Melody Carlson is the award-winning Christian fiction author of over two hundred books with sales of more than seven million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice, and her novel All Summer Long was made into a Hallmark movie.
In this interview, Melody talks with us about her new book, Looking for Leroy, a story that is sure to be a hit with her many fans.
FF: Can you please provide a brief description of Looking for Leroy?
Brynna Philips joins fellow teacher Jan Barton on a camping trip that takes them to the Sonoma Wine Country, where Brynna’s old beau, Leroy Sorrentino, happens to own a vineyard. Leroy and Brynna haven’t crossed paths in thirty years and Brynna can’t even remember Leroy’s last name, but Jan is determined to look him up. Things get complicated and very interesting when they find him!
FF: What was the inspiration for your new novel?
I think I was longing for a road trip and camping. Plus, I’ve always wanted to tour vineyard country in Sonoma. What better way to do it (during a pandemic) than vicariously through story!
FF: Looking for Leroy offers a heartwarming tale about second chances at love. Are there other themes that you explore in your book?
There are a number of themes including friendship between two very different women, caring for loved ones, and restoring what’s been lost.
FF: Why did you decide to set your novel in the Sonoma Wine Country?
I’ve passed through that beautiful region only while in transit, but I always wanted to linger. The story allowed me to explore it more. Now it’s definitely on my to-go-to list.
FF: You have a gift for creating wonderfully quirky characters in your novels. Do you have a favorite character in Looking for LeRoy?
Of course! I love Brynna. Despite her many insecurities, I like how she rolls up her sleeves and really jumps into life at the vineyard. I really enjoyed Leroy’s daughters, and Leroy’s elderly mother had some nice surprises up her sleeves too.
FF: Brynna’s friend Jan plays a key role in reconnecting Brynna and Leroy. Can you provide a hint of how she was instrumental in finding Leroy?
Jan seems like the least romantic character early on but turns out to be very open to looking for love—and pushes Brynna to find it too.
FF: What do you hope readers will experience when they read your novel?
As always, I hope they enjoy being swept away in story. Also that they would realize hope hides out in unexpected places—and that taking chances for the right reasons can be fulfilling and fun!
FF: In March 2020, you released The Happy Camper. In Looking for Leroy, the female protagonist, Brynna Philips, embarks on a camping trip. When did you first fall in love with camping and mini campers?
I’ve been a fan of camping for years. We’ve had various trailers and now camp in a comfortable older motor home. It’s my favorite way to see the beautiful country we live in.
FF: What are you working on next?
Right now I’m adapting Looking for Leroy into a screenplay. Because The Happy Camper, which I already adapted, may be going into production soon, there is also interest in Looking for Leroy.
Looking for Leroy
Release Date: March 1, 2022
It’s official: Brynna Phillips is done with men. They only break your heart. But just when she makes this declaration, her friend Jan convinces Brynna to join her on a camping vacation in Sonoma Wine Country.
As they wind their way toward their destination, spanking-new mini camper in tow, Brynna recalls her teenage camp romance with a boy named Leroy. How can it have been nearly thirty years ago? All she remembers is that Leroy was a genuinely good guy and that his family owned a vineyard–in Sonoma. She doesn’t even remember his last name. Undaunted, Jan insists they look for him . . . and the search for a second chance at love begins.
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Buy Looking for Leroy from Amazon HERE!