Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Writing Mother

I love mothers who write. And I'm always thrilled to hear of another one.

Here's Melissa Senate. She's gorgeous. Her latest novel, THE SECRET OF JOY, has just come out.

It's her EIGHTH novel! (Since 2001, no less.) Below is some advanced praise for the book.

"The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate opened my heart, made me laugh, cry, and smile all at the same time. A don't-miss read!" –New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips

"The Secret of Joy is a warm hug of a book. Insightful, wise, and romantic, it's as inviting as the small-town life it depicts." –Claire LaZebnik

"A wonderfully heartfelt story about hope, possibilities and the yearning for real connections. Senate's latest will take you on a much needed vacation, while sneaking vital life lessons in when you're not looking." –Caprice Crane

"The Secret of Joy is a heartwarming story that hits all the right notes. Senate has you cheering for more." –Cara Lockwood

What could be a better read for this time of year?

I had a chance to virtually interview Melissa. Here's what she said.

Give us a brief synopsis of the book.

A: 28-year-old New Yorker Rebecca Strand is shocked when her dying father confesses a devastating secret: he had affair when Rebecca was a toddler—and a baby he turned his back on at birth. Now, his wish is that the daughter he abandoned, Joy Joyhawk, read the unsent letters he wrote to her every year on her birthday. Determined to fulfill her father’s wish, Rebecca drives to a small town in Maine—against the advice of her lawyer boyfriend who’s sure Joy will be a “disappointing, trashy opportunist” and demand half her father’s fortune. But when hopeful Rebecca knocks on her half-sister’s door, Joy—a separated mother who conducts weekend singles tours out of her orange mini-bus—wants nothing to do with Rebecca or the letters her father wrote to her. Determined to forge some kind of relationship with Joy, Rebecca sticks around, finding unexpected support from Joy’s best clients—the Divorced Ladies Club of Wiscasset—and a sexy carpenter named Theo . . . .
If you could only own and read 5 books for the rest of your life, (excluding your own) what five books would you choose?

The Portable Dorothy Parker; the collected works of William Shakespeare; To Kill A Mockingbird; Anne of Green Gables; The Color Purple; and I can’t leave off this gem: Why I Like My Mommy by Max (my son’s latest work in first grade!)
Any tried and true tricks for beating procrastination?
Tried but not true: taking laptop to a library or coffee lounge without wi-fi. I can’t handle more than an hour or two without checking email or reading through Twitter or Facebook. Tried and true: a deadline, whether self-given or publisher-given.

Which 'craft' book has inspired or helped you the most throughout your writing career?

The most inspiring, to me, is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. But I also love Stephen King’s On Writing; Carolyn See’s How To Make A Literary Life, and Elizabeth Berg’s Escaping Into The Open.

What’s next for you?

Next up is my second novel for teens, The Mosts, which will be published by Random House in June 2010. Then, my next women’s fiction novel from Simon & Schuster, The Love Goddess’s Cooking School, about five people in an Italian cooking class, will be published November 2010. I’m staring down a 1/1 deadline (the worst deadline to have!) And I’m being poked at by a new idea . . . .
Thanks, Melissa! I wish you continued success and more happy times in Maine.

1 comment:

  1. OMG - some people are just way too ambitious! sounds like a lot of good reads.