By Melissa Amster
"Stay" by Allie Larkin hits shelves this week!
Check out the trailer:
I recently had the opportunity to do an online interview with Allie Larkin. I enjoyed reading her answers to my questions and hope you will too!
About the book and/or writing:
1. What was your inspiration for "Stay?"
It wasn’t just one thing. STAY started as a writing exercise in a college course, and from there it evolved. Once I developed Van as a character, she inspired the story. I took a look at Rochester, where I live now, and Westchester, where I grew up, and tried to see them through the eyes of someone in her situation, with her personality. Argo, my dog, was absolutely the inspiration for Joe and for realizing that Van needed a dog, but Van existed as a character before Argo joined our family and I realized Van needed that kind of unconditional love too. And later, when we adopted our other dog, Stella, some of her personality ended up in the mix. I live in Rochester, I grew up in Westchester, and obviously some little things from those experiences carried over into the book.
2. How long did it take you to complete the novel from start to finish?
The writing exercise that started STAY was from a class I took in 2002. From there, it turned into a short story; then, it sat in a drawer for a long time, until I decided to go back to it.
3. What did you do to celebrate "Stay" becoming published?
I cried in Target (I was shopping when my agent called to tell me Dutton wanted to publish STAY). Then we went out to dinner at Lento, which is our favorite birthday/anniversary/special occasion restaurant.
4. Do you have plans to write another novel?
I hope to write many, many more novels. And someday, I think I’d like to check back in with Van and Joe and the gang.
5. If "Stay" were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
I think the important part is who I wouldn’t cast. Argo should not play Joe. He is brilliant, and smart, and oh so loveable, but not trained for film. In an early idea for the book trailer, Argo was going to be in it, so I took him out to film some test shots. Trying to get him to stay in the frame was one of the most impossible tasks I’ve ever faced, and I did not succeed.
6. What is your favorite chick lit book?
I am awful at picking one favorite anything. Of course, I loved Bridget Jones, which is the ultimate classic chick lit book, isn’t it?
7. Who is your current celebrity crush?
We’ve been watching Buffy episodes on Netflix a lot lately, and I’ve decided that James Marsters should be in everything all the time. I don’t think I’d call it a crush, but I do find him fascinating.
8. What were you like as a teenager?
I wasn’t diagnosed with ADD until I was 18, so I had some confidence issues related to feeling like a square peg and not knowing why. I was a little on the shy side. I had lyrics to Toad the Wet Sprocket songs written all over my binder. I cut pep rallies to hang out in the art room. I was in chorus, chamber choir, and plays. I wore flannel and Doc Martins, and a little too much eyeliner. And I had a great group of friends that I still keep in touch with.
9. What is the funniest thing your dog has ever done?
A few years ago, in the waiting room at the vet’s office, Argo burped, loudly, just as the receptionist turned away to grab a file. She heard it, but she didn’t see him, so she totally thought it was me. As she got us checked out, I could tell she was trying not to giggle about it. Blaming it on the dog just seemed like too lame of an excuse to even bother. At the time, I was pretty embarrassed, but now, it cracks me up to think of it.
10. You talk a lot about your husband in your Divining Wand interview. How did you meet him?
J and I both got roped into going to a picnic at Cobb’s Hill Park in Rochester. He smiled and said “hi” to me every time he walked passed, but we didn’t get the chance to talk. It’s so cheesy to say, but I do think it was a bit of love at first sight. I had to leave early to meet some people, but I slipped him my e-mail address before I left, because I really couldn’t stand the thought of not seeing him again.
At the beginning of our first date, I told him not to expect it to turn into anything. I was decidedly single at the time. But, by the end of our first date, I was pretty sure I was going to marry him. It was a wonderful thing to be right about.
As we know from the trailer and story description, a drunk Van buys a 100 pound German Shepard from the Internet. In honor of the release of "Stay," Allie Larkin is giving away the book to 3 lucky readers. In order to be considered, comment below by letting us know: What was your strangest impulse buy?
For additional entries:
1. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower.
2. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
Winners will be picked at random on Friday, June 11th. Please leave your e-mail address in each comment, so I know where to find the winners. Good luck!