You may recall that we featured a cover reveal earlier this year. At the same time, I got to read The Balance Project in order to blurb it! All I can tell you for now is that you'll want to get your hands on a copy and it made me cry. This is what I had to say about it:
"Utterly compelling and impossible to put down, The Balance Project speaks volumes about how important it is for women at any stage of life to find realistic and meaningful balance."
Susie Orman Schnall is the author of the award winning novel On Grace (reviewed here), named one of the Kirkus Best Indie Books of 2014. She is the founder of The Balance Project popular interview series about the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. Her writing has been published by The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Times of India, The Nest, Glamour, Mind Body Green, Westchester Magazine among others. Susie graduated the University of Pennsylvania and now lives in New York with her husband and their three boys.
Visit Susie at her website, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, visit her Balance Project blog, where she interviews authors, celebrities, bloggers, entrepreneurs, etc. I was lucky enough to be featured last year and one of my close friends was recently featured, as well!
Thanks to BookSparks PR, we have ONE copy of The Balance Project to give away to a lucky US reader! For another chance to win, visit Confessions of a Bookaholic (@jenny_oregan). Her giveaway is worldwide!
What was your favorite part of writing The Balance Project? What was the most challenging part?
My favorite part was exploring the issue of work-life balance from the perspectives of both Lucy, a single, 25-year-old woman, and Katherine, her married, mother-of-two, highly successful, 45-year-old boss. Work-life balance is something most women struggle with in some capacity and it was interesting to see how two very different women, in two very different places in their lives and careers faced similar challenges. The most challenging part was balancing the love/hate relationship I want readers to have with Katherine.
What is the best compliment you've received on your writing? What is a piece of constructive feedback you've carried over from On Grace to use in The Balance Project?
The best compliment I've received was that I was able to articulate what a reader was feeling but what she couldn’t put into words and that readers were able to relate so much to my characters. As for constructive feedback for On Grace, some readers thought I spent too much time in Grace’s mind (whereas for other readers, that was their favorite part!). I did that less in The Balance Project, while still giving readers insight into what the main characters are experiencing.
If The Balance Project were to become a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
There are so many wonderful actresses who could portray Lucy and Katherine so well but if I had to choose:
Lucy: Shailene Woodley
Katherine: Reese Witherspoon
Nick: Channing Tatum
Theo: Tony Goldwyn
Ava: Zosia Mamet
Evan: Neil Patrick Harris
Brooke: Kristin Chenoweth
Matt: Patrick Warburton
This wasn’t actually in one of the interviews but was in an email an interviewee sent me after she completed answering the questions. It validates why this is such an important topic to discuss and why we need to change the conversation to acknowledge the fact that idealizing the ideal of the superwoman is unrealistic and eventually damaging to women. Here’s what she said:
"It was a challenge to put my thoughts into words. In doing so, it also became abundantly clear to me how out of balance my life really is!! To my friends and co-workers it may appear on the surface that I have my s%*t together, but I make major sacrifices to keep up with my kids and my very stressful and demanding job. The sacrifice I most often make is my own well-being. Participating in the Balance Project was a big wake-up call for me. I need to take better care of myself and make myself a priority....at least some of the time. If your goal is to show how women who we think are doing “it all,” really aren’t, I'm your girl! I love and greatly appreciate that you want to steer the conversation more toward that reality than toward the myth. When I first had my children and was really struggling, I searched high and low for answers, some secret formula. Not only did I fail to find any helpful advice, but I was very frustrated to find interviews with successful women I looked up to, which were clearly framed through rose-colored glasses. Thank you for putting the reality out there for so many women to see."
Which TV show(s) do you enjoy binge watching?
Scandal, Orange is the New Black, and Downton Abbey.
What was the last nice thing you did for yourself?
Recently I bought a beautiful bouquet of yellow tulips that I set on my writing desk next to my computer to bring a little spring into my life. It's still very rainy and dreary in New York, but these tulips make me smile!
Thanks to Susie for chatting with us and to BookSparks for sharing her book with our readers.
~Introduction and interview by Melissa Amster
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US only. Giveaway ends April 26th at midnight EST.