Hey guys. Thank you for joining us at the Coffee Time Romance & More. Today I bring you the lovely Ms. Chris Redding to discuss her new book.
So let us begin the interview. Ms. Redding, thank you so much for taking time out and joining us. Please first help yourself to the yummy sweet and salty goodies in front of you and with your favorite beverage ranging from coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to delicious shakes and smoothies; sit back and make yourself comfortable before I bombard you with questions.
Please tell our readers about your new book Along Came Pauly and how it differs from your older books?
Along Came Pauly is my first foray into romantic comedy. Mainly, in the past, I've written romantic suspense. I like to cross train my writing muscles so romantic comedy seemed a logical choice as I seem to be funny even when I am not trying to be.
I noticed you dedicated this book to Noir. Who is he? Was he the inspiration behind this story? A little bit of background story on Along Came Pauly.
Noir is the dog on the cover. He turned my life upside down when we got him. He's smart and can be stubborn and was tough for me to train as I also had two young children. I thought about how a dog could easily turn someone's life on end or bring two people together. That's when I got the idea for Along Came Pauly.
Okay, I have to ask… Why this particular title? Why not Along Came Spike? Before I started reading this book I actually thought Pauly was the dog. *grin*
Because it is a play on the movie title Along Came Polly. In that movie Jennifer Aniston is the free spirit who enters Ben Stiller's ordered life. I switched genders and Pauly is the free spirit who enters Daria's ordered life.
There were many times in the book in which I found Daria very frustrating. I mean having principles and rules and sticking to them is admirable but it felt she took it too far at times so can you tell her back ground and character a bit for better understanding? Why is she the way she is and the odd relationship of her parents? I mean did her mom reject him out of spite or was it genuinely because of the ‘dirty money’?
Daria's life growing up was not stable and adhering to her principles started out as her way of bring order to her life. Then it just became habit because she knew nothing else. Sometimes we hang onto things when they have outlived their usefulness.
In terms of Daria's mom, she was ill-equipped to be a mother, but knew she didn't want her daughter raised by a person she thought was a criminal.
Paul and Daria seem the exact opposites of each other so how did you bring them together? Did it take work or did it come naturally since initially it was just physical attraction?
They came together because they finally found common ground in the form of animals. Paul's love for animals had been discouraged then he became a selfish adult so wasn't willing to put himself out there for an animal. When he remembered how he felt, by being with Daria, they then had that in common. It bonded them.
I love animals too. There was a point in life when I wanted to become a vet but I couldn’t take seeing an animal in pain so did not pursue it. Well that and of course the studies. *winks* So about Spike, such an adorable, intelligent dog, I am curious where he came from and why his owner was least interested in getting him back?
His owner was neglectful and when a neighbor saw the signs Pauly put up, he eventually took them down so the owner wouldn't know that someone had found Spike. This based on a true story. When I was pregnant with my first child, we found a kitten in our recycling bin. I put signs up that I had found it. A neighbor of the owner called me and said that the owner had a bunch of cats all of which were neglected and could I keep this cat. She took all the signs down I put up and I never saw anyone else put up signs for a missing cat so we kept the cat.
What are the differences between creating human and non-human characters mainly Spike?
I didn't want to make Spike too anthropomorphic. That would have made the story too easy. Since I used my dog as an example I just thought about what he'd do in a given situation.
How much research do you normally do for all your novels? Was researching on vets, animal practices etc. particularly difficult to read and write about for this story for you?
I didn't have to do too much research as the most technical part of the book, when Spike drinks antifreeze, I've been through. Yes, my dog got into it and we had to take him to emergency vet. Not fun or cheap.
I was just surfing through the internet and I came across very little personal information about you or maybe I did not find the right links. I am sure our readers would love to know more about you. So please tell us a bit about yourself and family?
I like to keep my family pretty private. I will say I have a husband and two boys, one in college and one in high school.
Is there a bit of some personal story in Along Came Pauly i.e. a pet matchmaker between you and hubby? *winks*
No, but that would make a great story.
Since when have you been writing and what inspired you to pick up the pen in the first place?
I've been writing since I was ten. I've been writing for publication for 15 years. I was pregnant with my second son when I had to write again. I couldn't stop.
What sort of environment do you require for writing? Music, quiet, chaos, dim lights etc or does not matter?
I prefer to listen to rock and roll when I write though I can be known to edit during chaos. The ear buds usually deter my husband from interrupting me. My son's know better than to talk to me when I'm writing.
If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Funny, honest, loyal
Is there a character that was the hardest to write? The easiest? Have you ever patterned a character after someone you knew?
I think Carmela was the hardest to write because I didn't want to make her a caricature. I didn't want her to be reminiscent of Jersey Shore, but she's a Jersey Girl through and through. Paul was the easiest, but I often find the male characters are easier for me.
I have never created a character completely like anyone I know. I will pick and choose traits both personality and physical from different people.
What is the best part about being a writer? The most frustrating?
The best part is that first kernel of an idea, when you feel that you can make this be a masterpiece. The worst is promotion. I still don't know what works and what doesn't.
Any other writing projects you are currently working on? Any plans on trying out other genres?
I'm doing some freelance work right now so my projects are on the back burner. I'd like to have something else out before Christmas. It will most likely be another angel. I've written one, Which Exit Angel, which will be part of a series called Angels Down the Shore. They are all novellas.
What piece of writing advice did you get that meant the most to you and how you wrote? Any personal experience you want to share with them about your journey?
In his book On Writing, Stephen King talks about writing the first draft with the door closed. I think knowing that no one is going to see gives you a lot of freedom. Freedom to experiment and freedom to suck. You can always fix things later.
In terms of personal experiences, I've wanted to give up many times. J.A. Konrath says if you can quit then go ahead and do it. For some reason, and I'm not sure if it's ambition or pigheadedness, but I can't quit.
Any last comments or message for all your readers out there and us, here at Coffee Time Romance and More?
I hope people enjoy my books and feel free to let me know if you want to see a sequel to something I've written or if there is a minor character whose story you want told.
Thanks for having me.
Thank you so much for taking time out to spend time with us here at Coffee Time Romance & More and giving us more insight to your books and writing. I hope you feel better soon and will join us again. Best of luck and success to you. Readers I hope you also enjoyed as much as I did. Thank you for your time. We would love to hear your feedback. See you next time with another great author.