Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Susie Orman Schnall is balancing it all...plus a book giveaway

With only one week to go until her sophomore novel, The Balance Project, is published, Susie Orman Schnall is here to tell us more about it. 

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."

The Balance Project is already generating some "buzz" by being featured in "The Ultimate Spring Book Guide" on BuzzFeed.

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

Please share something important that stood out from one of your Balance Project interviews (a piece of advice, a motto, etc.).
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

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US only. Giveaway ends April 26th at midnight EST.


Janine said...

I would love to outsource balancing the checkbook to someone else. I always stress when it is time to do it because my husband has a lot of trouble with math and I have to make a lot of corrections.

Unknown said...

I would like to outsource housecleaning. I used to love it but now I've done it far too long!

cpr040304 said...

I find balance in my life by prioritizing my to do list and always make sure I make time for me. Reading and Baking are my two therapeutic activities.

Anonymous said...

I find balance by setting time aside for yoga. It keeps me sane enough to finish the not so fun but necessary tasks.

S.Sabia said...

I find balance by making time to read every single day. If I go more than a day without reading I find myself getting anxious, more stressed out, and generally not happy. Reading is my therapy!

Unknown said...

I'm not balance whatsoever! I desperately need a personal assistant!

traveler said...

I would love to outsource cleaning since it is endless.

Linda Kish said...

When I was working, I would come home after work and have an hour for myself to read the paper and do my crossword puzzle and relax before I picked my son up from after school care. I was a single mom and chose to take that hour a day for myself to de-stress from work and freeway traffic before dealing with homework, dinner and bedtime rituals. It made for a happier household and he had an extra hour to play with friends.

jpetroroy said...

I'd love to outsource cleaning the bathrooms!

Jessica said...

I think I'd like to outsource working for a living. Someone could just earn the money for me and then I could goof off all the time, lol.

Bonnie K. said...

Well, I wished the house would clean itself. I don't care for cleaning the house. Otherwise, I think I have a fairly good balance in life. My husband is good about helping with the care of our grandson. I can turn my hearing aids off and not worry about whether or not he gets the baby up. Reading is my favorite way to relax and being near the ocean is therapeutic.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

outsource housework

Jessica said...

I find balance when I go for a daily walk in the afternoon with a friend or by myself. It clears my mind and I am able to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

susieqlaw said...

I would love to outsource housekeeping.

Unknown said...

I'd love to outsource all the paperwork I have to fill out. It never seems to end! As soon as I finish one thing, some other thing to fill out comes along!

Lisamarie said...

If I have to outsource anything it would be cleaning the house... I learned early on when my kids were young to not so worry about having a spotless house. Spending time with my kids & family came first. A lot of the time that meant my house wasn't always clean. I would only do a few things on the weekend like vacuum or dust. I didn't let it consume my entire weekend or day.

Hailey Fish said...

I find balance by picking up a book and journeying into a different world!

Glenda H. said...

Reading is how I find my balance. Housecleaning is my most hated job...I would outsource that to someone else in a heartbeat!

Letty Blanchard said...

I would outsource housecleaning. I just don't enjoy doing it as much anymore (not that I ever found joy in it). That would allow for more reading time!!

Ruth Lyons Mazur said...

I live with migraine headaches 24/7 every day, despite treatments and medication, as well as 5 bulging lumbar discs, so getting through each day is a struggle. My husband has had to take over all the household responsibilities, so I would like to outsource grocery shopping, laundry and house cleaning, so he could have some time to himself.

Unknown said...

I would definitely outsource cleaning!