Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Allison Winn Scotch has our vote...plus a book giveaway

Photo by Kat Tuohy Photography
Introduction by Melissa Amster

Prior to starting CLC, I read Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch and I loved it! So I was thrilled when I won a copy of The One That I Want from another blogger in 2010. I also knew I had to connect with Allison when I started the blog and am so glad that I was able to feature her as one of my first interviews. I've read all of her novels since (although I still need to read The Department of Lost and Found, which is one of her earlier novels) and have enjoyed her insightful writing and descriptions that brought each story to life. I really enjoyed her latest, Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing (reviewed here). Thanks to Kathleen Carter Communications, we have TWO copies to give away!

Allison is active on Twitter and I enjoy following and retweeting her. I can usually relate to what she tweets and she sometimes shares stuff from other favorite authors and celebrities.

Allison grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and then later, Seattle. Her mom was a teacher who encouraged her to read a lot, which led her to one day believe that she could write fiction.

She started out as a freelance magazine writer (she's responsible for those "10 Ways to a Better Life" articles, along with celebrity profiles). In the meantime, she worked on writing a novel which took her four years to finish and she wasn't pleased with how it turned out. However, she then wrote another one that proved less so, and now, a decade later, she's eight books deep.

Allison graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Honors History and Concentration in Marketing from the Wharton School of Business. When she's not planted in front of the computer, she's hiking, running, doing yoga, reading, listening to music, negotiating with her teenagers, or hanging out with her family and their pooches, Pele and Mr. Peanut. (Bio adapted from Allison's website.)

Visit Allison online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Cleo McDougal is a born politician. From congresswoman to senator, the magnetic, ambitious single mother now has her eye on the White House—always looking forward, never back. Until an estranged childhood friend shreds her in an op-ed hit piece gone viral.

With seven words—“Cleo McDougal is not a good person”—the presidential hopeful has gone from in control to damage control, and not just in Washington but in life.

Enter Cleo’s “regrets list” of 233 and counting. Her chief of staff has a brilliant idea: pick the top ten, make amends during a media blitz, and repair her reputation. But there are regrets, and there are regrets: like her broken relationship with her sister, her affair with a law school professor…and the regret too big to even say out loud.

But with risk comes reward, and as Cleo makes both peace and amends with her past, she becomes more empowered than ever to tackle her career, confront the hypocrites out to destroy her, and open her heart to what matters most—one regret at a time.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is something you learned about yourself while writing Cleo McDougal?
Oh, great question! I think that it was okay to lean into my feminism and also my anger over the imbalances of power between genders, between haves and haves-not, between races, all of it, in our country. Obviously, this was already top of mind when I started writing the book, but as I really deconstructed all the scenarios that Cleo had been involved with over the course of her life, I was hard-pressed to find many where power didn’t come into play. Even in her friendships, even in her love life. It’s all there. And obviously, in the work place.

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
Honestly, I’ve gotten a bunch of emails from early CLEO readers about how her brand of boldness has made them want to live more boldly too. I really can’t express how much that means to me, particularly as a woman who is also trying to live a bolder life, to, as I say in the acknowledgments, take up space in the world without apology. Knowing that this message resonated with even more reader moves me beyond words.

If Cleo McDougal were made into a movie, what are some songs that would be on the soundtrack?
I mean the obvious one is "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks. ☺ Then I’ll throw in "America’s Sweetheart" by Elle King, "Long Shot" by Kelly Clarkson, "Paper Doll" by Frankie, "Champion" by Bishop Briggs and "The Long Way Round" by The Chicks.

What is something you regret?
Well this is very specific but since Cleo is all about examining her past, one thing that I have always regretted was opting out of my junior year abroad in college. I’d applied to the Paris program and when it came time to make the decision, I lingered on campus mostly (ugh, this is so embarrassing) because of a boy. I was too worried on what’d I’d miss out on to consider what I’d gain by going. And since it has always been an aspiration of mine to live overseas, I really can recognize in hindsight that I blew it. Who knows what those months would have brought me?

You are very active on Twitter. Have you received any responses from celebrities or someone you admire?
It’s funny, prior to 2016, I think my ultimate squee would be an interaction with a celebrity on Twitter. But now, the real celebrities on there are change makers – be it in policy or news analysis. To that end, I’ve been really lucky to kind of get to know a few folks I admire so so so much, like Shannon Watts and several former FBI and CIA agents. I will say that the day that Preet Bharara followed me – well, I almost passed out. A true hero.

Which TV series are you currently binge watching?
I feel like I have blazed through so much great TV during quarantine, and I’m almost to the end of the streaming road. What then?? I just found one season of The Great British Baking Show that I hadn’t seen (hurrah!), so I tore through that, and now I’m almost done with a British show called Lovesick, which is a super-charming rom-com about what happens when a guy has to track down all of his exes to tell them he has chlamydia. (It really is delightful, I promise!)

Thanks to Allison for chatting with us and to Kathleen Carter Communications 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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends August 10th at midnight EST.


Melissa said...

Out of all the things I regret most throughout my life, it is not taking the time to care for my health during my late teens and throughout my 20's, feeling as though I operated my life on a timeline, needing to accomplish certain tasks because others were. I wish I'd realized how much my choices back then would impact my present.

Cherisse said...

My regret is not take a break after college to travel. I started a job after graduation and though I’d take the usual 2 weeks of vacation. It was never enough days or time.

Katherine said...

I often think of questions I wish I could ask my grandparents and Dad. I regret not thinking of those questions earlier, before they died. But I think that's true for everyone - we always want more time with those we love.

Suburban prep said...

I guess I regret at time not taking time for myself.

traveler said...

I regret not spending more time with my parents and showing more interest in their lives when they were young and their struggles and difficulties. I now think about that all the time and I know that I did not realize the important until it was too late.

Nina said...

I definitely regret not learning a second language as a kid.

diannekc said...

I regret not studying more in college.

Rita Wray said...

I regret not traveling more when I was younger.

Mary C said...

I regret not learning more about my grandparent's history.

Nancy said...

I regret not taking typing class in high school.

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Nancy P said...

Not talking to my parents more about their childhood.

Mary Preston said...

I regret no traveling while we could.

Pamela said...

I regret not holding on to the career I had started after I graduated college. I gave up working outside of the home when I had my first child, and just never returned to the workforce. I do wish I had worked part-time, at the least, while raising my children. It would have been a difficult balance, but I believe it would have left me more fulfilled.

Linda Kish said...

I regret not making better relationship choices.

Karen B said...

I regret not taking better health care. I'm paying the price now!!

rubynreba said...

I regret not traveling abroad.

bn100 said...


Tatum Rangel said...

When I was working in my retail job, a few years ago, all the staff had the opportunity to sign up to help with the grand opening for another store in Japan. I wish I had signed up; I heard how exciting it was.

Nancy P said...

I've learned a lot from reading other people's comments here. Thank you all for sharing.