If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Friday, October 17, 2014

Guest Post: Laura Simcox on Why She Makes Her Characters Do Dumb Stuff / @TastyBookTours @Simcoxwriter

Ever read a story and wonder, "What were you thinking?" after reading something a character did or said? I know I have! Today, the very talented Laura Simcox is here to talk about why she makes her characters do things that make you, the reader, wonder, "Why??"

*grins* Thanks, Miriam!

I am a classic klutz, and I don’t mind admitting it. A year ago, about nine o’clock in the morning, I broke my foot by falling down in a grocery store parking lot. What did I trip over? Nothing. I still don’t have a clue exactly what the H happened, other than the facts.

I put the groceries into the trunk, strapped my then four year old son into his car seat, walked around the back of my car and two seconds later my keys went flying out of my hand. One of my not-very-high-heeled clogs flew away, too, tumbling under a minivan, and I was kissing the pavement. Yeah, it hurt, and a random stranger picked me up and stuffed me back into my car, all while I was protesting that I was perfectly fine (high pain tolerance + denial = me).

The stranger, who was shorter than me (next to impossible) and couldn’t have weighed more than a hundred pounds, lit a cigarette while I was attempting to drag my leg onto the floorboard. She peered into the car and said “I see you’ve got a little one.” I nodded, eyeing the clutch pedal, wondering how I was going to manage it. She tapped me on the shoulder and I glanced up to find her staring at me intently.

“How far you live from here?” she asked. “A half a mile,” I told her. “You got a husband?” I nodded again. “Uh-uh,” she said, “Well then, suck it up until he gets home. You’re a mama. You don’t got no choice.” Then she shut my car door and walked off before I’d even had a chance to thank her. I sat there with my mouth open thinking “Um…?” Then I started laughing.

When my son asked me what was funny, I told him that the nice lady had just given Mama the energy she needed to drive in first gear all the way home. Which I did, giggling the whole way (shock is a weird thing). I made it as far as my across-the-backyard neighbor, who was out washing her windows. I rolled down my window and said “Hi. There’s a small chance I might have broken a bone. Or something.” She stared at me for a second, unstrapped my little guy without a word and took him inside. I drove around the block, and pulled into our driveway.

Then I crawled—yes, crawled (at this point I was realizing that maybe I wasn’t perfectly fine) into the house, flopped onto the sofa and called my husband. My knight in a shining tricked-out Jeep came running, and I told him what had happened. After that, I gave in to tears, blamed the sucky grocery store and then started in on an I-don’t-have-time-to-be-injured-I-have-to-write-a-book rant. He listened to me patiently and after a minute, I could tell he was trying not to laugh. So I started to laugh again.

At the end of the lonnng day of doctor’s offices, x-rays and how-to-use-crutches tutorials, I made it up two flights of steps with my knight’s help. I laid on the bed, stared at the Franken-boot on my leg and realized that I’d done more laughing that day than I had in a long time.

Maybe I have a sick, twisted sense of humor, but I’d had a totally unexpected, fun day with my husband. A romantic day, too—because he spent most of it holding my hand, giving me winks and telling me stories about all the dumb stuff some of the guys at work had done over the years. Like—one genius who fell off a platform in a chemical plant because he was trying to catch birds with his bare hands. Um, why? Lol.

Anyway, the point of my broken foot story is this: Dumb stuff can bring a hero and heroine closer together. It can shine a light on their true colors—and to me, a sense of humor is super sexy. I’m not saying that heroes and heroines need to experience bodily injury, or have over-the-top slapstick moments that don’t quite ring true. Sometimes little touches are enough—take Carolina, for example—she’s the heroine in book one of my Various States of Undress series. She plays practical jokes on Jake, the sexy Secret Service agent she’s falling in love with. Her sister, Virginia, loves to have fun, too and alternately flirts with disaster and her irresistible new boss, Dex in the next book of the series. 

Sometimes my heroines do dumb stuff to get the attention of their heroes. Juvenile? Yeah…that’s kind of the point, because there’s a natural element of acting like a kid when you’re falling in love. It’s part of the thrill, and part of the magic. As far as I’m concerned, falling in love should be fun, and staying in love is the most fun of all. Dumb stuff gleefully included.


Well... I'm caught between wanting to laugh at the hilarity of it all and feeling sorry for you, Laura. I am glad you made it out mildly-scathed though. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story with us!

Curious to know what Ms. Simcox makes her characters do? Check out her latest novel, Various States of Undress and don't forget to enter the giveaway too!

Title: Various Sates of Undress #2: Virginia
Author: Laura Simcox
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

When the president's daughter risks everything with her sexy new boss, they're bound to find themselves in Various States of Undress!

If she had it her way, Virginia Fulton—daughter of the President of the United States—would spend more time dancing in Manhattan's nightclubs than working in its skyscrapers. Tired of dodging paparazzi, she needs a change. And a real chance. So when she finds herself in the arms of sexy, persuasive Dexter Cameron, who presents her with the opportunity of a lifetime, Virginia sees it as a sign … but can she take it without losing her heart?

CEO-to-be Dexter Cameron knows he's taking a risk by hiring a stylish party girl to jumpstart his family's legacy department store. But the president's gorgeous daughter has her thumb on the pulse of Manhattan, and the partnership seems like a win-win … until Dex discovers that his goals now include more than securing the corner office—they include Virginia herself. Dex must decide: does he make a move up the ladder? Or on the girl of his dreams?

Other books in this series

After spending years in professional theater as a costume designer, Laura Simcox eased out of the hectic whirlwind of opening nights and settled in a comfy desk chair to write romance. She believes that life is too short not to appreciate heartwarming, quirky humor and her novels are lighthearted journeys into the happily-ever-after. She lives in North Carolina with her true love and adorable little son.


  1. Miriam! I had so much fun writing this post, and I'm thrilled to be with you today. :) Thanks for making me look fab-oo-lous. (Halloween is in two weeks, and I have a five year old. Kiddie greeting card expressions tend to pop into my head with scary regularity.)


    1. Hi Laura -

      Hahahaha! I gave in and laughed. This story is just too awesome not to find it even mildly hilarious! Thank you for coming by. I really had fun having you on the blog today. Best of sales on your new book!