June 5, 2022
Wouldn’t it be great if real life was just like television?
In debut romcom novelist Meredith Schorr’s AS SEEN ON TV, her main character, Adina Geller, takes that concept to the online magazine editor she’s trying to impress. He tells her to run with it.
She’s hell-bent to do just that in the hope that the fee from the article will not only allow her to pay the rent she shares with her loving single mother, Valerie but lead to a full-time job.
But there’s only one way which town she’s chosen, Pleasant Hollow, is anything Hallmark TV episode: Adina has a meet-cute with the charming guy in town: Finn Adams. Wait—not so fast: since Finn leads the developer’s project that will change everything about Pleasant Hollow, he’s also the one person standing in the way of making her article a reality. But there’s more to Finn—and Pleasant Hollow—that meets the eye.
Meredith and I discuss her process in concepting this romantic comedy. Why romcom plots need some darkness in between the humor, and why persistence is the key to an aspiring writer—or for that matter, an author’s—longevity in creating books. What she says will resonate with those who write—and read—about happily ever afters.
February 7, 2022
Rea Frey’s latest novel, the compelling family saga, SECRETS OF OUR HOUSE tells the story of Desi, a wife and mother who thrives for perfection: both at work and at home—
But then real life gets in the way.
This story of two intertwined families—tested by a terminal illness, Mother Nature, and the deep dark secret that Desi has held onto through her marriage—is what gives the characters in SECRETS OF OUR HOUSE its bittersweet resonance—and it’s explosive ending.
I talk to Rea Frey about how this plot came to her; The research she did on surviving the harshest forces of nature—something her characters must do; Why it’s important to allow our children to follow their own paths; And why revealing the secrets and lies we feel may destroy us may in fact set us free.
July 13, 2021
In Kristin Contino’s contemporary novel, A House full of Windsor, divorced mother Debbie has such an obsession of the British Royal Family to the point that her hoarding of Royal knickknacks leads her grown children to go to desperate measures. Their form of intervention: convincing her to partake in a reality television show that helps hoarders confront the underlying issues of their mania. By juxtaposing Debbie’s voice with that of her eldest daughter Sarah, Contino reveals the underlying sorrow about a young, hasty marriage and its overriding affects on Sarah and her siblings.
Through a heartfelt and humorous plot, all the players find a way to heal, move forward, and in the case of the novel’s two heroines, find the love that has eluded them.
Kristin and I discuss how she came up with the book’s plot, her own love of all things British, and how she found the inspiration to revisit this story after having set it aside.
December 11, 2020
In the second novel in the Village of Primm series—The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks—novelist Julie Valerie turns up the heat in her satirical domestic comedy of a wife, mother, and aspiring filmmaker who clings to the pursuit of perfection, only to have fate play with her plan at every turn.
Julie and I discuss her heroine, Holly Banks, who soon discovers that her new neighborhood of über mommies have good reason to doubt that their highly coveted planned community is less than perfect—especially when a dark secret leads to some dire circumstances in their community.
We also talk about Julie's insights on those parents in the book whose mission is giving their families a perfect life—and the pitfalls that make that impossible, even in a community that prides itself on premiere schools, perfect lawns, and in the case of the Village of Primm, the crowning glory of its topiary garden: a forty-foot peacock (peahen?) that turns out to be the ideal example of what can go wrong does go wrong.
The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks in Amazon Now. You can also order it through your local bookstore.
April 3, 2020
In Samantha M. Bailey’s debut thriller WOMAN ON THE EDGE, a mother hands her infant daughter to a stranger before falling to her death in front of a subway train. That is, the woman given the child claims they've never met.
But there is enough evidence to prove otherwise. If she's lying, it's because she has a lot to gain: the child she's always wanted, AND access to the fortune the child will one day inherit.
In other words, WOMAN ON THE EDGE has all the right elements for a taut, breakneck domestic thriller.
Sam and I discuss how the concept for her novel came to her, and why the book's plot hits home with so women. And having personally known Sam since WOMAN ON THE EDGE began it’s journey to publication, if your an aspiring author seeking insights and inspiration, our discussion on that process is one you won’t want to miss.
September 17, 2018
New York Times best-selling author Kristan Higgins’ eighteenth novel, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, follows three women—best pals Emerson, Marley, and Georgia—whose lifetime battles with obesity were the bonds that brought them together. The death of one provides the catalyst for self discovery, change, and acceptance for the other two.