Blog tour: The Diary of a Late Bloomer

Welcome to the blog tour for The Diary of a Late Bloomer by L.M.L. Gil! Thanks to the help of Xpresso Book Tours, today I have the pleasure of sharing with you an interview with the author of this coming-of-age novel. Ready? Let’s start…

Hello! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Diary of a Late Bloomer! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Thank you.

It is about Lo, a shy college student who loves baking, manga/anime, and octopi. When she spots her college swim team's tryout flyer sporting her favorite sea creature, an octopus, she knows it's a sign that she must join.

Lo faces a number of obstacles: she just learned how to swim, she’s socially awkward, she is ashamed of her body but must wear a swimsuit and she suffers from panic attacks.

Lo’s story is about self-acceptance and personal growth while overcoming the obstacles that we and others set for ourselves. It’s also about finding love and friendship in unexpected places.

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page?

A: I had a general idea, but things changed as I got to know the characters. Lo evolved in ways that made me proud. Her natural creativity in problem solving was not something I foresaw.

I also planned for this to be a standalone novel, but I really enjoyed writing Martin and Jackson, two of Lo’s romantic interests, so I want to write their stories.

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the role of Lo?

A: I think about this question all the time, partly because I hope that one day it will be a movie or a show, but also just for the fun of it. It may be silly, but I am hoping to cast unknown actors, sort of how Daniel Radcliffe was cast for Harry Potter.

But if I had to choose a known actress, it would be Ariel Winter because she is petite and intelligent. She also resembles the Lo in my head.

Lo loves baking, manga/anime and octopi. What do you love?

A: I love doing yoga, cooking and baking, planning trips, learning new skills, reading tarot cards, doing D.I.Y.s, snuggling with my fur munchkins and playing video games like Hollow Knight and Planet Coaster.

I love pretty much all animals. I have a fondness for furry creatures. I think of the sloth as my spirit animal because I need a lot of sleep, I’m often smiling and I do things slowly.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: I love the scene when Lo gets drunk for the first time and Nick takes her home. It was fun to write because of Nick’s curmudgeonly personality. 

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: Yes. I wanted to have a confrontation between Sylvia, a rival in a love triangle Lo traps herself in, and Lo. I decided against it because it was a bit over the top. Plus, I liked the mystery of Sylvia. I am currently getting to know her as a character because she plays a big part in Martin’s story, Letters from a Late Rocker. She is turning out to be a complex person.

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: I have several works in progress. I’m one of those writers that needs several projects so that when I get stuck on one, I can continue on another. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not, but it makes writing fun.

Currently I am working on The Faerie Key, which is a Millennial urban fantasy. I am also co-writing Witness Purrtection, a cozy mystery. And I am starting work on Letters from a Late Rocker. I am very excited about all of them, but I have a soft spot for Martin so I can’t wait to finish writing Letters from a Late Rocker.

What are you reading at the moment?

A: I sort of read like I write, so I have different books of various genres going at the same time. To help me with my cozy novel I am reading Telling Tales by Sofie Ryan. For my romance kick I’m reading Diana Palmer’s Long, Tall Texans, which is two stories in one book. I also enjoy self-help books so right now I am enjoying The Astonishing Power of Emotions by Esther and Jerry Hicks. Currently I am on the lookout for some good sci-fi and fantasy novels.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: I have a really hard time with social media mostly because I’m an introvert, yes I’m an introvert even on the internet. I tried to have an Instagram account, but it overwhelmed me, so I deleted it. I’ve started and deleted several Facebook accounts.

I decided to use social media alternatives. I am aiming to reach readers by giving them stories, so I have a short story podcast on Anchor and a Wattpad account. I also have a Pinterest account because I like to use it for research and as a place to get writing inspiration. Maybe in the future I will give social media another shot.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: If you want to be a writer, write. Don’t expect your first draft to be a masterpiece. It won’t be. Think of that as a blessing because it allows you to play while you write.

Thank you for your time!

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