About the Book
A reserved wallflower discovers that reality TV is the perfect backdrop to develop her confidence in this lighthearted rom-com. Megan Malone is the ultimate homebody. When her sister talks her into going on The Leftover, a local version of the TV show Survivor, she isn’t sure she’ll make it past the first vote. Meanwhile, Cane Trevino is nursing a broken heart by joining the show as a medic. With time away from his regular job and a dozen contestants to distract him, he hopes he can finally get over the woman he thought was “the one.”
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a stay at home mom by day, a freelance writer and author by naptime, and asleep by 9pm! I have a decade long history in radio broadcasting as a producer and on-air announcer. And I did a brief stint in TV news…that was a disaster! I’ve always loved to write, though, and when I had my first daughter in 2009, I fell back into it as something I could do from home with her around. It’s always been my first love and I never should have given up on it.
What inspired you to write?
As scary as it sounds, the voices in my head tell me what to write. Ha! Characters form and stories take shape in my imagination and I know the right one to write because it will NOT leave me alone until I do.
What inspired your novel?
I’ve always been fascinated by reality shows and the type of people who go on them. I wondered what would happen if someone who didn’t really want to go on the show got pushed into it. Someone more like me… Those wonderings got me started!
What is the genre?
What draws you to this genre?
I feel like it’s my job as a writer to help readers get an escape from everyday life. Nothing too serious or overbearing. Just something light-hearted and fun that will help them get away from it all. A good laugh and a little love never hurts!
How did you develop your plot and your characters?
For this book, I used the TV show Survivor as a basis, but the book revolves around a local version of the show. So there are competitions, but they’re nothing compared to the national show. People get voted out and funny instances arise.
What inspired your protagonist?
I wanted someone shy without much confidence to get pushed into going onto the local version of Survivor called The Leftover. She’s reluctant and anti-social and not someone you would expect to see in such a position. She’s also big parts me. She wears glasses, doesn’t do well with people much of the time, and is clumsy.
What inspired your antagonist?
I knew I would need a bully or jerk to push my main character to extremes. I didn’t know which of the characters that would end up being at first, but Andrew stepped up to the plate.
What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Finding the time to write it. Honestly, when I’m inspired, it’s hard to stop. But with two little girls running around, I HAVE to stop. Way more often than I’d like. If I had a week alone, it would be a breeze!
What was your favourite part of your book to write?
I liked writing the competition scenes. Describing what the contestants were doing and how they were doing it and how things went wrong was a lot of fun.
Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
I’m a full time mom, part time writer. I have two daughters, one of whom is in school. Once my younger daughter hits school age, I will make it more of a full time career. While I dabble in fiction, my “real” job is freelance writing. I write for a number of different marketing companies. I do blogs, product descriptions, copy, all sorts of exciting things.
What are you currently reading?
Mostly magazines. I do always have a book on my kindle and one in paperback going, but it’s been a few weeks since I’ve picked them up so I can’t even say what they are. My reading time is right before my daughters go to bed. They watch a few videos, I read. But lately, they’ve had some serious games going at that time of day so I’ve just let them play those longer and we’ve skipped the video/reading time.
Who would you say are your favourite authors?
I have plenty! Karen Kingsbury, Richard Paul Evans, Heather Gudenkauf, I could go on.
How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
I have trouble remember book names. I really enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife, though, and anything Jodi Piccoult.
What are your future projects, if any?
I would like to make this book into a series. This one revolved around a local version of Survivor, but I’d like to write one that is a local version of The AMazing Race and another revolving around a local version of Big Brother and so on. Call it “The REality of Love Series” or something like that. But I’m going to have to wait until my daughters are both in school.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
Email, website, facebook, twitter, I’m not picky!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write because you love to write. That needs to be first and foremost. If you don’t love it, don’t bother. Never dream of giving up. IF you give up, you never know what would have happened. IF you keep with it and keep searching for your path, you’ll find it.