Interviews

Alice Clayton Interview:


Hi everyone!! Today I am here with bestselling author, Alice Clayton to talk about her newest series, The Hudson Valley Series & her upcoming release, Cream of the Crop; as well as some get to know you questions!!


Elizabeth from CBBB: Hi Alice!! So happy to have you here!! How are you? 

Alice Clayton: I’m so good, thank you for asking! It’s summertime in St. Louis, my new puppy Matilda is loving life and dragging us all over the neighborhood, things are good in the Alice household.

Elizabeth from CBBB: Nuts is the first book in your newest series, The Hudson Valley Series, where did you get the inspiration or overall idea for this new series? Especially since Nuts & Cream of the Crop are quite different in story lines. 

Alice Clayton: I have talked a little bit about this in the past, but truly the inspiration for NUTS came from an afternoon at our local farmers market and buying cucumbers from the hottest farmer I ever did see. I literally had the outline for NUTS done in my head by the time I got back to the car! One thought led to another, and then I was buying cheese at the same farmers market and I had this total inspiration of an entire series based around the Farm to Table food movement and getting to know your local producers. When it came time to think about where to set this series, I zeroed in on the Hudson Valley pretty quickly. I visited, drove all over New Paltz and Hyde Park, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, and bam…the series had a home. I also spent some time up at Mohonk Mountain House, this very old very beautiful Catskills mountain resort, very Dirty Dancing. That may or may not be popping up in a later book…

Elizabeth from CBBB: Leo & Roxie are the main characters in Nuts, are they based off of anyone that you personally know or did you have anyone that you used as a muse? 

Alice Clayton: I think all of my female characters are based on people I know, I tend to borrow personality traits and rearrange them into new people. Most of my girlfriends are super funny, super quirky chicks and those tend to be the women I write as well. Roxie I felt from the beginning had to someone who needed to leave her hometown and live life on her own terms for awhile in order to see how great the place she came from really was. And Leo, ahhhh Leo. He was just based on pure hotJ But I did like the idea of someone who came from money, old money, wanting to give it all up to live off the land so to speak, to get his hands dirty in a really clean way and become his own man apart from his family. Plus, I really wanted to write about a sexy farmer…

Elizabeth from CBBB: Personal question, you worked in the cosmetics industry before writing, what was your specialty in the industry? 

Alice Clayton: I did! For years and years makeup and skincare was my life. I was an esthetician, and worked for bareminerals cosmetics for over ten years, right when it was blowing up and it was THE makeup everyone was talking about. I was an educator and would travel the country teaching women how to teach other women how to love their makeup. My specialty was eyes, eyes, eyes!

Elizabeth from CBBB: Cream of the Crop is your upcoming release (July 12th), are you excited, nervous, anxious, etc.? 

Alice Clayton: Yes. Yes. Yes. Etc.

Elizabeth from CBBB: Are there any traditions that you do on your release day? 

Alice Clayton: Mr. Alice and I used to go out for pizza and beer on release day, but by dinnertime I’m usually a nervous wreck and can’t stop checking the rankings on Amazon and he finally said, that’s it, this isn’t fun, new tradition. So now we go our for breakfast, before I can ruin the day.

Elizabeth from CBBB: Oscar & Natalie are the main characters in Cream of the Crop, are they based off of anyone that you personally know or did you have anyone that you used as a muse? 

Alice Clayton: Oscar is 100% based on Jason Momoa, if Jason Momoa was a kind of standoffish grouch. Which I have a feeling he isn’t. The inspiration for Natalie came from several different places. I very much believe that men are attracted to attitude and confidence and at times the prettiest girl in the room isn’t always the one they want to go home with…it’s the one who seems to be having the best time. And I love the idea that the sexiest most confident woman in the room could be a big beautiful curvy girl. When I started to peel the layers of Natalie though, I realized that there was some hurt there, something had happened to her to make her the most confident, make her the one that was determined to always have the hottest guys absolute putty in her hands. She’s got a story, that one. And I love her.
Plus, let’s be honest, I love the idea of Jason Momoa throwing around a big beautiful girl with a great ass.

Elizabeth from CBBB: Were you scared or nervous at all to go from working in the cosmetics industry to a writer? 

Alice Clayton: Here’s what’s funny about that. Working with women all those years, with my clients and with my co-workers, in the business of making people feel good about their skin and how they look and feel made me feel like I had a world of characters and feelings and emotions to draw from. There’s a part in WALLBANGER where Caroline thinks about an interaction with her grandmother where when she’s given a compliment she immediately lobs it back, discounting it, taking herself down a peg, apologizing! Women do this all the time. I can tell a woman how pretty I think she looks in a certain color and she will always answer back with something like “Oh I don’t know, my lips are too big for a strong lip color aren’t they?” or “Ugh, I feel like I look so tired today!” They never just say thank you. Now I tend to go the opposite way, and if you tell me my hair looks good today I will more than likely say “I know, right?”

Elizabeth from CBBB: How connected to your characters are you when writing? 

