Breaking the Rules: Behind the Scenes
As I celebrate the publication of my debut novel, I can't help but look back and think about how—if I had ignored the nagging voice at the back of my mind—I never would have written it.
When people ask me where I got the idea for Breaking the Rules, I always think back to a conversation I had with a friend a few years ago. We were discussing the age-old question: can men and women really be just friends? I don't remember many of the details of that particular evening—the exact location, whether I was drinking coffee or tea—but I remember coming home with the idea for a story. Cue writerly existential crisis. I was extremely annoyed at myself for letting my mind wander; the last thing I needed at the time was another story idea.
I was already working on a novel and I needed to focus all of my attention on the complicated lives of characters that I had already created and stop dreaming of new people that had no business in that story. Even though I tried to forget about them, they wouldn't get out of my head. And then I went ahead and named these characters. The girl was Roxy and Ollie was her lifelong best friend. Something would happen to challenge that friendship. I started taking notes and made a quick outline so I'd be able to write their story when I finished the novel I was working on. But the more I tried to focus on my current story, the more I became uninspired and bored. It was going nowhere and it had been going nowhere for a long time and I just wasn’t ready to admit it. It was depressing to look at the pile of notes and character profiles and timelines I’d created and know that I didn’t want to play with these characters anymore. The plot was too thin and—as hard as I tried—I couldn’t muster up any sort of passion for these characters and their story. We were through.
Of course, by that time, Roxy and Ollie—and their friends and family—had completely taken over. They were a loud bunch (just as I imagine they would be in real life) and pretty soon it was clear that they would not be ignored. So I finally gave in and set aside all other projects and started working on the manuscript that would eventually—after many drafts—become Breaking the Rules. And while writing Roxy and Ollie's story had its own set of struggles, I never felt bored and uninspired like I did with the previous novel. I always knew that somehow—even when I was in the throes of complete writer’s block—I was meant to write this story.
And you can buy Breaking The Rules here
Barnes and Noble Nook
Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.
An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.
Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).
Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.