Title: All the Way to Heaven
Author: Becky Doughty
Series: Fallout #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: November 2, 2015
Anica Tomlin, business major, has just learned that the man she’s been planning her future around, her Global Finance professor, already has a beautiful wife and family. Ani cashes in her graduation gift to herself a little early—a trip to Tuscany—but from the moment she boards the wrong train in Pisa, her plans for solitude and self-indulgence begin to unravel around her.
When a bicycle accident thrusts Ani into the skilled hands of the dashing Dr. Cosimo Lazzaro, she reluctantly accepts his invitation to recover in his family’s country villa, perched on a hilltop surrounded by the Lazzaro olive groves. But it’s been a black year for olive growers all over Italy, and generations of tradition are being put to the test like never before.
Ani is swept up in the drama of life in Tuscany, the convergence of old and new, and the passions that drive people to pursue the desires of their hearts. Just as Ani begins to get her feet under her again, an unexpected turn of events leaves her doubting the very existence of happily-ever-after, unless she can learn to trust the desires of her own heart.
Although All the Way to Heaven is a stand-alone novel, it is the first book in The Fallout Series, a collection of sweet contemporary romances that follow characters featured in the first book.
Thanks for opening your online home to me!
P: What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
B: I love coming-of-age romance novels because I feel like a huge part of “coming of age” is discovering what we really want out of our relationships—our friends, our family, our lovers. The decisions we make as we step out on our own will shape us and mold us into what we’ll be for the rest of our lives. And I love writing about hope, and about second and third chances, and about love—things we all need in order to get up and live each day. Someday I want to try my hand at world-building, but for now, I look around me and see a world that already exists; one in desperate need of hope, and second and third chances, and love, you know? So, for now, until the muse steers me in another direction, those are the stories I write. J
P: When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
B: Oh, definitely the moment of conception of a story idea—it’s like one of those cartoon lightbulb moments. Ping! There’s a story here, Becky! Grab it, quick, before it finds someone else who will tell it! Oh, the endless possibilities in that moment! What a rush! Most of my ideas come to me like “thought photographs,” or like short video clips. I’ll pass someone who’s crying alone, or a man and woman in a car turned away from each other, an unusual setting, and suddenly, I’m off to the races to uncork the story behind that moment. Quite often, my ideas are born out of the tail-end of a dream. All the Way to Heaven was triggered by a dream—I came awake to the sound of a woman singing outside my window. (The dream was actually triggered by a memory of my own trip to Lucca, so it was really disconcerting at first!) I lay there listening for a few moments before I realized it had been a dream, but I took that “clip” and built a story around it. If you’ve read All the Way to Heaven, I included that moment in the book: Ani, too, is awakened on her first morning in Lucca by the melodious voice of Madalina Poptelecon singing Puccini below her window.
P: When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
B: I’m a multi-genre girl, so for someone like me, the question might be better answered by what I don’t read. I don’t care for horror (although I have been known to devour some Stephen King and Clive Barker now and again) or erotica, mainly because I don’t care for the gratuitous nature of either one. I don’t take issue with them, and I’ll be the last person to get on a soapbox about advisory labels and art and self-expression. I’m just talking about my personal preference. I also almost never read nonfiction. I don’t care for memoirs (unless they’re fiction or turned into a movie), and I don’t care for self-help or how-to books that are longer than 10 pages. If you can’t tell me how to fix something or do something differently in 10 pages or less, I’ll find someone else who can. It’s called “googling” right? But otherwise, I’ll read almost any author at least once. In fact, I tend to get on author kicks. If I find a book I love, regardless of genre, I tend to grab up all the other books available by that same author and dig in. I do prefer a storyline that includes romance, although it certainly doesn’t have to be central to the plot, and I do prefer happy endings. I don’t mind if someone dies, as long as the characters (and me, the reader) are left with hope!
P: If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
B: Off the top of my head, Amy Harmon. I read her books as quickly as she writes them. In fact, I think her books are great examples of what I talked about earlier—characters finding ways to rise above the odds while staying true to themselves. And she does romance so deliciously, too! J
P: Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
B: Always. I’ve always written. Publishing has come to me later in life, but writing has always been a part of who I am.
Thanks again for having me! I enjoyed your thoughtful questions!
Becky Doughty is the author of the best-selling Elderberry Croft series, The Gustafson Girls series, Waters Fall, and more. She’s also the voice behind BraveHeart Audiobooks. She writes Women’s Fiction with strong elements of romance, as well as Young Adult and New Adult Fiction. Becky’s favorite people are edge-dwellers, those who live on that fine line where hope and despair meet, where love is the only answer and grace becomes truly amazing. Becky is married to her champion of more than 25 years. They have three children, two of whom are grown and starting families of their own, and they all live within a few miles of each other in Southern California. They share their lives with too many animals, a large vegetable garden, and a strange underground concrete room they’re certain was built for dark and sinister purposes….