Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Carol Snow comes first for us...and she has a book to give away!

**Giveaway is now closed**

We are fortunate to have Carol Snow here today, as she has been called “an author to watch” by Booklist. She's a Brown University graduate who finds a way to add humor to everything she writes. In 2006, she published her first contemporary women's literature novel, "Been There, Done That" (Berkley/Penguin), which Publisher’s Weekly called “humorous, wise . . . romance with a bit of social commentary.” Since then, she has written four more books for adults, "Getting Warmer" (2007), "Here Today, Gone to Maui" (2009), "Just Like Me, Only Better" (2010) and as of October, 2011, the newly released "What Came First" (reviewed here). She has also written two young adult books for HarperCollins. Foreign rights to her books have sold to publishers in Germany, Norway, and Romania.

Carol Snow grew up in New Jersey and focused her childhood on reading books and avoiding dodgeball. In addition to her psychology degree from Brown University, she holds an M.A.T. in English from Boston College. Prior to getting her first novel published, she held an assortment of odd jobs ranging from being tour guide to working for a T-shirt company and later for a vanity press. She even had a short stint in local politics, designing pretty campaign brochures with flawless punctuation.

After moving away from her New Jersey roots, Carol has lived all over the place: Rhode Island, London, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Utah, Arizona and Southern California, where she currently shares a cat-fur-coated house with her husband and their two children. Aside from reading, she also enjoys going to the beach, taking photographs, cooking and dining out.

Carol is here today to talk about "What Came First," and has TWO trade paperback copies to give away to lucky readers in the US or Canada.

If you just can't get enough of Carol (we definitely can't), check out her website and then visit her at Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

MP: What do you do when you get writer’s block?
CS: I never really get writer’s block; I just go through phases where everything I write is complete crap that I know I will end up deleting. Those are unhappy days. But when I push through with enough bad writing, generally some good stuff starts to flow. Whatever their quality, words rarely come quickly. I feed my creative energy by consuming vast amounts of caffeine as well as salty snacks interspersed with fun-sized candy bars.

MP: What do you do when you’re not writing?
CS: Mom stuff: driving my kids, feeding my kids, talking to my kids, taking my kids to various appointments, watching my kids play sports. I really need to get a hobby, if only so I can say I have a hobby.

MA: What was the inspiration behind "What Came First?"
CS: There are book ideas that come in a flash, and others that come in bits and pieces. WHAT CAME FIRST falls into the second category -- which is too bad, because the “flash” books pretty much always have good stories attached to them. WHAT CAME FIRST came in stages. There were articles I read on sperm donation. There were the experiences I had as a mother in which I saw my husband or myself so clearly in our children. There were the moments when I wondered, “What is it like to choose your children’s father based on surface details?”

AB: Did you learn anything from writing "What Came First?" If so, what?
CS: I learned that it’s okay to take risks in my writing, both in subject and form. I wasn’t sure how people would receive a book that deals with something as physical as infertility and assisted reproduction – plus I didn’t know if I’d be up to the task of talking about it. But I’ve been thrilled with the response, plus I’ve gotten really good – if not exactly comfortable – saying sperm. Sperm, sperm, sperm. (See?) More than the reproduction aspect of the story, the motherhood issues have resonated with readers. One of my characters, Wendy, is a loving yet kind of disastrous mother. Her twins are so wild that she’s overwhelmed and regularly resorts to screaming, bribery, and pretty much every other tactic that parenting books tell you to avoid. I really thought readers would see her as being a terrible mother . . . but it seems that only the childless readers do!
As for form, this is the first book I’ve written from multiple perspectives, and I was committed to making sure that each voice was distinct. At times, I felt like there were way too many people living in my head, but I think the very different perspectives give this book a lot of dimensions.

MA: How did you decide to write chick lit?
CS: I didn’t! I began my first novel (which I never finished) in 1991 – well before Bridget Jones or Sex and The City. My goal was to create humorous, fast-paced, well-written fiction. My role models included ElinorLipman, Cathleen Schine, and Sarah Bird. Years passed before I finished and sold something; Been There, Done That came out in 2006. By then, there was a genre to slot my work into, which has been both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, I love that there are so many dedicated chick lit readers who know that the genre is filled with lots of smart books. On the other hand, I could do without the half-naked women on my covers as well as the condescending readers (and authors) who write off the entire genre without taking the time to read any of it.

