Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Let's go to the hop!

I'm so excited because I've been invited to take part in a blog hop!  What is a blog hop, you ask?  Well, that's easy.  It's like a ginormous round robin where authors answer questions and help readers discover new authors.  What could be better, right?!  So, let's begin!


Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop.

For this hop, authors are answering 10 questions about what we’re working on now. This week, I’m it.

I was tagged by Judith Arnold ( Visit her blog to see who else she tagged. At the end of this post, I’ll tag more authors who will be joining the hop next week. Follow the hop long enough and you’re bound to find books you’ll love!

Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?

My third novel is called RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE.  It will be published by St. Martin’s on July 30, 2012

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

My grandma Dorothy!  One summer, when I was single, she informed me that she would be renting a house in the Hamptons.  I was to stay with her and she was going to help me meet someone.  The only problem with this scenario was that I was SURE that she’d meet a man before I did.

In the end, when she found out the cost of a Hamptons summer rental, the idea sort of fell apart.  But it gave me an idea—what if a young woman spent the summer out in the glamorous Hamptons with her even more glamorous grandmother?  (Grandma D was nothing if not glamorous.)

3: What genre does your book come under?

This novel is considered commercial women’s fiction.  But really, it's for anyone who loves a good story that will whisk them away to somewhere fabulous, anyone who loves a good laugh and a good cry.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oooh, this one’s tough, because the most important part to cast a grandmother.  (And we all know how Hollywood loves old people- especially women!!)  

I think Joan Collins would be perfect to play the part, but my editor likes Shirley Maclaine.  (Joan, Shirley, call me!)

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Here’s the St. Martin’s catalog one sentence description:

A grand dame rules over three generations of women from her Hamptons estate, and her granddaughter realizes that the recipe for a happy life may be very different from her family's expectations.
And in case you liked that, here’s the whole kit and caboodle!  (I was never very good with the whole one-sentence-synopsis thing…)
Hannah Goodman isn’t like everyone else. Her mother, Gray, is an award- winning photojournalist with little time for the banalities of caring for a child, so she's mostly raised by her grandmother—a glamorous widow known for her charm, as well as the fact that she’s been married nearly as many times as Elizabeth Taylor. Despite her mother's great wealth, Gray is determined that Hannah resist the siren song of the trust fund set, and make her own way in the world. And Hannah did just that—becoming a lawyer in New York City. Hannah has it all, or so it seems, until one hot June day when the carefully constructed pieces of her life break apart. That’s when she seeks solace at her grandmother's Hamptons estate. And that’s when she learns that there's more than one recipe for perfection.
Fast-paced, charming, and full of heart, Recipe for a Happy Life sweeps you into a world in which fabulous beach-front cocktail parties are a regular occurrence, and the cure for social awkwardness is a perfectly-placed quip, but the boy in the mansion next door might just turn out to be the one thing that keeps you grounded when reality sets in. A memorable story about one memorable summer.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

I’m thrilled that my novel is being published by St. Martin’s.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Years and years!!  I began work on this novel back in 2007, after I finished my first novel.  But I don’t think I was ready to write this story just yet.  I picked it back up after finishing my second novel, which was published in 2008 and worked on it for years. In the time since I began this novel, I met my husband, got married, and had two children.  So, yeah, I guess you could say it took a long time.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I really love books by Emily Giffin, Julie Buxbaum, Jennifer Weiner, and Allison Winn Scotch, so those were the authors who served as my inspiration as I wrote.  I hope that readers will find the warmth, truth and laughter that are the hallmarks of these authors in my book as well.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See question number 2: my grandma Dorothy!  But becoming a mother also inspired me, as did my own mom, who is my best friend.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The description and gorgeous cover didn’t do it?!  Man, you guys are a tough audience.  I think what readers will like most is that it’s a story with lots of heart which will also make you laugh.

Below you will find authors who will be joining the blog hop next Wednesday. Be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases! Happy Writing and Reading!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tag, you're it!

I'm so excited because I've been invited to participate in the Next Big Thing blog hop!

So, I guess the first thing you’re thinking is: what the heck is a blog hop?!

A blog hop is like a giant game of tag to help readers discover authors who are new to them. This week, Judith Arnold is "it" and so on her blog today, she's answering a bunch of questions about her current work in progress.  She's tagged me for next week, so next Wednesday, I'm "it" and I'll be here answering questions about my most recent project.

Fun, right?  So, head on over to Judith's blog and check out what she's working on.  And then check out everyone who's been tagged.  

Don't forget to come back here next Wednesday-- I'll be answering all of your deepest, darkest questions. Okay, might've taken that too far, but you get my point.  Come back!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

To write or not to write? That is the question...

Ah, holiday time.  Even though we're technically on to the new year, I'm still in that holiday mindset.  Hard to sit down and get things done, harder still to write.  Fellow girlfriend Amy Sue Nathan suggested that we read our way through the holidays, so I've done that (and am continuing to do that!), and I've really been lucky to read some amazing books in the past week and a half.

My editor suggested I pick up SEATING ARRANGEMENTS by Maggie Shipstead, which I loved.  The story of a WASPy family getting together on a WASPy island to celebrate a WASPy wedding weekend, it's a smart, funny read.  Every character felt so real to me, the plot felt fresh.  When I finished reading, I just wanted more.

Next, I read UP FROM THE BLUE, by the totally amazing Susan Henderson.  It's a book about mothers and daughters, the way we see the past, and how we come to terms with it.  Heartbreaking, haunting, and beautifully written.  It's a book you won't soon forget.

I then read MAINE by J. Courtney Sullivan, which had been on my bookshelf for a while.  I don't know why it stayed unread for so long-- I loved this book!!  The story of three generations of women and a very special summer house in Maine, it's one of those books that you can't put down.  You'll see so much of yourself and your family in the Kelleher women.  An editor once taught me that the more detail a book has, the more universal it becomes, and that's true here.

After that, I picked up THE AGE OF MIRACLES by Karen Thompson Walker, a book I'd be hearing about for a while.  It's now on all of the top books of 2012 lists, and I can see why.  It's so many different things-- a coming of age story set against the backdrop of a science fiction conceit.  I just couldn't put this book down.  I was obsessed with every part of it-- the implications of the earth's rotation beginning to slow, every detail of this 11 year old girl's life, what would happen to her family, would she get the boy?  Even though I've finished it, I can't stop thinking about it.

Now I'm reading Mindy Kaling's IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? (AND OTHER CONCERNS) and I'm just loving it.  It is, as you might expect, laugh out loud hilarious.  Mindy is charming, adorable, and says everything that I'm thinking.  I'm so glad I picked this one up!

Next up for me are the two books currently in transit from ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE by our very own girlfriend Jess Riley, and GIRLS IN WHITE DRESSES by Jennifer Close.

So, what did you read over the holidays?  And what are you reading next?