Welcome back to the Literary Junkies link up with Taylor from Pink Heels, Pink Truck and I! Taylor took it solo last month while my blog was in the process of changing platforms so a HUGE thank you to her for keeping the ball rolling. Anyways, I am super excited for this month's link up because Taylor and I are introducing a new feature. We're now going to include little Q&A's with writers each month and the first one is Meredith Rachek, a fellow Chicago gal. Meredith is the author of Accidental Happiness, a novel that I'm currently in the process of reading and quite honestly, loving. I normally take a while to make a decision about a book but I loved it by the time I was fifty pages in. You must check it out. Here is our little chat with Meredith.
1. What moment in life did you know that you wanted to write a book?
There was never any moment when I decided I had or even wanted to be an author. I just started dreaming up this idea one summer; about a girl who loses her boyfriend in a fatal car crash just before they are set to go to college...morbid right? Anyways unlike a lot of the other stories I had dreamed up, up to that point this one hung around and I just couldn't stop developing it in my head and eventually started outlining it on paper. After 90+ pages of outlines and character development I decided I had to take the risk and try writing even if I was horrible at it. And that February morning almost five years ago now was when Accidental Happiness was born.
2. How do you manage fear as a writer?
With writing there are two different fears that I have encountered. The first is the fear of not being good enough. That slowly begins to evaporate the more people read and like your story. My advice would be to have as many people as possible read your work. It doesn't do much when your Mom says you did a good job simply because she is your Mom and that is her job, but when a stranger comes up to you and tells you they love your story, they related to your story, it pretty much takes all the fear away. The other fear is hearing people actually read your own words, thoughts, and feelings out loud or in front of you. It makes my skin crawl because I feel so exposed. I actually made a rule for any family or friends who buy the book...I'll give it to you if you promise to read it somewhere other than in front of me. And when they do it anyways I put my fingers in my ears and run out of the room yelling "LA LA LA LA LA".
3. Who is your favorite character in Accidental Happiness?
Honestly my favorite character is Max. I love Brian and Becky for who they are but I created Max to be the guy everyone loves and everyone wants to be around. I also tried to make him the most flawed so that everyone could find a little piece of themselves in him. Maybe I'll write a spin off about him one day.
4. Do you have a writing role model? Someone who really inspires you that you look up to?
Hands down, Jodi Picoult. I am awed by her imagination and attention to detail every time I read something new by her. She draws parallels between the most unique topics and it always works out beautifully in the end.
5. What inspired you to write a story about young love? (This was a question from LJ member Brenda of The Daily Mayo)
I wanted to write something that would help people remember the firsts in life. First kiss, first love, first fight, first time you demanded freedom from your parents. Who doesn't want to fall in love again for the first time. With Accidental Happiness you do.
A HUGE thank you to Meredith for participating in this month's LJ link up. You can follow Meredith on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you look for her review on the blog soon! Now for this week's questions.
1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it.
I'm reading Accidental Happiness by Meredith Rachek. It's a novel about young love that was ended to soon and very abruptly. I truly love the characters in this book and have enjoyed sharing their journey. I'll give you guys more details once I finish and review in full.
2. If you were a writer, what kind of books would you write?
I like to think I'd write something along the lines of Hemingway or Fitzgerald but I have a feeling it would be more like a Nicholas Sparks novel. I do love a good mystery though so I could see myself as a bad ass mystery ghost writer.
3. Are there any favorite books you like to go back to when the weather starts cooling down?
I always like to re-read parts of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and The Great Gatsby. For some reason, when the whether gets cooler, I get more introspective and want to dive deep into older, more profound literature...as pompous as that sounds.
4. If you could have a chat with any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
Oh my God this question is a hard one. Taylor! I have a long list. This is not an easy answer. I'd say past author, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Hemingway. Their minds fascinate me and I would love to have a conversation with someone who had such a beautiful way with words. I mean, The Great Gatsby is so beautifully and perfectly written. Just to have a conversation with the mind behind this story would make my life. Present...Nicholas Sparks or Gregory Maguire. Two completely different writers but I'm such a huge Sparks fan and Maguire, I'd love to get a peek inside his imagination.
5. What book are you looking forward to reading this fall?
I have two. I really want to finally read An Immovable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I'm also looking forward to Nicholas Sparks' new novel See Me.