Hello everybody! Today I am very happy to welcome Willow Sanders, author of the book “Dirty Little Secret” to Coffee and a Keyboard. Thank you so much for being here!
VL: When and why did you begin writing?
WS: I’ve been writing forever and ever. The first conscious memory I have of writing stories was in Mr Fisher’s 3rd grade classroom. We would have “writing” mornings every Friday. He would even “bind” our stories with orange cardboard. However, my mom says I used to write stories to my little sister when she was in utero- so that would have been when I was roughly four. Bottom line I’ve always had stories floating around in my head.
What inspired you to write your latest book?
This book incidentally is a book I wrote for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In my book, my main character, Hillary works for a radio station, and I used to work in radio. They always say write what you know, so that’s what I did.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s Chick-Lit with a touch of romance. There are no real over arching themes or sub textual inferences, but I guess I wrote Hillary and Ivy as intentional caricatures of Millennials with their unending obsession over success and image- even if that success and image is manufactured. So many young people get out of college and think they have to be making 50,000 a year and driving a BMW or they aren’t successful, which shouldn’t be the case. True success comes from being confident in who you are and doing what you love.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Wow that’s nearly impossible to answer because I am a tried and true bibliophile. There are SO many books that have meant a lot to me. However, I’m a huge fan of stories with redemptive elements because I think everyone is capable of change. Since Charles Dickens is the master of the redemptive tale I think he’s probably had a huge impact on my writing and how I view my characters. Additionally I’m a big fan of Jane Austen as well as both Charlotte and Emily Bronte – whom I believe were the original authors of “chick lit” so it’s safe to say they also have been very influential in my writing.
What book are you reading now?
I easily read a book every/other day. I’m currently reading : Orphan Train for my Book Club, as well as the Devour Anthology. Really though, Im killing time until Deborah Harkness’ Book of Life releases next week (Book 3 and the final installment in the All Souls Trilogy – which I’ve been ANXIOUSLY awaiting for over a year)
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing it. It’s the bane of my existence. Since Chick Lit tends to be very trendy and full of pop culture, even a book that was written a year ago requires lots of editing to update out of date reference. This book took.me.forEVER to fix.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
To sound cliche while also quoting Nike- just do it. Ignore the little monster in your head that tell you what your writing is absolute crap and push through. If you need a motivator to past your inner editor I highly suggest you participate in NaNoWriMo this coming November. It’s supportive and the time constraint forces you to write past the bad and just keep going. It’s fabulous!
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Well, since I’m an Indie Writer I have a normal person job (maybe one day I can be a paid professional writer). I read a ton. Currently it’s Big Brother season- so I’m watching that on Wednesdays Thursdays and Sundays . I also am a swimmer and I’m training for Sharkfest Chicago which is a mile and a half swim in Lake Michigan in August.
Where can we find more information about you and your current projects?
I’m on Facebook and Twitter
As well as Goodreads & Pinterest ( where I story board all of my projects so you can see my brain working as I work out plots and characters)
I’m trying to build a website but I’m not a techie at all and in the scheme of things when I get home at night and I sit at my computer I ask myself “do I want to escape into the world of (various characters from various stories in progress) and do some more writing… Or do I want to build my website. Website tends to fall in the list of activities somewhere between going to the dentist, getting a mammogram, and organizing my closet
Currently I’m working on the next in the Dirty little Secret series – which will be IVy’s story. Additionally I have some romance stories in the hopper which I’m debating whether or not to publish.
And of course, last but not least…do you have a favorite brand, flavor, type of coffee?
I have family members who work for the Green Mermaid… So I know this confession is going to garner me some stink eyes, but I LOVE French Vanilla coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I’m also a big fan of the Drive Thru dance party – which my Dunkin Donuts drive thru friend participates in with me every morning.
However I’m not anti Starbucks. I’ve been known to down a quad shot venti iced Carmel macchiato from time to time (read: often)