Since it would be kinda weird if I posted a review (although I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book and think you should all read it!) I did want to take part so Natalie agreed to do a Q&A.
Coffee or tea?
Tea, definitely. I can’t even stand the smell of coffee … though my chemical pick me up of choice is diet Coke.
Sweat pants or yoga pants?
Sweats, though yoga pants have a close second. Either really. So long as they’re stretchy.
Music while writing or silence?
Silence. I wish I could write with music, but it’s too distracting!
Do you have any writing rituals? (Certain pen, certain time, certain stack food, those kinds of thing?)
I write at my ‘Me Station’ – the desk where I do things that are only for me, not for the kids or the house or the husband… I love to snack on small bite things like M&Ms or crackers, though it’s not a necessity. Diet Coke is often present, and my desk lamp is on, even if it’s sunny or the overhead light is on as well. It’s like turning on the desk light turns on my focus on my keyboard.
What’s the last book that you read that completely blew you away?
Oh so hard. Probably either “I’ll Give you the Sun” or “Life After Life” Both were incredible, magical and untouchable. Books like that both inspire me to write more and remind me I’ll never write like that… a strange dichotomy of emotion.
Henry has some very specific things that he does to deal with stress and life in general. Do you have any coping mechanisms that you rely on when things get a bit harried?
All the bad stuff. I bite my nails, terribly and painfully! I eat to relieve stress. To cope, sometimes I’ll write To Do lists to itemize and solidify what is going on. I make sure to include items I’ve already done so I can check them off.
Not all of the characters in your books are nice. How hard is it to write unlikeable characters?
It’s not so hard to write unlikeable characters – what I find hard it to make sure they’r not pure awful. I tend to lean towards black and white, bad and good characters but a story is more interesting if everyone has shades of grey – some good and some bad all mixed together, or if their bad actions have good intentions. I find that challenging because it forces me to find a different perspective – what I would consider an unlikeable action or opinion may not come from ignorance or hate or meanness. I was heartsick when an editor called one of my favourite characters a ‘cad’. I saw him as a good guy locked in an impossible situation wherein he made a brave and selfless choice… he saw him as a manipulative cad, a coward who ran away… In the end I had to accept that each reader will go away with a different opinion of my characters and that’s what makes it interesting, but I had hurt feelings on behalf of my character, that someone didn’t LIKE him.
Thanks so much to Natalie for stopping by!
It Should Have Been a #GoodDay is out this Sunday, February 28th, and we holding an official launch party in Halifax!