Amy Saia, a fellow author, whose debut novel THE SOUL SEEKERS is coming out in a few months, has asked me a number of interview questions, which I am thrilled to answer. So fun! I can't wait to read her book as well, and will keep you all posted as to when it comes out.
Here goes my very first author interview!
Picture me, wearing something dashing, expensive and gorgeous, like Mary Higgins Clark always wears in her promotional pictures. We'll say I'm in Prada jeans, a black, shimmery top, have a thin diamond necklace on, and my hair is sleek and blonde, like Jennifer Aniston. You can be sure that I'm not wearing a bathrobe, with a baby in my lap and my too-reddish hair thrown back in a messy ponytail. Absolutely not.... cough....
Your debut novel was just released. What is Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It all about?
Basically, my novel is a modern Notting Hill, told from the celebrity point of view. Instead of
following the struggles of the commoner, dating the celebrity, we follow the
celebrity, worried about the commoner. Mikayla is a cute Canadian college girl who, almost overnight, becomes a celebrity with almost as many screaming fans as Justin Beiber. She is thrown into the Hollywood scene and is struggling with life. She misses who she was, worries about what she is becoming, and has to deal with a cheating ex-boyfriend who she can't get over, a psychotic manager and the simple fact that she is homesick. Then she meets Jordan, the man of her dreams with just one slight problem. He doesn't know she's famous. And he wouldn't be too thrilled if he knew the truth, so she keeps it a secret.
Tanned is a fun read, perfect for a beach read or just to keep you sane on the commute to work. :) (For your own copy, you can find it on Amazon, among other places)
Tell me about your daily writing schedule. Is it hectic, or a happy place to retreat?
Writing is a place of retreat. It's just like escaping into a great book, except I get to choose how things happen. I absolutely adore writing. My daily schedule, however, is all over the place. When I was working full time, I would write in the evenings to destress. Now I'm at home with a ten week old baby, whose full time job is demanding attention. So when I write now, it's juggling him on my lap, so things are alot slower these days. I usually grab a few minutes whenever I have the time, but it's definitely sporadic now.
Your favorite part(s) of being a writer?
The best part is, as I mentioned in the above question, getting to manipulate the book the way I want it. I've read a ton of books where the girl ends up with the wrong guy (at least in my opinion). Like in the Hunger Games, for example, I much prefered Gale to Peeta. I wanted them to be together. Gale was such a man's man, so tough. And, since he had dark hair, I pictured him looking like my husband. When Katniss picked Peeta, I wanted it to change. So when writing my own books, I am able to make things happen the way I see it.
What was your favorite book growing up? Currently?
Growing up I devoured books. I am a very fast reader, and so I could go through several books a day. I loved Lucy Maud Montgomery (but not the Anne books, I preferred Emily of New Moon), Gordon Korman (who is absolutely hilarious), Lois Duncan (The Gift of Magic was my favourite), Caroline Cooney (with her Janie books especially), and Carolyn Keene with all the Nancy Drew books.
If I had to pick a favourite, though, my number one book would probably have been Harry Potter (which isn't one book... it's seven... but I'm sure it counts as one. Right? RIGHT?) I read them all dozens of time and still love them.
My favourite book now, though, is The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. Such a feel good book. Oh wait, I also love Gone With The Wind. Gah. I can't pick. Way too many favourites.
PS- This question made me think of George W. Bush, when asked this, replied 'The Very Hungry Caterpiller'. Ironically, the book wasn't written until he was an adult. Way to read, George. :)
On your blog you mention having lived in both Canada and America. Have you had any trouble promoting in duel markets?
It is tricky in several ways. My publisher is American, and the distributor they use is American. Therefore, several of the local bookstores up here have trouble getting the book without special orders, so we're still waiting for it to hit the Canadian shelves. Alot of people in Canada have mentioned wanting the book, but don't want to order it online, so it is definitely a problem. Then there is the American market, where my book is in stores etc, but I can't do book signings or alot of promotion because of where I live. So the majority of what I can do is online. Which, is great, because social media is so prominent these days, but I just wish I could do more. My book is one that alot of women would enjoy as a fast, fun summer read, but the hard part is getting it out there for people to hear about.
Do you have any writing quirks that you’d be embarrassed to admit to?
I'm addicted to google and wikipedia. They are my fact checkers. What time does the post office close in Kissimmee, Florida? Let's check google. How many Grammy awards did Justin Beiber win? Wikipedia will know. I'm a total addict, and I hope my university profs never find out because they would be ashamed of me. (Academia hates Wikipedia... go figure...)
I also bite my nails when I concentrate, so after a writing session, I have nothing left but nubbins. I've been trying to break the habit for years.... and I can do it until the next time I sit down to write. And then they are gone again. Sigh.
What’s your favorite indulgence?
Eating chocolate while in the bath. It sounds wrong, but it is so, so right.
Any advice for up and coming authors?
Don't get discouraged by rejection. You hear it all the time, but just keep trying. And write alot. Write every day, even if you're just writing in a blog or your journal or whatever. Write different books. I had written two books before my third book was accepted for publication. Looking back, my first two were kind of crappy, at least now I think they are. But they were the things that got me going, got me thinking and gave me practice on putting a story together, which is actually quite difficult. So just write. And write and write and never stop. :)
Thanks for reading, everyone! Have a wonderful day! xoxo