Our guest today: Holly Robinson Why we love her: It's always delightful to discover a wonderful new author!
Her debut: The Wishing Hill
The scoop: What if everything you knew about your life was wrong?
Years ago, Juliet Clark gave up her life in California to follow the man she loved to Mexico and pursue her dream of being an artist. Now her marriage is over, and she’s alone, selling watercolors to tourists on the Puerto Vallarta boardwalk.
When her brother asks her to come home to wintery New England and care for their ailing mother, a flamboyant actress with a storied past, Juliet goes reluctantly. She and her self-absorbed mother have always clashed. Plus, nobody back home knows about her divorce—or the fact that she’s pregnant and her ex-husband is not the father.
Juliet intends to get her mother back on her feet and return to Mexico fast, but nothing goes as planned. Instead she meets a man who makes her question every choice and reawakens her spirit, even as she is being drawn into a long-running feud between her mother and a reclusive neighbor. Little does she know that these relationships hold the key to shocking secrets about her family and herself that have been hiding in plain sight.…
Our thoughts: We think you'll really connect with this heartfelt novel.
Giveaway: 3 copies! Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win. We'll choose the winners after 3pm on Sunday, July 7th.
Fun Fact: Another reason to never give up--it took Holly 25 years to sell a novel. And now here she is! Congrats!
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...2013 CLUB: HOLLY ROBINSON'S THE WISHING HILL
1. Read everything, even the science fiction your nerd husband gives you. You never know where you'll find inspiration.
2. Listen more than you talk, especially at family gatherings where your great aunt Betty is telling that story about her brother's broken heart or in restaurants where people are making a scene. Stories are everywhere, waiting for you to capture them in your net.
3. Believe in yourself enough to give your writing the time it deserves. You are in charge of your schedule, and only you have the power to schedule writing into your day. That means paying for day care to write fiction, people! You're definitely worth it!
DON'TS: 3 things every aspiring novelist shouldn't do
1. Write the stories that you would want to read, not the stories that you think will sell. Your passion will shine through on the page only if you put your heart into the words.
2. Don't bother being jealous. As in all of life, there will always be writers smarter and more successful than you are—and others who will never make it as far as you have right now.
3. Don't write anywhere near the kitchen. Too tempting to eat, sweep or do dishes.
MUST HAVES: On your desk? On your Facebook feed? App on your phone?
On your desk: An iPod with headphones to shut out the noise in the library or the kids fighting in the living room, a small but essential package of dark chocolate-covered almonds to dole out every paragraph or every chapter as needed, and a thermos of tea or coffee.
Leave your Internet disabled if possible and lock your phone in your car.
LASTS: Song you listened to on repeat? Book you read? Time you laughed?
The last song I listened to on repeat was Pink and Nate Ruess singing “Just Give Me a Reason” because it captures the uncertainties of love as well as any novel.
The last book I read was Lily King's brilliant FATHER OF THE RAIN; King writes about love—love of a daughter for a father, a man for his wife, a woman for a man, a sister for a brother—better than any other contemporary author.
And the last time I laughed? Just a minute ago, when my cat rolled over and fell off my desk, then looked insulted in that way only cats can.
HOW MANY: Agents did you query before you found "the one?" Hours do you write per day? Hours do you waste online when you should be writing?
I was fortunate to find a wonderful agent through one of my graduate school classmates. He has represented me for twenty years—through many magazine articles and nonfiction books; my own memoir, THE GERBIL FARMER'S DAUGHTER; celebrity memoir ghost writing projects; and now, finally, a novel, after having five of them rejected! (See: I beat both of you!)
Because I make a living as a writer, I write nearly all day, or at least until I get interrupted by my children needing a ride or the dog begging for a walk. Or maybe it's the other way around: children begging, dog needing. Whatever. Since I spent many years as a single mom writing around the edges of my life, I'm not much of a time waster if I have a deadline. I know the value of an hour!
BESTS: Way to celebrate a book deal? Trick to overcome writer's block? Way to think of a book idea?
I celebrated my last book deal in a way I hope to do with all of my books: with a party for all of the friends and family members who helped me along the way!
Book ideas come to me from everywhere. The universe is always trying to give writers book ideas. The trick is finding one that wakes your creative muse and keeps her sitting on your shoulder and yammering in your ear until you've finished writing it!
NEXTS: Show you'll DVR? Book you'll write?
My husband and I are deep into Game of Thrones. (Remember that I'm married to a nerd!) I also am a fanatic fan of reality shows like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, mainly because they make me feel better about my rejections. At least I don't have to write for my life on national TV!
The book I'm working on now, BEACH PLUM ISLAND, is a novel about three sisters searching for a brother they never knew they had until their dying father told them he existed—it's due out in April 2014 with NAL/Penguin.