Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Learn about The One that I Want by Allison Winn Scotch

(I'm pinch-hitting in this blog tour for Allison Winn Scotch today. I haven't yet received the book, but because she's running this awesome contest I wanted you to have a chance to enter! Enjoy!)

First of all, I have to say that Allison Winn Scotch's books have the LOVELIEST covers. Here's what the book is about: What if you woke up one day to all your dreams coming true...but those dreams were more like nightmares?

Tilly Farmer is thirty-two years old and has the perfect life she always dreamed of: married to her high school sweetheart, working as a school guidance counselor, trying for a baby. Perfect.

But one sweltering afternoon at the local fair, everything changes. Tilly wanders into a fortune teller's tent and meets an old childhood friend, who offers her more than just a reading. "I'm giving you the gift of clarity," her friend says. "It's what I always thought you needed." And soon enough, Tilly starts seeing things: her alcoholic father relapsing, staggering out of a bar with his car keys in hand; her husband uprooting their happy, stable life, a packed U-Haul in their driveway. And even more disturbing, these visions start coming true. Suddenly Tilly's perfect life, so meticulously mapped out, seems to be crumbling around her. And as she furiously races to keep up with - and hopefully change - her destiny, she faces the question: Which life does she want? The one she's carefully nursed for decades, or the one she never considered possible?

What if you could see into the future? Would you want to know what fate has in store?

Okay so let me tell you something. No. I don't want to know what fate has in store. Watching that show Flash Forward (which became a huge mess) convinced me of that. I'd rather just live in ignorant bliss that maybe everything's going to get really awesome. But that's a long discussion for another day.

Let's hear about the book from Allison's perspective! (These are not my questions, but I picked some that looked really interesting to me)

What was your inspiration for THE ONE THAT I WANT

I wanted to take the themes I explored in my last book, Time of My Life, and flip everything on its head, while still delving into the concept of how we – and my characters – can create more fulfilling, fleshed-out lives. So it was this whole concept of, “What happens when you think you have a perfect life, and it totally gets shattered to pieces?” In this day and age, not an entirely uncommon – unfortunately – scenario.

Did you know how the novel was going to end when you started writing it?
No...I wish I did, that would probably make the process a lot easier! But I write where my characters take me, which sounds kind of silly, I know, but it’s true. As the author, I do throw obstacles and whatnot in their way, but mostly, I feel like I just let them lead...I have an understanding of who they are, and then they make organic choices that suit the situations I’ve put them in. I think if I knew how everything was going to end, their journeys would likely be pretty different over the course of the book, and, I think, likely less honest.

(Note from Amy: oh the irony! A book about knowing the future in which the author didn't know the future!)

Should men read THE ONE THAT I WANT and your other books?
Well, my husband recently told me that this is his favorite of my books so far, and he is NOT a reader (at least of fiction), so does that count as a ringing endorsement? :) Look, the obvious angle is that I write more geared toward women, but I think of all of my books, this one is the most universal, in terms of gender. It explores some weighty things that male, female, what-have-you (though I guess those are the only options!), are relatable: a stale marriage, infidelity, alcoholism, dreams for a bigger life. That stuff isn’t gender-weighted.

Your last two books have titles based on music. How much of a role does music play in your life and in your writing process?
Music plays a huge, huge role in my life, and thus my writing. Other than when I am actually working on a manuscript, I have music playing, and I literally cannot leave the house without my iPod. When I was younger, I aspired to be a singer-actress type, so I’ve always just gravitated toward songs, melodies and lyrics. For this book specifically, I sincerely don’t think I could have written it without the influence of The Killers, who were kind enough (and this blows my mind!) to also let me use their lyrics for my epigraph. As I said, The One That I Want was a tough book to write, and I listened to a few of their songs – Read My Mind, Human and Dustland Fairytale, among others – to dive into my characters’ heads when I was stuck. Let’s put it this way: I listened to them so often that my kids – who are 5 and 3 – know all of their lyrics.

Now as I mentioned, Allison is running a really cool contest at the moment! Basically, if you buy the book by Friday June 4th, which I know you were already planning to do, you can win cool prizes! Learn all about it at Allison's blog (which you might also want to bookmark!)

Also, I really enjoy following Allison on Twitter, and "liking" her on facebook. That's not as weird as it sounds. Finally, if you are interested, please order The One That I Want.


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