Thursday, March 28, 2019

Interview with Authors Dalma Heyn & Richard Marek on How to fall in Love

How to Fall in Love: A Novel
The Story Plant

How to Fall in Love: A Novel

1.      What inspired you to write this book? We met for the first time at a friend’s home; conducted our romance by phone and in person. When onsite-meetings replaced on-sight dating, and texting replaced love letters, we wondered how people not hooked up to their phones found love. Was it possible that Cupid had had his day (and would lose his heavenly 401 K plan!)—his subtle arrow replaced by not-so subtle sexts?  What would befall two modern people who did things the old-fashioned way?

2.      Who should read it and why? Everyone—of all ages--who loves a good love story (and, we think, good writing) should read it. It’s both serious and fun.  It combines the pleasure of a novel (complex characters who get in their own way); the pleasure of a romance (complex characters who get in each other’s way); and the pleasure of a fable (complex gods who transport readers to another, celestial, world).  

3.      How’s it better or different than others in its genre? It’s not in a genre. We weren’t aiming at a particular readership—at least one defined by the book business. We wanted to cross genres: In our experience, readers want many things at once (see above) when they pick up a book, and don’t want all their choices categorized. We like our thrillers romantic and our literary fiction whimsical.

4.      What challenges did you overcome to write your book? First, as a husband-wife collaboration, we had to decide who did what.  That was easy, at least  at first: we’d divide the writing either by chapter or character. But what if one of us didn’t like the other’s work? We had one rule: If one of us disagreed passionately with anything the other did, either in the writing or the editing, we would change it without argument. (We got good at saying, “THAT GOES OUT!”)  The bigger challenge, and we knew it because we’d both written in other genres—was the book business itself. We knew that a novel with a God of Love as a narrator; a theme of letter-writing in today’s wired world, didn’t fit any formula. But we fell in love with our characters and so we persisted.

5.      What lasting messages do you hope readers are left with after consuming your book? That human, in-person connection is everything.  From the beginning of an affair to the beginning of a lasting relationship, two people will be transformed dramatically—we think, for the better. And the transformation will likely be difficult and soul-changing.

6.      What advice would you give to a struggling writer? We find so many writers vacillate between thinking they’re Tolstoy and thinking they’re hopeless, so we encourage them to live with that dichotomy.  And write anyway. We believe a poem, a novel, an essay, a play, are hard work, take forever—and are worth every moment of the struggle. Even if a writer has to put her work in a drawer for awhile because no one (including the author!) likes it, it’s worth going back to it later—when somebody (including the author) will.

7.      Where do you see the book industry heading? More ebooks; more self-publishing; new means of online distribution. More readers of less expensive books—and of highly touted, already successful authors. The online possibilities are exploding right now. But we believe that, in addition, there will be smaller regional publishing houses for smaller markets, to accommodate books that aren’t blockbusters but need to be read. The problem of readers who only buy J.K.Rowling and James Patterson has to be dealt with by smart, experienced publishers. 


Husband and wife team Dalma Heyn and Richard Marek are the authors of  How to Fall in Love , a provocative love story for the digital age. Heyn is the author of the New York Times best-seller The Erotic Silence of the American Wife, Marriage Shock and Drama Kings.  Her books, published in 35 countries, have been best-sellers both here and abroad. Richard Marek is one of the most accomplished book editors and publishers of his generation, working with writers James Baldwin, Thomas Harris, and Robert Ludlum, among many others. He is the author of Works of Genius and has ghostwritten a number of best-sellers.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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