This interview originally appeared on ChickLitCentralTheBlog.com
What was the most challenging part of writing “Cruising Attitude?”
Finding time to write. I’ve been talking about writing a book for years. After awhile even close friends and family didn’t take me seriously when I’d talk about it. I’m a flight attendant, wife and mother. It’s not easy balancing all that without also trying to find time to work on a book. When I was writing I’d feel guilty about not spending time with my family. When I was spending time with my family I’d feel guilty about not writing. I should also mention it took a few years to realize the first book I was working on was the wrong book, even though every agent and publishing house told me this multiple times. I didn’t believe them. Turns out they were right! Blogging helped me find my way. When you blog you get immediate feedback from readers. You learn what they like and what they want to know more about. It’s why I now tell struggling writers to know who their market is and to give them what they want.
Who are two authors who inspired you to write?
Writing really starts with reading. The first author who truly captured my attention was Judy Blume. In grade school I checked out every single one of her books after reading “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret.” I couldn’t get enough of her. That’s how my love of books with a strong female voice began. The book that inspired me to start writing was “Catcher In the Rye,” although as I read it I don’t think I was completely conscious that I wanted to write. But the conversational tone is what got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could do that – on a much lower level of course! Sarah Dunn’s “The Big Love”is the book I kept on my writing desk to use as motivation when I first began writing, the perfect combination of “Catcher in the Rye” meets the best of chicklit.
What do you think the key is to a successful chick lit novel? Lots of sexiness? A studly hero? Plenty of angst?
A strong voice people can relate to. Although we’re more connected because of cell phones, Facebook, twitter and the like, we’re also more disconnected than ever before. This is why I think reality TV is so popular today. Writing something that’s real and true, something that people can relate to on an emotional level, is more important than ever before.