Title: Underneath it All
Author: Kate Canterbary
Date of publication: October 21st, 2014
About Underneath it All:
If I had known I'd have a hot architect balls deep inside of me before the end of the weekend, I'd have made time for a pedicure.
It's all the little things—the action plans, the long-kept promises—that started falling apart when my life slipped into controlled chaos.
After I met Matthew Walsh.
I couldn't decide whether I wanted to run screaming or rip his pants off, and most days I wanted a little of both. If I was being honest with myself, it was rip his pants off, ride him like a workhorse, and then run screaming.
A rebellious streak ran through Lauren Halsted. It was fierce and unrelentingly beautiful, and woven through too many good girl layers to count, and she wasn't letting anyone tell her what to do.
Unless, of course, she was naked.
She wasn't looking for me and I sure as shit wasn't looking for her, but we found each other anyway and now we were locked in a battle of wills, waiting for the other to blink.
Sometimes the universe conspires to bring people together. Other times, it throws people down a flight of stairs and leaves them in a bruised and bloodied heap.
Q&A with Kate:
What made you write this book?
The Walsh Series originated from a project I was consulting on last year. An educational organization was attempting to get the legislature to revise regulatory guidance around repurposing Industrial Revolution-era mills and factories for schools, and I met an incredible team of architects in the process. They were some of the most brilliant, complex individuals I'd ever encountered, and they were ridiculously adorable, too.
At the time, I was also running into brick walls with my work-in-progress. I took a vacation from that manuscript and started imagining a family of brilliant, adorable architects, and within a few days, Patrick, Matthew, Shannon, Riley, Sam, and Erin were born.
Do either of your characters relate you to or someone close to you?
One of my beta readers is also very close to me, and she suggests that touches of me and others in my world show up in my characters, but none of my characters are based on anyone else.
In fact, I've tried that and failed – my characters have a mind of their own, and pushing them to conform to preexisting models of speech, behavior, or motivation doesn't work well for me.
What can we expect from your book that's so different from other authors out there?"
Architects are a rare breed, and the Walshes take it one step further by dedicating themselves the worlds of sustainability and historic preservation. They're creative and instinctual, and know something about expertly tailored suits and husky growls, and the genre hasn't introduced us to many of their kind.
Beyond the focus on architecture is my desire to write people that we think we know, but we have no idea. Andy and Lauren are great examples of characters we think we know – their types – but when we peel it all back, we realize we didn't know them as well as we thought.
What is your writing process like?
My brain is a little funky. I'm quite talented with action plans and project management, but I hate forcing myself into those parameters.
I can outline a book, but I'll start writing and promptly deviate from the outline. After fighting all of my instincts, I stopped with the structures and apps and rules, and just let the words flow. It exists in a chaotic ecosystem in my head, and I'm praying the dementia doesn't set in too soon.
Tipsy. I was definitely tipsy.
Tequila was to blame for the current state of blissfully inebriated affairs, such as they were. His tie sat crisply folded beside his beer bottle, green with small pink shapes, and the collar of his white shirt gaped open. And I wanted to taste him right there.
It was late, the bar nearly empty, and far, far past the proper end for a normal business meeting, but this stopped being a business meeting when we walked through the door.
None of my other first dates—or fourths, for that matter—involved hole-in-the-wall bars or innuendo-laced discussions of architecture. They never involved Matthew Walsh either. This was all rather peculiar, much like that fun, buzzy feeling in my body. He smiled at me, a smug, knowing expression that told me he was watching my inhibitions evaporate by the minute.
"If you hadn't come out with me? What would you be doing tonight?"
"I'm not winning at work-life balance these days," I said with a grimace. "I'd probably be working on a few overdue projects."
Matthew held up his palm and I stared at it for an embarrassingly long time before meeting his high five. His fingers laced with mine, and for a moment, I could only gape at the way they layered together. He was touching me and I liked it, and somewhere in my head I knew this was strange. I wasn't into boys right now. I mean, I wasn't into girls, either, but I wasn't doing the whole boys and dates and worry about whether I shaved my legs thing.
"Balance is overrated."
I laughed. "Yeah? And what would you be doing? If you didn't maneuver me into drinking with you all night, that is."
"Maneuver? That's strong."
He rubbed his thumb against my palm, and I bit down on my lip to prevent the tipsy giggles from leaking out.
It was just a thumb circling a palm, and it shouldn't have been especially delightful, but if confronted with a choice between this and calorie-free cupcakes, I saw no contest. I liked this, and I didn't want it to stop.
About Kate Canterbary:
Kate doesn't have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the ocean--Pacific or Atlantic--is the closest place to perfection, and writing smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing people—be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane—ever since. Kate lives on the water in Rhode Island with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby Canterbary, and when she isn't writing sexy architects, she's scheduling her days around the region's best food trucks.