Welcome, today we are talking with Felicia Grossman! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, I think it’s important for readers to get a little insight on an author that they don’t necessarily get from your professional bio. You’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about you that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
I only wore red shoes in high school. I made it a “fashion statement,” thing.
What is your favorite:
Animal – Otter
Movie –Auntie Mame
TV show –House Hunters
Actor – Kumail Nanjiani
Singer – Sara Bareilles
Author –Nora Ephron
What are your pet peeves?
Hypocrisy—it drives me up the wall when people complain about the same behavior they exhibit.
Who is your hero?
My sister is my hero because she fights harder than anyone to get through the day and, despite all her own struggles, always thinks of others.
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
I desperately want to visit my relatives in Melbourne—perhaps without kids—during their summer.
What would readers find surprising about you?
I write #ownvoices romance set in the area of the country where I grew-up, so you can learn a lot about me by reading my books. But what might surprise people is though I adore historical romance (and write it), I also read a ton of Paranormal Romance.
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
My grandmother. She was my favorite person. I had a ton of very good years with her, but I’d give pretty much anything to have more time with her.
Any bad habits?
I have a ton of bad habits. The one that gets complained about the most is that I believe that if you are married, everything the other person owns is fair-game so yeah…I steal like everything: sweatshirts, t-shirts, toothbrushes…
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
I was once in a very brief faux relationship (that turned into a real one). I was sixteen and on a trip with other teenagers from around the country for the summer (with no parents) and around a bonfire during evening “free time.” I was flirting with a guy I’d met on the plane and sitting on his lap. When he got up to get a popsicle, I started panicking that I’d been “too forward.”
So, in my teenage mind, I decided the best way to rectify the situation was to make it look like I just sat on everyone’s lap. I looked to the left, saw a guy I met once and asked him if I could sit on his lap until the first one came back. And reader, he turned me down.
Now someone normal would’ve stopped, but I possess the right combination of chutzpah and hubris to end-up in a fake-relationship, so I doubled down. I looked to the right, found a random guy in a baseball cap, went up to him, heart pounding, and asked the same question.
This guy said yes. And he was sweet and funny and after a little summer teenage drama, we dated for the rest of high school and all through college.
Now that our readers know a little bit more about Felicia Grossman, let’s get down to the business of your debut book, Appetites & Vices. How long did it take you from beginning to end before your novel was completely finished, and how did you decide on the topic and title?
I started writing the initial draft in August of 2017 and it was finished by November of that year. It’s gone through a bunch of edits since them, but the core writing and editing was during that four months. And the title, well, um… it had a bad placeholder title for the longest time, but I have really good critique partners who refused to let me cop-out and we did a lot of brainstorming to make this one happen.
Please tell us a little bit about Appetites & Vices, which came out last month. APPETITES AND VICES is a historical romance about a faux engagement between Ursula Nunes, the least popular heiress in 1840s Delaware, and Jay Truitt, a wealthy playboy opium addict. She desperately wants to fit in (she’s Jewish, operating in a mostly non-Jewish world) and he wants both a project and a fake broken heart. Obviously, the pretend relationship goes a little too well. However, in helping Jay, Urs makes a lot of enemies, so when unpleasant gossip comes out about her and her family, she’s left in a pretty vulnerable position.
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
For me the hardest thing was writing something #ownvoices. I felt pressure to both not offend my own community while making it accessible and authentic enough for non-Jewish readers.
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
I’m a huge musical theater nerd so I always like to paraphrase Rent and say that their baggage goes together. Ursula and Jay balance each other out. He’s good at situations where she struggles and visa versa. And each respect each other enough to not only accept help, but to make the reader want them to be together and I think that’s the core of their chemistry.
Any other works in progress?
There is a second Truitt book, Dalliances & Devotion, which comes out August 26, 2019. I am also currently playing with a regency.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
My biggest pieces of advice is to find other writers you trust who you can learn and grow with. Those people are invaluable. They not only make you better and support you, but they are the people who make the journey all worthwhile.
Hmmm…oooh! Sondheim quote: “Anything thing you do/let it come from you/then it will be new.” Thank you so much for having me!
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