Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Better off WITH Dee Ernst...plus a book giveaway
**Giveaway is now closed**
Dee Ernst was born in Newark, NJ and moved with her family to Morristown, NJ when she was still a toddler. She graduated Morristown High School determined to pursue a career as a writer in some form or another and attended Marshall University as a journalism major (as creative writing majors weren't high in demand at the time). When that didn't work out for her, she switched to an education major, which wasn't right for her either. As a stay-at-home mom still trying to figure out her career, she was inspired by a radio interview where someone said if you wanted to know what to with your life, remember what you were playing when you were ten, and try to turn that into a career. Since Dee was writing stories at ten, she sat down and wrote her first novel. Without much luck for that novel, or her second one, she self-published her third novel "Better Off Without Him" in October 2010. She is now waiting patiently for fame and fortune. In the meantime, "Better off Without Him" is available for Kindle and Nook and was recently reviewed here. It sounds like something you won't want to miss! Good thing Dee is giving away THREE e-books (worldwide) and a paperback (US only).
You can visit Dee on Facebook and at her blog.
MP: What is your usual writing routine?
DE: I try to sit down and seriously write once or twice a week, usually in the mornings. I work retail, so my hours are varied, but I'm usually home alone a few days during the week, and I can get three or four uninterrupted hours in.
MP: What do you do when you get writer’s block?
DE: When I get writer's block, I don't write. I usually have most of what's going to happen in my head, and before I go to bed at night, I can plan what I'll be writing about the next day. But if I'm stuck, I just stay away from the keyboard and concentrate on my real life, keeping the characters in my head, trying to move them forward. It sometimes takes a week, sometimes longer, and then something will click, and I'll get back into 'The Zone', the best place for me to be.
MA: What was most challenging about writing "Better off Without Him"?
DE: My biggest challenge was sticking to my story when I had a whole bunch of editors suggesting changes. Every time it was sent out, I got a very nice rejection letter, and a list of things I might do to improve. I took several of those suggestions, by the way, but I loved the central idea, and so did my agent, so the basic premise stayed the same.
MP: Which authors have inspired you?
DE: I love Mary Stewart, and read all of her books when I was younger. I admired her plucky heroines and cool, romantic men. I also love Susan Isaacs, and after reading her books, I understood that you could write a good, funny story without dumbing down your characters.
MP: Do you base characters on yourself?
DE: All my close friends tell me that, when reading the book, they could all 'hear me', so I guess Mona is alot like me. I have daughters, dogs and cats, great friends and live in New Jersey. She's younger, thinner, and has a much more successful writing career. The biggest difference is that I'm still happily married.
MA: If "Better off Without Him" were made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
DE: I tend to daydream alot about this. For Ben, I could only choose Jon Hamm. But then, if I wrote about a one-eyed green dwarf, I'd still want Jon Hamm. For Mona, I'm thinking Carla Gugino, one of my favorite actresses, or a brunette Tea Leoni. These two actresses are not just pretty women, but smart as well, and I think of Mona that way. Kim Catrall would be a great Patricia.
MA: Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
DE: Davy Jones of 'The Monkees'. Cutest guy ever.
MP: What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
DE: I donated a paperback copy of my book to my local library, and a good friend of mine works the desk there. I came in one afternoon, and she said, very loudly, "Look, it's a famous local author!" I immediatly spun around, looking, asking, "Where?" They all laughed at that one. I did too.
MA: What are you most thankful for this year?
DE: My oldest daughter, who lives on the other side of the country in Oregon, decided that she wanted to go back to school, finish her degree, and then go to law school. She's such a bright, amazing woman, and she's had her own business for years. I always thought that she could be one of those people who could really make a difference, she's that special. I'm glad she's finally seeing herself that way too and is taking a the first steps towards what I know will be a great change for her.
MA: What is your biggest addiction or vice?
DE: I love to play RPG games on Xbox. I find it very relaxing, after a long, hard day, to sit back and kill lots of CGI bad guys. It's silly, I know, and it's also very distracting, especially when I'm supposed to be writing!
We are thankful to Dee for visiting with us and sharing her book with our readers!
How to win "Better off Without Him":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)
Please also let us know which country you are located in.
Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
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. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.
Worldwide for e-book, but paperback is US only. Giveaway ends November 6th at midnight EST.