By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last... but it probably won't.
Your novel is called 'Thirty-Two Going on Spinster' please could you tell me about it?
Thirty-Two Going on Spinster is about Julia. Julia is stuck in a rut and can't seem to get out of it, nor does she even try. Enter Jared Moody, the hotty new hire at her work. Suddenly Julia finds herself wanting to change, but doesn't know how. With help from her family and friends, and also the self-confidence boost she gets from the unexpected attention from Jared, Julia starts to come out of her shell. But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes along, will she be able to handle it? Or will she go back to her old ways? Guess you'll have to read to find out!
Are any of the characters in 'Thirty-Two Going on Spinster' anything like you?
I'm like Julia, in a lot of ways. Although, unlike her, I like change and I embrace it (for the most part). But her sarcasm and inner dialogue is a lot like mine - or was, rather. I've grown up and have much more self confidence now. The sarcasm has not changed, though.
In 'Thirty-Two Going on Spinster' Julia makes some changes, it you could change one thing in 2014, what would it be and why?
Well 2014 is a big year for me because I turn the big 4-0 (yikes!). So my goal this year is to lose 40 pounds by my 40th birthday. I started last November, actually, and I'm already down 15. So 25 to go!
They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
It took me a long time to finish my book (8 years, actually) because I would write and rewrite and then take long breaks in between. The biggest thing that held me back was the publishing part. I am just not the personality to go after publishers and agents. But then a friend of mine started self-publishing and doing quite well at it, so I thought - I could do that! So I finally finished the book in 5 months (I wrote more than half of it in that five months - so the writing process itself was really not that long). I published on Amazon, sold a million copies and here we are! Not really. I put it out there, got a bunch of downloads from friends and friends of friends. In June I put my book on Bookbub and that is when it really started to take off. My biggest mistake I made in this whole process was putting my book out there without having it professionally edited. I had a content editor that did an amazing job, but there were many grammar mistakes. I finally had it edited and I really wish I would have done it from the start. But live and learn. I won't be making that mistake again.
Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?
Oooh, these are good questions. Okay, so if I had to spend a day with any one of my characters, I would probably pick Jared. Because he's hot. No really, I would pick Julia. Although, hanging out with her would sort of be like hanging out with myself... and I can get on my own nerves sometimes. So it's back to Jared. And I stand by the reason I would pick him (hot).
If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
The Alchemist by Paula Coelho. It is truly one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read and has such an amazing message.
If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
I would have to pick "live life to the fullest" for the theme of my life. Growing up, my father used to tell me that if I put my mind to it, I could do anything. And I really took that to heart. I believe that I have been living my life to the fullest of my extent and I am happy with the choices that I made so far and the person I have become. I look forward to the future! Who knows what I might do!
What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
I'm working on a sequel to Spinster. I had originally thought that there was no sequel, that the story ended with this book. But then the idea came to me in a dream. Just kidding, it was in the shower. I'm in the midst of writing that. I'm also writing a new book with a whole different cast of characters about a girl who tries to stop a wedding. It's a lot of fun to go back and forth between the two books, but there are a lot of characters having dialogues in my head right now. My brain can feel a bit muddled (and I wonder why I never remember anything these days).
What or who in life inspires you?
My family inspires me. They make me want to work at being better at everything I do. Also, stupid people. They inspire me to write about them.
What is your all time favourite book?
Oh, gosh, I would love to say something like War and Peace and sound smart, but I'm going with Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella. I really love that book. And I can read it over and over again and not get sick of it. I probably should be ashamed of that, but I'm not.
A big thank you to Becky for talking to The Love of a Good Book