As an author, I’ve spent a lot of time asking myself 'what if?' questions. What if you met the love of your life before you were ready to settle down? What if you were ready to settle down but hadn’t met the love of your life? Those two questions led to the idea for my first novel, Waiting at Hayden’s. The book I’m working on now called The Influencer started with this what if question: What if each chapter of a novel opened with a photo from a woman’s Instagram—that told one side of . . .
This past month I officially relocated back to the South! As most of you know, I wrote the first draft of Waiting at Hayden’s in Charleston, South Carolina during a gap year in college and moved here solely because I was a diehard Nicholas Sparks’ fan. (If you haven't checked out how being a diehard fan landed me in the hospital be sure to read that entertaining story here.) After that year, I went back and finished school at Santa Clara and have lived in California ever since. I’m a big . . .
When I took a year off school and moved across the country to Charleston, South Carolina to write the first draft of Waiting at Hayden’s ten years ago, I knew very little about writing a book; all I did know was that I needed to get my story idea down on paper. I think that’s the case for most writers—and to be honest, it’s sort of wonderful to only know that and nothing more. If you’re in the early stages of writing a book, the words are flowing, and you’re feeling that “writers high,” feel . . .
Back in 2017, when I was frustrated that my novel, Waiting at Hayden's, had not yet been published, and I felt like I’d be an “aspiring author” forever, I went out and bought a planner for 2018. In it, instead of writing down the plans that I DID have for the year ahead, I wrote down all the plans I WANTED to have. In the summer, for instance, I wanted my novel to be published. So, I picked a day in July of 2018 and wrote down, “launch party at my parents’ house”! In September, I wanted . . .
One of my all time favorite romantic comedies is Serendipity. If you aren’t familiar with the film it tells the story of two people Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) who fall for each other one night in New York City. The problem is both are dating other people. Jonathan thinks the night was so magical they should leave their significant others and be together, but Sara suggests they leave it up to destiny. She writes her name and number in a book—Love in the Time of Cholera—and . . .
“As most of you know,” I told the crowd at my book pre-launch party in Oregon a few weeks ago, “it took me ten years to publish Waiting at Hayden’s.” “Too long!” My comedian-sister, Casey, heckled me from the audience. While she was obviously kidding (she’s seen how much goes into writing and publishing a book) as I thought about her joke afterward I realized that on some level she was right. Of course it does take a long time to write a novel—or accomplish any big goal—especially since . . .