Thursday, July 30, 2020

Angela Terry's charming ways...plus a book giveaway

Photo by Sarah Deragon
Introduction by Melissa Amster

I first met Angela Terry when she was a regular visitor to CLC, sometime after we had started out. She even told me how we had some mutual acquaintances in this small world. We continued to stay in touch via social media and I was thrilled to find out that she was publishing a novel. I knew I had to get my hands on it right away. And I'm glad I did because it was such an enjoyable read! (My review is coming soon.) I look forward to reading whatever she has in store next (as I hope this wasn't a one-time thing). In the meantime, Angela has TWO copies of Charming Falls Apart to share with some lucky readers!

Aside from us both hailing from the Chicago suburbs and moving to opposite ends of the country, we have a lot of favorite authors in common and we both were introduced to Chick Lit through the same novel (as you'll see from our interview). Nowadays, we are both fans of Schitt's Creek

Angela Terry is an attorney who formerly practiced intellectual property law at large firms in Chicago and San Francisco. She is also a Chicago Marathon legacy runner and races to raise money for PAWS Chicago—the Midwest’s largest no-kill shelter. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and two cats, and enjoys throwing novel-themed dinner parties for her women’s fiction book club. (Bio courtesy of Angela's website.)

Visit Angela online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest 



Synopsis:
Allison James is a people pleaser and rule follower, but the day before her thirty-fifth birthday, that all backfires: she is unexpectedly fired from the public relations firm she’s worked at for twelve years, only to come home and find out that her fiancĂ© has been sleeping with her maid of honor.

Feeling lost, Allison takes her friend Jordan’s advice and uses the time off for some self-reflection. Over the next few months, she devours countless self-help books (albeit skeptically), schedules a soul reading with an astrologer/psychic/magician, and goes on a meditation retreat in Costa Rica, where she finally starts to feel like she’s getting her groove back.

Back at home, her desire to escape the condo she once shared with her fiancĂ© makes her a regular at the new coffeehouse in her neighborhood, where she finds some guidance from (and eye candy in) the attractive owner, Eric. Between Jordan’s support, the Barnes & Noble self-help aisle, and the Tao of Eric, Allison gradually discovers that her old life wasn’t as perfect as she thought—and that if she truly wants to find her happily-ever-after, she’s going to have to start writing her own rules.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)



Which authors inspired you to write Charming Falls Apart?
Helen Fielding – Bridget Jones’s Diary was the first Chick Lit novel I read, and it’s been my favorite genre ever since.

Jane Green – The first Jane Green novel I read was Jemima J, and I’ve read everything else by her since then. Her writing style is so graceful, at times almost conversational, and her characters are incredibly well-developed. I learned a lot about writing by studying her books.

Sophie Kinsella – When Shopaholic came out, I was hooked. Her books are fast-paced, humorous reads. And no matter what crazy, improbable situations her characters get themselves into, they still feel relatable and I appreciate that a-ha self-awareness moment by the end. This helped with the inspiration for Allison.

Emily Giffin – I picked up my first Emily Giffin novel Something Blue at the airport when returning home from vacation. I finished it at the gate and was blown away. I turned the book over to read her biography, which read, “After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time.” I was practicing law at the time, and it struck me that hers was the first “attorney bio” I read where I thought, “I want to do that!” That was the moment I decided to commit to my writing. I love how honest and complicated her characters are, and how effortless her writing style seems.

Jen Lancaster – My husband bought me a copy of Bitter Is the New Black when I had just started taking my writing seriously. Her books are hilarious! She really is that friend who says the things that you’re probably secretly thinking. I tried to channel this a bit with the other characters surrounding Allison.

How are you similar to or different from your lead character Allison?
Similarities: Like Allison, I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and later lived and worked downtown. We both like to run (though she’s a stronger runner than I am), drink too much coffee, and get weirdly emotional while watching Say Yes to the Dress. Also, I have both a mild fascination and healthy skepticism about self-help books.

Differences: We look different, she’s more extroverted and adventurous (I’m afraid of heights, so climbing Machu Picchu or zip lining in Costa Rica aren’t on my bucket list), and she’s in PR, whereas I went into law. Our families are also very different (thank goodness I don’t have a mother like hers!). The biggest difference though is that Allison is someone who has gone with the flow, ticking off what others think are the right boxes, and not really questioning anything about what she truly wants or who she is as a person until she’s forced to rebuild her life. I’m the person who questions everything and doesn’t mind changing course; and on some level I always knew I wanted to be writer and that everything else was secondary to that.

