Monday, October 29, 2012

Q & A with Emily Shaffer

Hello, and welcome to my blog. Today I have an interview with Emily Shaffer, so I hope you enjoy learning about this author. Be sure to leave a comment, letting us know you were here :)

Thanks to Emily for being here today, and for taking the time to answer my questions.

tell me about yourself, and your writing.  I am a single lawyer, and I currently live and work in Nashville.  I have five brothers and sisters, and it definitely molded my personality.  You have to have a sense of humor in a big family!  My writing is very representative of me and the way I think.  I'm a daydreamer and a joker and an old-fashioned romantic.  I hope that comes across in my writing. 

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?  I have been writing my entire life, usually short stories.  I became serious about writing novels in 2009, and have been working on them ever since. That Time of the Month is my first published novel, and it is in the chick lit genre.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?  I primarily write in a more romantic comedy/chick lit style.  I do have another novel that I have  been working on that is a bit of a departure.  It has a more serious and dramatic tone.  I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the year, but humorous stories are definitely my first love.  I am also working on the sequel to That Time of the Month.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants? I come up with an idea and immediately write a quick and dirty outline.  It's usually no more than one or two pages long, and that becomes the skeleton for my novel.  At that point, I just start writing by the seat of my pants and use the short outline to keep me sort of going in the direction I need to go.  

What is a typical writing day like for you?  When I wrote this novel, I was unemployed, and I would always write between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  I loved that schedule.  Now that I have a very full-time job, I don't have as much time as I used to.  I found myself really struggling to get into the right frame of mind to write at the end of a long work day.  I finally just made myself start writing a little every night before I go to bed, and on the weekends I try to devote blocks of time each day.  I still prefer writing mid-day when I can.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?  I really love the classics.  Charles Dickens is my favorite author, and A Tale of Two Cities is maybe my favorite book of all time.  I also love reading biographies.  Lately I have devoted a lot of time to reading about the wives of Henry VIII.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?  I am working on a sequel to That Time of the Month, and I would love to have it published in the next year.  I also would like to continue building my audience and having a platform to get my work out.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?  I will admit it, I can be nosey, so I would love to be invisible so that I could observe people and conversations that are supposed to be secret.  My first stop would probably be the Pentagon and my second stop would be the houses of the Real Housewives of Atlanta (when they aren't filming).

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?  I'd have a mogwai, like Gizmo from Gremlins...but I would totally follow all the food/drink rules.  I want him to stay cute and fuzzy.

Tell us a little about your latest release.  That Time of the Month is a comedy with a bit of romance thrown in for fun.  It's the story of Ellie, a girl who is having a run of bad luck when she loses her job.  She decides, in a somewhat delusional state, that she will be able to write a bestselling novel in under a month and that it will solve all of her problems.  Of course, she runs into several obstacles, and in the process meets a dreamy stranger, alienates her best friend and her roommate, and realizes a few things about herself.  Ellie is funny and frazzled and the type of girl that I think a lot of us can relate to.  My goal was to write a novel that makes people laugh...if I accomplished that, then all is well.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)  Chapstick and Diet Soda.  At least once a month I decide to give up soda completely, and I break down within 24-hours.  As for chapstick, if I even *think* I don't have a tube with me, I immediately feel like my lips are turning to sandpaper.  If the world ever runs out of chapstick and/or diet soda, just call the authorities and have me committed...I won't be able to handle it.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?  On a novel, I'm not sure that I could co-author with someone.  I feel like my voice is my voice, and someone else's voice is their voice.  That said, I have collaborated on comedy screenplay ideas with a dear friend of mine, and that process was very fun.  So if I was ever going to write a book with another person, it would be with my friend.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them? I've been reading a lot about the wives of Henry VIII lately, so if I was going to pick someone who is dead, I would pick Anne Boleyn.  I'd love to know exactly what was happening behind the scenes and how much she manipulated the situation, and how much she was a victim of the situation.  I'd love to know if there was ever a time where she could have truly saved herself from the chopping block.  I'd also ask her if she could have ever truly imagined that her daughter would reign over England for decades.

