Thursday, June 26, 2014

Glynis Astie takes us to France...plus a book giveaway

I recently met our featured author, Glynis Astie. We were at BookBuzz 2014 together. Sadly, we didn't get any pictures of the two of us, but we did get to chat for a while and our friends also connected with each other for networking purposes. (And just ask anyone else who attended the event if you still don't believe me.) Like all the attendees at BookBuzz, Glynis is as sweet and friendly in person as she is via e-mail. I enjoy chatting with her about having young children and how life can get pretty crazy as a result! I also love her name. It has a musical feel to it. Glynis is here today to talk about her TWO novels, French Twist and French Toast. She even has a set of both books for a lucky US reader!

Glynis grew up as the youngest of three children in Rockland County, New York. Her mother remarried when she was six and she gained not only an amazing father, but three wonderful sisters. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University and worked in Social Service for two years before transitioning to Human Resources. After thirteen years in HR, she decided to make good on her promise to write a book. Rather than detailing the years of bizarre employee relations issues she had encountered (as this may land her in more than a bit of trouble), she elected to write the story of how she met and married her husband, Sebastien, in six short months.

Glynis currently lives in Westchester, New York with her incredibly romantic husband and two angelic sons. When she is not writing she is usually rushing to the gym, wracking her brain to remember third grade math to help her son with his homework, rescuing toys from certain destruction down the toilet and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity. (Bio courtesy of Glynis' website.)

Visit Glynis on Facebook and Twitter.

What inspired you to write French Twist and French Toast?
Sometimes that fact that I have written two books still seems bizarre to me! I never had aspirations of being an author, but my new journey began with the decision to stay at home with my two sons. It took a year for me to adjust to this new life (which was MUCH harder than I thought it would be), but once we had a routine, I found myself in need of a project. A few weeks later, I had a dream that I wrote a book about how my husband and I met. It had been a popular story over the years and I had often thought that it would make a good movie, but I wondered if I had the talent to write a book.

After a couple of weeks of jotting down notes, I had an outline and three months later, I had completed the draft of French Twist. Since there was still so much more to the story, I decided to write a trilogy. French Twist chronicles how I met and married my husband in six months. French Toast delves into the difficulty of the first year of marriage - coupled with planning our second and third weddings. (Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?) I am currently writing the last book in the series, French Fry, which will cover an unexpected twist in our lives.

And the best part is that after twelve years and two kids, my husband and I are still like giddy teenagers. (When we are not fighting, that is!)

What has been the easiest thing about writing your novels? Most challenging?
The easiest thing, hands down, has been that my novels are based on my life. Although, I will admit that the further into the series I have gotten, the more fiction I have added. The characters are without a doubt based on my family and friends, but the storylines have been condensed, character traits have been exaggerated for comedic effect and a few events have been added for continuity. My favorite parts are the dialogues involving my parents. They both passed away before any of my books were published and writing in their voices makes me miss them a little less.

The most challenging thing has been deciding how much of myself and my family to share with the world. I was a little more careful with my family members – painting them in the best possible light – but was fairly honest when it came to myself. I have spent years being the consummate worrier and decided to finally put this “talent” to good use. Sydney is extremely high-strung and spastic, but she is also kind, compassionate and funny. I think that I have been able to create a neurotic, yet lovable main character. The comments about how CRAZY Sydney is sting just a little, but the amount of laughter that has resulted from her antics makes it more than worth it to me.

If you could cast the lead characters of French Twist and French Toast in a movie, which actors would you choose?
I love this question! I have given it a lot of thought and have decided that I would choose Anne Hathaway to play Sydney Bennett. She is admittedly far more gorgeous than I am, but this is a fantasy, right? She would need to sport long flowing tresses, so I guess we would need to supply her with a wig since her hair is now in a very short pixie cut. But she has the height, the gorgeous brown eyes and the charm that I am able to project to the rest of the world.
She would be perfect for this role since she is intelligent and funny, but also very adept at playing awkward. Believe me when I tell you that I am awkward with a capital “A.” She would not be fazed by the babbling, pratfalls and absolute lunacy that I tend to showcase. You would have to be a talented actress indeed to make those traits appear endearing, as I hope that I have accomplished in both French Twist and French Toast. You will have to be the judge!

To make things a little more fun, I let my husband choose his own actor. He went with the gorgeous Jason Statham to play his alter ego, Louis Durand. I heartily approve of this choice. Mr. Statham is charming, funny and extremely engaging, just like my husband. And he has just the right amount of attitude! Though he may not be from France, I am sure that he could do a wonderful approximation of my husband’s accent – which is actually not a classic French accent, but more of a European mix. People often have trouble placing where he is from when they hear him speak. They most often guess Germany!

