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Tuesday 15 September 2015

ℚ♫ Center of Gravity - Laura McNeill

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Center of Gravity (, Thomas Nelson, 318 pages) a Suspense Women's Fiction novel.

“A bold and poignant look into an imploding marriage, told in a chorus of assured voices.  I found myself so invested in Ava, a woman finally ready to examine the dysfunctional family dynamics that have shaped her and rise to courage.  The story took me by the hand, bold and tender, and didn’t let me go until it’s extremely satisfying conclusion.  Center of Gravity is a compelling, fierce, and ultimately hopeful tale, and McNeill is a writer to watch.” — Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Someone Else’s Love Story

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Review | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello again Laura, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter today.

I love music, and one of the first things I do when reading a book is to check if the author has associated a music playlist to it.  Of course I did that with your book, Center of Gravity, and found it!  I loved your choices, and therefore, to start, I would like to share it here, so that readers can have it in the background if they wish ;-)   I would also recommend readers visit Laura's website and check out her original post, where she explains why she chose these songs.

 What was the inspiration for Center of Gravity?

"Center of Gravity is about the dissolution of a marriage.  I had recently endured an extremely stressful divorce, myself, and I had spent the past year talking to other women and men about their stories of love and loss.

It seemed that everyone I talked to had an aunt, a cousin, a best friend, or a sister who had been through a tragic, heart wrenching break up.  Some involved children, some didn’t. Many included alienation from friends and family.  Some involved violence.  The majority involved a long, drawn out court battles.  All of the stories left me feeling, somehow, that I was not quite alone.  I began writing the novel which would become Center of Gravity."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"There is a lot of me in Ava. She’s dedicated to her children and wants to believe the best in people, which means that sometimes people take advantage of her.  She is also stronger than she knows, resourceful, and smart – and draws on those skills during the book."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.   Can you tell us about your cover for Center of Gravity - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The artist is one of the graphic designers at HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson.  She is wonderful and did a great job with the cover.  We went through about 11 iterations until we reached the concept of the rope fraying. I think it perfectly depicts the unraveling marriage."
Why should we read Center of Gravity and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"The book is told from three main perspectives – Jack, an eight-year old boy who is precocious, smart, and loves superheroes and the idea of saving the world.  Ava is his loving and sensitive stepmother, and Graham Thomas, a newcomer to town, is the rough and ready attorney who helps Ava fight for her children."
Can you tell us something quirky about Center of Gravity, its story and characters?
"I chose the name Ava because it is close in look and feel to “Eve” from the Bible.  In some ways, she mistakenly believes she is in a “Garden of Eden” on earth.  Unfortunately, her husband Mitchell becomes jealous and controlling, sending their world spinning out of control.  Like Eve, she is cast out of the “Eden” she knows to make her way in a challenging and sometimes unfriendly and dangerous new world."
Who would you recommend Center of Gravity to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Center of Gravityis a suspense novel targeted for women (and men) in their mid-twenties and up, especially those who have and/or love children.

There are some tense scenes with more of a “creepy” factor than a horror factor.  There is a hint of romance, and a few colorful expletives courtesy of the attorney who narrates part of the book."
If you could / wished to turn Center of Gravity into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Ava Carson - Emma Stone
Mitchell Carson - Christian Bale
Graham Thomas - Chris Pratt
Jack Carson - Jonathan Morgan Heit
Dr. Lucy Olsen - Carla Gugino"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I like to explore reading and writing different genres, even those I was strongly advised by many people not to switch genres as an author.

I started out in the business publishing 4 novels under the pen name, Lauren Clark.  Those books are all sweet Southern fiction with a splash of romance and humor.  I am traditionally publishing Center of Gravity under my real name, Laura McNeill, which will help differentiate it as domestic suspense.  I have a second novel, Sister Dear, also domestic suspense, coming out in April 2016 with HarperCollins. "
What is your writing process?
"As, I work full-time as well as go to graduate school, a usual writing day for me during the week is to get up between 5:30 and 6 am and finishing writing or editing by 8 am, at which point, I race to grab a shower and get to work by 8:30 am.  The evenings are dedicated to my boys and homework.  On the weekends, my writing schedule is a bit more flexible."
What is in store next?
"I have another suspense novel coming out from HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson in April of 2016.  It’s called Sister Dear and is about a single mom in small town Coastal Georgia who goes to prison for a crime she didn’t commit.  When she is paroled ten years later, she discovers that the person who betrayed her is one of the people she trusts most."
I look forward to it!

Center of Gravity - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Unknown said...

Great interview, thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Betty! So glad that you stopped by :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for hosting me on BooksChatter today! Thrilled to be here and enjoyed all of the thought-provoking questions... especially the "Dream Team" one! So fun to think about, right?

xox, Laura

Unknown said...

Thank you, Laura! Your book sounds fantastic!

MomJane said...

I enjoyed your comments. Hope this story has a happy ending.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post! I love your playlist..thanks for sharing it :)

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the interview. Thank you for the post and the giveaway!