Carol Burnett is someone from today I would love to spend the day with.  Of all the entertainers I have ever watched, I feel like she really formed a lot of my ideas of what "funny" is.  There is nothing better than the old Carol Burnett shows, and her recent memoir is a very fun read. 

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?  I love going to thrift stores to hunt for vinyl record albums.  I've recently gotten one of my brother's into it as well, so now my hobby is finding great albums before he finds them. 

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?  There is this wonderfully weird book called The Celestial Steam Locomotive and its sequel Gods of the Greataway.  They are interesting and complicated and if they could ever become a movie or mini-series, it would be amazing.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?  I wish I could do a cartwheel.  I have never ever been able to do one.

Favorite color?  Pink has always been my favorite color, but lately I have been loving bright green.

Weather: Hot or cold?  Cold.  There is nothing better than crisp Fall weather.

Favorite place to read?  I have loved reading while laying in the floor ever since I was a kid.  That hasn't changed.

Favorite meal  Anything "chicken fried" with mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy.  I'm from the South, and I love "southern" food.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.  Diet Pepsi

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go? I spent a couple of weeks in Paris a few years ago.  It was such a wonderful and amazing city.  I would love to go back and live there for a a fabulous Parisian apartment of course.

Blurb: Recently fired and almost broke, thirty-year old Ellie decides to push all distractions aside and form a crash-or-burn plan to save herself and finally pursue her dreams. She gives herself one month to make the near-impossible happen, otherwise she has to leave New York City and move into her niece's toy room. 

The plan seems simple but becomes complicated by a nosey best friend, a difficult roommate, a dreamy stranger, and a really bad ring. As the month progresses, Ellie must confront the realization that by deciding to focus on herself, she may have become completely self-centered. 

Will she let her own ambitions, insecurities, and assumptions ruin her friendships and get in the way of a possible romance? Ruled by endless lists and fueled by several plates of pie, Ellie's comical thoughts and mishaps drive this story from the office to the coffee shop during a month that will leave her with a broken foot, a great pair of shoes, and a forever changed life.

Review Rating: 4.5 Lightning Bolts 

Review:  Have you ever taken a look at your life and decided enough is enough, and you followed your dreams? Sometimes it takes a misfortune to finally step up and say "Hey, I'm going to pursue this" 

Welcome to Ellie's life. She's reached the age of 30 and realized she's not sure what's happening anymore. So she decides to try and write a book. With an alotted time frame, Ellie's new venture begins.  Who can't relate to Ellie? I understand her on so many levels, it's kind of scary. 

That time of the Month is a feel good story- about starting over, finding happiness, learning to live with what comes your way, and finding your dreams. The characters are quirky, memorable, and fun.  It's easy to forget this is someone's reality at any given point in time, because the writing is so well done. It's really a feel good story with fun moments. I enjoyed it. 

   I am a Tennessean by birth, and have lived pretty much everywhere. My Dad always says that when I was born, and the doctor tried to slap me to make me cry, that I stood up on the table and slapped the doctor instead…and from then on, I never did anything that I didn't want to do.

Luckily, what I want to do is write…and not carjacking or vandalism.

Like my main character, Ellie, I love making random lists…so here are some random facts about me:
-I'm nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. The world looks like a fun-house mirror if I don't wear my glasses or contacts.
-I was almost kicked out of Graceland for using flash photography in the peacock-mirrored front room, and my tour group shunned me the entire rest of the tour. That made for a lonely trip through the Jungle Room.
-I was once mistaken for a member of Hanson…granted, they all had long hair at the time, but still….not what you wanna hear as a girl.

When I wrote That Time of the Month, I really saw it as though it was a movie. I can see every scene, every character and what they are wearing, every piece of pie, perfectly in my mind. I'm currently writing the sequel, That Time of the Year. I love the story and characters so much, that I am tempted to turn the series into a trilogy.

Connect with Emily!


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