What is the most French thing you've done?
I ate snails while visiting my husband’s family in the south of France. Snails! My husband promised me that I would love them -and I almost believed him since pretty much anything doused in garlic and butter is good, but no. Just NO. The slime factor is just way too high. I redeemed myself in my husband’s eyes by trying the frog legs, but I’m not going to lie to you; they weren’t that much better than the snails!

Now that you've experienced BookBuzz, what would you tell authors and readers so that they would attend in the future?
I had such a wonderful time at BookBuzz! I would tell anyone who will listen that this event is not only a whole lot of fun, but also a wonderful opportunity to meet so many of the writers, bloggers and readers that you have been communicating with through social media. You have the chance to get all dressed up, head out to a fun venue, meet fabulous people, have scintillating conversations AND buy books. Not to mention the tasty hors d'oeuvres and the giveaways. What more can you ask for?

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
These days, most funny things in my life involve my boys. However, this time, I managed to do something funny all on my own. My family and I attended a party given by some friends of ours whom I consider to be rather talented hosts. They always have delicious food, enticing music and fun activities. About halfway through the party, I set off in search of a snack and made a stop at the barbeque to check out the available options. I picked up a skewer of what I thought was sausage and popped a piece in my mouth. My host smiled and me and asked what I thought. After I told him that I thought it was delicious, he laughed and told me that he was pleased with my appreciation for chicken hearts. (Chicken hearts!) I started laughing with him and was secretly glad that he hadn’t told me what I was eating beforehand, since I most likely wouldn’t have tried it. Oh, the interesting things that I have eaten...

Thanks to Glynis for visiting with us and sharing her books with our readers!

~Introduction and interview by Melissa Amster

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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US only. Giveaway ends July 1st at midnight EST.

25 comments:

Janine said...

I'm not experimental at all when it comes to food. A delicacy I would never try would be caviar. I just couldn't do it.

TinaB said...

I'm not an adventurous eater at all!

Melanie Backus said...

I refuse to eat snails!

Vivian Vereeke said...

I am a very fussy eater (I didn't grow out of if when I grew up, shucks!)so there are a whole lot of things I would never try.

Glynis Astie said...

Hi, Melissa! Thank you for having me on your wonderful blog. :) Last night my husband had an appetizer of tripe. I would never eat that!

Bridget T. said...

I tried calamari. That is the extent of my adventurous nature.

Reese78 said...

I'm a pretty picky eater...I don't think I could ever eat sushi, caviar or escargot. Yuck!

Lisamarie said...

I had escargot in Paris...blech!
I refuse to eat oysters, it looks and sounds like snot.

Mary Mac said...

I don't think I would ever try squid.

Linda Kish said...

I have had escargot, oysters, clams, crab, lobster. I found out after I had eaten the clams, crab and lobster and gotten deathly ill that I am allergic to shellfish so that wasn't very good. But the escargot was really good. I have also had octopus and it's really good too.

Chanpreet said...

I refuse to try veal or pate. I'm against killing babies and eating an animal that was force fed to death.

I love to try new foods so it bothers me that I'll never feel comfortable eating either. :/

Chanpreet said...

I refuse to try veal or pate. I'm against killing babies and eating an animal that was force fed to death.

I love to try new foods so it bothers me that I'll never feel comfortable eating either. :/

Jessica Meddick said...

I know some cultures eat dog but I will never ever do it!

Connie said...

I'm up for tasting just about anything. When I lived in France, I ate some strange things. One thing would be a type of winkle that was boiled and dug out of its shell with a small nail. Quite tasty as part of a first course shellfish dish of raw oysters, clams, shrimp, etc. Yummy!

Bonnie K. said...

Frog legs were the strangest I've ever tried. I grew up eating squid prepared differently. Also, had abalone. I initially balked at eating oysters, but I've grown to like them.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Kimberly V said...

Goat's brain and eye.

Mary Jo Burke said...

No to oysters

pascale said...

the yuckiest thing I ever ate was brain: my grandmother (in france) tried to convince me it was scrambled eggs.
disgusting.

Anita Yancey said...

I haven't ate anything weird. But I refuse to eat oysters or frog legs. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Suzanne said...

I have tried alligator (when I was a kid, nonetheless). And yes, it tastes like chicken!

bn100 said...

not interested in eating bugs

Erica said...

I won;t eat snails -- no matter what.

wordywon at gmail dot com

Katherine Ivan said...

I love escargot and anything that comes from the sea. I've yet to be presented with something that I have refused to try. *However* -- the items "Survivor" contestants have had to put down their gullets are considered delicacies in the part of the world in which a particular season is set, and much of those things I don't think I would be able to get down. Bugs and so forth? No, thank you.

Tami said...

I refuse to eat veal. Just can't stomach the thought of eating baby -cows ;-( My family loves it but I won't even try it

winemama said...

rattlesnake!