Monday, July 6, 2020

Kerry Winfrey Interview - Not Like the Movies

Photo Credit: Alex Winfrey

Kerry Winfrey is the author of WAITING FOR TOM HANKS, a romantic comedy from Berkley. The companion novel, NOT LIKE THE MOVIES, will be out on July 7th, 2020. She’s also the author of the YA novels LOVE AND OTHER ALIEN EXPERIENCES and THINGS JOLIE NEEDS TO DO BEFORE SHE BITES IT, both from Feiwel and Friends. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely baking a pie or watching far, far too many romantic comedies. She lives with her husband, son, and dog in the middle of Ohio.


Tell us about NOT LIKE THE MOVIES!
NOT LIKE THE MOVIES is about Chloe Sanderson, a woman who doesn’t believe in true love. She’s the sole caregiver for her father, who has Alzheimer's, and has no time—or interest—in getting swept up in some dazzling romance. Unfortunately, her best friend Annie literally wrote a rom-com that’s inspired by Chloe and her boss, and it’s about to premiere. Chloe’s life starts to become more and more like the rom-com she never wanted, but unlike Annie’s movie, Chloe isn't so sure her own story will end in a Happily Ever After.

What inspired you to pen this novel?
When I wrote my first adult rom-com, Waiting for Tom Hanks, the question I had in mind was, “What if your life wasn’t a rom-com, but you wanted it to be?” And with Not Like the Movies, I wanted to explore the opposite: “What if you don’t want your life to be a rom-com, but it kind of already is?”

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I’m an easily obsessed person and I’m inspired by a million different things every day, but my biggest inspiration is definitely film, specifically romantic comedies. I grew up rewatching my favorite rom-coms and their hope, optimism, and the idea that everyone deserves to be loved and accepted for who they are really influenced my own writing.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
This one’s easy: connecting with readers! I write to connect with people, and when readers reach out to say that they laughed, cried, or stayed up all night reading one of my books, that’s the absolute biggest reward I can possibly imagine getting from publishing.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
My ultimate goal with my books is simple: to make people happy. I want readers to feel hopeful and to know that no matter what they’re going through, they deserve love (whether that’s from a romantic partner or family or friends).

What part of Chloe and Nick did you enjoy writing the most?
I love their goofy arguments over music and other things that don’t really matter.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would probably introduce Annie to Evie from Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters. They both know a lot about rom-coms, so they’d have plenty to talk about.

  • 1. Chloe loves yacht rock, and that’s because it’s my favorite genre of music.
  • 2. But I also love Nick’s sad dude music.
  • 3. Chloe’s love of baking is inspired by my own quest to bake the perfect pie.
  • 4. Not Like the Movies and Waiting for Tom Hanks are set in German Village (a neighborhood in Columbus, OH) because it’s so picturesque and I always love when romantic comedies are set in cities other than New York.
  • 5. Chloe likes to watch old sitcoms when she’s sick, and I break out my boxed set of Three’s Company whenever I’m upset.
  • 6. A lot of people have compared Nick and Chloe’s relationship to Nick/Jess from New Girl and Luke/Lorelai from Gilmore Girls, and I love both of those shows so I’m always happy to hear the comparison!
  • 7. I tried to use as many of my favorite romance tropes as possible, including “there’s just one bed!”
  • 8. Chloe’s father has Alzheimer’s, which is a topic close to my heart. When we think about caregivers, we often think about parents taking care of children, but I wanted to shine a light on the people who are taking care of older family members. It’s a big, important responsibility.
  • 9. There’s probably more bowling in this book than you expect.
  • 10. Also more vomit. Sorry, but I can’t help it.
What event in your life would make a good movie?
My life is extremely unexciting (and that’s just the way I like it!), but when my husband proposed, he did it in a movie-worthy grand gesture: he built me a bookshelf and hid the ring in a secret compartment. Basically, he’s Bill Pullman in While You Were Sleeping.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
Oh, this is a hard one because Waiting for Tom Hanks made just about all my author dreams come true. Probably getting my offer from Berkley and knowing that the book had a perfect home. But every event, every bookstore I’ve visited, every panel I’ve been on and reader I’ve met…those are all fantastic memories too.

What happens when your life is a rom-com...but you don't even believe in true love?

Chloe Sanderson is an optimist, and not because her life is easy. As the sole caregiver for her father, who has early onset Alzheimer's, she's pretty much responsible for everything. She has no time—or interest—in getting swept up in some dazzling romance. Not like her best friend Annie, who literally wrote a rom-com that's about to premiere in theaters across America...and happens to be inspired by Chloe and Nick Velez, Chloe's cute but no-nonsense boss.

As the buzz for the movie grows, Chloe reads one too many listicles about why Nick is the perfect man, and now she can't see him as anything but Reason #2: The Scruffy-Bearded Hunk Who's Always There When You Need Him. But unlike the romance Annie has written for them, Chloe isn't so sure her own story will end in a Happily Ever After.

You can purchase Not Like the Movies at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you KERRY WINFREY for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey.


  1. Sitting here laughing at a joke I made. It wasn't even that funny

  2. Sitting with my kids in the living room. My daughters made me laugh!