Last year, I requested The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice through Netgalley. After reviewing The Lemon Orchard, I added Luanne to my ever-growing list of authors that have a backlist of books I need to check out. This year, when Luanne’s publicist contacted me about a review or interview, I was able an interview (plus a giveaway!) for the readers of Traveling With T!
Read on for the interview with Luanne as she reveals how this story came about, some thoughts on grief and her role in the character’s story.
Interview with Luanne Rice:
Luanne, how did you decide on the setting of the novel, THE LEMON ORCHARD?
Like Julia, the main character, I had recently moved to Malibu CA after a lifetime on the east coast.
How involved were you in the selection of the book covers for paperback and hardback? While each is different, both are striking in their own way!
Although my publisher does the covers, I have approval. I especially love the paperback cover.
Did you ever consider Julia and Roberto’s story ending in a different way?
I have no control over my endings. That sounds strange, but once the characters are in motion, they tell the story. My job is to type as fast as I can and follow them where they go.
Grief, no matter how different we are from one another, is a common bond. Julia and Roberto are both grieving over their daughters. Was your plan to show that even as you are grieving- life goes on?
Thank you for saying this. Loss is so wrenching, and it can seem impossible to find solace anywhere. But sometimes your heart can be touched in an unexpected way, and goodness comes flooding back. I feel that’s what Julia and Roberto did for each other.
Have fans of THE LEMON ORCHARD heard the last from Roberto and Julia? Might there be a sequel one day?
I keep dreaming about them, and that’s often a signal that I need to write about them again.
Illegal immigration plays a role in this book. How did you research that issue? Was there any negative reaction to that theme of the book?
I have a good friend who’s undocumented, and his story inspired the book. I interviewed him about crossing the border, then I went to the desert to volunteer with Water Station, a non-profit that provides water to save the lives of migrants. I also interviewed Border Patrol agents, who I found to be compassionate. My readers have responded to The Lemon Orchard the way I’d hoped—it’s a story about people, human hearts, not political issues.
*Special thanks to Luanne and Mary for the interview!
Traveling With T has 1 copy of THE LEMON ORCHARD up for grabs. The details: Open to US/Canada only and giveaway ends June 17th. Check the Rafflecopter link for more info.
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T