Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Author Interview: Rangeley Wallace

Today I'm pleased to be able to welcome American author Rangeley Wallace to my blog for a chat about her book Things are Going to Slide.    

Rangeley had asked me if I'd like to review it but sadly I've had to turn down this request due to the number of outstanding reviews that I already have but she did accept my offer of an interview instead so I'll hand you over to Rangeley.

Can you tell us a little bit about Things are Going to Slide?
The heroine, Marilee Carson Cooper, is a law professor at a university in south Alabama. Her life quickly begins to disintegrate when, pregnant with her second child, her husband leaves her for a man; a cheating former lover--whom she never quite got over--steals the prestigious law chair from under her nose; her four year old is displaying developmental problems; and a new dean seems determined to ruin Marilee’s career because she isn’t publishing. And to make matters worse, at the law clinic she runs, an indigent high school girl who she’s known since childhood is accused of murdering her new born.

Where did the inspiration come from for Things are Going to Slide?
I knew I wanted to set a story in a law school clinic setting after I’d spent a few years teaching clinical law. Legal clinics provide a very rich setting for storytelling; the clients, the lawyers, the administrative assistants, and the student lawyers all have stories to tell.

Which came first, the characters or the plot?
A little of both. Ibegan with the twenty-something female lead, Marilee, whom I imagined
was in crisis, both at work and home. Once I realized that she had lost her promotion to her former boyfriend, the plot began to fall into place.

Are you working on a new novel?
I just revised my newest novel, titled Love is Merely a Madness. I’m thinking about a different title, and am considering Nobody Gets Me But You. I also like Trouble Comes Running. I wonder what your readers think of those possible titles. Let me know, please!

When the book opens, Alexa Cunningham is in a panic. She’s afraid that she’s about to marry the wrong man, that she’s living in the wrong town, and that she’s working at the wrong job. When she returns home to visit her sick father, she’s forced to deal with her first love and her former best friend. That friend four years earlier suffered a terrible fall off one of Alexa’s horses and was left a paraplegic; she sued Alexa and her family. The story is about family, friendship and love.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I assumed all my life that everyone always wanted to be a writer! I spent my childhood
buried in books and thought writing was the most honourable of professions. However, I knew that I couldn’t take the critiques or the rejections that are part of the writing process. Once I started raising my children, though, I reconsidered. They took chances every day, something I witnessed up close as they grew up, and they inspired me to give writing a try.

Have you ever had writers block?  And how did you overcome it?
All the time.  If I really can’t find anything to write about, I read and study other folk’s writing or I ride my bike or go to yoga and clear my mind so that I can better focus.

If you weren't a writer, what career path would you have chosen to follow?
Actually, I became a lawyer before I started writing novels and I love both careers.

Being a writer appears to be such a solitary lifestyle, especially when you’re in the midst of writing, so do you consider the influence ofsocial Media, Facebook and Twitter, a blessing or a hindrance? 
When my first book, No Defense, came out, no social Media existed. Now, of course, everything has changed. I wasn’t even on Facebook or Twitter until Things Are Going to Slide was published, and now I spend a lot of time on both. I enjoy both, especially meeting new and interesting, but I haven’t figured out where to draw the line. I need time to sleep too!

How long did it take you to get your first book published? 

Do you have a set daily writing routine?
When I’m working part time, I try to write a few hours every morning and every afternoon. When I’m working full time, I primarily write on the weekends.

How hard is it to keep coming up with fresh ideas for new books?

It isn’t hard to come up with new fresh ideas, but it’s hard to take those ideas and write a book that has interesting characters and a compelling plot. 

Would you say that any of your characters are like you? If so, which one(s)?
I think both protagonists (LuAnn and Marilee) share some traitswith me but they are very different from me as well. Marilee is much nicer!

Have you got a favourite out of all the books you've written, if so, which one and why?
The newest book, which I just revised (the one I mentioned earlier).  That book addresses several difficult issues that I could not have written about when I first started writing. I think (and hope) that each book is a little better than the one before.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be? 
Write, write, write and seek out tough editors. Is that one or two pieces of advice?

Do you have much spare time to read books? If so, what was the last book you read or what are you currently reading?
Not nearly as much as I’d like but I am always reading something.  I am currently reading Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D and I just read Rules of Civility.

Do you prefer to read physical copies of books or e-books? 
After resisting e-books, I have to admit that either works for me. Sometimes I get the physical book after I’ve read the e-book if it’s something I want to treasure or study.

Are there any books you’ve read that you wish you’d written? 

Too many to list.

If you could have any of your books made into a film, which one would you choose and why? 
Who would you cast in the leading roles?
I would choose Things Are Going to Slide because it occurs in an unusual setting, involves a controversial legal issue and includes a romance as well. I think the plot is compelling and
dynamic, and several people have told me it would make a great movie or TV series.

Jessica Chastain would be a spectacular Marilee and Chris Pine might make a great Dwight.

Can you describe Things are Going to Slide in 20 words or less?
Smart chick-lit, mom-lit and law-lit, a story that will make you laugh and cry.

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