Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Interview with Robyn Harding and book giveaway

By Melissa Patafio



**Giveaway is now closed**

Robyn Harding grew up in a logging town in northern British Columbia. She started writing at a young age and eventually went on to study English Lit, journalism, and marketing after moving to Vancouver. She worked in advertising for several years and eventually left to raise her two children and work as a freelance copywriter. Robyn’s latest book “Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis” gives us both sides of a marriage that has broken up after sixteen years. I had the good fortune to interview Robyn and find out a little bit more about her and I hope you all enjoy learning more about her too. Additionally, Robyn has two copies of "Chronicles..." to give away to some lucky readers in the US and Canada.

What inspired you to write about a marriage breaking up after 16 years?
A lot of people around me were getting divorced. It struck me that marriages go through phases and my peers and I were entering a new one. Our kids were getting older and more independent. When parenting is less consuming, it allows you to look at your relationship and question if it’s really working. Luckily, my marriage still is – but I thought it would be interesting to write about a couple who realizes it’s not.

Usually Chick Lit stories are strictly from the female point of view, why did you choose to write both sides?
I wanted to challenge myself and try writing in a different voice. I’d just written a screenplay with a male lead, so I was already in that headspace. I also think it’s interesting (and hilarious) how differently men and women can view the same situation. It’s the He Said/She Said scenario. It creates so much drama and comedy.

Did you face any challenges while writing “Chronicles”?
The male voice took some work. To write those chapters, I really had to put myself into a guy’s head. I’d get my husband to reread the chapters to make sure they sounded authentic. He’d give me helpful advice like: “Guys don’t say pee. They say piss.” I was also writing about a sullen, angry teenage girl, while my own kids were much younger. I had to channel my sullen, angry teenage self for that one.

Do you ever come to the United States for book tours?
I wish! I haven’t done a US book tour, but I often visit friends in New York and LA. I also live near the Washington border, so I love going to Seattle and Portland. When I’m there, I visit bookstores and move my book to the front shelves. It’s not quite a tour, but…

Where is your favorite place to vacation with your family?
My husband is from Perth, on the West Coast of Australia. It just might be the furthest geographic point from our home in Vancouver, but it’s such an amazing city. It’s on the Indian Ocean and has beautiful beaches, amazing architecture, fragrant gum trees and interesting wildlife. I also really enjoy visiting my in laws. (Maybe you appreciate your in laws more when they live on the other side of the world?)

How did you celebrate when your first book was published?
I had the best book launch party ever! When I got married, I had a tiny wedding (15 guests), so the book launch party was like the wedding I never had. I invited everyone – relatives, high school friends, new friends, work colleagues… Even my grandma was there. We drank champagne and danced till three in the morning (not my grandma). My brother in law made a huge cake that looked like the cover of “The Journal of Mortifying Moments”. I ate about half of it for breakfast the next day.

How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t writing or taking care of your children?
I jog… but that’s not really what I like to do. That’s more, what I have to do so I can eat a lot of chocolate. I enjoy going out for lunch with friends, reading and watching movies and TV (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and True Blood are favorites). I also live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so it’s nice to walk along the beach, hike, or ski in the winter. And I volunteer once a week with special needs kids. It is incredibly rewarding.

Any plans for another book? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?
I’ve been very busy developing “Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis” into a television pitch. I’m also working on a romantic comedy screenplay. I will write another novel though. I just have to come up with a fabulous idea…

Did you personally identify with any one specific character in “Chronicles”?
In some ways, I can relate to my main character, Lucy. Like her, I’m a working mom – and I can only imagine how tough it would be if my husband suddenly decided to leave me. But Lucy’s also very driven and concerned with appearances, and that’s not me at all. In a strange way, I can also relate to Annika, the “other woman”. Annika’s a complete whacko, but I can empathize with how difficult it must be to date a man with so much baggage.

How did you meet your husband?
In my early-twenties, I went backpacking through Europe with a friend. We were on a Greek island when I met this very nice Australian guy. We fell for each other right away, and I thought, “This is fun. I’m having a holiday fling!” That was fifteen years and two kids ago. We always say that our relationship is ‘a holiday fling that got out of hand’.

Special thanks to Robyn for this interview and for providing the books to give away.


How to win "Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted.)

For additional entries (each as a separate comment including your e-mail address, as well):
1. Please tell us: How did you meet your significant other? (If you don't have a significant other, what would be your ideal way to meet someone?)
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada residents only. Giveaway ends Monday, September 27th, at 6 pm EST.

69 comments:

Tracy said...

I can relate to the theme of the book! Please sign me up for the drawing!

Tracy said...

I met my husband at a bar. We go there every year for Mothers Day (probably should be for our anniversary ...)

Tracy said...

I am now following this blog via Blogger. And I'm a member on Facebook.

Colleen Turner said...

This book sounds awesome! I am not quite at that midlife age yet, but I have still had a lot of friends and family have marriage issues and divorce. Would love to win!
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Sherry said...

