A fellow member of my RWA chapter, Jenny Gardiner, just had her book, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver come out. It won the American Title III contest, sponsored by Dorchester Publishing and Romantic Times Magazine! Just reading the blurb and the excerpt from it has made me laugh and yes, struck a cord. So I asked her if I could interview her and she graciously accepted. Please learn something about her and her book, plus do go out and buy it. I plan to when I share the book signing with her and six other wonderful authors at the Short Pump Barnes and Noble in Short Pump, Virginia. For the addess and phone number of the store check my website at Pamela K. Kinney's and Sapphire Phelan's Website . And for those of you too young to know what the title means--Ward Cleaver was the father of the late 50s to early 60s TV show, Leave It To Beaver. For information on that show: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leave_it_to_Beaver.
Claire Doolittle realizes her life hasn't quite met up with her expectations. Overwhelmed with the demands of motherhood and life in general, it doesn't help that the funny, romantic and thoughtful man she once married has turned into a real-life version of Ward Cleaver, the famously dull, bossy father from the 1950's sitcom Leave it to Beaver. And the last person in the world Claire ever imagined having to sleep with for the rest of her life is a man whose sex appeal more closely resembles that of George Washington than George Clooney.Throw in an ex-fiance who returns via e-mail to try to woo Claire back with promises of what was, and a sexy young colleague of husband Jack's, whom Claire suspects of some sort of hanky panky, and you have the ingredients for a mid-life crisis that threatens to plunge Claire's world into chaos.
For excerpt from the book: HERE
1.) -Please tell us about your latest book.
SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER
2.) -What can we expect from you in the future?
My next book, which my agent will be shopping in the next few weeks, is titled MARY KATE GOES OVER THE FALLS and is about a woman trapped in an abusive marriage who goes out to pick up her husband's dry cleaning and instead picks up a handsome hitchhiker on the side of the highway, the lure of whom reminds her of the lip of Niagara Falls, said to tempt people to jump in.
3.) -How do we find out about you and your books?
The best place to go is my website: http://www.jennygardiner.net . I also have a group blog with 5 other fabulous debut authors and we have some really exciting guest authors including John Grisham, Meg Cabot, Meg Tilly and Jodi Piccoult. That site is: http://www.thedebutanteball.com/
4.) -How may readers contact you?
Since my book just came out, I'm just starting to get emails from readers and it is so gratifying because so far they've been people who totally related to the novel and really appreciated the book, which is so nice! (I would contact her through her website).
5.) -How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
I'd say mainstream women's fiction best describes the genre. Though my books usually have an HEA, so it sort of slips around in genres, depending on who's deciding!
6.) What motivated you to start writing in this book? Honestly, I came up with the title. I thought it was catchy , so then I had to invent a book to go along with it. But I've always been very intrigued by relationships, marriage, the fine line that exists between love and hate in marriage. My parents went through an extremely bitter divorce and I guess I was always so curious about how people can go from loving each other to hating each other, and if they can do that so readily, then can they go back again?I also love that women tend to blossom as they approach middle age--their kids are getting older and more self-sufficient, yet for men, they're usually hunkered down, entrenched in their careers, and not necessarily receptive to their wives re-inventing themselves. So the situation is ripe for conflict.
7.) -What kind of research do you do?Ahhh...LOVE Google! So far the books I've written work with Googling information I need. I have a book I'm thinking about writing that will involve me having to do a LOT of research on Nepal, so I have been stockpiling books on Nepal for it.
8.) -Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
When I'm in writing mode I try to write in the morning. Lately with my book coming out I've been completely wrapped up in publicity, so not getting any writing done. But I've got kids with busy schedules so sometimes I just have to write on the fly.
9.) -Where do your ideas come from?
All sorts of places. With Mary Kate the idea came from one night when we were sitting at dinner and we kept eavesdropping on the couple next to us and the man was very controlling and strange and extremely boring and from that came the idea of a woman who had to get away from an abusive husband, and how it had to be an act of impulsivity that was terribly out of character for her.A lot of times I'll incorporate things from things I've heard in the news or heard from people.
10.) -Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
If you go wayyyy back, I'd say that I was really taken by the writing of James Joyce and J.D. Salinger. I like stream of conscious writing and I love an introspective first person voice. Current authors I really love include Meg Cabot, Jonathan Tropper, Bob Flaherty, Rick Marin, Alison Pearson.
11.) -How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
I've always had writer in me--in some form or another I've been writing forever. As far as fiction, I started making things up just a couple of years ago--I came from a journalism background, so when I realized you could just make things up it became much easier to write. LOL
12.) -What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
It's just so awesome doing what comes naturally and you have an excuse to do it when you're viewed as a "writer" rather than someone just hacking around on the keyboard. You can work in your sweats with no make-up!
13.) Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
Probably not. Once I write a book I sort of forget about my characters. But then it's fun to be reminded of them again, like when it is time to do revisions, etc. I become very fond of all of my characters as I write them.
14.) -Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I grew up in Pittsburgh, went to Penn State. I worked in newspaper, radio and TV, then worked as a publicist for a US Senator, then as a photographer (had a lot of fun photo shoots including Prince Charles, Liz Taylor, a World Welterweight Boxing Match, the President of Uganda)
15.) -Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Don't give up! And read LOTS!
16.) Now for something fun:
(I'm answering with the choices provided though my first preference might not be either of them!)
Chocolate or vanilla?
Erotic or inspirational?.
Favorite paranormal being?
I'm not such a paranormal girl, though I do like fairies!
Favorite mythological being?
Hmmm...have to think on that!
Do you like science fiction, fantasy or horror?
Not so much.
All time favorite actor?
McDreamy is pretty hot...Matthew McConnaughey (but he's sort of flakey!)
Drawing a blank on someone right now but I know there's someone!
All time favorite book?
Too many to choose from!
Favorite TV show?
America's Funniest Videos. (I love to laugh!)
One of all-time is When Harry Met Sally, but I LOVED Juno.
What makes you laugh out loud?
America's Funniest Videos. Sometimes the Comedy Channel on XM Radio.
If you could go anywhere in the universe where would that be?
I'd stick to earth--maybe the Caribbean ;-) . Ooohhhh...I LOVE Africa too.
A secret fetish?
I am gluttonous with Peanut M&Ms.