Hi Elizabeth how are you ?Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m well, thank you for asking. Hmmm, what to tell… I am 37 years old (will be 38 in July), and live in the beautiful coastal area of south eastern Massachusetts. I’m blessed to have married the love of my life, and my very best friend. Together we have (gulp) twelve rescued animals that we consider our children. I’m fairly easy going and must admit, my favorite thing in the world is to sit on the couch and spend some quality time with my Kindle.
Tell us your latest news?
My first book, Singleish, is being released on all possible Ebook platforms (that I am aware of) on May 22nd! YIKES!
Are the stories old ones you have saved or new?
When and why did you begin writing?
I had always wanted to be able to write a book, but I would sit down, write a page or two, and the ideas would run out. So I totally gave up on the concept of completing a book.
Last year I had read ‘Broken’ by A. E. Murphy, and was blown away. Absolutely wrecked by this book. I read the ‘About the Author’ section and was astounded to find out that she was only 23.
I reached out to her, and was shocked when she responded. We have, since then, become good friends. One day she asked me to be a beta reader, which I thought was the coolest thing ever.
The more we communicated, the more she kept telling me I should write. I explained that I didn’t have a story in me, and she disagreed. Strongly.
Finally, one day in January (2015) I had an idea and I wrote it down. I sent it to her, and she loved it. That little bit I wrote is now the prologue of ‘Singleish’.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The strange thing is, I’m not sure I do yet. I know that sounds strange, but it is still somewhat surreal to me. I wasn’t sure if I was even ‘allowed’ to update my LinkedIn profile to include being an author. And as far as Facebook goes, I have an author page, but I don’t think I’ve updated my personal one to include it.
I mean, I wrote a book. It’s less than a week from being published. People will even be able to buy it as a paperback. A (small) handful of people have even pre-purchased it! Maybe on May 22 I’ll feel like a writer. But it’s an exciting time. So exciting.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My author friend, A. E. Murphy pushing me, and me trying to prove to her that I didn’t have it in me, so that she’d leave me alone! HA!
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’d say it is funny. I’d like to think that it’s funny. I really try to capture how women think and react to various circumstances. What we say, what we do… I’m a very imperfect person, so I want imperfect characters.
Who was the easiest character to write for and why and hardest and why?
Ashley was the easiest to write for. I am pretty sure I infused her with my personality and complete lack of gracefulness and coordination. So, it was easy for me to say, “OK, if I was in this situation, what would happen and how would I react.
The hardest to write was Alex. She’s such a strong character, sometimes ‘in your face’ and beyond bold. I’d like to be more like Alex. I think that she is who I’d be if I were one of the cool kids.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Oh, Lord. That’s a hard one. I have been reading since I was three. When I was in the third grade, I discovered the Ramona Quimby series, by Beverly Cleary. I devoured them. I remember that in my fourth grade reading class we wrote to Mrs. Cleary and got the most wonderful letter back. I was so excited about that. I read the Anne of Green Gables series as well and was a huge fan. Who wouldn’t love a book about a redhead who can’t help but get into weird/crazy situations (hint, hint).
How did you come up with the title?
Well, initially I wanted to call it ‘The Bucket’, based on the way I thought the book would go. But as I wrote it, I realized that it was the completely wrong name. So I wrote a sentence and realized that Ashley didn’t really know if she was still in a relationship or not. So she was kind of singleish.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Some women think they are complete when they have a man in their lives. Sometimes, they pin their hopes and dreams on a relationship, and have everything mapped out. They become so comfortable in a relationship, in being a part of a couple, that they forget how to be themselves and live life. This is a book about reclaiming who you are, even if it is done in a crazy way.
How much of the book is realistic?
I tried to put in my reactions to the situations, so the reactions are my real reactions. The town of Wareham, MA and village of Onset, MA are both real places (and quite nice places, too). Any of the businesses named are complete figments of my imagination.
The people are fictitious, but I think a little of my personality is probably in each of them.
Are experiences based on someone you know,
or events in your own life?
