Thursday, August 29, 2013

Writing is a piece of cake for Jerrica Knight-Catania...plus a book giveaway

Introduction and interview by Melissa Amster

"Matchbaker, Matchbaker, bake me a match..."

Wait...that doesn't sound right! However, when you combine the title of Jerrica Knight-Catania's first chick lit novel with the fact that she performed in musical theater, it's hard not to get a certain tune out of your head. At least that's the case for me!

Jerrica Knight-Catania is best known for her Regency Romance novels, but she is now coasting onto the chick lit scene with The Matchbaker, a romantic comedy involving magic and cupcakes. She recently moved from New Jersey to Florida with her husband and their three year-old daughter. These days, when she's not writing or spending time with her daughter, you can find her shopping or at the beach. You might even catch her at Disney World, if you're lucky!

Here's more about The Matchbaker:

Ingredients:
1C Chaos
1Tbsp Romance
3Tsp Betrayal
2C Comedy
1Pinch Magic

Candace Cooper is living the life she set out to live. With a posh apartment in Manhattan, a high-powered job that takes her all over the world, and designer clothes that most women would kill to have in their closet, she's definitely living the high life. But when her best friend drags her to a seedy section of Paris to meet with a crack-pot fortune teller, she hears things she doesn't want to hear. She desperately tries to ignore the unsolicited advice, but that becomes nearly impossible when her perfect life starts to unravel.

"Filled with comedic catastrophes, magical mishaps, romantic blunders, and tasty recipes, The Matchbaker will have you laughing, crying and reaching for the nearest box of baked goods!" Ava Stone, Amazon Best Selling Author

**Includes Cupcake Recipes from Erin Knightley, Polkadot Cupcake Shop & Sugarcain Cupcakes**

You can find Jerrica at her website, Facebook and Twitter. She's giving away an e-book of The Matchbaker to one lucky reader anywhere in the world!

You've written historical romance, as well as contemporary novellas. What was the experience of writing a chick lit novel like in relation to those?
I stared reading chick lit long before I started reading/writing historical romance novels, so it's definitely always been in the back of my mind that I wanted to give it go. I've even had people say, based on my historicals, that I had a great "voice" for chick lit. So, finding my voice wasn't a challenge at all. I had a much bigger challenge with the technical aspects. I've been writing in third person past for so long -- switching to first person present was HARD!! Even after many, many pass-throughs, professional editors and beta readers, I still found passages that slipped into past tense! Now that I'm back to work on a Regency novella, I'm finding it hard to stay in third person past. Gah!

How did you come up with the idea for The Matchbaker?
I've always had an affinity for all things magical. I cut my teeth on Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a young girl, was *obsessed* with The Craft in high school, and...well, you get the idea. If the movie had magic in it, I was there on opening night and it got regular play in my VCR. Then a few years back, my husband and I started The NYCupcake Guide -- a guide to all of NYC's cupcakeries. I don't remember the day or even the moment, but one day I thought, "Hey! What if someone could infuse their cupcakes with magic?" And The Matchbaker was born :)

What are three items you must have on hand while writing?
Laptop (too obvious??)
Water
Phone (to answer texts/time myself for writing sprints)

If The Matchbaker were made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
I love this question, because I really do see The Matchbaker as a movie (ahem, any movie producers out there?) In my mind I see Rachel McAdams as Candy, Candace Accola as Holly, Ryan Reynolds as Joe and James Marsden as Colin.

I can definitely relate to not wanting to be a stay-at-home mom (per your "About Me" page). What are the benefits and challenges for you, as a working mom?
I'm actually a work-at-home mom, and I wouldn't be able to do it without help. We had a nanny in NY and now that we're in FL, she's in a fantastic preschool that we all love. But even at that, changing hats at 3:30pm can be challenging. If I'm in the middle of a good scene and have to close up shop to become Mommy, I have to overcome that "Grrrr!" feeling. But I know how lucky I am to have the freedom not to work if we decide to, say, head up to Disney World for a few days :)

What is the biggest difference for you between living in New Jersey and living in Florida?
Well, as mentioned above, we never could have taken quick trips to Disney World before! But really, NYC/NJ was great when we were young and childless, but after 15 years of living in Manhattan (or in an immediate suburb), and after 2.5 years of city living with a child, we were just plain tired. We wanted a slower, calmer way of life. We wanted a home with a back yard. We wanted weather that allowed us to be outdoors year-round. We've gotten all of that and more!

