I’m starting 2019 off with an interview with Stephanie Lewis, author of Lullabies and Alibis who writes a very quirky, sideways look at life blog called Once Upon Your Prime .. give it go, you may just find yourself smiling .. a lot!
What is one thing people wouldn’t usually know about you?
I was interviewed for an article in Elle magazine about women who want to have a daughter. The author read my fictional novel and mixed me up with the main character in my book and the result was a featured piece that had readers thinking I was a very disturbed mother. A major talk radio show picked it up and did an hour segment on me, the wretched mother who didn’t want her own sons. Child protective Services was almost called in. I hired a lawyer and was going to sue for slander but everyone put out retractions and issued apologies. My book sales skyrocketed.
What did the best review you ever had say about your work?
If laughing on one page, crying on the next and then being shocked silly is your idea of a good read, you’ll adore Lullabies and Alibis! Stephanie Lewis smacks of Jennifer Weiner, Erma Bombeck and OHenry all thrown in together…..such talent!!!
What did the worst review you ever had say about your work?
To Stephanie D. Lewis, clever wordplay is the same thing as erotic foreplay — so not only should you boycott her novel, you’d be wise to avoid sexual relations with her as well.
How important are the names of your characters?
I give my characters a lot of thought and make sure their name is laden with symbolism and meaning. My protagonist is “Nordis Spect” which (if said fast three times!) sounds like “No Respect!” I called another character Ruth (even though I hate that name) just so I could title a chapter “The Moment of Ruth!” See what I did there just by omitting a T?
How did you choose a title for your book?
Lullabies and Alibis is about desperately wanting a baby girl (Lullabies) and all the excuses (Alibis) she makes to justify her behavior in getting a daughter the way she does. Besides that, the title kinda rhymed!
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
There is a significant risk of overdosing on Nutella. And also your kids come home from school asking what you did all day. Oh! And your CPA keeps telling you to calculate what percentage of your home is used as a writing studio, but you don’t remember any math because you were an English major so alas, more Nutella gets sacrificed.
Have you ever wished you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so, what?
A Therapist. Because I have sat on so many shrink’s couches over the years, I should’ve just become one, given myself a group discount, plus then I could write off my new sofa!
Do you think there is any elitism attached to the different book genres?
I like to invent new genres to bypass any elitism. I say my novel is “Fast Food Fiction” and that way everyone is happy when it turns out to be just a bunch of empty calories, yet it’s still delicious and nobody gains weight reading it.
Have you ever written naked?
Nobody can prove I haven’t, so I’m going to venture forward with my answer of “Yes. Every single day.”
Who would play you in a film of your life, and why?
Fran Drescher because she’s already got the hair thing going on and she’s tired of always being just the Nanny and would love to portray a mother of six. (She told me!)
What is the biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?
Writing in the first person, present tense made it difficult to jump back in time for any backstory and to allow the reader to know how other characters viewed the protoganist since she was such an unreliable narrator.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Forget the old advice to write what you know and instead write what you love to read. Also just like before you go out somewhere fancy, the wise fashion advice is to take off three pieces of jewelry or accessories— by the same token, a writer should remove lots of adverbs and adjectives. Less really is more.
How do you remain sane while writing?
I devour cartons of Nutella, type naked, and lament not becoming a therapist.
What is the best excuse you have had for missing a deadline?
My 6th child deleted it because she wanted me to play Candyland instead.
What has been the best experience of your life?
Becoming a mother through giving birth and by adopting and noticing zero difference.
Are you jealous of other writers?
Only if they claim it’s easy and that it just wrote itself, because I’m naive and gullible and wonder what’s wrong with me?
Where do you find your inspiration?
I am extremely nosy and will blatantly eavesdrop in public places so if you’re gossiping to your best friend loudly via your cellphone while relaxing on a park bench, I’m thanking you in advance for the captivating new material!
What was the most important thing you learned at school?
Read all the classics and analyze why they became so beloved.
Have you had to learn new skills and tricks, or attempted impossible feats in order to get a book finished?
I’ve had to break out of my awkward, shy, wallflowerish nature to speak at bookclubs and book-signings even when I toyed with just communicating with the audience on a dry erase board.
What is the strangest thing you have ever had to do to promote a book?
I interviewed myself on my own blog and even stumped myself with some truly unexpected questions.
Which book would you like to have written?
Gone With The Wind, but I can’t think about that right now, I’ll just think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.
What is your favourite film or TV moment of all time?
When Carol Burnett (impersonating Scarlett O’Hara) comes down the elegant staircase wearing those green drapes, with the curtain rod still in them. She says, “I saw it in the window and just had to buy it.”
Do you have a favourite writing resource you would like to share with other writers?
Read the book “On Writing” by Stephen King. Yes, THAT Stephen King. It’s so insightful, it’s more frightening than The Shining!
Tea, coffee, water, juice, beer, or wine … what do you prefer when writing?
Are there any habits you wish you didn’t have, and if so what are they?
Diet Coke because it causes dementia and memory loss, but I can’t recall where I read that.
If you could commit the perfect murder, what would you do with the body?
Put my novel in the hands of the corpse so people would finally realize, “Wow! You just can’t put it down!” 😉
You can find Lullabies and Alibis in paperback and Kindle format here: :
You can meet Stephanie on her website here: https://onceuponyourprime.com/
WHY ‘THE THURSDAY THRONG’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.