Starring in the Movie of My Life | PMI Books | Mainstream/Women's fiction | February 2011
Please tell us your latest news!
My second novel, Starring in the Movie of My Life, will be out this February. I'm pretty proud of it, and while it's not auto-biographical, it was inspired by issues I've faced over the past few years. For instance - marriage, motherhood, trying to be a successful adult, and figuring out what it means to be a successful adult. I hope readers will recognize some part of themselves in the characters and situations I created.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not right now. But very few people have read it. I might change my mind as I get more feedback.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author changes all the time!
Just recently I've finished the third Hunger Games book by Suzanne Collins, and The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin. I think they're both incredible authors. I like Ms. Collins' work for the layers. She has fascinating characters, masterful suspense, and social commentary all mixed in together. Ms. Giffin's novels are always so honest. She's really good at creating flawed yet likable characters.
Now I'm reading The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland. I've always liked his work for its depth and simplicity.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I strive for two things. First, I want my books to be readable and fun. I don't like reading books where the writing is so cumbersome that it becomes more important than the story itself, so I'm certainly not going to write books like that. Second, I try to challenge my readers in some way. I do that by putting my characters in situations where there are no easy answers. That said, I think it's important to have my characters make some sort of choice in the end.
Do you see writing as a career?
Sure! But right now teaching is my main career.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I've always loved writing. However, I used to be more interested in theater and performance. Years ago I performed comedy with several different groups in Minneapolis. It was when I became more interested in writing the sketches than performing in them that I became serious about writing.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Commit to writing a little bit every day, and don't worry about how good it is until you're done with your first draft.
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
My family is full of writers, and they couldn't be more supportive. They've all read my books, except for the members of my family who are too young to read.
What did you do before you became a writer? Do you write full time?
I've taught high school English and Creative Writing for the last ten years. I mostly write in the summers, or on weekends when my kids are napping.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I come up with a solid idea before I begin. For Starring in the Movie of My Life, I used Donald Maass' workbook, Writing the Breakout Novel. But my I deviated significantly from my original plan, and for that reason I don't outline until I'm done with my first draft. Part of the fun for me is being surprised while I'm writing.
Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? If so what is it and please describe it. (Pen, Coffee Cup, Pet, Blanket, Chair)
Just my reading glasses!
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
I always listen to my i-tunes when I write, and I always write at home in the room with my computer. It's one of my favorite places to be.
What main genre do you write in?