The animal rescue story line is based on my experience (I worked at an animal shelter for over five years). Also, the section that takes place on Cape Cod is me reminiscing about summers in Cataumet when I was growing up. Other than that, everything is from the voices in my head.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Whoa – that’s a tough one. I would say that there is not one single book or group of books that have influenced me per se. I think that I take away something from each book that I read (and that is a large number of books)
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
A. E. Murphy, without a doubt. She has helped me out so much through this process.
What book are you reading now?
Crossfire by Niki Savage. It was recommended by a friend. So far, very good.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
The funny thing is, I never know when I pick someone off of Amazon whether they are new or not. Isn’t that terrible? I think it would be great if they could have a section that was for new authors. How awesome would that be! I just know I love to read, and once I find an author I like, I’ll get all of their books and consume them quicker than ice cream (and I really like ice cream).
What are your current projects?
I’m working on Alex’s story. It will be a stand-alone, but will visit the characters in Singleish. It is currently titled ‘Secondhand Purses’. But, that could obviously change. If it changes, I’ll have to use it somewhere else because I love that as a title. It is going to have a bit of a difference voice than Singleish, but to me, that makes sense. It’s telling Alex’s story, not Ashley’s. No two women are alike, so it would be a disservice to Alex to have her talk/act like Ashley.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Right now, nothing. I have re-read it several times, and am pretty happy with it. Now, ask me that question in a few years and I might re-read it and have all sorts of changes that I would make!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think because I always read so much growing up, I always wanted to be able to write. My mom always was convinced I was the future best writer in the universe. Moms are not the most unbiased people in the world.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
From Secondhand Purses:
“My name is Victoria Alexandra Edwards.” Yeah. That was my name. I always thought it sounded like my mom was trying to turn me into a royal with a name that sounded like it should have a Roman numeral after it. You know, Victoria Alexandra Edwards III or something like that.
As I looked at my neighbor, whose name I still didn’t know, I realized she was giving me the same odd look everyone else gave when they heard my full name. I got it, seriously, I did. I didn’t match my name one bit. It was a very flowery, fluffy name, and I was not someone who could ever be accused of being remotely flowery or fluffy.
My mom was an only girl with five older brothers. Somehow, with all that testosterone surrounding her, she had managed to come out very girly. She had always prayed for a little girl, so that she could have someone to be girly with. I was an only child. From what I’ve been told, my mom sobbed with joy when the ultrasound showed nothing was hanging out between my legs. Starting that very same day she started buying every pink, purple and frilly baby thing she could get her hands on. My dad was just wanting a healthy baby, so he didn’t really care one way or another whether I was a boy or a girl. I could only begin to imagine what his reaction was as the little room that they had designated as a nursery started to overflow with frilly and frothy concoctions.
I’d read somewhere that sometimes those ultrasounds can be wrong. I liked to amuse myself sometimes with imagining my mom’s reaction if I’d been born a boy, even after she’d been told I was a girl. I have a strong feeling mom would have ordered hormone therapy and a sex change right then and there.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
When the ideas come too fast to type. I know that’s not a horrible problem to have, except for when you are pretty sure that an idea is awesome, but not right for where the story is. So, you try to keep it in your memory bank so that you don’t lose it for a future portion. Sometimes those ideas come at 1:00am when you are trying to sleep.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I would say my current favorite is (shocker), A. E. Murphy. She has an amazing capacity to capture emotions. You don’t just see the words and imagine what the character is feeling, you feel it in your heart and sometimes in your gut. She’s crazy good. The fact that she is this good at such a young age blows my mind.
Who designed the covers?
Danielle Camorlinga. I found her through Fiverr.com. She did an awesome job! I told her what I was thinking of, and she made it better than what I was envisioning.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Flow. I had to re-write a few areas because they seemed a bit choppy. Also, timing. I work a full time job, so finding the time to sit and write could be a real challenge a lot of the time.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and
what was it?
Trust the process, don’t rush it just because you want to be able to say you finished. And I have even more respect for all those awesome authors out there!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Trust your instinct. Be yourself. ‘Write what you know’ is what everyone tells you but that doesn’t necessarily mean write an autobiography disguised as fiction. Think of how you would react to the situation at hand and put it on paper.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I am beyond humbled by you. I’m an avid reader, so I get it. I know what it’s like to pick out a book and spend your time with the characters. Thank you so much for trusting me with your time!