Book Nerd Interview
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
My mother taught me how to read when I was four years old. I knew immediately that I wanted to be a writer. With my mom’s help I wrote my first “book” before I started kindergarten.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Muriel Rukeyser said, “The world is made up of stories not atoms.” I think stories are one way for people to make sense of the crazy world in which we live.
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
My all-time favorite book is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It’s a timeless classic with a strong female character and themes that still resonate over 100 years since its publication.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
In The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin recommends not reading reviews of one’s work (good or bad) because it can be disruptive to the creative process. I stopped reading my reviews when a reader said that I “made Stephenie Meyer look like Shakespeare.” Everyone is entitled to her opinion but I don’t have to accept it. While I appreciate readers taking the time to review my work and I understand it is part of the business, I don’t have to let other people’s opinions impact me in any way.
In your new book; Matchplay, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
Each book in the three-book Matchplay series can be read as a stand-alone novel or as part of the interrelated stories in the series. The series begins with Rainy Dey when she starts college and falls for sexy and popular Aaron Donavan. The only problem is that Rainy doesn’t know if Aaron really likes her or just wants to use her for points in the Tournament, a competition in which senior guys try to sleep with as many freshman girls as possible. Book Two focuses on Keira Whitley, who is in love with Aaron and will do anything to take him away from Rainy. Book Three focuses on one of Rainy’s best friends, Lucas, and his unlikely relationship with Ella, who is Aaron’s best friend’s sister.
For those who are unfamiliar with Rainy, how would you introduce her?
Rainy is like the girl-next-door. She’s someone that everyone falls in love with. She’s cute and wise and loves art.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I actually did that! In Book Three of the Matchplay Series (Final Play), Lucas and Ella take a trip to Phoenix and visit an art exhibition where they meet the two main characters from my novel Still Fine at Forty.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Aaron?
I thought I would fall in love with Aaron like Rainy did but I fell in love with her friend, Lucas, instead. That’s why Lucas got to his own story in Book Three (Final Play), which is told from Lucas’s perspective.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I don’t like to lie but if someone happens to underestimate how old I am I never correct them!
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
The most memorable (worst) summer job I ever had was delivering phone books. I had to drive all over town with a trunk full of phone books and ended up making less than a dollar an hour. I was also attacked by an angry and vicious dog and the only thing that saved me from being bitten was the phone book in my hand. Needless to say, the people who owned that dog didn’t get their phone book!
Who was your first boyfriend?
I don’t know. I dated a lot when I was young. I guess it depends on how you define “boyfriend.”
Tell me about your first kiss
When I was in first grade, I kissed a boy named Michael on the playground. To this day, I have no idea how he talked me into it!
When was the last time you cried?
I cry a lot. Movies, books and songs can easily bring a tear to my eye. Sometimes I even cry at television commercials – like the one with the guys playing wheelchair basketball and at the end, all the guys get up except for one. I’m even crying now just thinking about it. It’s very moving.
Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
I’m not sure how a person could get through life without loving another person. Is that even possible?
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I was a teenager last century! I was in high school in the 1980s. It might have been more fun to be a teen in the 1990s because they had much better music.
A Girl, a Guy, a Tournament and a Challenge
The Girl: At a time when most girls obsess about homecoming and high school prom, Rainy Dey spent her senior year caring for her dying mother. So when her father drops her off at college to start her freshman year, his words of advice to his bookish daughter are to start acting like a young person and finally have some fun.
The Guy: College senior, Aaron Donavan, aka Mr. Hot-and-Knows-It, is President of the Clubhouse, a social club for the college’s most wealthy and popular guys. Aaron can have any girl on campus except the one who challenges and excites him the most—Rainy Dey.
The Tournament: Every year, the senior members of The Clubhouse engage in a golf-inspired tournament to see who can sleep with the most freshman girls. When Rainy finds out about the tournament, she believes Aaron’s only interest in her is to score points by taking her V-Card.
The Challenge: Can Aaron convince Rainy that his feelings for her are true and that she won’t be just another notch on his tournament scorecard?