Full disclosure: Mom gushing below because today’s interview is brought to you by genetics.
It’s been a tradition here at Women’s Fiction Writers to have someone interview me to celebrate the publication of one of my novels. Eleanor Brown interviewed me for The Glass Wives. Patti Callahan Henry interviewed me for The Good Neighbor.
Today, I’m being interviewed by Zachary Gropper, my twenty-five-year-old son. (This is the gushing part) He lives in Manhattan, is the Brand Manager for a tech start-up, and is a graduate of Indiana University. Let’s add that he calls me on regular basis and comes to visit if I ask, and sometimes when I don’t. He remembers my birthday. He’s smarter and funnier than me. He answers my texts. I’m so proud of the man he has become I usually have to be told to shut up. (Okay, shutting up now.)
He also took my current author photo. You know, the one on the back of the book, as well as some of the more flattering photos you see online.
I hope you enjoy these bits of insight into Left to Chance, and my family. If we’ve piqued your interest, I hope you’ll add the novel to your shopping list! Here’s a link to Amazon: Left To Chance.
That Time My Son Interviewed Me About My Novel
Zachary: At what point during the process of writing and publishing LTC did you first know you were on to something that felt really special?
Zachary’s Mom: I think I realized this story had a spark when I felt like I was Teddi, the main character, when I was writing. If it was so natural for me to slip into her shoes, I had a feeling she’d be very relatable to readers. Early readers seem to agree!
Zachary: Was there a point that stands out as the toughest or most challenging?
Zachary’s Mom: Well, you can ask your sister! I had a little problem with the pacing of the story, and at first had everything happening in the first two days, which took up half the manuscript. Chloe and I read the story aloud, wrote scenes on colored index cards, laid them out on the dining room table, and rearranged them until the story was balanced. It took HOURS.
Zachary: Are there lessons you’ve learned that could affect your writing in the future?
Zachary’s Mom: I’m making sure that my new book’s calendar (which I call book math) is set and organized ahead of time. In my new little apartment I don’t have room for all those index cards. My work-in-progress also has two timelines, so I think it’s even more crucial for me to have the pacing worked out ahead of time. I like to think I don’t make mistakes twice — I go ahead and make all new kinds of mistakes!!
Zachary: Overall as an author, how much do you think you’ve changed or evolved since each of TGW and TGN were published?
Zachary’s Mom: I think my expectations are more realistic when it comes to publicity, and that’s definitely something that has evolved.. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the word out about a book, because there are so many good books out there to choose from. Making mine stand out from the rest is part social media, part publisher marketing and publicity, and part pixie dust. With regard to writing, I think I’m more deliberate in my story telling, even though I allow things to evolve as I write. I know ahead what needs to be accomplished, and why, much more so than with my earlier books.
Zachary: If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read LTC?
Zachary’s Mom: I feel as if I’ve created a small town readers would want to visit with characters they’d like to be friends with. Plus I wrote in an adorable coffee shop I wish I could go to. You know how important my coffee is to me.
Zachary: At your last launch event, there were cupcakes with frosting matching the colors of TGN book cover. How much did cupcake planning impact cover art decisions this time around?
Zachary’s Mom: You know me well! It’s hard for me to pass up the opportunity to color coordinate or to embrace a good theme! This year we’re having wine and chocolate so I’d say the theme is DELICIOUS! Everyone’s invited!
Did you really think I wouldn’t post a picture of little Zachary?
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