Happy Women’s Fiction Day, book peeps!
Women’s Fiction Day was established by WFWA in 2019. It is a day to celebrate the authors, stories, readers, bookstores, and fans of the women’s fiction genre. I hope you discover some great new reads today and take the time to give a shout out to your favourite women’s fiction authors! If you’re a women’s fiction author yourself, join us!
There’s lots of fun stuff going on online like giveaways, so for more info check out @WF_Writers on Twitter and the WFWA website: https://wfwa.memberclicks.net/womens-fiction-day-2020.
As a way to celebrate my fellow WFWA sisters and their brilliant work, I’m going to repost some of the previous Q&As I’ve had this year throughout the day, so stay tuned.
BUT to kick things off, I have a new Q&A for you!
I’m thrilled to have my WFWA sister, fellow 2020 Debuts author, and friend Rebecca Taylor on the blog today to tell us all about her *very* recently released book HER PERFECT LIFE!! I was fortunate to read and review an early copy of Rebecca’s work and loved it (Check out my GR review here: https://bit.ly/30n6j7M). I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Rebecca and her wonderful debut!
Thanks so much for dropping by, Becky, and congratulations again on your release!
AK: Tell us a little about yourself.
RT: First off, I want to say thank you for having me here on your site! I really appreciate the opportunity. Currently, I live in Colorado with my husband and two teenaged children. Besides writing books, I also work as a school psychologist, where I work with a fantastic team of teachers and administrators dedicated to supporting the educational, social, and emotional needs of students.
I grew up in a military family that moved a lot. And I would describe that time in my life as unpredictable. Books, and my need to escape into them, were a constant in my life on which I depended. Heavily. It was in books that I found the guidance I needed to navigate, however unsteady it was, toward a more secure adulthood.
AK: What’s the premise of your book?
RT: Her Perfect Life is about two sisters, Eileen and Clare, who have ended up with very different lives as adults. Eileen is the mother of three who is struggling to hang onto her dreams of being a photographer while managing her life, home, marriage, and jealousy over her sister’s enormous success as a world-famous bestselling author. But when Clare kills herself, Eileen sets her jealousy aside and begins to investigate what was really going on in Clare’s life behind the façade of success, money, and fame.
AK: What inspired you to write it?
RT: During the 2012 Summer Olympics I was watching Michael Phelps get ready to win more gold when the camera panned the audience and identified his family there watching. It was the first time I became aware that he had two older sisters. The question came to me, “What must that feel like to be the sibling of a person like Michel Phelps?!” Which led to, “What must it feel like for any sibling of the ultra-successful??” And while the book is about more than this uneven dynamic between these sisters, it is certainly what got me started.
AK: What are you most looking forward to this debut year? And conversely, what are you most nervous about?
RT: I laugh to think how different my answer would be if I had answered this six months ago. Answering it now? Let’s say my expectations are significantly reined in, and there isn’t ANYTHING that could make me feel nervous at this point. Releasing a midlist novel by an unknown author in the middle of a global pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and the Black Lives Matter protests–I have to say, even I feel pretty, “Who gives a shit about my book right now?” So while I do love my book, and I know I’ve worked hard for eighteen years to get to this point (Hey, I now have a traditionally published book out in the world!) it’s also hard to see my book release as particularly important right now. Maybe those feelings will change later, but it’s hard to say.
AK: What authors do you admire and/or have influenced your development as a writer? Please feel free to add specific books. We love recommendations!
RT: It’s hard to answer this because I feel most influenced by being a lifelong reader of MANY titles by MANY authors. So I don’t think I could point to any singular influence with regards to development as a writer myself. I have probably learned something about writing from every book I’ve ever read. But a couple of my favorites (in absolutely no order at all) are: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, All the Light We Can Not See by Anthony Doer, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma by Jane Austen, Circe by Madeline Miller, The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King, Misery by Stephen King, Beloved by Toni Morrison, Less by Andrew Sean Greer, The Wife by Meg Wolizter, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Map of Time by Felix J Palma, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, All the Harry Potter books by J.K Rowling, The World According to Garp by John Irving…just too many. I currently write women’s fiction, but I enjoy reading many different genres.
AK: What are you working on now?
RT: A presently untitled women’s fiction novel set in a Colorado neighborhood.
Release date: June 2nd, 2020
Reclusive Clare Collins crafts her novels like she crafts her life: perfectly. So the world is stunned when the famous author is found dead on the beach from a self-inflicted gunshot — the morning after her latest book hits the shelves.
Her sister, Eileen, is at a loss. Clare led a charmed life: success, mansions, money…why would she throw it all away? But while reading through her sister’s latest–and greatest–novel, Eileen discovers a clue that unravels the fiction and reveals the painful truth. Suddenly, the life that Eileen had envied doesn’t seem so sparkling . . .
Her Perfect Life is a page-turning debut that reminds us that no matter the success, everyone has secrets. And some are more devastating than others.
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