Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Well, hey there! I’m Abby, and I’m a writer based out of New Hampshire. I currently have 3 books out, with my 4th coming out February 13th, 2018: In the Event the Flower Girl Explodes.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
In the Event the Flower Girl Explodes was inspired by 2 years of complete wedding chaos, where everyone I knew was getting married — including myself.
No wedding planning is without its drama, and the outright absurd stories I witnessed or were a part of set the foundation of this book. I also was inspired by the unique geography of Florida — where some parts are considered the South, but other parts (like Miami) are not. It made me want to create a fictional town that was a suburb of Miami, but tried to play it up like they were the South.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
My compulsion to write is probably the weirdest part. I could be in the middle of anything — washing dishes, watching TV, even driving — and I’ll stop what I’m doing and write in the first notebook I find. Which brings me to my other writing quirk: my work is completely scattered, and I have to designate “organization” days where I sit down with all my notebooks, type up what I’ve written, and put everything into its proper folder on my computer.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
David Sedaris and Joan Didion have been my biggest influencers in the world of essay writing. Likewise, Anais Nin and her journals were monumental for me. I’m also a huge fan of Cheryl Strayed and Lauren Groff, both of whom have a brutally beautiful way with words.
What are you working on now?
Well, right now it’s all about In the Event the Flower Girl Explodes! I’m also in the beginning stages of a new book. Right now it’s just notes and ideas, but the story is forming quickly and I look forward to turning those notes into a novel.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Aside from this site, of course? 😉 Really, it’s all about connecting with the readers. I love Goodreads for that exact reason, as I do Instagram. The world of the internet has really opened things up for writers. We don’t have to be this mysterious name behind the story. We can interact and bare our souls in new and engaging ways.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just keep at it. Recognize that rejection is the name of the game and we’ll always wish we were the exception to the rule. Just keep at it. Write every day, even if it’s just a blurb about how your day went. Just keep at it. Read just as voraciously; writing without reading is like driving without stoping for gas — eventually you’ll run out of fuel. Just keep at it. Find that fine line between knowing you could always improve as a writer and having faith in your writing abilities in the present moment. Just keep at it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
(Meaning delete the parts that don’t work for your story, even if you love them. Don’t literally kill your darlings.)
What are you reading now?
Always the Love of Someone – Huw Lawrence
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m excited to see where I go with In the Event the Flower Girl Explodes! I’m also excited to start writing my newest novel, as I am to start organizing my newest poetry for my next collection, which will hopefully be out later this year.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Four books on surviving on a desert island.
(But, for real: Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Anais Nin’s Henry & June, and…yeah, still a book on surviving on a desert island.)