Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Getting to Know You by Carol Ross and Amy Vastine

What an exciting day, folks!  Amy Vastine is here.  Yes, you heard me right.  Amy Vastine--the brilliant, ├╝ber-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:

She planned on falling in love. Just not with him!

Emma Everhart’s life is going according to plan. Finish nursing school with flying colours… Check. Get a great job in the ER… Check. Marry a handsome doctor and have two babies, three years apart… Not quite yet. But with a dreamy new doctor joining the hospital staff, she’s so close she can almost taste the wedding cake. Now is not the time to let the tall, dark and flirtatious paramedic Charlie Fletcher distract her! He may be the best date and best kiss she’s ever had, but he’s definitely not part of her plan. No matter how he makes her feel…


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.

23 comments:

  1. Best interview EVER!!! I spewed my morning coffee at Best Plaid Pants. You two are so funny. Love it!

    And I totally loved The Best Laid Plans. Amy, your sense of humor comes through in your writing and is deliciously blended with heart tugging moments. And oh, my gosh, Charlie. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. The Best Man ;).

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    1. Thanks, Rula! I have a major crush on Charlie, too! I love a guy with a sense of humor. I always say no one makes me laugh like my husband. Makes for a happy marriage:)

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  2. OMG, you two are so funny! I was there with Rula on the spewing part, and that title will probably never completely leave my head again. Thanks for a great start to the day.

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    1. I just never know what Carol is going to come up with. When she sent me the interview questions, I may have had the same reaction! Happy Wednesday, Liz! :)

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  3. Fun interview. So, are you two going on the road? You make a great team. Amy, I look forward to reading your book.

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    1. Thanks so much, Tara! I'm sure you can imagine the fun we had coming up with these questions. Although I have to admit to learning some things, too. I read the Weather Girl and loved it, but didn't recall Chicago not making that windy city list. I guess when something sticks in your head, it's tough to dislodge it!

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  4. Too funny. Hm. I can clearly see how rumors start. Looking forward to reading the book, but my March books haven't come yet.

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    1. Thank you, Roz. I think the March line-up is so great! I'm reading The Best Laid Plans right now, so I'd have a little insight for our "interview" and am loving it. Looking forward to some enjoyable reads in the next few weeks!

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  5. Great pick-me-up! Can't wait to read Best Plaid Pants....er, Best Laid Plans. Liz is right--that title may never leave my head, either.

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    1. I'll admit to calling it that in my head, too, Patricia! I'm reading it right now and I highly recommend!!

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  6. I'm with Tara - you two should go on the road - or replace Letterman - Stephen Colbert isn't funnier than the two of you! Wonderful way to start the day. Cheers and big love to both of you. (You can't go on the road - Heartwarming would miss you.)

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    1. Aww...thank you, Muriel. I have to say about these questions...that this is how my brain works most of the time. I'm curious about people and like to know things about them that don't come up in normal conversation. Then Amy just took them and rolled with it in her usual hilarious way.

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  7. Okay. My keyboard is nearly cleaned up now. Yogurt spewed everywhere. What a mess. Thanks a lot, guys. This is just about the coolest, funniest and most innovative post I've ever come across. I agree with Muriel---DON"T go on the road! Both of you would be missed waaaaaaaay too much.
    I'm looking forward to reading ANYTHING you write, Amy...but my next batch hasn't gotten here yet. I'm seriously considering going to the DARK SIDE and ordering a Kindle. Then I can pre-order my books! LOVE, LOVE you two together! What fun.
    I need to get a box of Q-tips to finish cleaning up my mess.

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    1. Catherine, sorry about the mess! But so glad you enjoyed the "interview." We had a lot of fun doing it. I'm with you on reading anything Amy writes--she's truly fantastic. I only wish she could write a little faster(:

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    2. You are so sweet, Catherine! Thank you so much. I hope your keyboard survives our nonsense ;)

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  8. LMFAO all the way through this - of course! And that hair, Ames. OMG.

    Love this and your answers are so you. I wish I could also tell the tale of a tricycle named awewsomeness. But that's a story for another time. SOON. ;) LOVE YOU! All the love in the world for you and your words, woman.

    XOXO

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    1. I had that hair. For real. Scary times. And I love the sound of soon! xoxo

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  9. What a great--and very funny post! Thanks for the laughs. I too once wandered into the men's room at a hospital where I was visiting someone. Didn't realize what I'd done--until I glanced under the stall and saw a pair of men's shoes in the next one. I was very careful not to make a sound until I heard him leave. But what would life be without a funny moment now and then? Congrats on the new book!

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  10. Oh, Leigh--so glad I'm not alone... Thank goodness no one was in there!

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  11. My girlfriend always wears pants so those signs of men in pants pictured by men's bathrooms doesn't register as something male. I have to keep an eye on her so she doesn't wander into the wrong restroom, again. Funny post.

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    1. I still feel really guilty for letting her go in. I was literally in shock. I couldn't think of anything to say to stop her. I mean, I get it that STOP would have been a good choice, but the words were not coming out of my mouth!

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  12. I laughed so hard Tally fell out of my lap! I don't think walking into the men's room at RWA counts as a faux pas because they often confiscate the men's at those hotels for us anyway...

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  13. You guys are so funny! Sincerely, your fellow big perm survivor...

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