On Today's Menu -- Justine Dell ALL AMERICAN GIRL
At the age of thirty, with two failed marriages and a tanking writing career, Samantha Moore deals with the world with the only tool she had left: anger. And she’s tired of it. When her grandmother's near-death sends her rushing back home to Vermont, she hopes for the chance to overcome the rage ruling her life.
Once she’s home, Lance Cummings becomes a constant source of indigestion. Lance is a single father who learned first-hand the devastating effects of a damaging relationship. He sees through Samantha’s nasty temper—straight to her cry for help. He wants to help her, but he also wants to know why Samantha ran from him—and their future—twelve years before.
Taking care of her Grams, dealing with an alcoholic brother, and getting Lance to remove his annoyingly attractive nose from her business is draining on Samantha. And she’s only got three weeks to finish her stagnated novel or her publisher will drop her. No pressure. To top it off, pretending to hate the man she actually loves makes each day in Vermont harder than the last. Especially when Lance turns up the heat.
Here are a few questions Justine has answered for me.
1) Your main character, Samantha, is a writer with a deadline. Is there any sense of you in your character?
Actually, no. (Not sure I would want the problems she has, lol). The fact that she is a writer just fit with her personality. Let’s face it, we writers are a crazy-type. Heehee. Honestly, the plot itself required mobility on her part, and no too-many jobs allowed for that flexibility. Plus, weaving together Samantha’s writing with her own life worked out perfectly.
2) Do you plot your novels or do you follow your muse to wherever she (or he) leads?
I’m totally a panster. I normally come up with an idea by thinking of a cool title first (which normally comes out of nowhere), and then it flows out from there. I’ve got the guts of the story in my mind (the beginning and how I want it to end), the everything else comes as I write! It’s very liberating for me.
3) Where did you come up with the concept for your story? Without giving away spoilers, Samantha seems to be...well, a little high strung. What prompted you to write about such a "large" emotion?
This story, like so many others, came from the title. I was listening to the radio in my car one day and Carrie Underwood’s song, All American Girl came on the radio. I love that song, and it suddenly hit me, what about an All-American Girl who didn’t have it so easy? What if you took that same girl and gave her complex issues and anger management problems? What if the All-American Girl wasn’t All-American at all? And bam! The story emerged.
Yeah, Samantha’s stretched a little tight. Truly, I think there is a little bit of Samantha in everyone. Some people are just better at hiding it. She’s wears all her emotions on her sleeve and has lost the ability to deal with certain things. This book is a journey for her, like life is a journey for so many other people.
4) What is the most difficult part of writing for you? First draft, revisions, edits?
EDITS. Everything I think of the word, I shudder. I would rather have all my teeth pulled than edit something. It’s so constrictive, and because I love the free-flowing feeling of the writing itself, editing is the most difficult thing for me.
5) Now that ALL AMERICAN GIRL is out -- what's next? Any new ideas or are you going to rest?
Ahhh! A writer never rests! I’m truly blessed to be able to share my stories with wonderful readers, and I couldn’t imagine resting. Omnific will be publishing my third book, Until Next Time (date is TBD). I haven’t started anything new in awhile, but I have some projects that were started a while back that would like me to take another look. I always pictured All-American Girl being a three book series, so maybe I’ll write book number 2?
Fantastic! Can't wait to read that. Thanks so much Justine for being at the Grille today.
Justine lives in the Midwest, happily catering to her family, which consists of a horse-obsessed teenage daughter, four dogs, and a husband who is too good to be true. She's never moved from her hometown, but hopes to grow old in a much warmer climate.
She started writing four years ago after seeing a movie that set off a chain reaction she couldn't have stopped if she'd wanted. It's not a hobby for her; it's an obsession. One she loves and one she loves to share. Her debut book, Recaptured Dreams and her newest release, All-American Girl, are available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever book are sold.
My Blog: firstname.lastname@example.org
Buy Links for Justine's book -- ALL AMERICAN GIRL
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Justine has also graciously agreed to give away an All American Girl postcard and Vermont Maple Candy (together). Just leave your email address in the comments and I will pick a winner on Sunday.
She's also sponsoring another giveaway on her blog, which you can find here. http://justine-dell.blogspot.com/p/all-american-girl.html