Number of pages: 180
Word Count: approx. 77,000
Juggling two jobs and mounting bills, Audrey decides she doesn't have time for a boyfriend, but contemplates a friends plus situation. After placing a personal ad, she meets Mike, a local cop, former Marine. He's old fashioned and overbearing, but she just can't walk away.
Unfortunately for her, Michael is an expert marksman, and her heart never stood a chance. Their tumultuous love affair crashes to an ending neither foresaw, and Audrey is forced to make a decision that will change both their lives forever.
1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?
I was trying to think of an original contemporary story about two very burned people, because I wanted to tackle the idea of everyone being worthy of love. But, nothing came to me for almost a year. Nothing solid at least. One night, after a long day at work, I listened to a song Born to Die by Lana Del Rey and the entire story line (the whole series) came to me as well as the basic characterization of Mike, Audrey, and their friends. I then sat for a week working out the finer details of their personality before writing. The Rough Draft of this story took me exactly one month to write. The words poured out of me. The Second Draft took me another month and four scenes were added that were not in the original. From there, I began editing which took another two months.
2. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
No, I never changed the title. I guess you could say Audrey came up with the title because when I was ‘inside her head,’ she was in such denial about falling in love with Mike that she just kept telling everyone that they were just good friends. The title just happened organically. I also think that it was humorous from anyone else’s perspective looking in on Mike or Audrey when they were somewhere public together. It’s pretty obvious that something is simmering beneath the surface.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel for me. As I said I had the entire series worked out in the span of an hour. I have never in my life had such a bolt of inspiration. I wrote it, because I loved the characters and the idea that no matter what you’ve been through in life, love is out there for you if you’re brave enough to take a chance.
4. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Messages from readers who told me how much they loved the story, or that the story resembled closely what happened in their lives that they felt deeply connected to the story. To know that your story touched someone or affected them…I doubt there is any experience greater than that for a writer. Meeting famous people, going to exotic locations, becoming rich, none of them compare to the feeling that your work is meaningful.
5. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I just finished Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren.
6. What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?
I had two books in college that I never finished; I was only ¼ finished with them before abandoning them and thinking that I wasn’t good enough to be a writer. For years after having my daughter, I wrote video game fan fiction. My longest fan fiction is still not done (years after first beginning writing it) and it’s 70,000 words. My first completed book is Just Good Friends
7. What is your writing process?
Inspiration hits me, and I type until it’s all out of my head. But, during editing, I think about the series as a whole and make sure that nothing is contradictory to later events, etc. So, as George RR Martin explained, There are two types of writer- the ones who plan everything out and the ones who just sit and write whatever comes to them- I am the architect and the farmer.
- Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Tolkien.
9. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
I write a note if I can. People have waited to talk to you, the least you can do is try and convey just how much that means to you. If I don’t speak to the person for long, I just say thank you enjoying the book.
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I grew up riding horses and was so talented that at eighteen I wanted to go professional and join the USET. My parents made me go to college instead.
11. How do you react to a bad review?
I read what the person wrote, consider what they have said, and then learn from it. Negative reviews are just as important to me as positive ones because they are a chance to become a better author.
12. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
My husband, who is incredibly supportive, took me out to a romantic dinner after dropping our daughter off at grandma’s.
About the Author:
She loves going to NJ diners on the weekend for inspiration, drinks a pot of coffee a day, and loves finding new music to add to her list.
Just Good Friends is her debut book.