Who says what?

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Next Big Thing

Welcome to the Next Big Thing blog hope where today I am your humble hop host.

This blog hop is a giant game of virtual tag to help readers discover new authors and books to love. For this hop, I was asked to answer 10 question about my next big project. I do have a brand new novel near completion but with 27 days to go until the publication of I'll Take What She Has, there is only one thing on my mind!
Have you ever felt envious and wished you had what *she* does?

Brenda Janowitz tagged me. Check her out because she's awesome. I've tagged three other writers for next week. You can follow their links at the bottom.


1.What's it called?
I'll Take What She Has

2. Where did the idea for I'LL TAKE WHAT SHE HAS come from.
My mother.
I wish this were a joke. But it's not. In the middle of the contract negotiation with Bantam Books (way back in 2007, I think), BB showed interest in a two-book deal. I didn't have a second idea let alone a book. I called my mother. She said write about newlyweds and envy. I said, "I'll call it I'll Take What She Has." I came up with the Cynthia Cypress character (although in the published version she's way toned down) and the rest is history.

3. What genre does your book come under?
Bad-ass hilarious fiction about women's real lives and issues. Is that a genre?

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
If someone is asking me this question, I want to see a six figure check and a red carpet.
Seriously? Oh, man. I haven't watched a movie in ten years. How about Minnie Driver does Nora, I get to play Annie (hey, I'm an excellent actress) Barbie plays Cynthia and Bradley Cooper plays David Hayworth. Betty White can do the MIA grandma. Tina Fey can play the outrageous and disturbed cousin Elle.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Captures the oozing, molten core of American life with profundity and grace.
Oh, woops. Sorry. That was someone else's book AND it was really bad.
My book for real this time: Read it or I will un-friend you on Facebook.
Ha! Just kidding. That was my evil twin. Last time: I'll Take What She Has explores friendship, envy, motherhood and marriage with humor and sass, taking on feminism, working versus at-home motherhood, infertility, married and family love with hilarity, insight, verve and wit.

6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Bantam Books, man! All the way. Random House rocks!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Maybe 6 months. But then I revised it for four different editors for years.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is hard to answer. There is so much women's fiction out there, but this book is funny. It wants to be funny and people think it's funny which makes it different from the women's romance fiction and women's fiction that centers around trauma, death, etc. I usually find books like it, but they are often memoirs. Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette? may be the closest in that it's funny but about serious stuff too, except the NYTs reviewed her and they won't review me unless I dance for them first. I told them I only dance for Facebook fans. They cried.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My running joke is that I wrote a book about envy and had to do a lot of research on the topic. Wanting what others have is almost as human as breathing. And what happens when you envy your friends? Or when you finally get to be friends with the popular girl, but it threatens to ruin your oldest, closest friendship?

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It's full of naked pictures of...my dog. Just kidding! I would never take advantage of a canine like that. One plot line I love in the book is about finding home, a sense of belonging, and Annie and Nora both look for it and find different ways to make it, which includes making peace with imperfect childhoods and zany family members. Annie, in fact, goes to therapy to help with raising a "spirited" child and in the process confronts her own ambivalence about her choices.

Okay, next week's hoppers, consider yourselves tagged!
Nancy Thayer
Jamie Cat Callen
Jordan Rosenfeld

Check out their Next Big Thing posts next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases.

Happy Writing and Reading!


  1. I love your blog, Sam! And thanks so much for including me. Can't wait to read your latest book too. xo Jamie

  2. Thanks, Jamie! And me, yours.
    I need some Ooh La la! right about now.