Friday, September 6, 2013
Author Interview : Eat, Play, Lust by Tawna Fenske
Little Blurb about yourself:
I traveled a career path that took me from newspaper reporter to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek to PR manager for my city’s tourism bureau. I love cooking, globetrotting, and social media, and I blog weekly at Don’t Pet Me, I’m Writing. I live with my gentleman friend in Bend, Oregon (the setting for Eat, Play, Lust) where I’ll invent any excuse to hike, bike, snowshoe, float the river, or sip wine on my back deck. I’ve published several romantic comedies with Sourcebooks, including Making Waves and Believe it or Not, as well as the interactive fiction caper, Getting Dumped, with Coliloquy and the novella Eat, Play, Lust with Entangled Publishing.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve been writing for my supper for most of my life, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to pursue fiction. As someone who’s done a lot of journalism and copywriting, it blew my mind to think I could just make things up! I currently have the best balancing act in the world, working part-time as the PR & Communications Manager for my city’s tourism bureau (a fancy way of saying I get paid to go kayaking or take journalists out for beer on the Bend Ale Trail) and part-time (OK, maybe more like full-time) doing the author thing. I get twitchy if I’m not writing, whether it’s a novel or a day job project or just for fun.
2. How long did it take you to write Eat, Pray, Lust?
Eat, Play, Lust is a short 14,000-word novella, as opposed to the 85,000-word full-length romantic comedies most readers know me for, so the process was much quicker. It’s meant to be a fast little 99-cent taste test for readers who’ve never picked up one of my books before. I think it took me a couple weeks from start-to-finish to write it.
3. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?
I’m a hopeless seat-of-my-pants writer who never has a clue where a book is headed until I’m neck deep in one of my own plot holes. My editor for Making Waves was talking to me once about a plot twist in that book. “I had no idea that was coming,” she said. “Neither did I!” I replied. There was a long pause where I could tell she was trying to figure out if I was serious. I was (which doesn’t happen often). Of course, writing a super-short novella like Eat, Play, Lust made it much less likely I’d get myself into trouble with unexpected twists and or plot holes.
4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?
Wherever the sex books are shelved. Wait, what?
5. How many books in a month do you tend to read?
Depends on the month, but probably anywhere from five to 15. I’m reading constantly, and seldom have fewer than three or four books going at once. I think that’s one of the most crucial aspects of being a writer. Read everything you can get your hands on—newspaper articles, blogs, fiction, nonfiction, the back of your cereal box, and the instructions on your bikini wax kit. Everything helps you hone your craft. Or your bikini wax. Whatever.
6. In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?
Tough call, but I’m probably most fond of Phin Tucker from Jennifer Crusie’s, “Welcome to Temptation.” He’s hot, smart, confident, hot, funny, sexy, handy, witty, hot, and great in bed. Did I mention hot?
7. State 5 random facts about yourself.
• I’m phobic about shopping carts, and can’t stand using them. It’s not a germ thing. It’s that they make it difficult for me to maneuver, and what if I needed to quickly escape a pack of ninjas at the grocery store?
• I’m double-jointed in both arms, and can bend them at angles that make most people grimace.
• When my gentleman friend and I got together, he had two cats and I had three. That means we now have five cats, plus a dog, two hermit crabs and countless aquariums full of fish. We’re pretty much the Brady Bunch of pets.
• A lot of people have asked if standup paddleboard yoga described in Eat, Play, Lust is a real thing, and if so, have I done it. The answers are yep and yep. I tried yoga my second time on a paddleboard. Did I mention my dog was on the board with me? While I didn’t fall in, I did have my face thoroughly licked.
• I love cooking, and I’m a pretty adept gourmet chef, but I can think of few jobs I’d hate more than being an actual chef in a restaurant. Some things are meant to be done for pleasure and not money. This is also why I’d make a terrible prostitute.
8. Your favorite Genre?
I love reading romantic comedy, of course, but I could never pick just one genre to read. I love mysteries, non-fiction, erotica, humor, crime, poetry...you name it, it’s probably on my Kindle or on my bookshelf.
9. What are you currently reading?
I'm not happy unless I'm reading at least three or four books at a time. Currently I'm reading Tess Gerritson's, "Last to Die," "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter, "Where We Belong" by Emily Giffin, "No One's the Bitch" by Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Carol Marine, and “Divergent” by Victoria Roth.
10. What is the best book you've read?
I have too many favorites to name, but off the top of my head, I’d say Jennifer Crusie's, "Welcome to Temptation," Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander," Kristan Higgins’ “Just One of the Guys,” Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano," Judy Blume's "Summer Sisters," and Jonathan Tropper's, "How to Talk to a Widower.”
11. Any new projects coming up?
This novella kicks off twelve months of nonstop releases for me. After Eat, Play, Lust with Entangled’s Flirt line, I have a three-book series launching with Entangled’s Brazen line. Those are scheduled for November 2013, March 2014, and July 2014. I also have the third book in my three-book romantic comedy deal with Sourcebooks—that’s Frisky Business, and it hits shelves May 2014. I also write interactive fiction (sorta like a grownup version of choose-your-own-adventure) for Coliloquy, and they’ve got me scheduled for a standalone novella that’s part of my Getting Dumped line. I think that comes out October 2013. Suffice it to say, I’m not getting much sleep right now!
Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it. And why readers should pick it up?
This is a short, quirky, humorous, risqué little beach read that’s only 99-cents and 14,000 words (much less commitment than my regular novels for the commitment-phobes among you!)
The story features a yoga instructor with a secret craving for junk food, and the sexy but socially awkward gourmet chef who rocks her world. Actually, I think this review sums things up beautifully: “A woman with body image issues, a tyrannical health food nut for a mother, a tater tot obsession and a crush on gourmet chef. Sounds like a match made in hell. However, Paul may be able to teach Cami a few important things about food and love.”
Another interesting detail is that I’m donating a portion of the proceeds from Eat, Play, Lust sales to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s research. Though the story has nothing to do with Alzheimer’s, we lost my gentleman friend’s mother to this horrible disease right before the story debuted, and I lost my grandmother to it several years ago. Incidentally, Alzheimer’s can bite me.
Eat, Play, Lust
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, Flirt Imprint
Date of Publication: 8/26/13
Number of pages: 57
Cami Pressman is a yoga instructor with a lifelong secret love of junk food. Not even an irresistible man can replace the mouthwatering wickedness of her favorite foods.
Until, that is, Paul Hammond signs up for her class. He’s a gourmet chef looking to score some fitness tips, and a date with Cami. Suddenly Cami’s lust for junk food isn’t the only thing making her tingle.
When this sinful chef and hot yoga teacher eat, play, and lust together, they just might bring their obsession to a new level.
* Tawna will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Eat, Play, Lust to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.
About the Author:
Tawna Fenske traveled a career path that took her from newspaper reporter to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek to PR manager for her city’s tourism bureau. An avid globetrotter and social media fiend, Tawna is the author of the popular blog, Don’t Pet Me, I’m Writing, and a member of Romance Writers of America.
She lives with her gentleman friend in Bend, Oregon, where she’ll invent any excuse to hike, bike, snowshoe, float the river, or sip beer along the Bend Ale Trail. She’s published several romantic comedies with Sourcebooks, including Making Waves and Believe it or Not, as well as the interactive fiction caper, Getting Dumped, with Coliloquy.
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