Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Stacey Ballis Author Interview

Photo Content from Stacey Ballis

Stacey Ballis is the author of ten foodie novels: Inappropriate Men, Sleeping Over, Room for Improvement, The Spinster Sisters, Good Enough to Eat, Off the Menu, Out to Lunch, Recipe for Disaster, Wedding Girl, and How to Change a Life. She is a contributing author to three nonfiction anthologies: Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, and Living Jewishly.


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
The sharing of stories is the oldest form of entertainment, it is how we connect to one another, the purest expression of our humanity.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Hmmm. They would probably be surprised that I neither have nor want a dog, considering my last 5 books all feature dogs prominently on the cover and in the story!

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Don’t write the book you think will be commercially viable or the latest trend, write the book you want to read, the book you can’t find on the shelves for yourself.

In your newest book, HOW TO CHANGE A LIFE; can you tell my Book Nerd Community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
How to Change a Life is about a woman who has a very contained and contented life. She has a job she loves as a private chef for some wonderful people, a cozy house near her mom and aunt, a fun and spunky best gal pal and an adorable corgi. When she gets unexpectedly reconnected with her two best friends from high school, the three of them challenge each other to something of a bucket list bet, to make some serious life changes before they all turn 40. And suddenly her contained life explodes in all directions! In some ways, it is about whether the friends of your youth can, or even should, be the friends of your middle age. Mostly I think it is about it never being too late to live your best life, to challenge yourself, to expand your horizons, hobbies, and circle of loved ones.

For those who are unfamiliar with Eloise, how would you introduce her?
Eloise is a personal chef to a rambunctious family of five, and a seventy-something interior designer, all of whom she dotes upon, and in some ways, lives vicariously through. She sometimes dreams of doing and being more, to write a cookbook, to explore her creative side in new ways, but feels, like so many of us, unmotivated to get started.

If you could introduce Shawn to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would love to introduce Shawn to Jane Austen’s Emma. I think they could learn from each other.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
You are going to spend 80% of your life working and sleeping, so get a really good bed, and a job that you love. It’s the best advice my grandmother of blessed memory gave me, and I have always done both :)

What part of Lynne did you enjoy writing the most?
I sort of reveled in her bitchiness. It is fun to write someone who can cut with a word. Sort of like actors who love playing a villain.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Teresa?
How much her commitment to family would deeply affect Eloise. That was not in the original plan, but these women just go off script all the time!

What book are you reading now?
Give a Girl a Knife, Hunger, and The Art of French Baking

Who was your first boyfriend?
Peter Kay, one of the boys in my neighborhood who I used to run around with. I think we were seven or eight.

Tell me about your first kiss.
Peter smooched me in the closet where we had the laundry chute in my house. It was very chaste and sweet.

If you wrote a journal entry today, what would it say?
Today? Just my to-do list. Answer emails, post promo stuff for book, make base for black raspberry sherbet, bake chocolate cake to take to Laura and Ted’s tomorrow, think about what to pack for Nashville next weekend.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
Miami to visit snowbirding grandparents. I think I was like 7 months old.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
Honestly, I was a teenager in the 1980s and wouldn’t change that for the world! But maybe a month in the 1930s would have been interesting…

What was the most exciting moment of your life?
Marrying my husband. Still makes me giddy to think about.

  • 1. Paris in specific and France in general are always my number one
  • 2. New Orleans
  • 3. Amsterdam
  • 4. Italy
  • 5. Napa/Sonoma
  • 6. Berlin
  • 7. Prague
  • 8. Greece
  • 9. New Zealand
  • 10. San Miguel de Allende

A dare between friends leads to startling revelations and simmering tensions in the latest novel from the author of Wedding Girl.

Eloise is happy with her life as a successful private chef. She has her clients, her corgi, and a recipe for the world's most perfect chocolate cream pie. What more could she need? But when her long-lost trio of high school friends reunites, Eloise realizes how lonely she really is.

Eloise, Lynne, and Teresa revamp their senior-class assignment and dare one another to create a list of things to accomplish by the time they each turn forty in a few months. Control freak Lynne has to get a dog, Teresa has to spice up her marriage, and Eloise has to start dating again.

Enter Shawn, a hunky ex-athlete and the first man Eloise could see herself falling for. Suddenly forty doesn't seem so lonely--until a chance encounter threatens the budding romance and reveals the true colors of her friends. Will the bucket listers make it to forty still speaking to one another? Or do some friendships come with an expiration date?

Readers Guide and Recipes Included

Praise for Stacey Ballis and her novels

“With the perfect blend of humor and heart, Ballis’s writing is powerfully honest and genuinely hilarious.” —Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of By the Numbers

“Her storytelling will have you alternately turning pages and calling your friends urging them to come along for the ride.” —Elizabeth Flock, New York Times bestselling author of What Happened to My Sister

“Smart, sexy, and delightfully buoyant…Scrumptious.” —Quinn Cummings, author of The Year of Learning Dangerously

“A sparkling, heartwarming novel with all the elements of a can’t-put-it-down read—a heroine you’ll root for, unexpected plot twists, and dangerously good descriptions of food!” —Sarah Pekkanen, author of Things You Won’t Say

“Insightful and hilarious.” —Today’s Chicago Woman

You can purchase How to Change a Life at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis.


  1. The last thing was a scarf I knitted last winter.

  2. The last thing was a scarf I knitted last winter.

  3. I just finished baking a from-scratch Amish cinnamon breakfast cake.

  4. "Last thing you made with your own hands?" A dish involving rice and cheese.

  5. Last thing I made was this evening's dinner