Following the release of her second novel in the Lovelight series, author B.K. Borison answers burning questions about In The Weeds — the novel we might never, ever get enough of it. As an upcoming author with a masterful ability to convey imagery and heart-wrenching emotions, it’s hard to believe Borison is independently published. It’s hard to believe she’s not been swept up by every publishing company, hoping, praying she’d choose them.
Borison’s devotion to romance is reflected beautifully through her writing and the spaces in between — the quiet narrative moments that’ll bring unparalleled comfort right when you need it most. And it’s this very devotion that results in visionary storytelling.
Lady Geeks: Both of these characters are so special and achingly relatable, what was the inspiration behind creating them?
B.K. Borison: I think it’s impossible to write something and not put bits and pieces of yourself into it. That is certainly the case with Evelyn and Beckett—more so, I think, than Luka and Stella in Lovelight Farms. I wanted to create characters that were imperfect alone but very perfect together, even if that perfect together is a result of working hard to slot their pieces against one another. For Evie, I think a lot of us are feeling burnout in the wake of the pandemic and identifying the boundaries between work life and personal life. I wanted a character to come to that realization and actively work to change it. That’s its own sort of bravery, isn’t it? And for Beckett, I wanted to create a male character that is very in tune with his emotional needs and also has strong female relationships. I love that Beckett is surrounded by women (his sisters, Stella, and Layla) as well as men who willingly and happily talk about emotions (Luka and his dad). It felt important to create a very traditionally masculine character (blue-collar, tattoos) and have him be vulnerable.
Lady Geeks: The miscommunication is rarely ever dealt with in a satisfying way in romantic comedies but you nailed that part. Did you always know you wanted this arc for Beckett and Evie or did it come to you while writing?
B.K. Borison: Oh, thank you so much. I always have an idea of what the conflict will be in a vague way before I start writing, but I give myself a lot of freedom with their motivations as we get to it. This part of the book was rewritten and adjusted, and fine-tuned probably 47,000 times. I think it worked well with Evelyn and Beckett because it’s not so much a miscommunication as a misalignment. I think they both know where the other stands but are both a little hesitant to voice that vulnerability. Beckett, of course, doesn’t want anyone to give up anything for him. And Evelyn just wants to be rooted and asked to stay. So I think they’re both looking for the same thing, but from two very different angles, and the friction comes from that place: same destination but a different road.
Lady Geeks: You feature some of the best tropes in In The Weeds; which one were you looking forward to exploring most and why?
B.K. Borison: Second-chance romance was really intriguing to me, to sort of start out a relationship that’s very physical and then backtrack and build the emotional connection after they’ve already shared that important piece. That felt like a good challenge. When I was writing Lovelight Farms, I always intended for Beckett and Evelyn to be love interests, but I planned it as enemies-to-lovers. But as I was writing, this came out instead. So second-chance it was.
I also love, love, love hurt/comfort, so selfishly I wanted to include that. But it also felt natural as a tipping point for Beckett and Evelyn to go from physical to “I don’t know what to do with my hands around you” to softening those physical boundaries again.
Lady Geeks: Are there special meanings to any of the specific flowers that are mentioned?
B.K. Borison: Beckett leaves Evelyn a sprig of meadow sage on the nightstand when he leaves to get the trees in New York. Blue meadow sage is symbolic of enduring love and the striving for the infinite and unreachable. The tulips Evie doodles on the bottom of her note to Beckett are a nod to Bridgerton and also symbolize a perfect and deep love. Black-eyed Susans pop up a bunch as the Maryland state flower and also a flower that is special to me. And my favorite, the maple tree leaf Beckett has tattooed on his wrist, is a symbol of practical magic, balance, and generosity—something that feels very appropriate for Beck.
Lady Geeks: There’s something so beautifully poetic about how this story is framed. People can write an entire album on the progression. Was there a song or two that you listened to that reminds you of Beckett and Evie?
B.K. Borison: I get this question a lot, and I am actually not super inspired by music. (Sarah is somewhere waiting to kick me in the teeth, I’m sure.) I find music to be a great compliment, but I can’t actually write while listening to anything with words. I listen to a lot of ambient sounds while I’m writing. I watched a lot of videos of wildflower fields and meteor showers. I actually cried while watching a twenty-seven-minute silent video of a meteor shower before I wrote the epilogue. I imagined them standing beneath the sky and seeing the stars, and it felt really, really special. That’s a really long answer that did not answer your question at all.
Lady Geeks: Selfishly, we want nothing more than for this to be adapted into a TV series or a film because I need to see all of this visually as well. We know Simone Ashley is the ultimate (and perfect) fan cast for Evie, but who would you choose as Beckett?
I am going to say Jonathan Bailey out of a selfish desire to see these two in more things. The physical description of Beckett was modeled after Caeleb Dressel because I wrote Lovelight during the summer Olympics, and he kept popping up. But actor-wise, it’s tough for me to choose. Someone stoic but charming in a quiet way.
Lady Geeks: There are so many brilliant lines in this that just hit like a ton of bricks — do you have a particular favorite?
B.K. Borison: I burst into tears when I had Beckett say “Ask me.” at the end of the book. Because Beckett so rarely asks for what he wants and I love the idea of him asking for that. I love how Beckett and Evie mirror this ask back and forth in the last two chapters. I also love “Everything gets quiet when I look at you,” and when Evie says she found her happy in the weeds. Finding your happy is never a perfect thing, and I liked the acknowledgment that good things can be found in the things that aren’t so perfect or pretty or planned.
Lady Geeks: Pretty sure I (Gissane) made the most inhuman noise every time Beckett called Evie “honey” — to have an utter grump go so soft is what dreams are made of. What made you choose this word and stick with it? (And thank you for it.)
B.K. Borison: I love, love, love a sparsely used endearment. I knew I wanted Beckett to use something with her, and I let my brain just wander along with Beckett for a little bit. It sounds weird to say “he decided” as he is a fictional character in my brain, but that endearment in particular feels very soft, very genuine, very classic—all things that I think Beckett embodies.