I am here to introduce to you Stacey Lee the author of the book The Secret of a Heart Note. I am so lucky to have her interviewed via email about her book which was released last December 27. It’s such a great honor to have her here.
So without further chit chat, here is Stacey Lee!
Stacey Lee is a fourth generation Chinese-American whose people came to California during the heydays of the cowboys. She believes she still has a bit of cowboy dust in her soul. A native of southern California, she graduated from UCLA then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. After practicing law in the Silicon Valley for several years, she finally took up the pen because she wanted the perks of being able to nap during the day, and it was easier than moving to Spain. She plays classical piano, raises children, and writes YA fiction.
1. First of all, Introduce yourself using flowers.
If I had to choose my own scent print, I would pick a base note of vetiver and frankincense, heart notes of clary sage, wild rose, orange blossom, and plumeria, and top notes of mandarin and lychee nut. I would smell like a walking spa.
2. There are so many scents that you’ve described in this book. Which of those scents are your top 10 favorites?
Blueberries for heartache for sure! I’m also a fan of how Court smells, tonka, cinnamon and the air after a campfire.
3. It seems like love is in the air. What inspired you to write a book about an aromateur?
I was inspired by my own nose! I have this strange synesthetic ability to smell musical notes and I wanted to explore the idea of a girl who sees the world through her nose, especially as smell is one of our most underutilized senses.
4. What is the most challenging part in writing the novel, The Secret of a Heart Note?
Mim has to juggle many balls, and it was tricky to keeping adding balls (and a few blowtorches) to the mix without letting her drop too many. 😉
5. Blending scents sure is tricky especially when you have a super sensitive nose. How did you come up with the descriptions of each unique scents in the novel?
I did a lot of ‘free association’ — just closing my eyes and imagining what things a particular emotion conjures up. For some reason, it was easier to do the ‘negative’ emotions like the guilt of a lie, which smells like sour grass and a hand that has been clutching dirty coins. I tried hard to come up with smells that produced the most visceral responses.
6. In the entire book, which character did you enjoy writing the most?
Mim because she’s a fun and funny person, and second would be a tie between Mrs. Sawyer and Mr. Fredericks. I enjoyed writing that relationship because it was constantly surprising me.
7. As an author, what advice can you give to those who are aspiring to be like you?
Don’t be afraid to rewrite a few thousand times. Every time you write and rewrite, you get one step closer to your goal. Persistence is everything. And remember that you enjoy what you do.
Thank you so much for having me!
An evocative novel about a teen aroma expert who uses her extrasensitive sense of smell to mix perfumes that help others fall in love while protecting her own heart at all costs.
Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.
At once hopeful, funny, and romantic, Stacey Lee’s The Secret of a Heart Note is a richly evocative coming-of-age story that gives a fresh perspective on falling in love and finding one’s place in the world.