The Edmond Sun
Malena Lott, an Edmond novelist and brand strategist, is ready to give readers a little something extra for their holiday reading pleasure.
“Something New” examines the entanglements created by three generations of women in an Oklahoma City family. From 25-year-old Gwen’s matrimonial drama unfolding on a reality television series to her sister Kelly’s own family secret, Lott weaves a celebratory tale that also focuses on mom Bess and grandmother Maeve Apple.
Below, the author tells The Edmond Sun more about “Something New” in her own words:
Q: Tell us a bit about the premise behind your fourth novel “Something New.”
A: “Something New” examines what happens to three generations of a family when a secret from the past splits each of their lives wide open. Maeve, 85, suffers from Alzheimer’s and believes she’s 25 again and starring in “Princess and the Pauper.” The socialite prefers life as a stage diva and can’t believe she would’ve married Henry, though he gave her a luxurious life. She can’t stop talking about her co-star Canty, so her daughter and granddaughters search for him. The journey sets into questions the decisions that each woman has made.
Q: What in your life inspired the characters of Maeve Apple, her daughter, Bess, and granddaughters, Kelly and Gwen?
A: Bess was definitely inspired by my mother-in-law, not only because she was an only child and grew up in Nichols Hills, as Bess did, but because she was primarily a stay-at-home mom and very focused on the family. Kelly, her eldest daughter, takes all the best parts of my Type A drive, but Kelly is 35 and unmarried and finds a donor to have a baby. Gwen is a typical baby of the family, but extremely spoiled and seems unable to control her own life, at least at first.
Q: Why write about three generations together?
A: I suppose the more novels you write, the more you want to challenge yourself and it’s a lot more difficult to pull off writing in multiple points of view and still have the theme and the main plot weave throughout. Besides that, it was great fun to write from each generation. What you think your life will be in your 20s is vastly different than what an 85-year-old looking back on her life might say, so it was fun to explore that. Each woman is going through very different troubles, but at the heart it’s about finding your passion despite the odds and having to turn away from a path already set for you.
Q: Reality television plays a role in this story as your characters go through some very private ups and downs in their lives. Why did you choose a reality TV show as a plot line for this novel?
A: I’ll admit I’m not a fan of reality shows because I don’t think they are based on reality, so in the case of “Luxe Weddings,” it provided nice conflict for Gwen to be one of the three stars but the viewers not knowing that the Apples really can’t afford a luxury wedding anymore. It provides a nice mirror for Gwen to evaluate her engagement and whether she loves the wedding more than the man.
Q: What’s you favorite scene in the novel?
A: Ooh, I wish I could tell you, but it would give away a big turning point. For me it was the most romantic scene in the book, but not for the usual reasons people would think. It’s a Maeve scene.
Q: Why did you choose to set the story in Oklahoma?
A: Oklahoma City has been undergoing a major revival the last 10 years and as a suburban mom of three, it’s fun to imagine living in a cool loft downtown. The heart of the action all happens in downtown OKC — the lofts, the tree farm, the urban development company and the stage. I revived the Orpheum Theater (prior to that it was Overholser). We also have scenes in Maeve’s estate in Nichols Hills.
Q: How have you as an author changed through the writing of this novel?
A: I think it really gave me more appreciation for what our ancestors before us sacrifice to set us up for our future. That’s pretty powerful. So in each of us we’re deciding — how can I live a purposeful, passionate life, but also how can I set up my family for success for generations to come? That’s tough.
Q: What message do you hope readers will take away from “Something New”?
A: What all my women’s fiction novels have in common is being true to you. I think the reason we’re here on earth is to make the most of our God-given talents and to be fully present. Being thankful for each day and the lessons and blessings we’re given. “Something New” is about true love, but also about that love for something bigger than ourselves. It’s scary to go for our dreams, but I think we can overcome any obstacle.
Lott’s other novels include “The Stork Reality,” “Fixer Upper” and “Dating da Vinci.” She also has published beach novellas “Life’s a Beach” and “The Lost Resort,” along with several short stories in a number of anthologies.
This newest novel is published by Lott’s own publishing house, Buzz Books USA. Other recent releases by Buzz Books include Lucie Smoker’s “Distortion” and the “Something Wicked” anthology, which also features one of Lott’s stories under her pen name Lena Brown.
“Something New” may be found in trade paperback for $12.99 or as an ebook for $3.99 at the following websites: Amazon: http://bitly.com/R9OBJ6 and Barnes & Noble: http://bitly.com/S4T6D4. Readers may learn more about Lott at her website at www.malenalott.com.