Thursday, October 3, 2013

Interview with Addison Westlake

Addison Westlake made her debut as an author at age 13 by rewriting the "Sweet Valley High" series. Despite copyright violations, she maintains that her rendition of Elisabeth and Jessica Wakefield as preteens in a British orphanage is a classic. Between then and now she went to some fancy schools, swapped out the East Coast for the West Coast, and had oodles of kids. Some of her favorite things in life include coffee, Aretha Franklin's inauguration hat and the sleepwalking scene in "Step Brothers."

Q. What inspired the plot for your novel, Facebook Jeanie?

I think we all have those moments when we wonder… what if? What if our lives hadn’t followed the path we chose? What if we did take that job offer in another city or if we did decide to marry that ex-boyfriend? “Facebook Jeanie” came out of that universal experience. I imagined what if there were some way for a character to have a ‘do over’ with the one that got away.

Q. Would you say that you and Clara are alike or different?

Clara changes so much throughout the course of the novel, and I guess I have moments when I’m like her at the beginning and at the end. At first, she’s stuck in a rut, self-absorbed, self-pitying and fixated on her One Big Mistake. Much as I hate to admit it, sure, I have my Woe is Me moments! At the end, she has much more perspective and, best of all, gratitude. Thankfully, I at least experience glimpses of these feelings every day.

Q. At what age did you realize writing was something you wanted to pursue?

Around nine or ten years old I started keeping a journal and writing stories in those little blue examination books about Sweet Valley High characters and British orphanages. Writing for me has always been like having a great conversation with a friend; I find it really fun and enjoyable. I don’t think I ever formally thought about pursuing it, I’ve just always done a lot of writing.

Q. Describe your writing ritual.

I write whenever and wherever I can. I have oodles of children and whisk around all day long, so writing is rarely the romantic endeavor of sitting down with a cuppa at a quiet desk to compose my thoughts. On any given day, writing can consist of waking up at 5am while the household is still sleeping, making notes in my car if I’m 15 minutes early for a school-pick up, or pulling out my laptop to make some notes while waiting in the dentist office. It’s more of a constant flow than a ritual.

Q. What are your writing goals for the rest of 2013?

I’m going to try to take it easy and enjoy the holidays with my family, write another humor column for my local mom’s club, and devote some time to promoting “Facebook Jeanie.” After the holidays, I’m excited to begin my next romantic comedy “Just Between Us”, the first book in my new “Never Been Kissed Club” series.

Q. What is your favorite thing to munch on while writing?

Toast with honey.

Q. What book(s) are you currently reading?

“The Next Best Thing” by Kristan Higgins. I love Kristan Higgins.

Q. If Facebook Jeanie were a movie, who would you like to see play the main characters?

I could see Alek being played by Jake Gyllenhaal or James Franco. Clara could be Hayden Panettiere or Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies). I could see Anna Faris being pretty funny as Jeanie; she’d bring a “House Bunny” element to the role. And Brad? Any good-lucking but vacant & bland guy would do!!!

Q. What can your fans expect next?

“Just Between Us”, the first book in my new “Never Been Kissed Club” series, will come out in 2014. It’s about Molly Bridget Anderson, a 29-year-old bookkeeper who likes things orderly. Which is why chaos—in the form 2-year-old nephews she suddenly has to look after and tattooed rock stars writing songs for her—is just what she needs to get her life on track.

Q. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Don’t worry, just write! If you think too much about it and worry about what other people with think you’ll never write a thing. Write what you enjoy, write often and have a good time with it!

Addison's first romantic comedy, “Christmas in Wine Country,” spent six weeks on the bestseller list in contemporary romance, women’s fiction, humorous fiction and humor. And it’s only $0.99, y’all.

She would like to thank MCM cover design,, for the awesome “Facebook Jeanie” cover. And for the unfailing patience with questions such as “should she have an earring” and “do her pinks clash?” Addison loves to hear from readers, so please find her at: 

Addison_Westlake Twitter: 

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