Allison Winn Scotch has been a Friend of the Debs since the very beginning, so we’re thrilled to welcome her back for a visit today! Allison is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, including The One That I Want and Time of My Life. Her next book, The Song Remains the Same, will be released in April 2012. She lives in New York with her family and their dog.
We’re so happy to have Allison here to celebrate the release of The One That I Want in paperback (you must check out the gorgeous cover!), and we’ll tell you all about it, but first…
Allison Winn Scotch Takes the Deb Interview!
Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
Well, I know this is going to sound a little weird, given that I’m sitting here typing an email, but I am in this phase where I am making a really concerted effort to be less plugged in, and granted, it’s only been about a week, but I am LOVING it. I am literally sensing a difference in my mindset and mental health. I’m doing this in small ways: purposefully leaving my iPhone behind when I exercise or not checking it at night for a few hours…things like that. I’m slowly realizing that I don’t need to be on-call all the time, and it’s freeing me up for other things, mentally. We’ve all kind of backed ourselves into a corner where we’re reachable and vocal (on Twitter or wherever) all the time, and I’ll tell you what, I’m a little drained from it. So – I’m fighting back! In my own little (probably unnoticeable) way.
What time of day do you love best?
I have always, always been a night owl, and I don’t think that I’ll ever get used to having kids who require me to wake up at a designated hour. Seriously. I was the person who changed majors in college because I couldn’t deal with my 9AM classes. So needless to say, I loooooove the nighttime. It’s the one time of day when I truly get to be all about me. Even when my house is quiet during the day, I’m working. At night, my husband always falls asleep much earlier than I do (he’s a dreaded “morning person”), and with the kids tucked upstairs, I just…I don’t know…do whatever I want! I watch TV, I surf the web, I read. It’s almost decadent. The only problem is that I literally stay up too late every single night, and then when my alarm goes off the next morning, I kind of want to punch myself out of regret.
Do you have any phobias?
I have a very intense fear of plane crashes. I fly – and I fly often – but the anticipation leading up to flying (particularly internationally, and I have no idea why it’s worse, but I think it’s about flying over large bodies of water) gives me a lot of anxiety. It’s such an odd thing because I am a very, very rational person, but I kind of internally flip out before every trip. Usually, this manifests itself in plane crash dreams, which I also have when something is going wrong in my life – it’s my subconscious way of recognizing that there’s a problem brewing on the horizon. It’s probably not a coincidence that my next book involves my heroine surviving a plane crash. It was my way of facing this fear and saying, “Screw you! She’s going to survive anyway.”
Have you ever met someone you idolized? What was it like?
Well, I do a lot of celebrity interviews, so I’ve had the chance to chat with a few actors whom I totally revered (and/or had mad, crazy crushes on). I can always tell when I’m really invested in an interview because I feel like I’m going to puke beforehand. Almost inevitably, I realize a few things: 1) in most cases, these actors really were unfailingly awesome, which is much better than when they are not. (And some are not.) 2) Part of their job is to be unfailingly awesome to the press, so if you later hear stories as to why they’re less awesome or they don’t follow through with their promised follow-up, you can’t take it personally. Their job requires that they’re “on,” and the good ones always are. 3) They’re people, just like me. Sometimes, we revere our idols, and then we talk to them, and the fact that they’re human is both comforting and pops the bubble just a little bit. But that’s usually a good thing. It’s always NICER to know that behind the fame or achievement or whatever, there’s someone who you can relate to and share a cup of coffee with.
Has anyone ever thought a character you wrote was based on them?
Oh, I’m sure that there have been! Especially with Time of My Life. A whole slew of my exes probably think it’s about them. That they’re the guy I wish I’d gone back in time for and for whom I have lingering “what ifs.” HA! But that’s okay. I’ve never been confronted directly by anyone so I can’t be sure. It’s pretty ludicrous – fiction writers may draw from an emotional memory but very rarely do we replicate actual circumstances (and if we do, it’s often not done well, so I hope that we don’t do it often). Besides, I find it much more fun to create characters from nothing than to start with a foundation of reality – you have a lot more room to grow and parameters to explore.
Do you have a regular ‘first reader’? If so, who is it and why that person?
I do, and it’s the fabulous author, Laura Dave. Why? Well, we’re very good friends, but we started sending each other our work a few years ago when we both sort of figured out that we share the same emotional writing compass and that we had no problems being honest with each other in a constructive way. We’re very, very supportive and believe in helping the other get her work to a better place – and because we are friends and because we respect each others’ work so immensely, there is also a lot of trust there. I trust her critiques, and I trust her judgment, and equally important, I trust her praise. It’s an invaluable relationship that I couldn’t do without.
If you love Allison like we all love Allison, you are thinking right now, “Where can I get more Allison?” Fear not! You can catch up with her on her website, her blog, or on Twitter or Facebook (she’s equally fabulous in all four places).
And where can you get extra bonus Allison? In her books, of course!
The One That I Want: Tilly Farmer thinks she has the perfect life – the perfect job, the perfect hometown, the perfect husband. But when she’s given the unwelcome ability to see into the future, she discovers that all of these things are anything but. She’s then faced with the question of whether she steers her life onto the path she always dreamed of or tests the waters of a life she never considered possible?
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