Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Debut Print Book: What Lies Beneath by Andrea Laurence

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.

What Lies Beneath cover

Name of debut release: What Lies Beneath

Release date: 04/03/2012

Publisher: Harlequin Desire

2 sentence summary: After a deadly plane crash, Cynthia wakes up in the hospital with a reconstructed face and no memory of her life, family or the handsome, but distant, fiance at her bedside. Will is intrigued and attracted to the new woman his fiancee has become, but can he risk his heart again, not knowing what might happen when her memory returns?

Genre: Series Contemporary Romance

Characters: Cynthia Dempsey is recovering amnesiac trying to come to terms with her life. Before the accident, she was a fierce advertising executive, heiress to a technology fortune, and a sorry excuse for a fiancee. Now, she’s uncomfortable in her own skin, embarassed by her past and feels like her life is all wrong.

Will Taylor runs the family newspaper empire. As his relationship with his fiancee started to disintegrate, he buried himself deeper and deeper into his work. Cynthia’s accident forces him to put down the smartphone and work with her to rebuild what they have together.

What makes this story different: I’ll admit I hadn’t read an amnesia book before, so I’m told that I did it wrong. I can’t say too much more without giving away, but I think I gave the traditional hook a fun twist.

Why you wrote this book: I was on the treadmill at the gym at a miserably early hour when I came up with the general idea for this book. And I mean basic. A three line blurb at best. Really just a “what if…?” When the project I had out was rejected, the editor asked what else I had. I pitched the blurb and they said they wanted to see it. So I wrote the proposal in a weekend and mailed it. Desperation is a powerful motivator.

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? This book was my eleventh. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where I fit in. My voice and my characters don’t fit everywhere. Fortunately, I got picked out of the slush pile by an editor who ‘got’ me and I was able to bring together the right project with the right publisher at the right time.

What’s your writing process? I am a huge plotter. I can write a synopsis that will make a panster cry. I typically come up with a general idea, then get together with my plotting group to flesh it out. I develop a fairly detailed synopsis and turn that into a chapter by chapter outline. From there, it’s just me, my favorite chair and my laptop, banging out chapters on nights and weekends around my day job to get out a draft. Then I set it aside for a week or two. Clean my house. Go grocery shopping. Get some distance. And then read through it again, revising and layering. Then I mail it off.

Your next published book. More Than He Expected, Harlequin Desire – July 2012

The last book you read that you loved. I really enjoyed Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. I have a huge crush on Bones.

The last book you read for research. The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper by Maxim Jakubowski

The romance book character you most identify with. I suppose I should say that I identify with Jane Eyre or Elizabeth Bennett, and I’m sure there are pieces of them in me but I don’t think they really fit. I’ve been told that Charley Davidson from Darynda Jones’s Grave series reminds people of me. Sarcastic. Snarky. No nonsense. Fun. I can see that.

You can visit Andrea Laurence at her website:


Guest Reviewer


  1. Angela
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 10:33:30

    I admit, I don’t read much series category romance, nor do I read many amnesia plotlines, but the mention of ‘not doing it right’ makes me want to get this and check it out.

    These new features are definitely not good for my bankcard. :P

  2. RebeccaJ
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 10:43:09

    As someone who has been trying to write a romance novel and get published for what seems like eons, I really like the idea of this addition to your website, Jane.

    It gives us ‘future’ authors encouragement when we see someone else who accomplished our goal, and it also helps us see there’s no right and wrong way to approach writing. We’re all unique and that’s okay.

  3. RebeccaJ
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 10:51:50

    @ Angela, yeah, Jane should have to give us all a $10 book gift card for leading us into temptation…LOL!

  4. Andrea Laurence
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 11:25:51

    @ Angela – My plan is to lure readers back to series romance one book at a time. Fortunately, the books are priced lower than the average single title, so maybe it don’t sting so badly.

    @ RebeccaJ – I alway like hearing call stories and learning about how others reached their goals. Keep at it and you’ll get there, too.

  5. Angela
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 11:57:24

    @Andrea Laurence: LOL Andrea! Well, I one-clicked it, so you’ve at least started me on the path ;)

  6. Loosheesh
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 18:45:49

    @RebeccaJ: I’m Loosheesh and I approve this message =D

  7. rebeccaj
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 19:48:53

    BTW, congratulations, Andrea!!

  8. Andrea Laurence
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 08:04:24

    @ rejeccaj – Thank you! It’s been a crazy and exciting year.

  9. RebeccaJ
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 09:11:15

    I do have one question that wasn’t asked in the interview, Andrea: i’m curious as to how long a time period was there between you submitting your manuscript and finding out a publishing house was interested in it?

  10. Kim
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 11:11:28

    Congratulations, Andrea. I was just reading a review for this book and thinking about buying it. The RT Review said it was a great book from a debut author.

  11. Andrea Laurence
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 09:55:26

    @RebeccaJ: That really varies. Desire bought the second manuscript we worked on. The first took almost a year from submission to slush to rejection. I think I got a request for a full after about a month, then a request for revisions maybe two months after I sent it in.

  12. Andrea Laurence
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 09:56:17

    @Kim: Yes, the RT review was great. I was thrilled they liked it. If you do pick it up, I hope you enjoy it as well.

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