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:
Dangled Carat is all about taking that giant leap when the time (and the person!) is right. How would you describe the story?
Dangled 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.
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 🙂
What inspired you to write it?
I wanted to share my story in the hopes that I could help someone else who was in the same situation. It is a very difficult position to be in. Everyone in your life has an opinion and “advice.” You always seem to be second guessing yourself and your actions. My desire to help has been accomplished! I recently received an email from a self described commitment-phobic male reader who shared that after reading the book he realized some of the ways that he has sabotaged his relationships in the past. He completely related to Marc. He also told me how he learned that he has to go at his own pace regardless of what the other person seems to want — it will either work or not. He also learned that he has to communicate his feelings and just relax — enjoy the moment and let nature take it’s course — rather than worry about what tomorrow will bring. This new attitude has kept him in a relationship that he would have already ended in the past!
How do you spread the word about your writing?
It is funny — spreading the word about my book is harder than writing it … I am lucky, I have been blogging for four years and have a wonderful network of blogging buddies. Prior to publishing last fall, I reached out to a bunch of these wonderful bloggers and gave them advance copies of the book to review. They helped me generate a lot of buzz (and kept me sane). I then started reaching out to book bloggers. Then I also scheduled a blog tour with Chick Lit Plus which was one of the best things I did. It generated a ton of exposure! Of course I also am pretty active on Facebook and Twitter
In the spirit of Desperately Ever After, I must ask: 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?
Cinderella! I love the turn-around her life took … And I love that she had it so rough. It is going to sound crazy, but I think you need to struggle a little in order to find and appreciate happiness.
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?
I drank … Just kidding (sort of). Rejection is hard. But I think it helped that I went into this with my eyes wide open. I expected the worst so I wasn’t disappointed. I tried to celebrate all the small victories such as an agent requesting a partial or full copy of my manuscript. I’d by lying if I said there weren’t days where I questioned what I was doing or regretted putting myself so out there. I have found that connecting with other writers has helped tremendously. I am in awe at how wonderful and supportive other writers are. I am used to working in corporate America where everyone seems to be striving to be number one. Authors are different. I have found them to be so generous with their time and knowledge.
I completely agree with that. I’ve met so many wonderfully supportive authors genuinely happy to help out their colleagues. It’s such a rare and wonderful aspect of our industry. And celebrating the small victories is great advice. What would you say is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you can share with aspiring writers?
Just write. Don’t worry about anything besides telling your story. The next steps — looking for an agent, publication, cover design, sales, etc — they will all work out … There are so many options available to authors now! Also, I would advise to develop a thick skin and don’t take rejection personally. Finally, when you are really feeling bad, such as when you get a bad review, think of food. Food, like books, are subjective. Just because someone doesn’t enjoy something it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with it. Someone else will love it.
What can fans expect from you next?
I am trying my hand in fiction next. I am in the very early stages of a novel that I think will be a lot of fun with a very unique twist.
To connect with Hilary, visit her on Facebook, Twitter (@feelingbeachie), and at her blog, feelingbeachie.com. Her book is available at both Amazon.com (US) and Amazon.co.uk (UK).
FEED YOUR BEACH BAG!
Desperately 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
Next Wednesday, July 23, the fabulous Becky Monson will stop by to talk about her debut novel, Thirty-Two Going on Spinster, and the road she took to make it a success.
Mark your calendars 😉
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2 responses to “Q&A with Hilary Grossman, author of the memoir Dangled Carat”
thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog! it was great chatting with you!
It’s my pleasure Hilary!