Sarita Sengupta is in her last semester of grad school and has finally realized she doesn’t have a career plan, a girlfriend, or a clear outlook on life. She works as a pastry shop’s head decorator, but is otherwise drifting without direction until a friend’s birthday party ends with her waking up in surprise next to Maritza Quiñones, a pretty ballroom dancer whose cheerful charm and laser focus sets Sarita on a path to making all of the choices she’s been avoiding.
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“I met someone.”
Devesh makes a happy little humming noise. “Reeti, that’s great.”
“Yeah. It is. She is. I mean, so far. I met her last night.” Not for the first time, Sarita wishes she’d had a land line put in. She could use the coiled phone cord to fiddle with right now. “We had dinner tonight.”
“That’s really fantastic.” Devesh is smiling, she knows, and she hears him put a hand over the phone to tell Sunil. “Sunil says that’s great, too. Tell me about her?”
“Um,” She plucks at her laptop charging cable, winding it around and between her fingers. “Well, her name is Maritza. She’s hot, and she’s funny, and she’s a ballroom dancer who seems to actually know what she wants to do with her life, and now I’ve got a complex.”
“Reeti,” Devesh sighs, and he tsks. “Come on, don’t think like that. You’re great. You don’t need to have a complex.”
“Eight years of college and I don’t know what I want to do with my life. You come on.” Shaking the coiled cable off of her fingers, she picks it back up and starts twisting it again. “She’s known what she wants since she was nine. When I was nine I wanted a Tamagotchi, which I couldn’t even manage to keep alive for more than a week at a time.”
“Okay, the only person we knew who was successful with their Tamagotchi was that Brian Michaelson kid from down the street,” Devesh says. “The rest of us all sucked at it. I wouldn’t go around using it as a yardstick to measure your life’s ambition by.” His voice softens. “Don’t worry about it, Reeti. You’re doing fine. You want to study philosophy, so you’re doing it. Figure everything else out later. And Jesus, don’t judge yourself by someone else you just met.”
Sarita leans on her hand, running her fingers into her hair. “It’s been a long day.”
“I guess so.” The sounds of Devesh settling in against a pile of pillows rustle down the line. “So. Funny, hot, and a ballroom dancer, huh? She sounds like a keeper.”
Sarita leans back in her chair, and suddenly she’s smiling again, her paper and her existential crisis forgotten. “Early days, but… you know, I definitely want to see her again. And again…”
The butterflies take flight.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lissa Reed, author of Certainly, Possibly, You.
Hi Lissa, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi there, thank you for hosting me today! I am a queer writer transplanted from her native Louisiana to north Texas - I'm a bit of a foodie, a cat-wrangler, a software tech, and a semi-competent balcony herb gardener. Certainly is my second book in a three book series centered around the love lives of the queer employees at a Seattle bakery.
1) Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?
Covers catch my eye for sure – one of my favorite books, Tipping The Velvet by Sarah Waters, for example. The copy I bought has a seriously distinctive cover with two women sitting on trapezes, and they’re, ah, they are not really wearing clothes. It’s a vintage photo or at least vintage styled, and it catches your eye. It does a good job telling you that it’s a historical book, and it’s female-centric, and perhaps has something to do with performing. I love a cover that can convey that.
But a good cover has to have a catchy blurb too. I can’t stand books that only put quotes from reviews on the back or in the dustjacket, I need to know something of what your book is about! Reel me in further, man!
2) What does ‘romance’ mean to you?
The little things – how people are conscious of each other in the space they occupy together, how they know the most inconsequential things, how they sit together and can be quiet and still, just being around each other.
3) What are your current projects?
The last book in the Sucre Coeur series! Wrapping it all up with a tidy bow. It’s going to be a wild ride, it only partly takes place in Seattle, lots of stuff is happening, and I cannot wait to finish it so people can read it. It’s fantastic fun.
4) What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
Not letting Twitter distract me. I am so easily distracted and I love Twitter so much, good lord.
5) Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.
I mention it in my author bio, but it really seems to startle people that I briefly worked the Renaissance Faire circuit as part of a bawdy wench act. I mean, first people are like, “Wait, that’s a thing you can do? For money?” and then they’re like, “You did what to ‘Greensleeves’?” It’s really hilarious to watch their faces shift as I explain.
About the Author
Lissa Reed is a writer of fi ction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her fi rst composition book and told her to fi ll it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fi ction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Certainly, Possibly, You is the second book in Reed’s Sucre Coeur series.