Sunday, September 13, 2015

Interview with Savannah Page

Savannah Page is the author of the seven-novel When Girlfriends collection, heartfelt women's fiction that celebrates friendship, love, and life sprinkled with drama and humor. When she isn't writing, Savannah enjoys a good book with a latte and jazz tunes, Pilates, and exploring her home of Berlin as an American expat.

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Josie Ann! It’s been a lot of fun touring with you through the series. Readers, don’t forget to enter the BIG Rafflecopter giveaway below!

Q. What inspired the plot for "When Girlfriends Find Love”?

For the When Girlfriends series I knew straight away that I wanted to have each of the six girls tell their story individually. Sophie opened the series with Break Hearts, and since I love the concept of full circle (and it was about time that girl got her broken heart taken care of!) the rest of Sophie’s story would close the series. Her various romances were a lot of fun to orchestrate from one novel to the next, so come Find Love I was very ready to give her that happily ever after. The big inspirational piece for this particular novel was the final chapter. From there I built backwards and had a lot of fun with this one!

Q. Who would you cast as the girlfriends in the series?

Not an easy task, but I’ll try my best. I usually don’t have an actor in my mind when creating a character, but for Sophie, Claire, and Jackie I did. A 1980s Paulina Porizkova (Her Alibi) is definitely Sophie. Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) is Claire. Jackie’s a young, bleach-blonde, pixie-cute Kirsten Dunst...just more tanning-bed-orange. Jenna Fischer would be a great Robin, and Jennifer Garner could be Lara. Emily’s a really tough one, but Ginnifer Goodwin could probably be a good match. She’d just have to go for the dreadlocks now and then and show her wild side!

Q. Back in our last interview, you said you could probably most relate to Sophie. Would you say that you still relate to Sophie the most, or has that changed?

Absolutely. For all her OCDness, love of control and plans and schedules, and eagerness to keep things together (including friendships that she maintains from across the globe), Sophie’s my girl. We’re not carbon copies, that’s for sure, but when I created her character and wrote the first chapter of both Break Hearts and Find Love I found myself nodding a lot and thinking, “Yes, I totally get her!” (Now if I can just bake like her…)

Q. Describe your writing process when it came to writing this series.

Before I created a single character I knew I wanted to do a large series about a group of six eclectic best friends during those out-of-college years. I was inspired by my own group of girlfriends, all of us slowly moving away from our college town, but still keeping up those friendships. Taking on such a large series with so many main characters, and having that real-life inspiration from my own female friendships really helped me complete the series relatively quickly. While writing one novel I would collect ideas for the subsequent ones, keeping track of dialogue and scenes I’d use either in the next chapter or up to two or three novels later. Kind of like writing one gigantic story. It was a blast—but a lot of hard work—creating such a long narrative. But boy have I really come to know these six girls!

Q. Would you say that you're more of a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a plotter! I go crazy with Post-Its all over the floor and walls when I piece together the plot.

Q. Out of all the books in the series, which book did you enjoy writing the most?

I’ve got a soft spot for Jackie. She’s wonderfully insane, a lovely damaged character with so much drama. How can I not have fun writing from her perspective? Her story (Let Go) was a lot of fun concocting. But of all seven novels Find Love was so much FUN! I got to go to Paris; got to hang out with my male character crushes; I was surrounded by delicious desserts and coffee; and the romantic, sweep-you-off-your-feet kind of scenes in this novel? What’s not to love about that?

Q. What were some of your favorite things to snack on while writing this novel?

Almonds and pistachios are probably my biggest writing snacks, but I’m not a big snacker when writing, honestly. All that yumminess is a bit distracting. I do, however, have a good three or four drinks at the ready when I’m writing. I never realized I’m obsessed with beverages until one of my ex-co-workers said she never saw anyone before me who was never without either a beverage in her hand or on her desk…and so many of them. Variety’s the spice of life, right?

Q. What can your fans expect next?

This spring I came out with my first stand-alone novel, a women’s fiction piece (A Sister’s Place) that I think is my best piece of work. It’s definitely the one that stole my heart! Right now I’m working on an entirely new project that I am very excited (and nervous) about. It’s a trilogy and it’s a New Adult Contemporary Romance. Something very new, tons of fun, seriously dramatic, and a collection that I hope my readers will enjoy. I’m also planning on revisiting the Girlfriends but I’m not sure when, how, or what! You’ll just have to wait and see...

Q. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

"Keep on writing, no matter what” is a classic, hard and fast rule. But you’ve probably already heard that. So my favorite and best piece of advice? I once heard Sophie Kinsella say that an author should always write the book she wants to read. I couldn’t agree more! Not everyone will like everything you write, that’s a guarantee. Your fans won’t even like everything you write, that’s okay. Some books and characters will be more favored than others, totally normal. But so long as you stay true to the story and write the book that you really want to read, you can’t go wrong. When I wrote Lara’s book (Make Choices) I knew I’d make many readers angry with the married-man-cheating scenario, but that story hit me like a brick and I was driven to write it, no matter what. It was the story that was inside me, that I had to tell, and the one I really wanted to read! Helpful and experienced criticism and tips should not be ignored, and aiming to please readers is definitely important (especially your awesome fans), but always, always stay true to your story above all else. (Plus, writing the book you want to read is just so much fun!)

Sophie Wharton is in control. Whether life is going according to plan or throwing her for a loop, Sophie is determined to remain calm and in charge. It's no wonder she's the successful owner of one of Seattle's most charming cafés, The Cup and the Cake. Her lemon meringue cupcakes, petite French treats, and cappuccinos always leave customers coming back for more. Naturally, her camaraderie of college girlfriends are still thick as thieves a decade later. And it should come as no surprise that she has her own cozy apartment in the hip part of town and grand goals for her future.

Of course Sophie has had her share of rough times, and recently some unexpected surprises have emerged. Her best friend Claire has moved across the state, the demands of her café are mounting, and some major changes among her circle of friends are shaking things up. But it's nothing Sophie can't handle.

When it comes to her love life, however, Single Sophie's at a loss. She approaches it the way she does nearly everything in life--by trying to call all the shots. But love doesn't work that way, and as Sophie examines her past relationships--thinking back on romantic trysts in Paris; college mistakes; the relationship responsible for the Year of Heartbreak--she must come to accept that love is an unpredictable, untamable, and often unexpected force.

This is the witty and heartwarming conclusion of the When Girlfriends collection, a novel about examining the past, moving forward, and following your heart. It's a story about friendship, relationships, acceptance, and learning to love again. About what happens when girlfriends find love.

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