What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Placeholder?
There is a modicum of truth behind every ‘event’ in The Placeholder, be it a name, a place, an issue itself, probably 80% of the book came from experiences lived or told to me. Some people find the book mortifying, a type of: how could a woman (love that, as if it were a man it would be better received) be with so many men, be so desperate for love, make such bad decisions for being so well educated. Well, my reading friends, it can and does happen – we just mostly don’t hear about it or don’t want to know.
I was inspired by being a single woman for many years (including nearly all of my 40s) and I noticed there were very few close-to-the-truth stories about the s*** we go through dating in the age of the internet, being middle-aged, not wanting to settle, trying to weed through the others who have been through muck. I’m not a tie-it-all-up-into-a-happy-bow kind of person; and I hoped others would appreciate that kind of read.
I also wanted to write about the power of female friendships, which for me, resonates throughout the book. I did have a friend like Carolyn in the book, who showed up when I least expected it and for the friend to be who it was; I had no idea she and I would become bonded forever because of her inner goodness. Every woman needs a friend like Carolyn and my real-life friend was the inspiration for Carolyn’s character.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Placeholder, what would they be?
This seriously made me chuckle as someone in a review wrote, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” While it may not be perfectly on the mark, it’s not terribly far away, humorously speaking.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I actually love reading about WW2. I love all things war. I went through a phase where all I read about were snipers throughout the different eras. Anything historical fiction or based on real events – I’m in! I do also read a lot of general fiction (as is The Placeholder).
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid, Roots (a re-read) – Alex Haley, The Paper Place – Miranda Cowley Heller
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
In The Placeholder, the main character, Sera, becomes ill and it is during that time that she has a shift in her understanding of what really matters (read who), and she realizes that person(s) has always been with her. I think this was cathartic for me as a writer and a person, to actually wrap my mind around the fact that more often than not what or who we need has been with us all along.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Not sure if it’s quirky, but I get up at 5:30 a.m. to write. I often wake up in the middle of the night and scratch something out on a pad next to my bed and then try to re-read it in the morning. I tend to do my best work early, early.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I would say there are two things I try to live by: Tell people you love them or something about them, even strangers. Love does not equate to sex or even attraction. You can love someone for just being and it makes people unbelievably happy to hear it. I challenge you to walk down the street and tell someone you love something about them – the way they smile, the hat they are wearing, the color of their jacket. It’s amazing how good this can make you both feel.
The second thing: I don’t have time for crap. All our days are numbered, some of us more than others, and it is so freeing to realize that you don’t have to take guff, live with noise, or be subjected to rude behavior. Just don’t do it.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
That the bonds of good friends can be the most meaningful, fulfilling relationships.
Sign up for our email and we’ll send you the best new books in your favorite genres weekly.