Fast forward about a year later to another book event featuring the same three Chick Lit authors. This time I didn't have one of Stacey's books with me to be signed, but I wanted to say "hello" anyhow, even though I was SURE she had no clue who I was. Man, was I wrong!
I write about this today because we at Chick Lit Central are delighted to have Stacey Ballis stop by for a visit in honor of the release of her new novel, Out To Lunch (reviewed here).
Stacey hails from my home town of Chicago, Illinois. While at Brandeis, she double majored in English Literature and American Studies, and did a minor in Creative Writing. She also has a Masters of Arts in Education which she used during her time as an educator prior to writing full time.
So please give a warm welcome to one of the nicest authors I've ever met, Stacey Ballis!
Thanks to Berkley, we have TWO copies of Out To Lunch for some lucky US readers!
Visit Stacey at her website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
|Two ladies with rhyming names... (Chicago, 2013)|
Of all the characters you've created, which one do you love to hate and why?
How do you think your husband would describe your writing process?
My poor Charming Suitor. He puts up with so much. I would think he would describe my writing process as the following: "She is giddy about new book. Takes about a month to bask in the new bookness of the new book. Writes a few pages of notes about the new book. Takes another month to bask in having been so productive so far ahead of time. Spends three to four months cooking new recipes and cleaning out closets and reorganizing the spice rack and generally keeps very busy doing everything except writing the new book. Panics and writes first four chapters in a mad rush. Takes a month to bask in having written such a good chunk so fast. Spends three to four months abandoning me two of three days a week to go the family weekend place to write in large spurts without disruption, meanwhile spending the rest of the week at home, working just enough to let the house go to pot. We refer to these as the “Take-Out or Popcorn for Dinner” weeks. Finishes book, and there is champagne and celebrating. Spends a couple of months relaxing and enjoying having turned in a manuscript for which there are no notes to address as yet. Gets notes and attacks them with laser focus until finished, returning to Popcorn for Dinner mode. Does line edits and first pass pages, which are the cranky times, requiring much gin and chocolate. Finishes final edits, more champagne. Repeat annually.” He is my biggest fan and supporter and I truly could not do it without him. He deserves a sainthood, as do most people who live with artists.
I’ve been writing in some format since I was six or seven. I simply don’t really breathe very well if I don’t. There really isn’t another good reason, frankly. Anyone who says different should be in a new line of work.
How long does it take for you to complete the first draft of a novel?
First drafts take about nine months to a year all in. See above for why.
Top three favorite places to grab brunch/lunch:
Lula Café is number one, I lunch there with my girls as often as possible. Homegrown Café a close second. And if I’m in New York, Norma’s.
Once upon a time you taught and were a Director of Education. What is the biggest lesson you learned from that part of your career that you've carried with you in the years that have followed?
Being an educator taught me patience and humanity. I have to be patient with myself, to let the words come the way they want to, to let the story develop in its own way and in its own time. And I have to have enough humanity to fully understand all of the characters I write, even when I don’t like them or their actions, I have to find what is real and human about them.
When can we expect you to publish a cookbook?
Perfect question! My first digital cookbook will be out in October of 2014! Stay tuned….
Never in a million years did I ever imagined . . .
…that I would have my dream husband, my dream job, and my dream house all at the same time. I predict that I shall likely be a dung beetle in my next life to balance out all this amazing good luck and happiness.
Thanks again to Stacey for chatting with us and Berkley for sharing her book with our readers.
~Introduction and interview by Tracey Meyers
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US only. Giveaway ends December 10th at midnight EST.