Today I'd like to welcome Becca Wilhite, author of Bright Blue Miracles and her newest novel, My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions.
Quick! Describe your novel My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions in 7 words or less!
Insecure university freshman stumbles through unexpected romance.
Okay, thank you for humoring me and my spontaneous demands! How about a bit more of a description?
Sarah's a closet Romance reader, and she KNOWS that life isn't like romance novels. That's for the willowy, stunning waifs, not girls with brains and hips. Even with the prodding of her best friend, she can't believe that Ben the Greek God is actually interested in her. Because she's been fooled before, publicly and horribly, and she's never, ever going to open herself up to that sort of humiliation again.
Who is your main character, and what makes them unique?
Sara's paradox is that she's bright enough to "get" college, but she's really dumb about seeing herself. She holds two-sided conversations in her head (in British accents, natch) where she argues her points (you know, with herself). Easily mortified, she regularly has to remove her foot from her mouth.
Where did the inspiration to write this novel come from?
I love to explore the differences between how a person sees herself and how the rest of the world sees her. I also think that even the most confident girls feel under-qualified for "perfect" relationships. Also, I love the voices in Sarah's head. I could hear them loud and clear from the day I wrote the first scene (which of course, is not the first scene in the book).
As far as the actual writing goes, I was planning to attend a writers' conference, and I needed two chapters for a group critique workshop. Two weeks before the conference, my first manuscript (Bright Blue Miracle) was accepted for publication, so I needed something new. I had a scene I loved (dancing at the reception) that wasn't tied to anything, so I wrote the first two chapters for Sarah's story to take that workshop. Some of the feedback I got was brutal. Some helpful. Some generous. And some was unexplainable and mysterious to me. So the most helpful thing I got from that experience was this: I allowed myself to accept some of the suggestions and say "no thanks" to some of the others. I think it's HUGE for a writer to know when to accept and when to reject "helpful advice" from readers and other writers.
Do you have any ridiculous, romantic obsessions?
Lea, I think I have all of them. But mostly I just want a really cool Regency dinner dress. All my other obsessions? Have totally come to be facts of my life and my happy marriage. :)
Thanks for the wonderful interview Becca! And now on to the contest!
For your chance to win your very own copy of My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions, Enter using the form below (OR email me your entries at firstname.lastname@example.org). Ends FEBRUARY 25th, at midnight.
US Entrants only.
My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions Review (will open in a new window)