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Cathy Yardley Interview : Page 2 of 2

Chick-Lit Author Cathy Yardley

continued from page 1

Q: What is your favorite way to spoil yourself after a hard day at the desk?

A: Two words: Ice. Cream.

Q: I always wonder what other writers are reading. What's the title of the book on your bedside table right now? What's the last book you recommended to a friend? What is the best book to read on a plane?

A: I really loved Stephanie Meyer's YA vampire series, starting with Twilight. Very imaginative, for such an established genre, and surprisingly romantic. Also, I've just read Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. If you haven't read it, rush out and get it now!! It is brilliant. It's funny, and well-written, and just amazingly creative.

Q: Many writers enjoy other types of creative expression, like drumming, working with clay, or painting, What are some of your other artistic endeavors? How do you express yourself when words just aren't enough?

A: I used to like drawing, but it's been a while. I like baking, too, but haven't had a lot of time for it. I actually find myself doing organizing to soothe myself, though. I think sales and promotion can be very creative, if you look at it like a game.

Q: Can you share a funny story about a bad date?

A: Hmmm. I went to the opening of an opera with this guy. We missed the first act, because traffic was bad. Then we went to a horribly expensive restaurant where I got three clams for dinner. (Swear to God, three of 'em.) Then, during dinner, he started talking my ear off about how I should give Rush Limbaugh a chance. We finished up with a limo ride around San Francisco. I remember thinking: this would be so romantic if I were with someone else.

Q: Do you have any tattoos?

A: Yup. Just one, though. A candle, on my right outer thigh.

Q: What's your secret guilty pleasure?

A: Wouldn't really be much of a secret if I told you, would it? Just kidding. Casual computer games. I can knock out two hours straight on Cake Mania from Yahoo Games.

Q: How do you like to spend your weekends? What do you do to relax? What do you do that's just for fun, just for you?

A: Given the opportunity, I love browsing in bookstores or at the library. Books are like a religion for me, so hanging out in places that are home to books and book-lovers is like going to church.

Q: Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs, actually created a personal ad to help research that novel. What crazy, surprising, or unusual things have you done in the name of research?

A: For my book Turning Japanese, which comes out in 2009, I went to Tokyo. That was fairly insane, but a lot of fun. I've also gone clubbing a lot and met with DJ's to research Couch World.

Q: Any tricks for staying on good terms with your Muses? What inspires you and fills you with juicy ideas?

A: Read voraciously, and try to do something new every day.

Q: Can you tell our readers about some of your upcoming projects? In perusing your website, I notice you've got a new series of fairy-tale based fantasy fiction novels coming out from Avon Red. Can you tell our readers what inspired this shift in theme and content? It's quite a departure from what you've written in the past.

A: I'm currently working on an erotic fairy tale trilogy. The first book is CRAVE: The Seduction of Snow White, and it comes out in June 2008. The second book will be about Sleeping Beauty, and the third about Beauty and the Beast. I have always loved fairy tales — I love the fact that they're still fascinating and relevant, and that they were basically a way to help young girls through their coming of age trials back in the day.

There's this fantastic non-fiction book called Spinning Straw Into Gold that gives a scholarly study into why fairy tales still apply to women's lives. Anyway, long story short, I decided to approach it in the dark, highly sexualized way that the originals often emphasized. (These are a lot hotter, though!)

I don't have any workshops lined up yet, but I should be teaching an online class next year. You can check out my website for more details in the Pressroom section.

Q: Can you share some strategies or writing exercises with our readers, specifically focusing on voice, plot, and character development?

A: Your voice is your voice, although I'll say you can influence a bit by reading your favorite authors as they apply to the story you're writing. For example, if I wanted to write something very scary and dramatic and descriptive, I'd read some Anne Rice. If I wanted something more folksy, I'd read Garrison Keillor or Stephen King. Strange, but true. I'd also watch movies that put me in the mood. As far as plot, my outlining is legendary! And character development: I'd say get to know your characters as well as you can. Write a biography on each main character.

Q: One last question, just for fun: Describe the perfect pair of shoes…

A: They've got high heels, they're gorgeous, and after a full night of dancing, your feet still feel like heaven!

Thanks for the fabulous interview, Cathy — I had a blast! A note to our readers: Cathy Yardley's next book, BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE, comes out in December 2007. You can find out more about Cathy Yardley's writing tips and new releases at www.cathyyardley.com.

© 2007 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.

Molly Anderson-Childers is a a highly creative writer and artist from Durango, Colorado. More »

10/20/07