Character Interview: Lyssa Doughty from Katie O’Boyle’s “Waking Up To Love”

When the incomparable Kim Loraine asked to interview one of the lead characters from Waking Up To Love, a sweet contemporary romance set in my beloved Finger WakingUpToLove600Lakes of Upstate New York, I asked Lyssa Doughty and her good friend Kyle Pennington to decide for themselves who would have the honors. Lyssa won the coin toss. Enjoy meeting her, Kim!

–Katie O’Boyle, author

Where are you from, Lyssa?

I grew up in the Southern Tier of New York State. Lots of hills and orchards and small towns. My sister Manda and I lived in a blue house on a pretty side street not far from a college campus.

So how did you come by your British accent?

Do I still have it? I lived for a year in London on a post-doctoral fellowship. That’s where I met Kyle, who’s from Cornwall. He and I talk every day, and I guess that’s why I haven’t lost the accent yet.

What did you think of Kyle when you first met?

He was so handsome and fit and distinguished looking. The cashmere suit and the jewelry and the styled hair and the polished Italian loafers. There I was in my thrift-store skirt and twin sweater set. I couldn’t believe he wanted to have a conversation with me. But in two minutes we were laughing like we’d known each other for years. And I was terribly impressed he didn’t grope me or leer. He was a perfect gentleman, and I was thrilled when he asked me out for the next afternoon, to take a walk in Hyde Park.

What made you want to keep seeing him?

Kyle was and is the most gentle, thoughtful, generous man I’ve ever known. Generous in spirit, too. And he’s so level-headed to my flightiness.

When and how did you know you were in love with him?

I always had a great time with him, but I was forced to admit that last night in Cornwall—you know, before I moved to Tompkins Falls to work at the college? That’s when I had to admit I was in love with him. And I ran away because it scared me. He was so not my type, and I was so not ready for a serious relationship.

When you look at him, what do you see?

He’s undeniably the sexiest man on the planet! I’m blushing, aren’t I? I can feel my cheeks burning.

What do you think he most likes about you?

He’d probably say something about my laugh or the silly stories I tell at the end of the day.

What made you choose to become an Economics professor?

I admired that side of my father, who had a similar role at the college in my home town. His specialty was personal values about money; mine is financial literacy for women of all ages. Teaching at the college level is endlessly interesting, but I also love giving seminars and workshops on the telly and in person. I’ve been asked to do a series in Cornwall, and I know I’m going to learn as much as the women in the group.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

Not to drag everyone down, but it was plenty scary in our home growing up, and I think the worst was having to lock myself in Manda’s bedroom with her, while Dad beat up on Mom. We tried so many times to get the police to help, but . . . well, that was the scariest. End of story.

What would we find under your bed?

Cadbury chocolate bar wrappers. I eat one before bed every night and stash the wrapper. Ohmigod, now you know my guilty secret!

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I walk on the lakeshore in Tompkins Falls or on the Coast Path in Cornwall. There’s nothing better for getting perspective.

Who should play you in a film?

You know that adorable redhead in the Hallmark movies? Candace Cameron Bure. I love her!

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

I’m forever grateful that my father taught me to manage my money. It saved my butt when he and Mom died young and left Manda and me with nothing. But I managed to stretch a college scholarship into full support all the way through my Ph.D., and I finished all of that debt-free.

Tell us about your favorite restaurant.

That would be the bistro on the Thames that Kyle and I go to Fridays whenever we’re in London. Kyle loves their seafood, and they have fat juicy burgers for me, the ultimate reward after a long week’s work.

Can you cook?

I can, actually, yes, and I’m learning more all the time. It used to be tacos and apple desserts. Now I can do quite decent salads, many kinds of seafood, and mushroom risotto.

Any closing thoughts for our readers?

If you like Kyle’s and my story, Waking Up To Love, you’ll want to read my sister Manda’s story, too, Stepping Up To Love. Thanks ever so much, Kim!

Katie O'BoyleAuthor Bio:

Born in the upstate-New York village known as the Birthplace of Women’s Rights, Katie O’Boyle loves the Finger Lakes in every season. She enjoys lunch with friends at quaint inns, and she cherishes the lakeside porch as a place for intimate sharing, laughter, and inspiration. To the outside world, she’s a tech-savvy college professor. In her soul, she’s a passionate author of warm-hearted romance.

Book Blurb:

Kyle Pennington broke Lyssa’s heart when he let her go, rather than interfere with her budding career. An ocean away now, Lyssa has fallen under the spell of golden-tongued Rand Cunningham who’s in a hurry to marry her. But Kyle is miserable without her and is willing to risk everything to get her back. Will Lyssa wake up in time to ask who she really loves?

Excerpt from Waking Up To Love: (This is a little bit of the Hero’s POV. Since we got to hear from Lyssa, I thought we should get a little Kyle too.)

Lyssa had sniffled all the way to the airport. As they’d pulled in to the curb, he’d told her, stupidly, for perhaps the seventh time, “It’s your dream, luv. You need to chase your dreams.” He’d hauled her bags out of the trunk and signaled a porter to help. Then he’d pulled her close, so close he’d nearly lost himself, nearly told her to stay and to marry him and have babies with him and grow old together.

If she’d said yes, it would be the end of her career. You knew that.

So, instead, he’d backed away, straightened her pink paisley scarf, landed one gentle kiss on her perfect pink lips, and said, “Safe flight, luv.” It was absolutely the right thing for a thirty-six-year-old man to say to a vivacious twenty-six-year-old just starting her career.

Well, wasn’t it?

Lyssa apparently hadn’t agreed. She had searched his eyes with her intense blue gaze until tears welled up and spilled over. “I think I’m in love with you, Kyle,” she’d choked out.

Startled, he’d lost his grip on her arms, stood open-mouthed with horror, and bloody let her go. She’d fled into the terminal and been swallowed up by the throng of departing passengers.

To pick up your copy of Waking Up To Love, click on the beautiful cover at the top of this blog post, or click HERE

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