Alice Clayton: Officially I am SO connected to them, every second of the day. Unofficially, sometimes these fuckers confuse the hell out of me and I have no idea what’s best for them. Those are the days I think about going back to cosmetics…

Elizabeth from CBBB: How many books will there be in the Hudson Valley Series? 

Alice Clayton: As of now, 3.

Elizabeth from CBBB: Ok, last question…can you write anywhere and in any type of environment or do you have specifications of where and how you write? 

Alice Clayton: I either need perfect quiet in my office, or I need to go to Panera, plug in my headphones and listen to really loud Prodigy. Usually while writing sex scenes…

Elizabeth from CBBB: Thank you so much for answering questions and giving all of your readers a little insight about your newest series and yourself Alice!!


Look for Cream of the Crop, which releases July 12th and is the second book of The Hudson Valley Series. Nuts (Hudson Valley #1) is now available.


Pre-Order Cream of the Crop (Hudson Valley #2) releasing July 12th:
iBooks: https://itun.es/us/tSfC8.l




***********************************************************************


Sarina Bowen Interview:


Hi everyone!! Today I am here with bestselling author, Sarina Bowen to talk about her upcoming series, True North and the first book in that series, Bittersweet, which will be released on June 14th. I will also be asking some “get to know you” questions!!


Elizabeth from CBBB: Hi Sarina!! So happy to have you here!! How are you?

SB: Great! Thank you for inviting me to chat.



Elizabeth from CBBB: Have you and your family always lived in Vermont?

SB: Nope! I have ancestors buried here going back to the eighteenth century. But my husband and I met in New York City and lived there for years before decamping to Vermont.


Elizabeth from CBBB: This series is quite different from your other ones, how did this one come about? Did it just pop into your head one day or has it been on your mind for a while?

SB: I always knew I'd write a foodie Vermont series, and I'm just happy I've finally gotten around to it. There are a lot of interesting foodie businesses here, and so I know people who make their own cheese and raise every kind of crop. We buy beef from one neighbor and pork from another. It's impossible to live here and not think about where food (and tasty cider!) comes from.



Elizabeth from CBBB: Griff & Audrey are the main characters in Bittersweet, are they based off of anyone that you personally know or did you have anyone that you used as a muse?

SB: No, they're not based on anyone real. But the professional challenges they face are definitely real world! 


Elizabeth from CBBB: Are you involved in the Farm to Table movement? Are you or anyone in your family involved in the farming business?

SB: Farm to Table is just all around me. There are families at my kids' schools who run their own CSAs. We don't farm but we grow a lot of our food, and we buy food from our neighbors. One of the shocking things about my neighborhood are the self-serve farm stands. You take the dozen eggs (or whatever) and leave the money in a coffee can. It's hysterical.


Elizabeth from CBBB: In Bittersweet, Griff is more than just a farmer, he is also a cider maker. Do you have personal experience with making cider or did you have to do extensive research?

SB: Cider is having a real moment right now! I'd already written the book when I saw an ad for Vermont Cider Week, so I showed up to one of their events in Norwich, VT. I had to turn around and leave, it was so packed. I've based Griff's cider-making process of the efforts of Poverty Lane orchards in Lebanon, NH. They make complex, musky ciders just like Griff!


Elizabeth from CBBB: Are there any traditions that you do on your release day?

SB: Honestly I spend 12 hours thanking people on Facebook and Twitter. It isn't very glamorous, but it's important.


Elizabeth from CBBB: Has there ever been a character or characters that were hard to write or that you just didn’t connect to?

SB: If I'm not connecting with the character I rewrite him or her. But some characters are harder than others. Bella from The Shameless Hour is so unlike me that I struggled. I love Bella, but we don't share a worldview so that book took a long time to write.


Elizabeth from CBBB: Out of all of your books, which one was the most FUN to write and which one was the HARDEST to write?

SB: Fun: The Year We Fell Down. I mean, they're all fun. But nobody cared about my books yet, so I wrote that one for myself. It was stress free.


Hard: Steadfast, the next True North book was hard only because Jude goes through a lot.


Elizabeth from CBBB: As of right now there are only 3 books in the True North series, do you think you will write more or just keep it at 3?

SB: I have ideas for more. We'll just have to see where 2017 takes me!


Elizabeth from CBBB: What are some of your favorite hobbies to do in Vermont or just in general?

SB: Skiing! Skating! Apple picking season is a lot of fun, too. 


Elizabeth from CBBB: Ok, last question…can you write anywhere and in any type of environment or do you have specifications of where and how you write?

SB: I need quiet, so I write at home or in a library. I'm near(ish) to Dartmouth College and they have beautiful libraries.


Elizabeth from CBBB: Thank you so much for answering questions and giving all of your readers a little insight about your newest series and yourself Sarina!!

SB: You're so welcome!



Look for Bittersweet, which releases June 14th and is the first book of the True North series

Pre-Order Bittersweet:

No comments:

Post a Comment