Hi Laura! Thank you so much for having me! I am so excited to “chat” with you. Mom Genes, which is my fifth novel, is currently available on all eBook platforms and has been published today (March 24th.)
It is the second book in my Forest River PTA series, but it’s a completely standalone story. Mom Genes is a heartwarming and hilarious book about a PTA mom, Claire Conroy, who is searching for a fresh start while struggling to survive suburban backstabbing and parental politics
What songs would be on a playlist for this novel?
Oh my, this is a hard question, but a few songs come to mind.
The first would be Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” because Claire is faced with quite a few problematic situations in the book. First, she returns home from a trip to Italy gearing up to separate from her husband of thirteen years. Then the meddling mothers spread rumors about the “real reason” for her divorce.
The second would be “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge because Claire’s family plays such an essential role in this story, especially her hysterical grandmother, Gigi.
The last would be “Take Me Back To The Night We Met” by Lord Huron because thanks to a chance encounter, Claire reconnects with someone from her past.
What’s your writing process like, from idea, to first draft and then to final edit?
I’m pretty impulsive, so as soon as an idea pops into my head, I start writing. I don’t plot out my books. I let the story take its twists and turns. I often to run to my laptop fresh out of the shower, dripping wet, because one of my characters “told me something funny.
After I finish the first draft, which is always pretty rough, I read it over and polish it, and add a lot to the story. Then I send it to my editor. She has a keen eye and incredible insights, and I pretty much end up writing the book over again.
What has your route to publication like and, in your opinion, what’s the most common mistake new writers make when looking to be published?
My route to publication has been like a roller coaster. I self-published my first book, Dangled Carat. Then a few months later, I secured a publisher who then published my second novel, Plan Bea. Right before they were about to publish my third book, Plan Cee, they went out of business. As soon as I received my rights back, I self-published all of my books, and have been self-publishing ever since.
I think the most common mistakes new writers make when looking to be published, they don’t have a complete understanding of the industry and the process. There is so much to know. It is overwhelming. However, I have found the author community is the most generous group of people. Everyone is always so eager to help each other out and share their experiences and knowledge.
Which author has impacted you the most as a writer?
Hands down, Jen Lancaster! I shouldn’t admit this, but before I read Bitter is the New Black, I didn’t know what a blog or a memoir was. Her book completely motivated me to stop dreaming about writing and start writing. Within weeks of finishing her book, I set up my blog and began writing Dangled Carat.
Besides being an author, I hold a full-time job. Finding time to write is often tricky. I write when I can, usually in the early morning, before I head off to work. I also do a lot of writing over the weekends.
Do you think character or plot is more important?
I think both are very important, but if I had to pick one, I’d go with plot. Many times I may not love a character when I read, but I love the story, so I keep quickly turning the pages.
Which fictional character would you like to meet and why?
I would love to meet June from The Handmaids Tale. Despite everything that happened to her, she was so strong…. A true inspiration.
What’s your favourite word and why?
Perplexing. I love the sound of it. And I confuse myself easily.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Just write! The hardest part is getting started… Then seek out other authors. There are amazing communities on social media. Never be afraid to ask a question. Authors are the most generous people in the world. They will help you succeed!
By day, Hilary Grossman works in the booze biz. By night she hangs out with her “characters.” She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She’s been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humour in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball – she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on the beach in Long Island.
Big Little Lies meets Class Mom
The meddling moms of Forest River live for a good scandal. Speculation surrounding Claire Conroy’s sex life has fueled the rumor mill for years. Now, when Claire returns home from a trip to Italy separated from her husband of thirteen years, the imaginations of the Lululemon-clad ladies’ who lunch spin into overdrive. As the gossipmongers create their own scandalous backstory for the separation, blaming Claire’s infidelity, she learns the hard way just how mean mommies can be.
Eager to begin her new life as a single mom of three Claire puts her trust in Jackie Martin, the president of the PTA, to help tell her truth and free her of the false accusations and scandal. But the plan backfires, and Claire is put further into the spotlight when an embarrassed mom declares war.
As Claire dusts off her resume, fights the daily urge not to strangle her ex-husband and his new girlfriend, and dips her toes into the dating world one dud at a time will she find the happiness she craves or succumb to the pressure of the mean girls?