So, You're Really Done?

Q: I hear you’re done. Is it true?

A: Oh my God! Who told you? Well, nevermind.

Yes, I finished the whole first draft.

Q: Good. I didn’t think you were seriously going to finish. Honestly, I thought you’d get distracted with another project or something like that.

A: Well, aren’t I lucky to have YOU as a friend?

Q: You are! Who convinced you to get that icy teal shirt that brings out the green in your eyes, emphasizes your breasts and makes your stomach look flatter?

A: Good point.

Q: Alright, let’s dig in. Did you come up with a title for the book?

A: Hooked.

Sometimes I call it Hooked: A Love Story.
Or Hooked: An Addictive Love Story.
Once I thought about Hooked: An Addict’s Love Story.

Do I have to commit to that now?

Q: Hello??? This is a book, not lipliner. You HAVE to make a commitment.
A: Then let’s say I’m flexible.

Q: So I hear. But back to the book. What’s it really about?

A: It’s a story about several people, all of them fixated on the one thing that they just can’t have, so they find other things to fill their minds and hearts.

Things they get hooked on.

Q: Like what?

A: Love. Cuba. A perfect body. Family. Money. History.

Q: So what do they get hooked on?
A: Drugs, sex, cheating… and I would be a rotten storyteller if I told you everything, wouldn’t I?

Q: Sounds kinda like Valley of the Dolls.

A: Oh, you’re read it? Good! That’s a GREAT comparison.

But more in the TONE of Marian Keyes' Rachel's Holiday.

But have you read Wally Lamb’s I Know this Much is True?
Q: Please. It’s like a billion pages long.

A: Whatever. If you’d read it, I could compare how it has a book-within-a-book that works brilliantly. He definitely inspired me.

Q: Who’s your favorite character in Hooked?

A: Good question. I like it when you pretend you’re interested.

Q: Thanks. Now answer.

A: I love each and every one in the book because they come from pieces of reality

If I had to name one character that makes me laugh out loud and want to head to Vegas with, it would be Mira.

Q: Mira? Isn’t that Spanish for “Look”?

A: 10 points to Gryffendor!

Mira Maria arrives in the US from Cuba in 1960 and pretty much makes up her own rules in America.

She is sexy, brazen, resourceful, deceitful, and completely fixated on herself.

Oh, and she’s the main focus of the manuscript Annabelle is writing as part of her Ph.D. program in Historical Fiction.

Mira is the perfect foil to Annabelle. You’ll see!

Q: Oh, sounds like a great love story…. Not!

A: Well, my answers can’t be better than your questions. You’re the one leading this!

Q: Whatever. Is it a love story?

A: Definitely.

Q: Hello, make me interested. Make me want to read it.

A: Alright.

So, Annabelle – she’s the narrator, and she’s the one who writes Finding Cuba, the novel-inside-the-novel which unfolds as parallel chapters – meets this really great guy while she’s in college.

Q: Oh, totally original. (yawn)

A: I’m not done!

The book opens in January 1993. Annabelle meets a guy (whose name she never writes) on a plane, and they have this thing (I can’t look you in the eye and say it’s love) for several months.

You can just tell something is wrong with her.

She’s the walking wounded.

Starving herself, living on a cocktail of pills that she takes great pleasure in hiding all over the place.

Q: Wow. The romantic story of the century!

A: Yeah, I guess if that was it, it would be pretty rotten.

But then the book goes backward to March, 1990.

Annabelle, a senior in college, goes on a roadtrip to Arkansas with a friend.

Q: Arkansas? What?

A: Hey, it makes sense. They’re in New Orleans, trust me.

Annabelle isn’t really into Arkansas at first, either.

Q: Does she meet Bill Clinton?
A: That’s another book. Now stop interrupting me!

Annabelle meets an amazing guy, (whose name she never writes) who chips away at this huge wall she has around herself.

He becomes her family, her guide. They’re going to spend their lives together.

Too bad she messes everything up.

Q: Oh! Why is she so cold?
A: Annabelle tells you in the chapters of Finding Cuba.

Everything bad that happens to Daisy really happened to Annabelle.

Q: Oh.

A: Yeah. Well. Bad things happen, right?

Q: OK, so how does she mess everything up?
A: Ick. It gets ugly.

She’s really angry at him for letting her down in a few ways, even though, to defend the guy, he was completely honest.

She just is into something (which I will NOT tell you here, so bite your tongue and don’t even ask), which is running -- and ruining -- her whole days.

Because they pretty much have a long distance relationship, the poor guy hasn’t got a clue about what’s really going on with Annabelle.

Still, he loves her, at least the pieces he sees. She loves him too, almost too much.

On Christmas Eve, 1992, they’re supposed to get engaged.

It’s no secret that he has the ring in his pocket, and she wants it.
But something else happens.

Q: What?? What!!

A: Well, it’s not good.

We know that something bad happens in Christmas 1992 because when Hooked opens in January 1993, Annabelle is single.

And hungover.

You’ll have to read the book.

Q: Do they end up together?

A: That’s a great question.

I think you’ll know the answer, or at least the real question, when you get to the last page.

Q: Stop abusing me and let me read the book already.
A: OK, that TOTALLY wasn’t a question.

Q: Sorry. I guess I got excited. When can I read the book?

A: That’s better.

The answer is “soon.”

I wrote the manuscript out longhand instead of typing it up.

When I’m on the computer I tend to revise revise revise, and I knew that I needed to just write the entire thing, start to finish, in a linear way.

So that’s what I did.

Now I have months of typing and revising to do. But that’s OK. I’m already thinking about what happens next.

Q: Next?

A: Yes. Of course.

There are exactly 2 book-shaped holes within this story.

Q: Oh, now this sounds like a saga.

A: I’d call it a romp.

Q: A romp. Great!

A: Glad you’re excited.

Now, can you help me find someone to publish it?

Actually, can you find me an agent to sell it to a publisher?

Q: Hello. I’m your shopping diva, not one of your blue-suit friends. Ask someone else!
A: Hey, it was worth a try. Now scoot. I’ve got a ton of typing to do!

Q: Congratulations, by the way.

A: Thanks!!! Now goodbye!