Author Q & A: Therese in the Hot Seat
What stands out about your novel India’s Summer?
The fast paced dialogue, the visuals and the surprise twist.
What hit the cutting room floor?
My English voice; words, phrases, idioms that got lost in translation.
How long did it take you to write it?
Two years (with breaks off for good behavior.)
How did you come up with the title?
Before I wrote the book – it was no-brainer once I had my character’s name; it’s about India’s summer holiday in LA.
If you could see anyone (alive or deceased) reading your novel, who would it be?
Elvis Presley…but I’d get him to put it down fast so we could get on with other stuff.
What’s the story behind the first line/opening paragraph of your novel?
The fire walk is a metaphor for the story – which is essentially about how conquering our fear allows us to move on in our lives.
Who do you hope will star in the movie adaptation of your latest novel?
Orlando Bloom, Jeff Bridges, Rachel Weiss and Kate Hudson.
What’s your process for figuring out what makes your main characters tick?
I listen to their voices and channel them. I was a drama teacher so I get into character easily.
Do you know the end of your novel before you begin writing? How much of a planner are you? Does it change from book to book?
I did with India’s Summer but the sequel Letter from Paris is evolving. I am still not clear about the ending.
Your next novel:
Letter From Paris.
What does balance mean to you? How do you juggle writing with everything else.
Balance? !!!! I go through intense periods of writing – totally immersed and resentful of everything else that I have to do. Time flies and I seem to be in another space continuum. I have been married for a long time to a writer who understands and waits for me to emerge.
In a fire, what are 5 things you grab from your desk/writing space?
My laptop, a photograph we took the day we emigrated to America, a paperweight my assistant Jodi bought that reads, “Always be yourself because the people who matter don’t mind and the people who mind don’t matter”, my handwritten notes for the book I’m writing, a photograph of my husband and myself in full costume dress renewing our vows at the Elvis chapel in Vegas.
Writing ritual or wing it day to day?
Depends on the point in the process and the pressure to deliver.
How do you stay disciplined?
It doesn’t feel like discipline. Writing for me is a compulsion
Hardest thing about being an author? Best thing?
Self- promotion is hardest. Best thing is the space and freedom to write.
Would you recommend it as a career for someone else?
I don’t think you choose it, I believe it is a passion and that we should all try to follow our passions.
Did you choose writing or did it choose you?
It chose me.
If you could give any famous author in history the first look at your manuscript, who would it be?
Do you discuss what you’re currently working on with your husband? Friends? Family?
Yes up to a point early on with the novels– and later when I am on a fresh draft and am ready for new ideas or perspective.
Are you ever working on more than one writing project at once?
If you get writer’s block, what’s your solution?
Turn up and write jibberish on my laptop until it breaks through or do automatic writing guided by The Artist’s Way by hand.
What’s on your iPod right now?
Leonard Cohen, Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones, Chopin, Dylan, Pink Martini, Clapton, Amy Winehouse, Carla Bruni, Serge Gainsborough…all on shuffle mode.
What’s/Who’s on your entertainment must-list?
Right now have mostly travel plans so not much time for movies or theater. Summer is all about books for me.
What’s one daily must?
Complete this sentence: I’ve had a good day if…
If I’ve done my best.
Last book you read?
I re-read “A Room of One’s Own” last week. I was blocked and needed reminding I’ve no excuse not to write.
New author you discovered?
Felicity McCall – an Irish writer, her latest collection of short stories is titled “A Pitying of Doves”.
Movie you saw or TV show you watched?
Paris – Saint Germain
All my pleasures feel like guilty ones; I was raised Catholic. I suppose Sancerre would have to be top of the list.
My daughter just passed her American citizenship interview and greeted me at the door with a “ YEE HAW.”
Thing you did for you?
Took a very long swim.
Item you tossed from your closet?
A white shirt. I went out Friday night to a gala. “Beverly Wilshire Hotel please.” I said to the driver. “Sure.” He said, “ Do you work there?” That’s the last time I’ll go out wearing tux in LA. Let’s face it I’m not Ellen Degeneres.
Next book you plan to read?
Almost French by Sarah Turnbull. A friend bought it for me. She said if I were anymore ‘almost French’ I’d be French.
Book you plan to write?
“Letter From Paris” – the sequel to India’s Summer is a work in progress.
Movie you plan to see/TV show you plan to watch?
The Girls. It captures the Millennials perfectly; a voice for a new generation and so funny.
Thing you plan to do for you
A new haircut.