Interview with Sheila Roberts, Author of A WEDDING ON PRIMROSE STREET
The joy, the fun, the memories—the stress. As a wedding planner, Anne Richardson has seen mothers of the bride turn into Momzillas, and she's determined not to do that when it's her daughter's turn to get married. But once Laney gets engaged, all bets are off. Anne becomes obsessed with giving Laney the perfect wedding she herself never had. And that wedding needs to be held in Icicle Falls at Primrose Haus, the perfect setting.
Roberta Gilbert, owner of Primrose Haus, has been hosting events at her charming Victorian for thirty years. She's an expert on weddings but not on mother-daughter relations. When her daughter, Daphne, comes home and decides to help with the business, the receptions become truly memorable—and not in a good way. Then there's the added complication of Roberta's gardener, who seems more interested in Daphne than he is in planting primroses …
Tying the knot is a business that has everyone tied up in knots!
As we all know, girls like to have fun, and you’re all about fun in your unique blend of romance and women’s fiction. What’s fun about A WEDDING ON PRIMROSE STREET?
I hope readers will enjoy some of the crazy wedding mishaps. (It's always funny when it happens to someone else!) We want our big day to go perfectly, but most of the time, it does not. And actually, those little mishaps make for very funny stories later, after we've gotten over ourselves.
It sounds like you have some experience in this wedding madness business. What inspired you to write about a Momzilla who unknowingly becomes her daughter’s worst nightmare when helping to plan her wedding?
You know, I've actually had very little experience in that department. Our daughter got married at the courthouse, and we hosted a simple dinner for her afterward. Very different from my own wedding, which was quite a production. My mom was the major planner in that. She never got to have a fancy wedding, and she had a blast planning mine. Fortunately for me, she wasn't a Momzilla! She ran everything by me, and it was what I wanted, not what she wanted. Our tastes were so similar anyway that we both loved the same things. But I know weddings can be stressful, and that mother-daughter relationship is a complicated one. I thought it would be fun to explore that.
You have traditional characters in this book—and unconventional ones. Which character do you relate to the most and why?
I think there's quite bit of Roberta, the wedding planner, in me. Roberta is always trying to improve her daughter. I'm definitely guilty of that. Fortunately, my daughter still loves me in spite of all my "helpful" interfering in her life.
Have you ever been the mother of a bride (or a groom)? If so, did you have any Momzilla tendencies? Come on; tattle on yourself!
I will be the mother of the groom this summer. So far I've been very well behaved (IMHO), and my biggest concern is fitting into my dress, which is perfect except for the fact that it's a size too small. I did offer to buy the bride and groom some really cute his and hers champagne glasses, which they passed on. But that's okay; I've found a really cute garter …
What special things did you do to research this book? Interview brides? Wedding planners? What’s the most outrageous Momzilla story you’ve ever heard?
I did actually interview a wedding planner. It sounds like such a fun, glam business ... until you hear how much time is spent setting up and taking down everything, helping plate food, running around putting out fires. I think I'll stick with being a writer. As for the most outrageous Momzilla behavior? I recently read about a mother who "objected" to her daughter and her man getting married. The reason? Bride and groom were going to be living in another country. I remember my mom wasn't too happy about my husband and me leaving to spend our first year of marriage in Germany. (Thanks Mom, for not objecting to us getting married!) Instead of creating a scene, she wore sunglasses to the airport so I couldn't see her cry.
If you were going to get married this summer, what kind of wedding would you want? Where would you go on your honeymoon?
Actually. when I’d love to get married is December! I always thought a December wedding would be so pretty—and I'd get married in Leavenworth, WA, the inspiration for my fictional town of Icicle Falls. We'd leave the church in a horse-drawn sleigh and spend our wedding night in one of the charming hotels up there, in a room with a fireplace. Ah, well, we get up there a lot, so next time we're in town I'll buy some new lingerie and pretend I'm a newlywed.
I happen to know you love to dance. Would you consider doing one of those, “bet you didn’t know I could dance like this?” numbers with your son at his wedding reception this summer? If so, to what song?
Oh, for sure! My son is a great dancer. I think now that my hair has turned white (had some health trauma, which I'll share later), maybe we should dance to "The Little Old Lady from Pasedena." Go granny, go granny, go granny, go! But then, did you notice that gray/white hair is the new rage with the younger set?
Tell us three things readers probably don’t know about you.
I am dying to go on “Dancing with the Stars!” (Don't you think writers are stars?) I flunked my driving test three times. Three times! Who does that? (My dad taught me how to drive, and, considering the way he drove, it was hardly surprising. After driving school I passed with flying colors!) I'm a cancer survivor. (Ladies, make sure, even after the doctor tells you that you no longer need it, to get that pelvic exam and pap smear!) I'm so thankful that God has allowed me to stick around to see my son get married this summer. And I don't care if my hair did come in white after chemo. I'm just happy to have hair!
Do you have any night owl tendencies? What’s the latest book that’s kept you up all night?
If I'm playing games or at a party I can go all night long. But when it's time for bed you'll find me with a book. I love to read in bed. That's how I put myself to sleep. Of course, if I'm really into a book it takes me a looong time to get to sleep. WAITING ON YOU, by Kristan Higgins, kept me up way past nighty-night time. Love that girl! Now I'm starting BREAKFAST AT SALLY’S—ONE MAN’S INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY, by Richard LeMieux—my book club's current pick--and I think that one's going to keep me up, too.
What’s something fun you’re doing to promote A WEDDING ON PRIMROSE LANE?
We're having a lot of fun with this book. We made a cute little book trailer (said she modestly), and you can check it out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcXfjrlPpEQ.We've also got a very fun quiz you can take to see if you're a Bridezilla. Be sure to check it out on www.sheilasplace.com!
Thanks for dropping by for a visit, Sheila!
Thank you so much for having me!