by Martha Reynolds
Publication Date: June 27, 2014
Genre: General Fiction/Coming of Age
Set in New England at the time of the American Bicentennial, BEST SELLER is the poignant story of a displaced young woman struggling to figure out who she is within the context of her hometown and the carefully masked dysfunction of her family.
“Everything can be fixed by writing a check.” Words to live by for Robin Fortune’s wealthy father, until he can’t buy her way back into college after she’s expelled for dealing pot. Now he chooses not to speak to her anymore, but that’s just one of the out-of-whack situations Robin’s facing. At nineteen, she feels rudderless, working in a diner by day and sleeping with a buddy from high school by night – all so strange for her because she was always the one with the plan. While her college friends plotted how to ensnare husbands, she plotted a novel, which she scratched out into a series of spiral-bound notebooks she hides in the closet. But now, there’s nothing. No vision, no future, no point. In fact, the only thing she feels she has to look forward to is that her favorite author, Maryana Capture, is paying a visit to the local Thousand Words bookstore. Robin surmises that if she can convince Maryana to help her get her novel published, she’ll finally get herself back on track. Except that life never takes a straight path in this intensely satisfying coming-of-age novel.
It is my pleasure to welcome Martha Reynolds, author of Best Seller, to Room With Books!
Thanks, and I’m happy to be featured here!
Martha, what do you do when you are not writing?
I read (so many books to be read!). I do some editing and proofreading for other writers. I take walks when I can (a lot of inspiration in those quiet moments). And, of course, cooking, laundry, cleaning. 🙂
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
In my youth, it was The Yearling – I remember how hard I cried over Flag. I was an English major in college, and read a lot of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. In the more recent past, I’ve been influenced by Claire Cook, Wally Lamb, and Anna Quindlen.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I knew enough about the publishing industry to make a decision to self-publish. It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the rejection; I simply wanted to get my work out there. So I hired an editor and a cover artist, because I wanted to put out the best book I was capable of writing. The challenge isn’t necessarily in getting the book published – it’s getting the book into the hands of readers!
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I think it would have to be Superhuman Endurance, for those times I never want to stop writing!
What was your first job?
My first job was in a movie theatre! There was a small, independent movie theatre on Main Street in the town where I grew up. I collected money and made popcorn in the old-fashioned popcorn machine.
What types of books do you write?
I write what I call “Real True Fiction.” Themes of acceptance, forgiveness and growth through change.
Who’s your main audience?
Men and women (yes, not just women!), generally ages 18+.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite?
Wow. I had to think about that one. With each book, I become my characters, but I think I’ll always choose Bernadette Maguire, the main character in not only my debut novel, Chocolate for Breakfast, but also in the other two books in the ‘Chocolate’ trilogy. The reader follows Bernadette from age twenty to age fifty. She is flawed, certainly, but I want you always to root for her, and hope you’re satisfied by the end of the series. I put a lot into Bernadette, so she’ll be my number one.
What does your writing schedule look like?
When life doesn’t interfere(!), I write every morning for two to three hours, with little five minute breaks every hour. Generally, I find that evenings don’t work for me – my creativity is down, so I use my free time at night for reading, marketing, connecting with readers.
Do you use your OWN experiences?
There’s always something of my life in every book, every story. How can there not be? We draw from the experiences of our lives to create characters, emotions, storylines. But I write fiction. These books are not my life, or anyone else’s, that I know of.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
Yes! I’ve never had trouble finding the right title. In this case, Best Seller might be hopefully optimistic, but I think it’s the right title for this novel.
If you could pick one profession which would you choose if you were not an author?
I’d make and sell ice cream. Where else can you make so many people happy at once?
What are you currently working on?
My new novel is a romantic comedy with a holiday theme, so I’m writing furiously, hoping to have it ready by Christmas. It’s titled A Wedding at Jingle Valley Farm.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Peppermint stick
Night owl, or early bird? Early bird (for productivity), but I stay up too late.
Red, or white wine? Not much of either these days, but red is my preference
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? Water Rides!
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? Ah, the ocean is still my first choice!
Walking or fitness club? Walking by myself
Any last words?
My mantra is “It’s never too late to pursue a dream.” I am living proof – I’m finally (finally!) doing what I love. And very grateful to my readers.
Thank you for chatting with our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!
Martha Reynolds ended an accomplished career as a fraud investigator and began writing full time in 2011. She is the author of five novels, including the award-winning Chocolate for Breakfast (her debut novel), Chocolate Fondue, Bittersweet Chocolate, and the Amazon #1 bestseller Bits of Broken Glass. Best Seller is her latest release. Her essays have appeared in Magnificat magazine.
She and her husband live in Rhode Island, never far from the ocean.
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