1. What inspired you to write your book? I find it inspiring to write about rebels. People who are born into an unpromising situation and transcend it by force of character, imagination, and will. I wanted to tell the stories of 3 women rebels -- early kickass types -- who come of age in the 50s, one of America's most conformist periods that funneled women into a single model: suburban wife and mom. And I wanted to follow their journey as they dodge cultural expectations to experience the larger world, pursue their passions, and live as sexual beings ten years ahead of the times. My characters are like pioneer women, who want to settle a new world of their own making. I also wanted to recreate the lost world of the 50s and and early 60s and make it live again.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? I hope they'll be inspired to remain true to their own passions in the face of the inevitable obstacles. I hope they'll be heartened by the gutsiness and humor of my three women as they grapple with life's challenges. I hope they'll be inspired in their own lives to treasure friendships that will nurture them always, and especially when love goes wrong. And I hope they'll be transported by a character's mid-life grand passion toward the end of the novel.
4. What advice do you have for writers? Go with where your strongest emotions take you. If you're angry, scared, nostalgic, use it. There will always be a thousand claims on your attention. Be ruthless in your discipline, even if you alienate people who don't understand the focus it takes to create a sustained piece of writing. Because of the way our time gets fractured, outlines are helpful in keeping your focus on the plot. Also, as Hemingway advised, before you stop writing for the day, scope out what you want to write about the following day.
5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? It's become more difficult, though not impossible, to publish fiction. I think people will always remain receptive to good story telling.
6. What challenges did you have in writing your book? I sweep over a huge swathe of time -- three decades -- in WILD GIRLS so the challenge was to sculpt, cut, continually shave down. In the novel I also recreate periods like the 50s and 60s when people spoke differently -- their own slang -- and of course adopted their own fashions. So with the wonderful research tool offered by the Internet I continually tried to accurately reproduce those vanished worlds. Which was actually tremendous fun! An ongoing challenge is to carve out time to keep focused on the work. You will find little sympathy from others for this endeavor -- so it takes a single-mindedness you have to tap into anew every day. Also, sex scenes are notoriously hard to write. In the passionate romance in Part III the reader will judge if I succeeded.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? Because it tells the truth about women's lives, no punches pulled, and will make you laugh, tear up, and root for the characters. It's also very sexy.
For more information, please consult: www.ericaabeel.com.