Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Author Interview: The Salacious Marny Ottwiler by Bridget Straub
If you had to sum it up (title of book) in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Bestselling novelist Marny Ottwiler’s life has spiraled out of control. Her marriage is in shambles and her next book is overdue. Gaining control is comical but never easy.
Tell us about your favorite character in this book!
That’s easy, my favorite character is Marny herself. Her ability to view her life with a sense of humor is something I aspire to be able to accomplish.
Of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite?
This really would be like asking me to pick my favorite child. I love them all. When I write I never know what is going to happen next so I get to know my characters in much the same way as the readers do.
What do you have in store next for your readers
I have two more novels ready to go plus a musical I have written with Laura Hall, best known for her work on Whose Line Is It Anyway. Our musical Room to Grow will hopefully be produced very soon.
What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author?
When people tell me they want to read more. It is thrilling to know that you have created characters that readers become attached to.
Do you write your friends or family members into your books? If so, did they figure it out?
I have only done this once but in my novel If By Chance, which has yet to be published, the opening scene is based on something that really happened one Christmas in my family. As a result the aunt and uncle in the story are based on my sister and her husband.
Is there any place and time in the world and in history that you would like to visit?
My first instinct was to say no but then I began thinking it might have been fun to be in London back in the late sixties. I’d like to have been Jane Asher for a time or two or maybe Marianne Faithful. Any of the so called beautiful people of the time.
Do you have a favorite author? Who and why?
I am often asked this question and I’m almost embarrassed to say no. I am not the avid reader that most writers are because truthfully, I’d rather be writing. There are certainly books I’ve enjoyed, but when I do read it’s often an autobiography of someone who inspires me creatively. Take Kay Thompson, the woman best known for writing Eloise. She was amazing. There was nothing she couldn’t do.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I am dying to know what Marny will be doing five years from now. I could see her moving off in any number of directions.
What challenges did you face in getting your first book published?
In the end I think I was my biggest challenge. I have written forever and known I wanted to be a writer for a very long time, but with that knowledge came the fantasy of how it was supposed to happen. The rules said you had to get an agent, which I did at a very young age. When he said he could sell my book I was delighted. When he said to change everything about it, I said forget you! Then I waited for my big break which took a while. When the next agent led me on and then fell off the deep end due to relationship problems, I kind of did the same. I decided she had sucked all of the fun out of writing and trying to sell my work, so I stopped trying and concentrated on having kids. It wasn’t until just a few years ago and the self-publishing revolution that I decided to stop feeling defeated and to take matters into my own hands.
Bridget Straub is an author, artist and mom who has been writing for as long as she can remember. When she’s not blogging at bridgetstraub.com she is painting or spending time with her family. “The Salacious Marny Ottwiler” is Ms. Straub’s third novel. Also available, “On a Hot August Afternoon” and “Searching for My Wand”.
Undercover Rebel Excerpt
“Salacious novelist Marny Ottwiler has checked herself into the spectacular Meadow House Retreat, best known for its celebrity clientele and exclusive acreage in the mountains above the City of Angels, Los Angeles, California. Sources close to the beautiful, yet flighty Ms. Ottwiler insist she is simply researching her next book and does not suffer the chemical dependency that has been rumored, nor has she had a breakdown due to her recent affair with up-and-comer Kyle MacDonald, which appears to have ended her short-lived marriage to the ruggedly good looking action hero, Andrew Morris. As you may recall, she has also been linked to numerous other heartthrobs, most notably British rock star Malcolm. No word yet as to when we can expect her next bestseller, but it promises to be a doozy!”
Malcolm put down the paper and looked at me, raising his brow while trying to conceal his amusement. He was dressed in torn jeans and a t-shirt he must have outgrown by the time he was twelve. His hair was its usual carefully disheveled mess, falling dangerously close to his eyes and over his collar. He was tan from his recent vacation on his private island in the Caribbean, and his green eyes were piercingly clear. I shrugged.
“I have a good publicist.”
“Who, not that hideous little gnat of a Nazi, Karla with a “K?”
“Exactly,” I smiled.
He moved closer, dropping the paper next to me on the unmade bed, where I was sitting in little more than a tissue thin t-shirt and my most comfortable, although admittedly disgusting, sweats. It wasn’t just that they were old and spaghetti stained, but also I had been wearing them every day for the past three weeks. My normally honey-colored and highlighted hair hung limply around my face, roots exposed, and I had been crying before his arrival, so no doubt my lids were rimmed in puffy redness. Still, as he sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulder, he had the courtesy to tell me I looked beautiful as always.
“You are such a liar,” I smiled.
“Well, yes, clearly. In all honesty you look perfectly wretched, but one can only handle so much truth when in as delicate a state as you are.”
“Thanks for sheltering me.”
“Who wouldn’t want to spend their day comforting a damsel in distress, housed in some luxury mental institution for the wealthy and spoiled? Especially when the aforementioned damsel is as lovely as you. Would it be out of the question that you might one day soon burn this ensemble?” he asked, motioning towards my clothes.
“I’m trying to blend in with the other depressed, drug addicted, self -mutilating, over indulged inhabitants. It’s all a part of my research.”
“One does have to admire your dedication,” he smirked.
It was at that moment that my roommate, Deany, entered the room, and upon seeing Malcolm, immediately began hyperventilating.
“You’ve met before?” I teased, getting up to close the door before she alerted the powers-that-be to the fact that I had a boy in my room, as that was a big ‘no-no’ here.
“I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure,” Malcolm smiled, offering his hand.
Deany waved her hands and let out a little shriek as I handed her a brown paper bag, and suggested she breathe into it. She did so, never taking her eyes off the rock star in the room. The rock star who returned his attention to me, asking how long I’d be here “researching”.
“I’m hopeful that I can finish up quickly,” I told him.
“Do you need anything while you’re here?” he asked.
“Some vodka would be nice.”