Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Abbi Waxman Interview - Adult Assembly Required

Photo Credit: Leanna Creel

Abbi Waxman was born in England in 1970, the oldest child of two copywriters who never should have been together in the first place. Once her father ran off to buy cigarettes and never came back, her mother began a successful career writing crime fiction. Naturally lazy and disinclined to dress up, Abbi went into advertising, working as a copywriter and then a creative director at various advertising agencies in London and New York. Eventually she quit advertising, had three kids and started writing books, mostly in order to get a moment’s peace.

Abbi lives in Los Angeles with her husband, three kids, three dogs, three cats, a gecko, a snake, five pigeons, four chickens, and two guinea pigs. Every one of these additions made sense at the time, it’s only in retrospect that it seems foolhardy.

Adult Assembly Required is a novel about a young woman attempting to start over and finding that wherever she goes, there she is, if you follow me. But it’s also about how friends can understand you better than family, and being brave, and pushing through.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Definitely hearing from readers. It’s easily the best part of the job.

  • 1. It is set in the same world and real-life neighborhood as my previous four books.
  • 2. It features characters from my first and third books.
  • 3. I based the house on a real house I drive past frequently and always dream about.
  • 4. Pigeons play a relatively small role in the book, but I did quite a bit of research about them, and then randomly – as I was writing the book – ended up rescuing a pigeon and now have 6 of them. This was a complete coincidence.
  • 5. The book was written and rewritten during the pandemic, mostly on a chair in my garden.
  • 6. The animals in the book are based on some of mine. I have a really old gentlewoman pug named Daisy, a grey cat named Oliver and a scruffy dog like Herbert (he preferred I didn’t use his real name).
  • 7. The locations in the book are all based on real places, parks and sandwiches in Los Angeles.
  • 8. A character in this book was a main character in an earlier book, and I really enjoyed writing about her from someone else’s point of view. In general I like repeating characters because I get to know them a little better with each book.
  • 9. Having said that, Adult Assembly is the last of my Larchmont books, at least for now.
  • 10. This is nothing to do with the book, but did you know pigeons mate for life and share all their duties precisely 50/50? Well, it’s true.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
My mother is also a writer, and she told me to not care too much, not to throw anything away, and to dress warmly because you get cold when you’re sitting still for too long.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book?
Anything by P.G. Wodehouse or Agatha Christie.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m working on a rewrite of my next book, as yet untitled. It’s a whole new set of characters, new location (still Los Angeles, but not Larchmont like the others).

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
Very little. I’m hoping they’re just letting their brains idle along, while being amused and distracted.

What part of Laura did you enjoy writing the most?
The sporty parts, because I couldn’t be less sporty myself, and I enjoyed the vicarious exercise.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing ADULT ASSEMBLY REQUIRED?
Handing in the first round and having it essentially rejected. I did several huge rewrites, and it was all during the pandemic and a little stressful. I’m extremely pleased with it now, but my editor Kate Seaver deserves a lot of the credit.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Nina Hill would really, really like to meet Library Lion.

  • 1. Waking up early.
  • 2. Eavesdropping on conversations between strangers.
  • 3. Reading non-fiction
  • 4. Talking to strangers, which I highly recommend.
  • 5. Listening to music.
  • 6. Napping.
  • 7. Driving around mindlessly.
  • 8. Being in Target.
  • 9. Daydreaming, which I also highly recommend.
  • 10. Desultory conversation with friends.
Where can readers find you?
Usually in the kitchen, with a snack in my hand and a faraway expression on my face. Or Instagram.

A young woman arrives in Los Angeles determined to start over, and discovers she doesn’t need to leave everything behind after all, from Abbi Waxman, USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn't expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren't sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work for them.
You can purchase Adult Assembly Required at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.