Do you love to read? I’m a big fan of fiction and love when a book is set in an area I’ve been before. Which made me really excited to interview Laura Sakine, an Ipswich mom of 2 and newly published author! Laura’s novel, It Must Bee Love, is set in a fictional town that might remind readers of the North Shore. Head to Jabberwocky Bookshop, in Newburyport, Betsy Frost Design, in Ipswich, or Amazon to purchase the book and keep reading to learn more about Laura.
Where are you from originally and what town do you live in now?
I grew up in Lynn. After living in Newburyport for a time with my husband, we settled in Ipswich to start our family.
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
Two girls, ages five and three.
What’s your favorite family activity on the North Shore?
We’re a beach family, we spend a lot of time there in the summer. Our favorite are beach dinners where we pack a simple meal and head there when my husband gets home from work. Otherwise, we love going for walks in our town, going to Honeycomb or Sandpiper Bakery on the weekends and visiting local farms.
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop on the North Shore?
Our favorite restaurant is The Blue Ox, in Lynn, my husband and I have been going there for years. More recently, we discovered Tonno, in Gloucester and it was delicious – I’m itching to get back. C.K Pearl is another favorite and in-town we love Ithaki.
One of my favorite stores to shop at currently is Luxa Jewelry here in Ipswich. I just love it, I’m constantly finding reasons to go in. Other favorites are The Wishbasket, Facefood and Green House Goods, in Newburyport.
You’re a writer! Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started writing.
I’ve always loved writing. I didn’t love school but writing and reading was always something I connected with. After graduating with a degree in English Literature from Umass Boston, I started a lifestyle blog and I really enjoyed that for a while. In between all the jobs I had in my early twenties, I tried to be doing some kind of writing – whether that was freelance for small businesses or blogging, it’s something I’ve always enjoyed.
You just released your debut novel, It Must Bee Love. What’s this book about?
It’s a young adult romance novel and it’s about first-love and the big feelings that come with that experience.
Where is the book set?
The book takes place in Padstow, a fictional town in New England. I basically combined my experiences of the North Shore and made it into my ideal town.
Will readers recognize any of your favorite local spots in the book?
I don’t call any of them out by name but yes, so many of the places I’ve written about in the book are based on real North Shore locations. The downtown was inspired by Newburyport. There’s a breakfast scene that was inspired by Honeycomb in Hamilton. The beach scenes were inspired by both Ipswich and Nahant beaches.
This book is considered Young Adult, but would readers of all ages enjoy it?
The book was written for teenage girls but interestingly enough, right now my readership is actually primarily made up of moms. I’ve been shown a lot of support by friends and friends of friends who have read it and liked it and then shared it with other women. I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to get a text message from one of my adult friends and they’re freaking out over the story. But even though we’re not living it now, we have lived it or at least, a version of what my characters are experiencing. We can relate and maybe because we’re far away from all of that angst and uncertainty, we can enjoy it a little more now.
Name three books you’d recommend to moms for their summer reading list.
If you’re looking for YA, you cannot go wrong with Jenny Han. The Summer I Turned Pretty Series is one of my absolute favorites. Kate Clayborn’s, Love At First was one I read recently and enjoyed a lot and something fun and a little steamy for Mom’s to enjoy right now is, The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood.
Any tips for balancing writing & motherhood?
I wish I had some golden insight but the truth is, it’s a juggling act most days. I’m a stay-at-home mom with young children and trying to work is difficult. Something that does help me though is consistency. I’m a routine-based person and that keeps me on track to stay focused and meet goals/deadlines. My kids go to school a couple of days a week and that’s my time for writing – if it means that my kitchen won’t be picked up until later, then so be it. I’ve learned to give myself grace – I can’t be everything to everyone, I’m not a perfect person or a perfect mom and accepting this has made my life a lot easier.
What is the best piece of mom advice you ever received?
Maybe this is cliche but, “trusting your instinct” comes to mind. Mom’s intuition is something that has boggled my mind since becoming a mother five years ago and after having experienced it time and time again, I never doubt myself concerning my children. There is so much information out there about motherhood these days and as a new mom, it’s overwhelming trying to comb through it all. But I think if you take a deep breath and think about whatever it is that’s coming up, you’ll find that you already have the answer. You know your kid better than anyone, trust yourself.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me” time?
I love going for long walks by myself. I listen to music and just let myself zone out, it’s one of my favorite things to do in general.
Follow along with Laura for book stuff, mom stuff and sometimes funny stuff on Instagram @laurasakine.
This post is sponsored by Laura Sakine, author of It Must Bee Love.