Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Kim Gruenenfelder does the time a book giveaway

We're thrilled to have Kim Gruenenfelder back at CLC today to celebrate the recent publication of her latest novel, My Ex's Wedding. This sounds like such a fun story with an eye-catching cover and we're excited to check it out soon. Kim has THREE e-books (PDF) to give away!

Kim Gruenenfelder grew up in and around Los Angeles and began her career in TV at the age of 19. She has written feature films, episodic teleplays and two stage plays. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son, and continues to avoid anything even remotely resembling a real job. (Bio courtesy of Amazon.)

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It’s 1998, and Samantha Evans has no regrets about her life. She’s one of Hollywood’s most sought after ghostwriters of celebrity autobiographies, shares a tranquil house in the hills with her best friend Liz, and is in the throes of a new romance with Eric, a gorgeous doctor. Life could not be better.

But Sam’s perfectly curated world is about to completely unravel. Her descent into madness begins the night she meets Eric’s childhood best friend, international superstar Isabella Robles. A narcissist prone to temper tantrums, “Belle” is in town for her latest (and fifth) “wedding of the century.” To make matters worse, she is marrying Dave, Sam’s ex-husband.

Things quickly go from awkward to just plain weird. Isabella hires Sam to write her memoirs. Then makes her a bridesmaid. Then cajoles Sam to join Dave in Hawaii for his bachelor party. Adding to the chaos, Sam bickers with Joe, Dave’s best man and the bane of Sam’s existence, receives unsolicited advice from client Vanessa, a diva from the '80s, and tries to stay calm as a series of fortune tellers mess with her head.

So maybe no one’s life goes according to plan. Maybe some days you gotta suck it up and go to your Ex’s Wedding. And maybe finding the love of your life isn’t accomplished through a series of steps, but through a really ugly bridesmaid’s dress and an open bar.
(Courtesy of Kim's website.)

“My Ex’s Wedding is the very definition of a fabulous Chick Lit read. It's full of humor, what-ifs, and ultimately, rewards. When a book makes me laugh on the second page, I know it's gonna be a winner, and as ever Kim Gruenenfelder does not disappoint. Buy it, read it, then put it on your bookshelf to re-read. You won't be sorry!”
--Whitney Dineen, bestselling author of the Creek Water Series

What is something you learned from writing your previous novels that you applied to My Ex's Wedding?
This not only came from writing novels but also from writing screenplays – make sure every scene has a reason to be there. Make sure every character has something they want anytime they interact with each other. Even if the character could not verbalize what they want, their behavior shows it. Make it funny. You can and should go deeper when talking about relationships, but find the humor in things when you can. Weddings can get ridiculous: so much humor to be mined from that.

How did you decide to set My Ex's Wedding in the late nineties?
I actually started this book in 2005 after A Total Waste of Makeup was sold to St. Martin’s in a two book deal. At the time, my editor and I thought a book about a ghostwriter would be interesting, since so many books on the New York Times bestseller’s list had not been written by the person claiming to write the book, but by a ghostwriter. I thought it was a world readers didn’t know much about and that intrigued me. But the book had to have some similarities to Makeup; it still had to be a romantic comedy. I still set all of my books in Los Angeles, since that is where I am from, and in the realm of the entertainment industry, since those are most of the people I know. Took awhile to write, and during that time Makeup sold well. So St. Martin’s asked for a sequel as my second book, and Wedding got shelved.

But in my head I needed to finish it. When going back and looking at it years later, I saw lots of relics of the '00s I found funny. So I decided to really run with that and go back further: what if we had no social media? What if we still had answering machines, music videos that were watched on TV, appointment TV? And what if I showed that no matter which century you are living in, people don’t change much: there are good ones, bad ones, ones who make us crazy. And relationships don’t change too much. But a little. 90% of however you were together a million years ago will still be who you are now. But that other 10% is important.

If My Ex's Wedding were made into a movie, what are some songs that would be on the soundtrack?
I know several music supervisors that could handle this better but “Sex and Candy”, “Livin' La Vida Loca” if it came out by 1998, some Guns 'N Roses for the men whose wives or girlfriends drag them to the movie. And, of course, “Against All Odds”, which Dave’s band covers and has a hit with.

Which TV series are you currently binge watching?
Going against what I normally watch, I watched all episodes of United We Fall in two days, because Will Sossa is a character actor you’ve probably never heard of, but he makes everything better. Very tame family oriented show, but made me laugh out loud a few times and that’s all I want from a sitcom. My son and I are watching this show Worth It, which is a Buzzfeed show on YouTube where two guys go to restaurants to get meals at “drastically different price points”: they’ll go to a $1 a slice pizza place than get a $2,000 pizza from another restaurant, and decide which one is “worth it”. I like it because it was all shot before Covid and people actually shake hands and eat indoors and hug: talk about nostalgia. I watched Mrs. America the last two nights. It’s not just about Phyllis Schlafly, it’s about the women’s movement in the 1970s. As a woman’s history major, I found it fascinating. Finally, I love Bojack Horseman, so I still binge watch those. But the show is a little dark.

Are you friends with an ex-boyfriend?
I’m friends with several. And I married one. ☺
I am actually pretty lucky when it comes to exes. I only dated nice guys. I have a few bad first date stories, some of which are kind of funny. But if I saw the guy a second time, he was and is a good guy. Things just didn’t work out. (Which probably means I’m the crazy one.) I never dated musicians, stand up comedians, or actors - so many friends have awful stories about dating artists who make their living in the spotlight. I never had the self confidence to be with someone who had to be caught: if someone wasn’t nice to me, I moved on.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Didn’t happen to me per se, but I overheard a little girl ask her Mom if reindeer could get Covid. I knew where she was going with that, and it made me laugh.

Thanks to Kim for visiting with us and for sharing her book with our readers!

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Giveaway ends September 14th at midnight EST.