MA: If "What Came First" were made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
CS: I answered this question for “My Book, The Movie” – here’s what I said:
Laura (an attractive, self-contained, slightly chilly lawyer and single mom): Téa Leoni

Ian (Laura’s eight-year-old son): Any random blonde kid from the Disney Channel stable; twins preferred

Vanessa (twenty-nine-year-old dental receptionist, eager to start a family with her commitment-phobic boyfriend): America Ferrera looking like she really does, not like "Ugly Betty"

Eric (Vanessa’s boyfriend; thirty-two-year-old slacker and failed musician): Eric Hutchinson, a successful musician whom I pictured while writing the book

Wendy (fortyish, frazzled, frumpy, overweight mother of wild five-year-old twins; conceived via same sperm donor as Laura): We’d have to go with an unknown actress; no one fitting that description has ever found any screen success!

MA: What theme would you like to see more of in chick lit novels to give them an original flair? (As opposed to the common themes of cooking, divorce, travel, etc.)
CS: I once joked that I was going to write a book called “The Jane Austen Cooking and Knitting Club Goes to the Beach,” and a friend thought that was a good idea. And she wasn’t kidding. There’s no one theme I would like to see less of in chick lit novels; rather, I’d like to see fewer “me too” books centered around well-worn themes.

AB: Are you a cat or dog person?
CS: I’m a cat person. No, I’m a cat freak. When it comes to Cecil (age 18) and Cookie (age 6), my entire family has an ancient Egyptian sensibility: they are deities and we exist to serve them. Cecil and Cookie find this arrangement acceptable.

MP: What is the strangest or craziest date you have ever been on?
CS: I’ve been with my husband for twenty-two years, so I guess our strangest/craziest date would have to be . . . childbirth?

MP: What are you most thankful for this year?
CS: That my husband, kids & I are all happy and healthy, at least most of the time. I know that sounds like a stock answer, but it’s true!

We are thankful to Carol for writing a fantastic new novel, telling us about the background of it and sharing copies with our readers!

How to win "What Came First":
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.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. There's a part in the book that takes place at Hooter's. Have you ever eaten at Hooter's and did it meet or defy your expectations? If you haven't yet, would you?
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.

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends November 21st at midnight EST.


Nina said...

I can get behind anyone who spent their childhood avoiding dodgeball! Haha.
I unfortunately did have the pleasure going to a Hooter's for a friend's 18th birthday. Unfortunately we were naive 18 year old girls who had no idea how they make the birthday girl celebrate. If the food was good I would have forgiven them though! Oh well. ;)

Unknown said...

heike6 AT

I've gone to Hooters several times because the guy we were meeting liked to eat there (big surprise). The chicken fingers are pretty good.

I'm already a follower of your great blog!

Marthalynn said...

I have eaten at Hooters a few times and I'm quite underwhelmed. There are definitely better wings out there. I have mixed feelings about the place, but they're mostly negative.

I follow you on gfc :)

marthalynn16 (at) gmail (dot) com

Tiffany Drew said...

I have never eaten at a Hooters and I never will. I prefer my host/hostess to actually wear clothes :)

GFC follower Tiffany Drew
Facebook member Tiffany Drew


Stephanie said...

I've been to Hooters twice and the food was pretty good.

I'm a gfc follower!

Kritters Ramblings said...

I have eaten at Hooters and no the food wasn't good, so I never returned.

I follow this blog.
I am a fan on facebook.

Literary Chanteuse said...

I did eat at one once and to be honest I was expecting something different. I thought it was more of a gentleman's club than a restaurant. The girls I think are as sadly dressed but most hostesses at restaurants are starting to almost look the same I hate to say. Very short skirts or skimpy outfits anyway as though they are saving time for going out clubbing after their shift I guess. Hooters to me is over rated. Just checkout facebook the young girls are wear similar and showing the world there too.

I'm a follower.


Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

I have not eaten at Hooters and don't plan on it. They closed the one near me. The idea behind the restaurant doesn't interest me no matter how good the food is.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

Have never had anything to do with hooters and never. Will.

I follow via gfc, fb, and twitter

Brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

Laura Kay said...

I would love to read Carol's book!

Hooters--yes, I ate their recently. I thought the food was ok. I honestly felt dirty eating there, lol. I mean no offense but gesh some of the guys there, ugh anyway you just kinda knew why they were there and it wasn't for the wings. lol. I wouldn't go back.

I am a follower (of course! You ladies are awesome)!

lol, sorry I'm in a really good mood and drank way too much coffee this morning :D

I am on the facebook group, love it

what else...oh I'll go put this on my blog! love to spread the word for great giveaways!

Laura Kay

Colleen Turner said...

I have heard such good things about this book and I cannot wait to read it!

I have been to Hooters plenty of times and I think the food is good, like any other junk food kind of place. I actually like chicken wings and could care less what the waitresses wear so I have no problem with it!

I am a GFC follower (Colleen Turner).
I am a Facebook follower (Colleen Turner).


Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I have eaten at Hooters and it definitely met my expectation for wings. I love wings. ;)

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I'm a follower of your blog!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I also follow on FB!

amber_johnson2004 at yahoo dot com

Norma said...

I've never eaten at a Hooters, nor to the best of my knowledge have I ever seen one (sorry thing that I am! ;-)) Can't say that I would enjoy it either, but then I prefer to go to the local mom and pop's places and avoid the franchises.

I follow on FB as Norma Jean Storms

snostorm55 at yahoo dot com

holdenj said...

I've enjoyed a couple of Carol's other books and would love to win and read this one!

I've never been to a Hooters!

I am a GFC follower.


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this the cover.

i have never eaten at hooters.

i'm a follower, too :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Kristen said...

I ate at a Hooter's once after losing a bet. I thought the food was just okay, but that may be the bitterness talking over losing the bet in the first place!

I follow on FB.


Na said...

I have been looking forward to reading "What Came First" and am glad to see a chance to learn more about it and win it.

I have never been to Hooters or many bars for that matter but I imagine it's just like any restaurants. Noisy, a lot of socializing and perhaps more bautiful servers than average but not that much different.

I am a GFC follower.

Michelle from Sew Shellz said...

1. mzanfardino(at)nc.rr(dot)com

2. Never been to Hooters and never plan to go. My brother has been and swears that they have good wings?!

3. I follow CLC Blog

Krystal Lynn said...

Hooters in downtown San Antonio was the place my friend and I went to see our Spurs games during the playoffs. The atmosphere was fun because of the game, lots of cheering and happy people/fans everywhere. It was great and I loved the food.


Dolly said...

I ate at Hooters once, but I'm not a big fan of wings. I thought the orange get-ups looked really uncomfortable (and not very hygenic).

jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com

Dolly said...

I'm already a blog & FB follower.

jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

I have never eaten at Hooters and yes I probably would, if the chance arose.

I am a GFC follower and 'Like' CLC on Facebook.



StereoQueenBee said...

1. There's a part in the book that takes place at Hooter's. Have you ever eaten at Hooter's and did it meet or defy your expectations? If you haven't yet, would you

I have. Food was what I'd expect from a chain place. To be ironic, I bought a shirt from there.

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Already follow.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

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.)

Am a member.

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I have gone to Hooters, many, many years ago. It wasnt a place I wanted to return to!
I follow the blog
I "like" on twitter
I tweeted about the contest

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book!

I have never eaten at Hooter's and I've never had any desire to eat there.

GFC Follower

FB Post!/nancyecdavis/posts/198537620225490


I follow/like you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Jennifer L. said...

I'd love to read this book. I'm also really enjoying these interviews with the writers. Very interesting.
Jennifer L.
jentam777 at gmail dot com

Jennifer L. said...

I follow your blog on gfc as Jennifer L.
jentam777 at gmail dot com

JBarr5 said...

follow via gfc and fb
i have never been to hooters, think it's for the men to oogle at big breasted women? LOL i'd never want to go myself.
Book sounds like a good read. thanks for having this contest.
jbarrett5 at