What was your biggest inspiration while writing your book?
Are any characters in your book based on a real person?
I don't base my main characters on real people, but I'll throw in an occasional cameo for family and friends. My friend Shannon shows up as a former Miss America contestant in New Uses For Old Boyfriends, and my friend Chandra is sitting at the bar ogling a hot guy in Cure for the Common Breakup. I always call them and ask permission before I drag them into the storyline, and they usually agree, especially when I explain that they'll be described as glamorous beauty queens.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Anne of Green Gables
Which authors have most influenced your writing?
Helen Fielding changed the landscape of women's fiction with Bridget Jones's Diary. Reading her books helped me find the courage to start writing my own novels. Bridget is such a relatable heroine, and Fielding's voice is so distinct. I was reluctant to take any creative writing classes in college because I knew that my voice and characters were too upbeat and commercial to qualify as "serious literature," but Bridget Jones's Diary proved that there was a huge, supportive audience of intelligent women who wanted stories about real women navigating the complexities of modern love, work, family and friendship.
If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be?
Tina Fey. She has been my literary crush since "Mean Girls."
What are your plans as a writer in 2015?
I will be writing like it's my job.
Wait. I guess it IS my job. To that end, I will have two books out in 2015—New Uses for Old Boyfriends in February and another romantic comedy in November.
What are your New Year's resolutions?
-Say yes to new travels and adventures whenever possible.
-Try not spend all my money on leopard-print Valentino car coats from the sixties and black lace Adrian cocktail dresses from the forties. (Curse you, Robert Black!)
How have your personal experiences affected your writing?
Wherever I go, whatever I do, it shows up in a story one way or another. I wrote The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service after I adopted two goofy red mutts from a local rescue group and started talking to professional dog trainers and handlers. Second Time Around, which features four former English majors gone bad, was inspired by a night of carousing with some of my writer buddies (that whole night's bar tab should have been a work-related tax write-off!). New Uses for Old Boyfriends includes a scene in which the heroine looks up her old classmates online and drowns her despair in wine when she realizes that everyone else's life looks shiny and perfect while hers is a smoldering train wreck. I'm not saying that's ever happened to me…I'm just saying existential angst, Syrah, and Facebook are a bad mix.
Describe your writing style in three words.
Kirkus Reviews just described New Uses For Old Boyfriends as "charming, poignant, and heartwarming." I'll take it!