate when you have writer’s block?
Perhaps it’s because I’m a Pisces, but when I get stuck, I need to be near or in water. When I’m in Florida (my home away from home), I head to the beach or the pool. If the beach or pool isn’t in the cards, I soak in a hot bubble bath. Water somehow stimulates my muse and whatever block I’m having disappears!
6. What are you reading for fun right now?
Currently, I’m reading The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand. I enjoy her voice and the quirky characters in the story are entertaining.
7. What are the top five things you’re looking forward to most this fall?
I’ve lived in Florida for the past seven years, but now I divide my time between Kentucky (my home state and where two sons live), Florida (where my daughter still lives) and Arizona (where my son lives) so I get to experience so many climates and gorgeous scenery! But I’ll spend most of the fall in Kentucky where I’ll see the leaves change, the days get cooler… and my favorite fall activity, sitting around the bonfire with family and friends. 8. And finally, if you somehow managed to sneak your way into a boy band, what part would you play? Oh, there’s no doubt that I would be the happily-go-lucky comedic charmer. I don’t take myself seriously, and I love making people laugh.