Love at the Speed of Email
Happy Thursday, all! I’m feeling effervescent today because I get to spend some time sharing one of my best friends with you… And I love introducing people.
I think you’ve heard me talk about Lisa McKay before, and I’m sure you’ve noticed the adjectives that I like to sprinkle generously whenever her name is mentioned: beautiful, funny, talented, wise, honest, and inspiring are just a few that readily (and regularly) come to mind. In case you aren’t picking it up, I love this girl. And though our friendship has been almost conducted entirely long distance (save our memorable weekends at the Festival of Faith and Writing), because of shared experiences and good old fashioned compatibility, I consider her one of my dearest friends.
And my dear Lisa has just celebrated the release of her newest book baby! Love at the Speed of Email is Lisa’s memoir… I’ll let her tell you all about it. But before I do, let me assure you that the book is brilliant. Funny and moving and tender and sweet. It’s totally a modern day fairytale. And who doesn’t love one of those? Without further ado, Lisa, and Love at the Speed of Email.
Tell us about your new book. Why should we read it?
Love At The Speed Of Email is the story of an old-fashioned courtship made possible by modern technology. Here’s the book description:
Lisa looks as if she has it made. She has turned her nomadic childhood and forensic psychology training into a successful career as a stress management trainer for humanitarian aid workers. She lives in Los Angeles, travels the world, and her first novel has just been published to some acclaim. But as she turns 31, Lisa realizes that she is still single, constantly on airplanes, and increasingly wondering where home is and what it really means to commit to a person, place, or career. When an intriguing stranger living on the other side of the world emails her out of the blue, she must decide whether she will risk trying to answer those questions. Her decision will change her life.
And why should people read it? Well, it’s a grand love story with a happy ending. Everyone loves those, right? Also, it will hopefully make you laugh and make you think.
I feel super weird saying this about my own memoir, but it really is a good story. When I lived in Los Angeles I won a stand-up storytelling competition telling parts of this tale.
What was one of your favorite scenes to write? Why?
One of the chapters near the end of the book is called The Chicken Dance. In it, I write about introducing Mike (the intriguing stranger) to my parents.
Mike and I had been writing letters to each other for three months when he flew to Australia so that we could meet. When I picked him up in Brisbane airport and we met for the first time we had never even spoken to each other before! After he arrived, we drove two hours back to my parent’s place (where I was staying while on vacation) and I dropped him right in the middle of my entire family.
The first conversation he had with my parents ended up in completely ridiculous territory! I smile every time I think about it now and it was such a fun scene to write. It’s a good thing my mother is a good sport and doesn’t mind me making fun of her occasionally.
What part of this memoir did you find hardest to write?
I was involved in several long distance relationships that did not end happily-ever-after before I met Mike. I found it difficult to write about these previous romantic relationships – especially ways in which I had failed others and myself.
One chapter, in particular, I must have rewritten a dozen times. I went over that story again and again, trying to pin down what had happened during that time and how I had contributed to the unhealthy dynamics of that relationship.
It was a difficult process, but I couldn’t leave those parts of the story out. Some of the mistakes I made during that time helped shape the person I had become when Mike and I met.
In this book you write about “the internal and unwinnable war between the longing for Adventure and Home.” How are adventure and home playing out in your life currently?
I told Mike about this question and he joked that he wants Adventure and I want Home. He’s not far wrong, actually. After years of living abroad and traveling the world for work there’s a big part of me now that has started to yearn for a stable community, a white picket fence and an idle passport.
It’s not the season for that quite yet, if it ever will be. We’re currently living in Northern Laos. Mike works for a humanitarian organization here, helping oversee programs related to child and maternal health, food security, education and sanitation. I do some work as a consultant psychologist around issues related to stress, trauma and resilience. I do a lot more work as a mother, however. We had our first child just nine months ago and, phew, mothering is a bit relentless, isn’t it?
So I’d say Adventure is still edging out Home, but we are managing to create a Home together in some important ways here in Laos.
Thanks for visiting my blog, Lisa! I hope the book sells by the trainload and that you find the balance between Adventure and Home and that Dominic is an angel baby far more than he is a naughty baby. I also hope that someday we live close enough to share a bottle of wine more than once every two years.
Thanks for hosting me on this virtual book tour (isn’t the internet amazing?? I remain astounded that I can launch a book from Laos). Speaking of which, I’m looking for ways to get the word out about the book this summer, so if anyone reading would like me to visit their blog to do an interview or a guest post just let me know.
Please do drop by my blog and say hello. I’d love to hear from you. And pick up a copy of Love At The Speed Of Email on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. A portion of my profits on this book will be going to support two charities here in Laos.