What an exciting day, folks! Amy Vastine is here. Yes, you heard me right. Amy Vastine--the brilliant, über-talented, and wildly famous author of the new release, The Best Laid Plans.
After numerous attempts to contact Amy, which resulted in lots of name-calling, some door-slamming, several vicious threats, a dog bite, and one restraining order, I finally managed to secure Amy’s correct contact information and she graciously agreed to an interview.
Okay, first question, Amy… Is it true that this book was originally titled The Best Plaid Pants and told the story of a professional golfer who fell in love with a Scottish fashion model?
I can’t believe someone leaked that information! Okay, okay, no. It was first titled The Better Plan, though. The editors decided it might be confusing to use titles that were too closely related (The Better Man was Book 1 in the series). Likewise, the third book in the series, which is now The Hardest Fight, was originally titled The Better Fight. There have never been any golfers associated with any of the stories.
Interesting! Well, The Best Laid Plans is actually about a woman named Emma who thinks she has her life all planned out, until handsome paramedic Charlie intervenes. What more can you tell us, Amy, without giving too much away?
Oh, poor Emma. She thinks that planning her life out in advance guarantees no troubles. Wouldn't that be nice? Her plans have all worked out thus far, so she really has no reason to believe it not to be true. She also knows that when she deters from the plan, things can go terribly wrong. So, she a little inflexible that way. But along comes easy-going, live in the moment Charlie. He was never part of the plan, but there’s something about him she just can’t resist. And who can blame her?
Not me! The first book in your Chicago Sisters Series, The Better Man, featured a smooth, rather dapper hero by the name of Max, while in The Best Laid Plans we meet Charlie, the witty, easygoing paramedic. In comparing these two equally-as-engaging and handsome heroes can you answer this tough question--who would win in an arm wrestling competition?
Oh, that’s easy. Charlie for sure. The boy works in a firehouse and grew up in a house full of women. He knows how to wrestle - arm or otherwise!
Enough of these literary brainteasers, everyone’s going to buy the book anyway, so let’s discuss what people really want to know. They want to know about you, Amy Vastine. Readers are curious about the woman behind the keyboard. So, I’m going to ask some questions that might be a little personal, a bit probing--you know--the kind that might take you out of your comfort zone. Are you ready?
Um … I hope so.
Rumor has it that you’re the youngest of 19 children and you grew up with the cameras of a reality show following you around 24/7. Can you share with us what kind of an experience that was?
Actually, I am the oldest of three and none of my life was documented with anything other than my mom’s Kodak camera.
|Not Amy but sort of what her |
hair looked like in 1992
Oh, I see, but you did go to college on a curling scholarship, right?
If there had been scholarships for curling your hair, I would have won it. My perms were legendary.
Famous Hollywood ex? First woman to climb K-2 in a hazmat suit? Ground-breaking advances in the health benefits of cashew nut butter..? No, no, no… Well, that just goes to show you what kind of gossip you open yourself up to with your level of fame, doesn’t it? Let’s skip the rest of these “rumors” and venture into some more interesting, and, um, reliable territory.
The city of Chicago is the setting for your Chicago Sisters Series. And you currently reside in Chicago, so tell us, Amy, what is your favorite thing about living in this city?
I live just outside the city, which I think is perfect. I get all the wonderful things the city has to offer like art, music, and theater, but I live where I can park in a parking lot when I go shopping ;)
One of Chicago’s nicknames is The Windy City--is this an exaggeration?
Actually in my first book, The Weather Girl, my quirky heroine points out that Chicago isn’t even in the top ten of windiest cities. So, I guess it is!
I happen to have it on good authority that The Weather Girl is now required reading for the USGS training program and the Meteorology School of America!
Okay, now on to one of my favorite interview techniques… Would you rather?
Would you rather…take a relaxing, all-inclusive, tropical resort vacation or a fast-paced European tour?
No contest - all-inclusive on the beach. I live in Chicago. I am so done with the cold and the snow. Europe is not real warm.
Would you rather…be stuck in an elevator for five hours or stuck in a traffic jam for five hours?
Traffic jam. Five hours … pfft! That’s nothing. I’m from CHICAGO, remember?
These are great answers and I think we’re really getting a sense of you, Amy. Now, let’s play a quick game of what if so your readers can get a sense of what kind of friend you are.
What if…you’re out with a friend and she has garlic breath. You…
A. Ignore it and hope it goes away.
B. Ignore her and hope she goes away.
C. Offer her a mint or a stick of gum.
Absolutely C. I would help a girl out.
Awesome answer, Amy! You are a good friend indeed. Let’s do another one just for fun--off the top of my head.
What if…you were at a writing conference--say the RWA in San Antonio for example? You’re out to lunch with a writer friend, and on the way to the women’s restroom you realize your friend has taken a wrong turn into MEN”S restroom! You…
A. Scream NO at the top of your lungs, reach into the men’s room and pull your friend out?
B. Laugh hysterically and proceed into the ladies’ restroom where you collapse into a pile of giggles on a bench inside the door while you wait for your friend to figure out her humiliating error? (Which can take a moment when said friend is in the debilitating state commonly known as “urinal shock”).
C. Refuse to answer on the grounds that you may incriminate yourself.
OMG. This may have happened. And I may have done one of these things and should probably choose C so people still think I’m a good friend. But you know I love you, right, Carol? I seriously couldn’t speak and then didn’t want to walk in and see something I shouldn’t. I figured you’d realize your mistake sooner than later!!
Riiiiiiight. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, Amy! I think we can safely say we know A LOT more about Amy Vastine than we did a few minutes ago. Am I right? Of course I am. But if, on the off chance, that I didn’t touch on something you might be curious about--go ahead and fire away. Amy will be happy to answer (almost) any question you may have. Or feel free to just comment on her talent and brilliance, and don’t forget to stop by the following locations to purchase Amy’s newest book:
Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read. Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.