Now, you may know Allison from her amazing blog, Ask Allison, or perhaps you remember her from my Publisher's Weekly Soapbox column about how important it is for authors to think high concept. Or you might have even seen her on the New York Times bestseller list for her second novel, TIME OF MY LIFE. (And no, we just can't say the New York Times bestseller thing enough. If I were Allison, I'd seriously consider getting a tattoo about it....)
Yes, well. Allison is busying writing bestselling novels, hitting the NYT Bestseller list and writing an influential blog, and yet she STILL has time to visit us and answer some questions!
AND give away a signed copy of the paperback release of TIME OF MY LIFE to boot! How great is that?! So, without further ado, let's hear from Allison:
Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.
Unhappy stay-at-home mom is haunted by her “what-ifs” and is granted the chance to go back in time and change the future. (If she wants to.) (Sorry, that’s 28 words!)
What are you working on right now?
Toiling on my next book, which is still untitled, or else I’d let you know the fancy name. It sort of flips Time of My Life on its head: a very happy, very fulfilled small-time guidance counselor is granted the unwelcome ability to see into the future and discovers that what she envisions to be the perfect life is actually anything but.
I’m about to dive into Elin Hilderbrand’s newest book, The Castaways. She made a fan out of me with Barefoot, which is one of my all-time favorites, so I always buy her books the first week they come out. I also have Julie Klam’s Please Excuse My Daughter on my nightstand. She’s a friend (and an amazing Twitter-er – go follow her!), and I just know I’m going to love it.
How do you fight writer’s block?
Oh boy, I generally find about 100000000 other things to do rather than write. My ability to procrastinate is legendary. Honestly, I can waste an entire day on the internet doing nothing at all. That said, when I’m in the thick of writing, the only way that I can get around that dreaded blank brain space is...to write. I force myself to sit down and write, period, no matter how painful it is. Often times, once I get going, I discover that I DO have something to say, I just didn’t realize it. On a more technical front, whenever I find my characters up against a wall, I throw some action at them: screw up their lives in some way. The only way to propel a plot forward is to create conflict, so if things are stagnating (both in my imagination and in the book), this is the surest way to amp things back up again.
If your book were to become a movie, who would you cast?
Well, the good news is that Time of My Life actually is being made into a movie! :) The producers have been wonderful in soliciting my opinion and keeping me in the loop, and we’ve discussed probably about seven or so lead actresses. On our short list include Keri Russell, Reese Witherspoon, Jen Garner, Anne Hathaway and a few other wonderful actresses. I think, frankly, that there are a lot of actresses who would be incredible in the role, so I’m always hesitant to play favorites. As far as the guys, I think it depends a lot on who is cast as Jillian, but my personal call for Henry might be Michael Vartan, though again, Patrick Wilson, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Affleck...there’s a long list I could choose from. And for
So could we, Allison. So could we! Thanks so much for stopping by today! We shall now all mentally debate Michael Vartan v. Patrick Wilson and Bradley Cooper v. Chris Pine for the rest of the day....
To enter to win a signed copy of TIME OF MY LIFE, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post. To get another entry, blog about it! OR, to get yet another entry, email five of your friends about this contest (and cc me on the email so that I can account for your extra entry- brenda[at]brendajanowitz[dot]com).
The lucky winners will be announced on August 4th.