Even though Allison and I more different than similar, she’s someone I would be friends with. Some of my favorite scenes are with her and Jordan because they’re similar to the types of conversations and dynamics I have with my real-life friends.

If Charming were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Ha ha! I’ve been a huge fan of Chick Lit Central for years now and was secretly hoping that Melissa would answer this question for me. So, deep breath in and here goes:

Allison James: Elizabeth Olson
Erik Caulder: Charlie Hunnam or Simon Baker circa Devil Wears Prada
Jordan: Rashida Jones or Alia Shawkat
Neil: Ryan Reynolds
Kate: Lizzie Caplan
Stacey: Margot Robbie
Suzy: Emily Blunt
Paige: Anna Camp
Darren: Dan Levy
Theresa James: Catherine O’Hara in a brunette bobbed wig (I’m currently watching Schitt’s Creek and adore the character Moira Rose)

Side note from Melissa: My cast list is coming with my review... ;)

What is the strangest thing you purchased during quarantine?
Hmm, I can’t say I purchased anything unusual (fortunately/unfortunately we already had masks due to wildfires). Probably the strangest thing I didn’t purchase was toilet paper.

If we were to visit you in the town where you are currently living, what are some must-see places you would show us?
Since I feel that when people think of San Francisco, they already have cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge on their list, I would add these to the must-see list (and tell you to pack some walking shoes):

The Ferry Building – Inside the Ferry Building is a fun marketplace with various food vendors and eateries with a water view. And on Saturday mornings they have an amazing Farmer’s Market that is a must for foodies!

The Cliff House & Sutro Baths – The Cliff House restaurant is built upon the ruins of two previous Victorian Cliff Houses and has gorgeous panoramic views of the ocean. While we wait for our table, we’d check out the photo display of the old Cliff House and the once impressive Sutro Baths (only the ruins remain today). This part of the city has a certain romantic wildness to it and is a great place to experience the San Francisco that once was.

Lands End Trail and/or The Presidio – From the Sutro Baths, we would continue to explore the rugged San Francisco coastline by walking the Lands End Trail, which has gorgeous views of the ocean and Golden Gate Bridge, and is lined with wildflowers and Cypress trees. The nearby Presidio, a former military post, also has many trails and vista points. Some of the old buildings now house eateries and the Walt Disney Museum.

The Palace of Fine Arts – This beautiful structure was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition. It was designed to look like an old Roman ruin and sits in the center of a pond filled with swans and ducks. I think it’s one of the most magical places in the city.

The Tonga Room – This tiki bar in the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hob is totally touristy and totally fun. It used to be the hotel’s swimming pool, but in 1945 they changed it into a “lagoon” and a band comes out on a thatch-covered barge to play. They even have “tropical rainstorms.”

The Alcatraz Night Tour – I’ve heard it’s a must-see. I wouldn’t know because whenever I’ve tried to get tickets, it’s been sold out. We’d have to plan this excursion in advance!

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
I’ve been on a great reading streak thanks to my book club. I just recently read and highly recommend Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore, The Guest List by Lucy Foley, and Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton.

Thanks to Angela for visiting with us and for sharing her book with our readers.

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

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Giveaway ends August 4th at midnight EST.

15 comments:

Padmini Rao said...

The most charming person I know is my father.

traveler said...

My son is very charming and charismatic.

Mary C said...

The most charming person I know is my nephew,

Suburban prep said...

I have two that were in my life and unfortunately both have passed--my father and my grandmother.

Nancy Payette said...

My oldest son.

Rita Wray said...

My daughter.

susieqlaw said...

My mom

Nancy said...

I have an aunt who is wonderful and very charming!

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Mary Preston said...

My daughter

diannekc said...

My Dad was a really charming and nice man.

Grandma Cootie said...

Both of my nieces.

bn100 said...

Ryan Reynolds

Tatum Rangel said...

Cary Elwes! My sister and I met him, two years ago or so, for his book-signing event for "As You Wish." He was just as handsome and charming in person. It was a great day. :)

rubynreba said...

The most charming person I know is a friend. She makes everyone feel good, helps in time of need, and radiates kindness!

Linda May said...

The most charming person I have ever met is former President Jimmy Carter. He's very down to earth and a very sweet man.