We love Allison Winn Scotch. Plain and simple. She's definitely our girl. Loves mindless TV. Admits to wearing not just acid washed jeans but high-waisted acid washed jeans. And she writes damn good novels. Her third, The One That I Want, was just released in paperback and it's the perfect summer read. If you haven't yet devoured it (or even if you have) we suggest you immediately treat yourself to a copy (avail everywhere from Amazon to Target to Costco), sit back (preferably poolside with a cocktail in hand) and enjoy. Because you will. The One That I Want is the story of Tilly Farmer, a girl who’s seemingly perfect life begins to fall apart after an old childhood friend gives her the gift to see into the future. Doesn't it sound juicy? Well if you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win one of five copies! We'll randomly select the winner on Friday, July 1 after 6pm EST.
And now just another reason we love Allison. Her Do's and Do-over list...
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...ALLISON WINN SCOTCH'S 5 DO'S AND A DO-OVER.
1) DO let yourself feel nostalgic. One of the questions I’m most often asked, when discussing my books, is if I relate to my characters, who often get tangled up in their past memories. And my answer is always the same: of course. I love tugging out old photos, laughing at people’s ridiculous ‘80s (and ‘90s) hair on Facebook, hearing a song on the radio and remembering an old love. I think there’s a lot of value in honoring your past and preserving the good memories that came out of it. But that’s about where it ends. Allowing yourself to feel those twinges, and then taking them and finding a way to make your current life more fulfilled. Stalking your exes on Facebook isn’t going to get you anywhere other than on the road to unhappiness.
2) DO find someone who accepts you for you. I wrote an essay recently about an old boyfriend, for whom I tried to change everything about myself. And what struck me most about it was how grateful I am to have found someone for whom I haven’t had to change one iota. I sing as loudly as I want in the car (it indeed annoys him, but he lets me do it), I look like all hell broke loose in the morning and he doesn’t care. More importantly, he’s never made me doubt who I am, what my instincts are, or what I’d like to do with my life. It’s not that our marriage is perfect, but certainly, when it comes to criteria that should top the list of a healthy relationship, I’ve learned that acceptance has to be number one (or at least top three).
3) DO embrace your light side. In other words, if you watch the Bachelorette and other insipid reality shows, raise your hand and be proud! Damn proud! Okay, maybe not that proud. Maybe let’s just whisper it to each other. But still *quiet voice*: I love mindless TV, and I’m not afraid to tweet about it. Here’s the thing: I work really hard, I take care of my family, I read A LOT. And if at the end of the day, I want some escapism, I say, bring it on! And if, even after that, I want to read every single thread on Television Without Pity, analyzing all the ridiculous antics and sure-to-disappoint spoilers, well, bring that on to. Why? Because I’m worth it.
4) DO let yourself screw-up. I bet I’m not the first person to say this here, and I certainly hope I’m not the last. One of the most valuable lessons in my career has come from failure – the first book I wrote (which in hindsight was just totally and completely wretched) never sold, and it forced me to either step up and suck it up and do the work to write a better one, or quit. You know which one I chose. And ditto this for all of my relationships: all of my break-ups lead to where I am now, and sure, those break-ups were fraught with emotion and anxiety and certainly pain, but each was a valuable lesson for who I was becoming and who, eventually, I’d become.
5) DO go with the flow. For those of you who know me as an author, this one might surprise you because I am very, very anal about my job, but when it comes to everything else, I’m actually pretty laid-back. I’ve found that stressing out over things that I can’t control just leaves me...more stressed, and that not being flexible or able to accommodate life’s changes also just leaves me...more stressed. What’s the purpose? There isn’t any. I try to let the little stuff slide. There is, after all, a reason that they call it “the little stuff.” It’s easy to forget that when you’re in the thick of it, but at the end of the day, I promise, none of the smaller (albeit annoying) obstacles matter nearly as much as the big picture. So I’ll end with that one, actually. DO think big. Always.
DO-OVER: Gosh, I’m pretty comfortable with my life choices, even when they were total catastrophes (because, to be clear, there have been plenty of catastrophes), but we do probably need to discuss my fashion choices in my younger years. The 8th grade perm. The ill-advised double-dose of Sun-In that summer at camp. The acid washed jeans that were pulled (and belted!) just under my boob line. Oh dear. With all due respect to Esprit and Benetton and Guess...really? You couldn’t have made me look at least semi-okay during my formative years? I guess not. Oh well. Back to my first DO: I guess the good news is that I can reminisce, but then, I can also log off and try to pretend that (fashion) period never existed in the first place.