Book sounds great , sign me up.
Sherry
slbercu@msn.com

Colleen Turner said...

My husband and I met at a play at Florida State University. A mutual friend, who dated my husband in high school, invited me to go to the play because everyone else was coupled up and she didn't want to be coupled up with my husband since they had dated and that would be awkward. So, I went with her to meet everyone at my husband and his roommates apartment. We were a little early and he answered his door in his boxers! He was really funny and sarcastic and we hit it off from the get go. The rest is history!!!

Colleen Turner said...

I am a GFC follower.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

Forgot to put my email on the story about how I met my husband! So sorry!!! If you have to delete that comment since it doesn't contain it, please use this one!
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a Facebook fan.
candc320@gmail.com

Sherry said...

Meant my husband at Carls Jr were we both worked when we were sixteen. We became friends ( went to the same HS), went our separate ways, he called me out of the blue on one of my lowest days after my dad had passed away and made me smile. We were 26. I lived in California he lived in Washington, we kept in contact and visited each other--soon he moved to California we dated 5 years and then got married.
slbercu@msn.com

Jonita said...

I'm loving the sound of this one, plus Robyn Harding is a fellow Canuck. Go Canada!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I met my hubby on a blind date. A friend that I worked with set us up, he had a hot car and cute buns, and almost 9 years later, here we are!!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

GFC follower of this blog.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I've posted this contest on my sidebar at http://book-chic.blogspot.com.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I am a member of your Facebook group!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Sarah said...

Thank you for the great review..sign me up.

foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

I met him online :)


foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

I follow your blog.



foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

I am a facebook friend.

foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

I posted on twitter.

foxchick0323@live.com

Maria said...

I'd love to win! Relationship stories are fascinating.

piabernardino@bermillion.com said...

I met my hubby at a prayer group
I am following this blog
Posted in twitter
saying where you've posted it.
I am a member of Chic Lit Central in fb

Ruthie said...

I love the cover! Please enter me, thanks.

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

Ruthie said...

I met my husband at a club that I lied about my age to get into!

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

Ruthie said...

FB follower

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

Heather said...

I met my husband through e-harmony!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a follower.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit Central.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I posted to facebook.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great read!!
otkeri@comcast.net

Kim said...

I'm a fan on Facebook!

walker03@telus.net

Kim said...

I'm a fan on Facebook!

walker03@telus.net

Kim said...

I met my husband at work. He was also my roommate. We clicked, one thing led to another....and here we are, 10 years later, with 2 kids!

walker03@telus.net

StereoQueenBee said...

I met my significant other on Twitter, of all places. I also posted this contest on there and I follow this blog AND am a member on Facebook.

JHS. said...

I'd love to read this!

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

JHS. said...

How did I meet my significant other? On a blind date at Chuck E. Cheese's! I wrote about it here: It All Began at Chuck E. Cheese's!

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

JHS. said...

Google follower.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

JHS. said...

FB member.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

Sheila B said...

I met my husband Jeff in high school. We got back together when I was about 35 and got married 4 years later!!

Jennifer said...

I met my hubby at work, like so many people! 12 years later, and Im still glad I took that crummy job!
jmndowning@gmail.com

Laura Rachel Fox said...

Thanks for sharing this interview. I love the story about how she met her husband.

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I met my sweet hubby at College through a mutual friend. One night of romantic guitar playing outside his dorm room and I was hooked. We've been married almost 13 years.

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I'm a follower of this blog.

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I posted a link on Twitter

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I'm a follower of Chick Lit Central on Facebook

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Gaye Alexander said...

FB friend.

Would love to read this book! Not in a marriage or a relationship, but I can relate to mid-life crisis!

Gaye

Gayealx@aol.com

Wanda said...

I would love to be entered in your giveaway draw. Thanks!
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

I met my significant other through another friend.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

I am a follower through Google Friend Connect.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

I joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

I posted your giveaway on Twitter - @lemonslippers
http://twitter.com/lemonslippers/status/25518808387
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

I posted your giveaway on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000843986813&v=wall&story_fbid=150168291688982

wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

karenk said...

would love to read this novel...thanks for the chance :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

how about meeting someone at a class reunion?

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a follower :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow the blog!

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow on FB.

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I twittered it.

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow on twitter too.

Bonnie said...

I was a widow at 42 and my husband lived next door in an apartment bldg. and I hired him to mow my lawn at my house.....the rest is history and he has been a blessing and godsend in my life.
I am a follower.
intrepid9923@yahoo.com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, babe. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Kathryn said...

Wonderful that you have a Canadian author. :)

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kathryn said...

There is not any particular way I want to meet my significant other. I think you just have to be open to people and you never know what will happen in the future.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kathryn said...

I already follow this blog.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kathryn said...

Posting this on FB.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kathryn said...

I already follow the blog on FB.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

PoCoKat said...

Sounds like an excellent read.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

I met my husband at work.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

I follow on GFC.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca