Q&A with Becky Monson, author of Thirty-Two Going on Spinster

32 Going on Spinster

How many of us have feared, at one time or another, that we would wind up spinsters with an apartment full of cats? Well, the star of Becky Monson’s debut novel only has one cat, but she also lives in her parents’ basement … and is 32 years old. 

Thirty-Two Going on Spinster has been hailed by dozens of book bloggers for its humor and heart. Not only is Monson a brilliant writer, but I consider her a friend to authors and readers of chicklit everywhere.

After the interview, leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of her book!

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Your debut novel, Thirty-Two Going on Spinster, has had tremendous success in the past year, with more than 50,000 Amazon downloads and loads of glowing reviews. How would you describe the story?

1064616_595289580516517_1636723306_oThe story is about Julia. Julia is thirty-two and stuck in a rut. Dead end job, no love life, very little social life. Her favorite things to do are bake and hang out with her cat charlie. She sees spinsterhood as her future… trailer parks, muumuus, and the like. Then along comes the new hire at work – Jared. And for some odd reason Jared finds Julia intriguing. Over a series of events (some of them unfortunate), Julia starts to come out of her shell and realizes that there is more to life then the bubble she has been living in.

But then, of course, everything blows up in her face. Will the new and improved Julia be able to pull it all together? Or will she give up and go back to her spinster future? I guess you’ll have to read to find out!

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What do think people will love most about this book?

Julia is the star of this book. And I think (I hope) people will love her the most. I know I do (I am a little biased, however).

I think, especially in the beginning, she can some off as a bit whiny and sometimes you want to slap her to get her to realize what she needs to do. But I think Julia is very relatable in many ways. I think everyone can find aspects of Julia’s personality that they can connect with.

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How did you ultimately decide to go the self-publishing route with Thirty-Two Going on Spinster, and what did you learn along the way?

I had been writing this book for a while, but the thought of trying to find an agent and then a publisher – it always held me back. Then my cousin introduced me to Melody Anne – a self-published author (who is now a NYT Bestseller – multiple times). She told me what she did, and I thought – I could do that! So I finished the book and I put it on Amazon and everyone downloaded it and that was that.
Just kidding. I put it up on Amazon, and my friends and family bought it and then it was pretty silent for a while. After researching and getting some marketing tips from Melody and implementing them – that’s when my book started to sell.
My biggest lesson I’ve learned was that you must must must hire an editor. A real one. Not your sister who claims to be a grammar nazi. I made the very huge mistake of putting my book out there without it being fully edited and I regret that immensely. Live and learn, right? It has since been edited by a professional and I will not be making that mistake again.

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Spreading the word is one of the most daunting aspects of being an author. (Sometimes more than writing the book!) How do you get your titles out there?

Oh yes – marketing yourself is much harder than writing the book! I come from a marketing background, so I understand how important it is to have a brand. I spend a lot of time branding my name, getting it out there for people to see. Talking in forums, joining on-line groups. I mostly use Social Media. If anyone tries to tell you that social media will not help you sell books, I am here to say they are wrong! It has been the key to my success. I have a website, a blog, Facebook fan page, Twitter account… so many things. It does feel overwhelming sometimes. I try to limit the amount of time I spend marketing, but it doesn’t always work that way.

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In the spirit of Desperately Ever After, please indulge me: If you had to choose, which fairy tale character (doesn’t have to be a princess and doesn’t have to be Disney), would you be and why?

I would be Sleeping Beauty, because I could use a really good nap.

Actually, I think I would want to be Wendy from Peter Pan. I have a strange obsession with pirates (my all-time favorite movie is The Goonies) and would love to visit Neverland. I would also love to have some of Wendy’s natural mothering skills. My children would probably appreciate that.

A writer’s life is certainly not an easy one—from rejections to dwindling sales, to tough reviews, and so on. How did you get through the bad days?

Chocolate. Chocolate is the answer to this question.

This is a whole new life for me and I had no idea that being an author would take over my brain as much as it does. It can get tiring sometimes. I’m a positive person at heart and I try not to let some of the negative stuff that comes along with this profession, get to me. It’s hard to do. I’ve definitely had to grow thicker skin, that is for sure.

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What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you can share with aspiring writers?

To not compare myself to other authors, which is pretty much next to impossible. But writing is such an art form. We all have different ways of expressing ourselves, we really shouldn’t compare.

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What can fans expect from you next?

The sequel to Spinster will be out in the next couple of months. I’m just finishing it up now. Then a book called Speak Now, that will be out mid-fall. It’s a completely new cast of characters and I’m having a lot of fun writing it.

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In addition to her website, 32goingonspinster.com, you can keep up with Becky on FacebookTwitter (@bmonsonauthor), Goodreads, and her blog. Her book is available at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

 

ENTER TO WIN!

32 Going on SpinsterBecky is offering up one e-book and one signed print copy of Thirty-Two Going on Spinster! Comment below to win. The giveaway will remain open until 11:59 p.m. (PST) Tuesday, July 29, at which point two winners will be chosen at random.

Best of luck to you all!

 

FEED YOUR BEACH BAG!

dfw-lk-dea-cover-midDesperately Ever After imagines what happened to our favorite fairy tale princesses in a Desperate Housewives/Sex and the City sort of way. It’s a 2014 NIEA Chick-Lit Finalist and an Amazon Top 100 seller for both Women’s Fiction and Humor. Snag one before the sequel comes out next month!

Click here for Amazon US or here for Amazon UK   

COMING UP!

Marts - Just Another Manic MondayNext Wednesday, July 30, Jennie Marts will stop by to talk about the latest installment in her Page Turners series, and to give a copy of the first book to TWO  lucky winners.

Mark your calendars ;)

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Word Crimes

Let me start by saying I’m not a fan of Robin Thicke. But when I heard “Weird Al” Yankovic’s parody of “Blurred Lines” (which, depending on your gender, you may or may not detest), I just couldn’t help but share it. Yes, Thicke’s beat is catchy, but it’s Weird Al’s rant against countless “Word Crimes” (“I could care less” has always driven me nuts, as has the misuse of “its” and “it’s”) that really hooked me.

So for all you fellow grammarians out there … even if you get a little lax every so often … enjoy:

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Q&A with Hilary Grossman, author of the memoir Dangled Carat

Dangled Carat

I bumped into Hilary when I finally started finding the author’s side of Twitter and Facebook. The title of her debut novel, Dangled Carat, instantly caught my eye (so clever!), and I can’t wait to read her book this summer … hopefully while lounging on a beach :)

I was delighted when she agreed to stop by Skipping Midnight and answer some questions about her writing life. So without further ado:

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Dangled Carat is all about taking that giant leap when the time (and the person!) is right. How would you describe the story?

Hilary GrossmanDangled Carat is a memoir but it reads like chick lit.  It is about my attempt to convert the ultimate commitment-phobic man into a doting husband with a LOT of help from his family and friends. But it is also a funny but tender coming of age story that will make you laugh and cry.

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Gosh, I didn’t even realize it was based on your life! That must have been tough. What do think people will love most about your story?

This is a hard one to answer :) While elements of my story were unique (multiple faux engagement parties for example) the situation is very common — dating a commitment-phobe. I think that a lot of people have either been in this situation themselves or have a close friend who has.  I think the fact that readers could relate to what I was going through would be what they would love most.  But then again, there is an amazing first date scene :) Continue reading

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My Writing Process blog tour

Immortal Longings cover (new)A few weeks ago, author RG Dole tagged me in this Writing Process Blog Tour. RG is the author of a supernatural star-crossed lovers book called Immortal Longings (as a fan of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, I hope to get to it soon!), and I’m honored she thought of me for this.

I’ve been struggling to find the time to pick up the torch, so without further ado:

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What am I working on?

dfw-lk-did-cover-midDamsels in Distress, the sequel to Desperately Ever After, is due out next month. It’s hard to say too much about the story because the first book is still brand new and I don’t want to give anything away! I’ll just say that Damsels in Distress continues Belle’s struggle and also adds Sleeping Beauty (Dawn) into the mix. Dawn is a background character in Book One for space reasons, but her story is actually one of my favorites. I really can’t wait for everyone to get to know her better. There are so many questions people never ask about the Sleeping Beauty tale: What kind of man would discover a comatose woman in the woods and decide to kiss her? How would she feel waking up covered in dust with a stranger’s tongue in her mouth? What if she had been in love with someone else before the curse hit? How would she reconcile her old life with her brand new existence?

After that, I’ll be diving into the third installment in the series, as well as writing my first Desperately Ever After novella. The latter will tell the story behind Grethel, the woman who took Rapunzel as a baby and kept her in that tower. There are so many minor characters in the series that I’d love to explore further, so I hope it’s the first of many side projects. Continue reading

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Q&A with CeCe Osgood — and a giveaway!

DND workshop ebookcover5starsWhen I finally got my act together and joined a chick lit writer’s group on Facebook, CeCe Osgood was the first of many lovely ladies with whom I connected. She is a former HBO script analyst turned novelist, and the title of her debut novel is one you simply can’t ignore!

Exploring life after divorce, The Divorced Not Dead Workshop is a romantic comedy about dating after divorce. After the interview, leave a comment for the chance to win a copy!

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Hi CeCe and welcome to Skipping Midnight! Your debut novel, The Divorced Not Dead Workshop, is described as a romantic comedy about dating after divorce. What else can you tell us about the story?

 

Cece OsgoodIt’s an opening-your-heart-again story. Going through a divorce can make you wary about getting back into dating or even considering the possibility of looking for a partner again. I believe finding out who you are and what you want is the first step: I call it your “me skills” in the novel’s workshop. I wanted to deal with serious subject of divorce in a funny and, I hope, helpful way. Another aspect of the story is the friendship with Dorsey and her BFFs, Pilar and Mimi. They’re the kind of friends we all want to have: true blue, forgiving and yet they can kick your butt when you need it. Especially Pilar!

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What inspired you to write it?

Frankly, it came like a bolt out of the blue. I woke up one morning with the notion of a dating workshop on a cruise ship and Dorsey Bing, the main character, came ambling toward me in her kitten heels. I liked her so much I couldn’t help but fashion a plot for her. It took a few drafts before I worked out the nuances of the romance and how it threaded into the dating workshop.

Continue reading

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Cover reveal & 99-cent countdown sale

The cover reveal for Damsels in Distress is here! And it’s coinciding with a 99-cent Kindle Countdown deal … so you can get acquainted with all the ladies of Marestam before their stories continue!

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In this second installment of the Desperately Ever After series, Belle, Dawn, Snow, Penny, and Rapunzel struggle with love, obligation, old flames, new flames, disappointments, triumphs, and plenty of secrets. (Cinderella takes a bit of a breather in this one, but rest assured she’ll be back!)

 

About the series:

Imagine what might happen if our most beloved fairy tale princesses were the best of friends and had the dreams, dilemmas, and libidos of the modern woman. How would their stories unfold after true love’s kiss? Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, the Desperately Ever After series sprinkles women’s fiction with elements of fantasy, and encourages readers to rethink everything they know about happy endings.

 

About Damsels in Distress:
(Warning: If you haven’t read the first book yet, there are some spoilers!)

After watching her fairy tale go up in flames, Belle is finally starting over. With a baby on the way, a business to run, and a new love interest she just can’t shake, things are finally looking up. That is, until she learns her independence might revive broken curses the world over. Could “happily ever after” really mean staying with her unfaithful husband? Or will Belle and her steadfast friends find another way?

Meanwhile, Dawn still longs for the life she had three centuries earlier—before her sleeping curse ended in two kids, an unfamiliar era, and a husband she barely knows. So when she encounters the childhood sweetheart she believed to be dead, Dawn must suddenly choose between the past she once wanted and the present she never knew she did.

As both women struggle between love and obligation, they fail to see a great danger brewing in the capital–one that could change everything forever.

Damsels in Distress takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale characters several years down the road. Part Sex and the City, part Desperate Housewives, and part Brothers Grimm, it’s ultimately about a group of friends coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

 

Click here to read an excerpt from the upcoming book, or here to find out what reviewers are saying about the series.

And don’t forget to take advantage of the Kindle Countdown sale at Amazon! The price just dropped to 99 cents, but will slowly creep back up over the next few days. The clock is ticking!
(Note: The link will take you to the US site, but the sale is available worldwide.)

 

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Q&A with indie author RS McCoy — plus a giveaway!

Cover Art 3When RS McCoy’s thyroid cancer returned last spring, writing became her mental break from treatment. In the past year, she’s published three novels, two novellas and several short stories. She describes her works as falling into the genres of fantasy, science fiction, romance, paranormal, and supernatural.

After the interview, leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Sparks!

 

According to your blog, writing was initially your way to mentally escape cancer treatment. Can you talk a bit about this and how it helped?

RS McCoy Author PhotoOOoo girl, you’re brave! All you have to do is mention the C word and people go running. I appreciate you asking! I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in August of 2012. For the next few months, I dealt with surgeries and radiation, and I can honestly say, it was easily the worst experience of my life. By spring, I was in a better place. I was a cancer survivor, it was in my past, I had lived. The following April, I received that horrible phone call that my cancer was back with a vengeance, and I would have to start over with treatment. For several weeks afterward, I struggled to wrap my mind around my daily life. Dealing with my cancer’s return didn’t seem to fit in with sitting in traffic and going to work. My head was spinning and I needed something to ground me in a positive way. Writing ended up being that outlet for me. In the past year, I’ve written three novels, two novellas and a handful of short stories as well as guest blog posts and other articles. The crazier my life gets, the more I write!

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Your first novel, Sparks, is part of a paranormal fantasy series. What can you tell us about it?

Sparks isn’t the traditional PNR, and my readers (as well as myself) have struggled to truly define it within a genre. I really enjoy reading paranormal fantasy, and I enjoyed Twilight and other popular books in the category. When I was developing a new idea for a book, I knew I didn’t want to use vampires, werewolves, zombies or any other creature that seems to be overused in the last few years. Instead, I chose to write about a series of young people who have gifts that allow them to manipulate the environment, read minds and affect time. It was really a lot of fun to write!

Continue reading

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My turn to do the talking

The wonderful Zanna Mackenzie, author of IF YOU ONLY KNEW and fellow dog lover, interviews me on her blog today.

It’s nice to turn the tables once in a while and talk about my experience ;)

Check it out here: http://t.co/P9I3mKXYAi

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All good things must come to an end

Today marks the end of Desperately Ever After’s blog tour, with a double stop at Tracy Riva’s Books & Reviews, and Deal Shaing Aunt.

It’s been fun, with a month-long price drop to $2.99, giveaways galore (read on to see which are still ongoing), interviews, guest posts, and some pretty darn fantastic reviews that left me smiling almost every day.

Here are some of the highlights. The red asterisk indicates sites that are still offering free copies. Keep in mind that the price drop is only temporary, and the sequel will be out in August … so now’s the perfect time to get acquainted with Rapunzel, Belle, Cinderella, and the rest of the gang as they cope with life after true love’s kiss!

“It’s the perfect book to be reading this summer and it’s completely unputdownable!” ~ The YA’s Nightstand *** Giveaway ends July 1!

“An explosive cocktail that will have you laughing out loud and wanting more and more! … Laura’s style is witty and flirty and had me turning page after page devouring this little gem.” ~ Lost in Chick Lit

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“No more damsel in distress, useless without her prince, but modern day woman struggling with and enjoying love. Desperately Ever After is a wonderfully sarcastic, romantic and heartwarming tale about love and friendship with witty conversations, juicy cliches and a healthy dose of humor. I cannot wait to read the sequel!” ~ M’s Bookshelf Continue reading

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Q&A with Suzy Turner, author of all genres — plus a giveaway!

Suzy Turner - Forever FredlessLike me, Suzy Turner began her writing career as a journalist. But there is something to be said for the imagination, and when the fiction bug bites, it’s extremely hard to resist! Since 2010, she’s completed six novels for young adults (The Raven Saga trilogy and The Morgan Sisters series), as well as her first women’s fiction novel, Forever Fredless. She gets extra points in my book for being a self-published author, and I’m delighted to have her here today!

After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Forever Fredless! 

For someone who only began writing fiction in 2010, you’ve published a crazy number of books—ranging from paranormal thriller to romance, and from YA to adult. Which is your favorite?

Suzy on shootLOL I’m very fortunate that writing is pretty much my day job now so I have plenty of time to dedicate to it. As for my favourite, that’s a tricky one. I absolutely love writing both YA urban fantasy and chick lit so I really can’t choose between them! Sorry!

In October, you released your first “chick lit” novel, Forever Fredless. What can you tell us about the story?

Here’s a brief synopsis: Kate Robinson has spent the past two decades yearning to find her soul mate, the boy she found and then lost during a family holiday. Shortly after her twenty-eighth birthday, however, she inherits a fortune from an old family friend and becomes something of an overnight celebrity. Can her new-found fame lead her to him after all this time?

The idea for the book has been with me for many years because the beginning (when Kate ‘meets’ her soulmate for the very first time as a child) kind of happened to me. Although I wasn’t as smitten as Kate was, I do remember the moment quite clearly and I never forgot it. There are other embarrassing moments in the book that have also featured in my life!

Continue reading

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