Be sure & stop back by tomorrow when I share my review of CHAPERONES & we host a giveaway!
Thanks for taking time to visit Manic Readers, Megan.
My pleasure and thank you so much for participating in my book tour!
Going from assisting with stories for a televised entertainment news show to law school; that’s quite a difference isn’t it? What inspired the change?
The law school decision actually came first. At a young age, I had delusions of grandeur about being a lawyer that stuck with me as I grew up. But after I finished college the idea of sitting in a classroom for 3 more years was about as appealing as dental work. Instead, I took a job where my other great interest lay – entertainment. After a couple years at the entertainment show, I looked for more of a challenge and went to law school (which turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than I had wanted) and decided I’d choose my path after I graduated.
What type of special interest pieces did you write for the L.A. lifestyle online magazine?
Most of the stories I wrote were music-related, interviewing bands and reviewing albums. My two most fascinating pieces though, were an interview I did with a musician who produced two albums to benefit New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit, and one where I researched the best cupcake shop in Los Angeles (I was indeed a hard-hitting journalist). For the New Orleans piece, I spent a day with a drummer who was putting together an album with a collection of artists, mostly native to New Orleans, to sell with all proceeds going to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic and other foundations to help rebuild the music scene (a.k.a. the lifeblood of New Orleans) after the hurricane. For the cupcake piece, I took some friends to seven or eight cupcake shops, rated them based on various criteria – frosting/cake ratio, location of shop, size of cake, etc. – and wrote about it. I felt sick for a good day and a half but rarely have been happier.
When did you start playing drums? (My middle son is a helluva drummer. He can’t walk & chew gum at the same time but he’s amazing on the drums.) Are you the only woman in the band?
(If your son walks and chews in sync, he may find it gets easier.) Anyway, I started playing drums maybe six, seven years ago with the amount of my playing varying based on my workload. With my law job, writing and social desires, it’s hard to find as much
time to play as I’d like. And yes, I’m the only girl in my band. Not for any ego-driven reason but because I got very lucky finding two smart, talented, down-to-earth guys on Craigslist to play with who are hardworking and who, like me, don’t have aspirations to throw their belongings into a van and tour the world. It’s a pretty great pastime, though.
Tales is a fun, light romantic comedy about an Internet dating columnist’s covert double life. The basic plot has to do with a 40-year-old woman writer who, having been jilted by her husband of 15 years, picks up and moves across the country to New York to live with her cousin and start over. Landing in a city run by the young and hip, the only job she’s able to find is as an anonymous Internet dating columnist, so she starts a secret life as somewhat of a “yelp” for Internet dating. All’s fine until she meets a man she actually falls for and tries to juggle her life with him and her secret identity on the Net. The book was inspired by a string of pathetic dates I went on while Internet dating that sucked in real life but made for great party stories.
What about your latest, CHAPERONES?
Chaperones is an adventure comedy about the personal journey of a scared, dependent late-20s girl trying to grow up. She gets an opportunity to travel the UK taking pictures for a magazine, which she uses as a tool to achieve her personal goals of being less fearful and dependent and her professional goals building her photography portfolio.
Chaperones was inspired by the year I spent studying abroad in England during college. I met so many interesting people, all of a different culture than my own, and went to incredible places so different than anywhere I had been and I grew a lot as a result. I have a very close family and group of friends and to be so far away from all of them, for nine months, in a place so unbelievably unfamiliar, was an eye-opening and challenging experience and one I thought would lend itself nicely to the basis of a novel.
Who’s in control, you or your characters?
I think we alternate throughout the book. I start out with a concept or a journey and then create the characters who will go on that journey. At the beginning I tell them where to go and what to say but eventually they take on a life of their own and take me through the story. At some point it feels like I don’t have a choice; they just start saying things and going places and I sit back and hope it’s funny.
Do you have to plan everything out or do you just go with the flow?
I plan out the basic outline of a story – where it starts and where I want it to end. Some authors say they start a book without knowing the end and I haven’t the foggiest idea how that would work. But I think one of those authors is Stephen King – and he seems to have it all figured out. At any rate, you can’t plan everything; the story sometimes takes you in directions that you hadn’t yet thought of. Sometimes this works out for the better
and other times you find yourself reconfiguring your story because you’re surprised by something you didn’t know could happen.
Do you plan to continue to engage both your analytical and creative sides indefinitely or can you see yourself choosing one or the other in the future?
Because of my background, I think whatever I continue doing, I’ll likely be both
analytical and creative.
Do you have a favorite genre to read?
I like to read anything well crafted that entertains me and/or I can learn from (writing wise). I don’t read a lot of nonfiction (with the exception of Tina Fey’s book, because I admire the crap out of her) because I’m more interested in what people’s imaginations can create. I’m a sucker for romantic comedies; they can be terrible and I’m likely going to enjoy them regardless. I just love reading about and watching people fall in love especially when it involves characters I admire or wish I knew in real life.
I don’t have “a” favorite author. I think John Irving is a master at putting together really meaningful sentences that are simple so I am in awe of how he writes.
Have you read anything lately you couldn’t wait to talk about or recommend?
My book club recently read Gone Girl and it lead to the most interesting discussion we had about a book in a long time. We had people that felt it was “the worst book ever” as well as the “most amazing read” and everything in between so I enjoyed talking about it.
Are there any WIP snippets you can share with us?
I am working on my third novel, a romantic comedy tentatively titled Resolutions. The only thing I’ll say about it right now is that it was inspired by an especially interesting car ride I took with my three best friends driving home from Las Vegas after New Years.
Thanks again for stopping by, Megan. I’ve enjoyed meeting you!
Thanks so much for showing interest in me and Chaperones! Happy to have met you as well!