Today we welcome back the fabulous Allison Winn Scotch and celebrate the release of her fourth novel (which is TODAY), "The Song Remains the Same" (reviewed here). Happy pub day, Allison!
Allison is the bestselling author of "The One that I Want," "Time of My Life" and "The Department of Lost and Found." Prior to delving into fiction, she was a frequent contributor to numerous magazines and websites including Cooking Light, Men's Health, Fitness, Glamour, and Redbook, and now focuses on celebrity profiles for a variety of magazines. She lives in New York with her family.
You can find Allison at her website, Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also check out her first interview at CLC right here!
Thanks to Penguin, we have THREE copies of "The Song Remains the Same" to give away to some lucky readers anywhere in US or Canada.
In one sentence, what was road to publishing like?
Much more out of my control, and much easier and much harder, than I'd ever have imagined.
Mindlessly surfing the web. I was just thinking last night that the way I surf the web is the way that some people snack: habitual, without thought, tuned-out. I'll stay up way too late reading some gossip site that I don't care about at all, simply because I don't have the willpower to look away. Don't get me wrong: it's all in good fun, but still...I need to get more sleep! So I'm trying to shut down five minutes earlier each night. I mean, really, I'm not missing out on anything if I skip a page or two!
I think authors are the best people to ask this question - What have you read and loved lately? Any newbie authors or books you would recommend?
Yes – I'm just finishing up Nichole Bernier's "The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D," which is her debut that is out in June, and I've totally, totally loved it. One of the only books in a long time that had me racing to bed (and away from that iPad) to get to the next chapter. I also really enjoyed Joshilyn Jackson's "A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty," and Sere Prince Halverson's "The Underside of Joy." These days, I find myself gravitating toward books that deal with weightier subjects but are still "easy" reads. I have two kids, I'm exhausted by bedtime...I don't want to have to re-read a sentence three times to get it. Give me a great plot, wonderful stories and lyrical writing, and I'm sold. I'm also really looking forward to Jill Smolinski's "Objects of My Affection." I loved her book, "The Next Thing On My List." (She'd be a great interview for you guys too!)
If "The Song Remains the Same" was made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Oh my gosh, would you believe me if I told you I sincerely couldn't give you any names? Trust me, I've thought about this! Amy Adams or Emily Blunt might be a good choice for Nell...you need someone pretty but approachable. And then her younger sister, Rory, is drop-dead good-looking, so I don't know who that is. I picture someone with red hair, lanky and sexy…and I just don't know! The one character I have cast in my mind is Anderson, the hot B-lister who also survives the crash: I'd give it to Garrett Hedlund or Taylor Kitsch. (And then I'd require many on-set visits.)
What five authors or people, past or present, have been important to your writing? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
1) Laura Dave, who is a fantastic author in her own right, and my critique partner, so is also an invaluable part of my process and writing.
2) My high school english teacher, Tom Doelger, who was one of the first people to really actively encourage me to be a writer.
3) My mother, who was an English teacher, and insisted that my brother and I become voracious readers.
4) Judy Blume, who helped foster my love of reading as a child.
5) Stephen King, who might seem out of place on my list, but he's there for good reason: I was OBSESSED with him from about age 12-19. He was once of the first authors who taught me about "voice." I'd read his books and my own thoughts would start to mimic the tone and voice of his characters. It was a good lesson in how voice is really everything: your characters have to nearly-literally speak to your readers and get so embedded in their heads that they think about these characters, even when they've stepped away from a book.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate. ALWAYS chocolate.
What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
I get a lot of emails from readers who share how the books have affected them, and these emails are always my favorite part of the publishing process. When "The One That I Want" came out, I got an email from a reader who told me that she'd left college three decades earlier but that the book had inspired her to go back and complete her degree at the age of 56. I was so moved. I mean, that is a tangible impact that you've had on someone's life. I just…it was humbling. And made me truly grateful.
Favorite chick flick:
Toughie – a toss-up between Notting Hill and Never Been Kissed. With 27 Dresses coming in third. (I'd say Love, Actually, but I don't think that's a chick flick.)
Do you have a favorite travel destination?
Can you share some advice to future writers?
Read. A lot. You'll see how you can raise the bar of your own work by learning from others. Also, take your ego out of the equation and never stop trying to get better. I've written four books, and honestly, I'm still learning. I think it's really easy to say, "Oh, well, I'm good at this now," or "This manuscript doesn't need further revisions," but when you fall into that sort of mentality, I think you also fall short. Constructive criticism is so important if you're going to get better and/or get published. Embrace those critiques and learn from them.
Special thanks to Allison for visiting with us today and to Penguin for sharing "The Song Remains the Same" with our readers.
How to win "The Song Remains the Same":
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. "The Song Remains the Same" is centered around music and features Nell's playlist. What is a must-have song on YOUR playlist?
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 April 17th at midnight EST.