So there's this sweet little "interview" going 'round the web, and it's finally fallen on my doorstep. I'm happy to participate in this love letter to writers and their babies (aka books). Thanks to Michele Lovell
for the tag, as well as all the fabulous Lit Kitchen
What is the working title of your book?
I have a firm title that I'm going to decline to share at the moment, only because I'm a little behind on my deadline. I don't want to put it out there and have someone go all Chinese Democracy* on me. But I privately refer to my book as Dumb As Fuck because it's this really fun and fluffy read.
(*Referring to Axl Rose and his longtime claim that the next Guns & Roses album would be named Chinese Democracy
. He took so long to make the album that the band The Offspring ripped off the title
claiming, "You snooze, you loose." Not that anyone would steal my title; I just think it's a funny analogy.)
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It sounds so cliche, but it came to me in a dream. Cue the groans! I had a pretty intense dream about Matt Damon, who I didn't even realize I harbored a crush on, and woke up with this wonderful scene running through my head. I was so taken with the imagery and the feelings it evoked that I wrote it down. And then I realized this was the start of my novel. It's the perfect flight of fancy that collides with my main character's reality.
What genre does your book fall under?
It is a straight up beach read. I'm psyched to embrace my "chick lit" roots. I greatly admire the Dave triumvirate: David Sedaris, David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers (let's throw Dave Barry in there too) - but I'm never going to write like those guys. I was really striving to pen this fabulous memoir that I imagined would be critically lauded by NPR. And, let me tell you, it was not going well! Then I had a really simple epiphany: I'm not McSweeney's, I'm Us Weekly; and that's okay. I've spent way more time with Candace Bushnell and the cast of Sex & The City than I have with any literary journal. I finally got honest and gave myself permission to embrace what I really love; it's made the road a lot easier.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Well, if this question isn't up my alley, I don't know what is! I'd love Emma Stone as Sarah, my lead. She'd bring that combination of wit and goofiness that I'm striving to bring to Sarah. I think Ellen Page would be a fun fit as Tessa, Sarah's smart-ass, spitfire best friend. (Though I might have to swap them, given the physical descriptions I've written into the book. Ah, the pressures of casting a Hollywood film!) I'd also take Ashley Rickards in anything! Penn Badgley would be awesome as Sarah's love interest, Steve. Penn is a hunk who excels at playing the guy-next-door that happens to be perfect boyfriend material.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A case of mistaken identity is actually Sarah's salvation; but will she be smart enough to recognize love?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm going to self-publish on Kindle this September - but I'm also going to pitch it in the meantime. I want it to come out either way, and it's great that Kindle and Amazon have made that possible. But, ultimately, I'd love to be represented by an agency. My goal is Montlake Romance, Amazon's romance publishing division.
How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Ask me that in September!
Who, or what, inspired you to write this book?
Every woman that's secretly hid a copy of a Candace Bushnell book behind something she's "supposed" to be reading. My greatest hope would be to make someone smile while enjoying my book on vacation. Serious literature does make my reading list, but I also think it's good to embrace lightness and fun - especially when you're at the beach!
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
It's set in Portland and chock-full of references to Oregon history. Plus all the bars, restaurants and background events I'm writing about really do take place here. I think any locals who read it will get a kick out of being able to visualize the locations, and anyone fascinated with Portland will have fun getting to know the city through Sarah's eyes.
[Photo Credit: A picture I took during my honeymoon; I thought it fit my lit theme nicely. And yes, I did read some delightfully trashy novels during my trip!]