|Photo by Aram Boghosian|
Today we welcome Meredith Goldstein and her debut novel "The Singles" (reviewed here). Meredith is an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe. Her column "Love Letters" is a daily dispatch of wisdom for the lovelorn that gets about one MILLION page views every month on Boston.com. "Love Letters" appears in the Globe’s print edition every Saturday. Meredith also writes about questionable dresses, fake rock stars, former boy band singers, female werewolves, self-help books, last picture shows, and how to sound like Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.
Meredith was born in New Jersey, raised in Maryland, went to Syracuse University, and now lives in Roxbury, Massachusetts with a carnival-size cotton candy machine that she bought for herself on her 30th birthday.
Thanks to Penguin we have THREE books to give away to some lucky readers anywhere in the US or Canada.
Visit Meredith at her website and Twitter page.
Chick lit character you'd be best friends with.
Sophie from "The Wonder Spot." I’d love to watch TV with her. (And Melissa Bank.)
Who are two authors who have inspired you and why?
Tom Perrotta because I love the way he writes men. It’s important that men are genuine and multi-dimensional, even in chick lit. And I am inspired every day by Stephenie Meyer. I mean, you can say whatever you want about “Twilight,” but the woman had a vision and wrote a story that became many people’s reason to get up in the morning. That’s pretty great.
How did you decide to write chick lit?
I don’t know if I made that decision consciously. I just knew that I wanted to write a book about people who were alone at the same wedding. I had been to so many weddings by myself and I knew there was a book in those experiences. I don’t know if I thought much about genre until I was close to being finished with the novel. But what a lovely genre. I have great company, that’s for sure.
What do you do when you experience writer's block?
I walk around Jamaica Pond in Boston. It’s lovely and gets me thinking. Getting out of the apartment always helps.
Since one of your characters is addicted to V.C. Andrews novels, this begs the question: What is your history with V.C. Andrews and what is your favorite novel of hers?
I read too many of those books when I was a kid. My favorite was probably "Petals on the Wind." Sometimes when I read the hype about "Fifty Shades of Grey," I think, “But where are the weird dungeons and attics and couples who turn out to be siblings and twin sisters who turn out to be imaginary?”
First chick lit novel you ever read.
"The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing." My first and favorite.
What is one piece of advice you have for future writers?
Don’t be afraid to show people your work. I kept my work to myself for the better part of a year because I was afraid that everyone would hate it. When I finally got brave and gave it to my sister – who isn’t always the nicest editor -- it was fantastic. She loved it. And her comments were so helpful. It got the project rolling.
Music that feels most like chick lit.
One of the most important characters in my book, who happens to be a dog, is named after Liz Phair. For that reason, I have to say Liz. A good song for dancing after chapters: Liz Phair, “Whip-Smart.”
Do you go for sweets or salt?
Sweets. Always. I own a full-size cotton candy machine.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The book has been optioned for film by Lime Orchard Productions, which meant that I got to meet one of the company’s partners, actress Jami Gertz. I used to watch Jami’s movie The Lost Boys over and over and over as a kid. When I shook her hand in December, the 13-year-old girl in me was screaming with glee. I tried to play it cool but I know my hands were sweaty.
Special thanks to Meredith for chatting with us and to Penguin for sharing "The Singles" with our readers.
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US/Canada only. Giveaway ends May 20th at midnight EST.