You mention on your "About Me" page that you were once a musical theater performer. Which musical was your favorite to perform in?
My all-time favorite role was Aldonza in Man of La Mancha. It really stretched me as a singer and an actress, plus it's a very short show! It only took me a week to memorize my lines/songs and we were out of the theater by 9:30 every night. After doing three-hour Rogers & Hammerstein sagas, this was a gift!!


Since your book involves baking, what is your favorite dessert to make?
I love to bake cakes/cupcakes/muffins. I experiment all the time, especially now that my daughter is 3 and loves to help. The biggest hit is usually the yogurt muffins that I got from the book Bringing Up Bebe. I make them with plain greek yogurt and chocolate chips, and people flip over them! However, yesterday we made a Snickerdoodle cake to give to her teachers, and I have a feeling that's going to be the new favorite :)

Special thanks to Jerrica for visiting with us and sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. If you have questions on how to use it, e-mail us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Open worldwide. Giveaway ends September 3rd at midnight EST.

22 comments:

Connie said...

I would love to be Auntie Mame!!

Thanks for the fun giveaway. I love Jerrica’s novels. Throw in a cupcake and I’m all in! :-)

AvonLadyJerrica said...

LOL, Connie! Mame is such a fun show :)

And thank you! I hope you enjoy the book!

Mary Jo Burke said...

Eliza Doolittle

AvonLadyJerrica said...

Mary Jo, my hubby and I got to do the National Tour of My Fair Lady...that's that 3-hour Rogers and Hammerstein show that I was referring to. lol. Eliza's a great role, though!

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

Awesome!

I'd like to play Glinda from Wicked. I can't carry a note and would make the audience cringe, but I LOVE the music!

AvonLadyJerrica said...

Oh, Dirty Laundry,

That's one of my all-time favorite shows. Though I'm torn between wanting to be Glinda and wanting to be Elphaba. They both have their merits. lol.

Nova said...

Love Dreamgirls! Would want to be one of the back up singers.

Janine said...

I've never seen or know much about musicals. but, if I had to choose to be in one, I would choose Cats, because I just love cats. Anyone who knows me, knows this about me. This book sounds like it will be a lot of fun to read.

susieqlaw said...

Annie from the Musical Annie. I have all the songs memorized! it would be so much fun!

Terri. said...

Julie Jordan from Carousel

holdenj said...

Mame! If only I could actually sing. And dance. Thanks!

AvonLadyJerrica said...

Nova, Dreamgirls is a great show! Would definitely be a fun one to be in!

AvonLadyJerrica said...

Janine, I love Cats, the musical and the animal :)

AvonLadyJerrica said...

SusieQ, I had curly red hair as a child, and everyone used to say I looked just like Annie. I even won 3rd runner up in an Annie look-alike contest when I was 3!

AvonLadyJerrica said...

Terri, Carousel is one of my all-time favorites. I've never gotten to play Julie, but I've played her many times in my living room. lol.

bn100 said...

Belle from beauty and the beast

AvonLadyJerrica said...

bn100, YES! I'm a Disney fanatic (in case you didn't catch that in the interview. lol.) Belle is one of my all-time favorites :)

Jessica said...

Glenda the good witch from Wicked. =]

Thanks so much!

TinaB said...

Glenda from Wicked!

Bridget O'Neill said...

I'd love to be Elphaba from Wicked. She has the best songs! :)

Mary Preston said...

Maria from THE SOUND OF MUSIC. So much fun.

rubynreba said...

Dorothy from Wizard for Oz