Blog tour, day 2: check out my interview with Christine Young. You’ll learn a bit more about yours truly, and my book, of course! 😉
What or who inspired you to start writing?
It had always been my dream to write a novel. But between working and raising two young kids it was something I put on the back burner, thinking I’d get to it later. Then a few years ago, my husband suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage—out of the blue. One moment I was going about my daily routine, and the next I was faced with the thought of raising my daughter and unborn son alone. I am truly fortunate that he has since made a full recovery, but it reminded me just how precious life is and the importance of not living with regrets. So I had a carpe diem sort of moment and decided it was time to just do it. I aptly wrote about perseverance in the face of obstacles and to never give up on love.
How did you come up with ideas for your books?
I do my best thinking at night while I’m lying in bed. Of course it’s the time when I’m supposed to be unwinding, but that’s when my brain goes into overdrive. My first book, Out in the Open, is a romance between two advertising executives, Lexi and Jake. It was important to me that the book feel authentic, so that meant writing about what I know best. And I’m an agency gal. Anyway, I had a grand vision one night that involved a particular celebrity crush of mine serenading a girl, who may have borne a close resemblance to yours truly. I thought, “Hey, this would make a great last chapter.” I started with that seed of an idea and voila, it’s now a book.
The inspiration for book two, I Should Have Said Yes, came from my desire to write about dating during a time that’s heavily influenced by social media. I already had my perfect protagonist: Lexi’s sister, Tara. Tara is the youngest of the Winters girls, the irresponsible sister who was always dating someone new. The book is a candid and entertaining look at a singleton’s dating journey when she must say yes to any guy who asks her out because of a pact, all documented on her Adventures in Dating blog.
What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
I’m an eternal optimist and love writing uplifting books. We are all too often inundated with news of tragedies. I’m a big believer in Happily Ever After. Real life is hard enough, so I like books that offer an escape from reality and give women hope that happiness is attainable. I also share a lot of fun, random facts on my website (jbglazer.com) to help readers get to know me better. You can check out my top 10 list there, which may in fact have 12. Don’t ask, sometimes I overshare.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. Of the Winters sisters, Tara is creative, free-spirited and fun. Lexi is a bit more serious but she’s also loyal, charitable, and hungry to succeed. I’d love to pull certain aspects from each, but if I had to choose I would be Lexi Winters. She is the protagonist from Out in the Open, and she is loosely based on me. OK fine, she is an idealized version of who I strive to be. I like that she’s career-driven but she’s also vulnerable. And not to mention she has a fabulous wardrobe. She inspired me to kick things up a notch—mainly, I started wearing heels again. And did I mention that her love interest, Jake, was inspired by my slight obsession with Robert Pattinson? So that helped tip the scales. 🙂
Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
I don’t belong to a formal critique group. I have some friends that I use as beta readers. It’s funny because I’ve come to discover the feedback they give is similar to their personalities. For example, I have one friend who is a perfectionist. She goes so far as to mark up where I’m missing commas and indicates there’s an extra space on say, page 35. Maybe I should’ve hired her as my proofreader! Another friend is very flexible and laid back. She’ll give a simple, “Loved it!” I know she means well, but it’s not the most constructive input. So I’ve come to learn who my go to people are for feedback. One of my best reviewers is my former co-worker and office mate. In the beginning, Tara lamented about her dates on Facebook. It was a simple status update at the end of each chapter. My idea centered on her using social media as an outlet to express her opinions, but Facebook didn’t feel quite right. My friend pointed out that most Millennials are using Instagram, not Facebook. I struggled with using that as a platform because her updates are more text based. Which led me to blogging. It felt like the right fit and helped me embellish her experiences.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I always start with a mental outline. For the most part my books are mapped out in my head before I even put pen to paper. Yes, I actually do write out some things the old-fashioned way. J My process is a combo of jotting things down in my notebook, which I carry with me everywhere because who knows when inspiration will strike, as well as just sitting down and typing. I don’t write in any particular order from the outline. With my first book I actually wrote the last chapter first. I prefer to write about whatever section inspires me at the time. So I end up having multiple documents with names that are keywords to cue me as to what each section is about. The hard part is weaving them all together and creating those filler chapters that make it a holistic story.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
I haven’t formally started it unless you count having it all in my head. It’s a romance about a cynical event planner, Lucy, who shares a passionate weekend with a mysterious stranger as a result of losing a bet. It’s so out of character for her that she wants to keep their names anonymous. She falls hard only to never hear from him again. Lucy struggles with moving on and finally meets an incredible new guy who is perfect for her. But can she let go of her “Mr. Anonymous?” And is she in love with a ghost because it’s easier than facing the possibility of having the real thing? Along Lucy’s search for love her loyalty will be put to the ultimate test.
Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
The black moment is a combination of Tara’s failures in the two most important aspects of her life: her love life and her career. After all her disastrous dates, she finally finds a boyfriend. And it scares the hell out of her. A key part of her identity is being seen as the quintessential singleton. Her success as a blogger was built on it. But even more than that, she started her dating pact because of a failed relationship, which still haunts her and becomes a crutch for her to avoid getting hurt again. So she never truly lets this guy in, which puts a strain on their relationship. Her sounding board through it all has been her best friend, Andy, who she’s starting to wonder if she has romantic feelings for. But things between them get rocky when he starts seriously dating someone. All the while she’s been struggling to come up with a theme for her master’s thesis and the deadline is looming. She finds herself without a boyfriend, a best friend and is in jeopardy of losing the career she’s worked so hard to build. Just when she’s on the brink of attaining happiness, she’s left with nothing but heartbreak.
What is your favorite reality show?
I’m obsessed with HGTV and Property Brothers is my current favorite. I love seeing how they transform tired spaces into something extraordinary. I keep checking the website to see if I qualify for any of the shows. My other dream is to be on HGTV and have a professional designer do my home renovation.
Anything else you might want to add?
I think it’s so important to have a hand in leading the life we want to live as opposed to letting life just happen to us. Many people ask me how I found the time to write the novel. I tell them I didn’t find time, I made time because it was important to me. I hope my story will inspire others to follow their dreams.