Today the blog is bursting with colors because Laini Taylor-Di Bartolo is here! Laini is residing in Portland, Oregon and has an artistic background...which you can see when you look at her gorgeous blog! Her book LIPS TOUCH (from Arthur A. Levine) and DREAMDARK: SILKSINGER (from Putnam) just came out, so you'll want to check them out. LIPS TOUCH features amazing illustrations done by her husband. In case you didn't know, Laini loves fairies!

It was announced this morning that LIPS TOUCH is a National Book Award finalist! Congrats to Laini and Jim!

The illustration is of no other than Laini herself! How can I resist drawing her pink hair? I wanted to capture her happy, colorful, and magical personality.

1) What is LIPS TOUCH about?

Lips Touch is composed of three separate tales about kisses with profound consequences for the kissers' souls. Goblins, demons, and shapeshifters come into the lives of three different young women whose lives will never be the same again . . . if they even live through the encounters . . .

2) What inspired you to write the stories in LIPS TOUCH?

It took me several years to write my first novel, and after I was done I had a strong hankering to write some short pieces, just for fun. I'd just started blogging, and along with a new blog friend in England, I co-founded a writing prompt website: I had a blast writing weekly short stories, and after a few months I noticed some recurrent themes emerge, notably: kissing! I'm not sure why I was writing about kissing, aside from the fact that kissing is awesome. But the stories had a kind of cohesion. It was my husband's idea that they could be a book, and now, three years later, they are!

3) Can you tell us how art came into play for your book?

Well, I'm very lucky to be married to an amazing illustrator, and I like to tell writers they should try to marry an illustrator if they possibly can (or, on the other hand, perhaps they should marry someone with a "regular job" just for the sake of health insurance!). Jim and I met on the first day of art school, and we've been collaborating on various projects ever since, not the least of which is our greatest creation yet: Clementine, born August 9th!

4) How do you like working with Arthur A. Levine?

What can I say? It's fabulous. Arthur is incredibly insightful and an amazing editor, as well as being the nicest person you'll ever meet. It's a thrill to be published by him.

5) What's your writing process like?

Whew. Well, I've written extensively about my process at, as well as my regular blog, and it's something I could blab about forever. But to keep things short and sweet, I'll just say that writing first drafts is really tough for me, on account of my being a perfectionist in the worst way. I love to revise, and I think that's where I really shine, but first drafts can be a real trial, and I have to use every trick in the book to complete a manuscript. I truly believe that if I could teach myself to finish a novel, anyone can! If you're an aspiring writer: be strict with yourself, set mini-deadlines, and never give up.

Thank you, Laini! I'm so excited to have you featured on The Blog!

LIPS TOUCH can be purchased here. And DREAMDARK: SILKSINGER here. Hope you all enjoyed the interview!



If you're an author, editor, agent, or illustrator and would like a five question interview and a drawing of your character (or of yourself), email me at rtlovejoy (at) yahoo (dot) com. Check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. Not that I've ever attempted to write a novel, but I am a super-perfectionist when it comes to first drafts of anything, too! It's nice to know I'm not alone in this curse...

    Love the pink hair. :)

  2. Hi :)
    I hadn't heard of LIPS TOUCH before and now it is on my ToBeRead list. Thank you for having Laini here today & thanks to Laini for sharing. I love discovering new (to me) authors!
    All the best,

  3. Oh my god, LIPS TOUCH is so, so good--I gobbled it up as soon as I got an ARC at BEA.

    Big fan, Laini! And I love the illustration, Realm--looks just like her :)

  4. I'm DYING to read this book, Laini! I've heard so many amazing things about it. Can't wait to check it out!

  5. Fantastic interview and illustration as always!

    LIPS TOUCH is amazing! Can't wait to read DREAMDARK: SILKSINGER.

  6. Great interview! I always know where to go now to find some new reading material.

    The illustration is so cool, as usual! Who knew pink hair could look so amazing :-)

  7. I'm also a perfectionist who often has trouble with first drafts, so this was encouraging advice :) This book looks really fun. Will add to my reading list!

  8. Thanks for the insight on your writing process. It's important to remember that athough writers are their own bosses, they still have to stick to a schedule of sorts if they ever want to finish anything! And I am going to check out that writing prompt site--sounds interesting!

  9. Thanks, everyone! So glad you all liked the interview. I can't wait to read Lips looks so amazing and I've heard raves.

    I was inspired by what Laini said about first drafts too. I can so relate to that!

  10. Great illustration, as usual. I love the pink hair; if only I could get away with that at my job!

  11. Wonderful interview, and an absolutely stunning illustration, Realm! You and Laini are both talents to be reckoned with. Love it.

  12. Thanks for posting. Make haste and read Lips Touch- it's so tasty!


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