Yay, yay, yay, look at this wonderful book! I'm so happy to have it on my blog!
About the Book:
If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.
After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck Luke Piewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.
a) What is your writing motivation?
Love of the process. And I live off making people laugh. When I have a captive audience, I don’t need a microphone. Just a few wacky ideas and off we go. You should’ve seen me at the gas station the other day. The attendant asked me about a sticker I have on my car (the Craigh na Dun standing stones from Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series). He asked me if I was Scottish—“Why, yes I am!”—and then I had to admit that, yes, while a member of Clan Moffat, I am a mutt Yankee, transplanted to Canada, and they haven’t kicked me out yet, mostly because I haven’t committed a felony. This conversation ended with me making a “too soon” joke about a local politician, and two of the three pump attendants cracking up. You never know what I will do or say when I’m let out of the cage.
But writing motivation? Sanity. If I don’t write, I am not happy. That’s motivation enough. And my family is much happier when I’m writing because it keeps the temper tantrums at a minimum.
b) MLA or ALA writing style? (I personally don't love either, but I've heard of some who do.)
Neither. Ewww. And when I’m editing, I adhere to Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. I’ll use AP when I absolutely have to, but I prefer not. And I’ve resisted using ALA and MLA since university. *shudder*
c) If you had to describe Neurotica by one color, what would it be and why?
Yellow. Because ducks. And yellow is the color of hope. That’s what Jayne embodies: hope that we can be better than we are today if we learn how to be true to ourselves.
d) Writing inspirations?
I watch a lot of movies. There’s much to be learned in three-act structure thrown up on the big screen. I love romance, comedies, romantic comedies, and epic fantasy. Lately I’ve been on a superhero kick because Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel was hot—that dude can rock the Super suit—and my latest obsession is Guardians of the Galaxy. That whole cast is fantastic and the writing is razor sharp. At first, I was like, “A talking raccoon? Are you kidding me?” (Obviously I don’t read comics. I am a bad nerd. Baby steps, though.) But then I saw the film and have seen it again since and am planning a third journey to the theater because I bloody love to laugh. And laugh I DID. Loudly. Often. With gusto. Feels good to laugh.
I also find a lot of inspiration from actors, watching the choices they make when delivering a line and how that line was written, what is translated via body language and eye work and what is not said out loud in a given scene, how these choices come together to move things forward. It’s amazing how much can be learned from watching an inspired performance—it’s how I hone dialogue-heavy scenes. Otherwise, writing inspiration comes from authors I look up to. I always want to be better, do better, learn more, write with greater depth and nuance, create multifaceted characters that readers will remember after the last page is turned.
e) Did you listen to any music while writing Neurotica? What?
While writing, I typically listen only to movie scores. I get too caught up in the lyrics with pop songs, to listen to the story the songwriter is telling us. Plus I tend to sing along (a terrible predicament for those in the vicinity), and then nothing meaningful gets accomplished. I will say, though, that with Neurotica’s rewrite, I found myself listening to Sia, Great Big World, and Woodkid on repeat. That was pretty awesome. One of my friends, a great supporter of my work, sent me a playlist after she read an earlier draft, and that helped me see areas in the story that could be carved out with more definition based on this musical underscore.
f) Cookies with or without milk?
Never with the cookies in the milk. I hate soggy things. And if given the choice, I would have coffee with the cookies, only because drinking Irish whiskey midday is frowned upon. Silly society and its fantastical rules.
g) If you had to choose your favorite book in the entire world, which would you choose and why?
Shame on you! That is a terrible question, you mean, mean meanie-face. HOW TO CHOOSE? Ummm, right now? It would be Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. I am totally obsessed with this whole series. One of my dearest friends tried to get me to read it years ago and I balked. And so I’ve spent the last three months kicking myself in the ass for not diving in sooner because as soon as I read the first chapter, I was hooked. Beyond that, though, my fave of all time is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley—I read it during a transition time in my life, and it resonated deeply. Made me see things I’d not considered before. But then again, there is another recent discovery, Grasshopper Jungle, which is hands down the craziest, most insane, awesome thing I have read in years. What a breath of crazy-ass fresh air. I am currently inhaling everything Andrew Smith, and I just received his latest, 100 Sideways Miles, for my birthday. Looking very forward to diving in, as it was recently longlisted for the National Book Award.
I LOVE ALL THE BOOKS, my dear. I’m sorry. You asked for one. I cannot. Do I still get an A for effort? I’m a Virgo. We like getting A’s.
Thank you so much for the chat. I do hope your readers have a look-see at Neurotica and Must Love Otters. The possibility of giggling exists.
About the Author:
A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone. www.elizagordon.com