Last Friday we shared our thoughts on the thrilling book "Snow Escape". This week here straight from the author in an enlightening Author Interview!
First, I want to take this opportunity to thank Read, Rate & Review for having me participate on their incredible blog. I appreciate that they are allowing me to express myself on their forum.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Philadelphia. I moved to Maryland with my boyfriend, now husband, back in October 1999. My family currently lives in a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Tell us your latest news?
I’ve recently decided to post my non-fiction manuscript, Persevering through the Unforeseen-One Couple’s Experience Conquering Testicular Cancer, on my blog in an attempt to reach anyone suffering from or having a loved one suffering from Testicular cancer.
My husband was thirty-six years old when he was diagnosed with Testicular cancer at the beginning of January 2011. He had surgery and endured four cycles of chemotherapy, twenty rounds in all. As of May 2011, he’s been cancer-free. He went through hell and made it back stronger than ever and for this my family is grateful. He does have lingering permanent side effects from the chemo, but thankfully they’re not life-threatening. They’re uncomfortable at times, but Eric has learned to live with them.
Back when he was diagnosed, I chose to write about what we were going through because I needed a way to cope. I also wanted a way to educate people about what chemotherapy entails. Parts of my manuscript are extremely personal, but in revealing the everyday issues and or hardships we faced I hope to help others.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always loved telling stories, but I didn’t even attempt to seriously write until both my children were in school. I began writing my first manuscript at the beginning of 2009.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The first manuscript I wrote, which I’m currently trying to acquire an agent with, was inspired by real life events that occurred on my mother’s side of the family. I spend the first half of this year revising it. My first published book, Snow Escape, was inspired by the harsh winter of 2009-2010. During that time, my area of the country endured three massive snowstorms, two of which occurred within a week of each other. About a week after the back-to-back storms, I was sitting at my computer querying agents for my first manuscript. I looked out the window and watched as more snow fell but this storm, thankfully, was going to pass my area and head up to New York. I remember thinking, “Thank God we’re not going to get hit from another storm. Let New York get clobbered with it, because I’ve had enough snow. That’s when I had this light bulb moment. What if you had a woman in New York and she’s trapped in her apartment because it just keeps snowing? What if this woman uses online dating to meet guys and one of them decides to contact her during the blizzard, etc. The details basically came flooding to me, so I was compelled to write them down. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to write it in a way that would make readers question if the events were really happening or was Allegra imagining them.
Do you have a specific writing style?
It depends on what project I’m working on. For Snow Escape, I wanted to create an ambiance that gave people chills and had them on the edge of their seats at times. I also used humor to lighten the mood at certain points when I felt it needed it. My personal writing style could best be described as emotionally expressive, because I tend to get a release of stress and or tension when expressing myself. I also prefer the term “storyteller” because I love to entertain and help people escape from their everyday lives through reading.
How did you come up with the title?
Titles are easy for me; they just come to me. For example, Snow Escape was the perfect title for my published novel because a woman was trapped in her apartment and wanted to escape but snow was hampering her attempts.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In the case of Snow Escape, I’d have to say choosing to meet people over a computer is risky business. You have no idea who’s behind that monitor. It could be someone harmless, or it could someone with a deadly agenda. Simultaneously, there’s also an underlying message to the story that isn’t initially perceived. People need to think about the way they treat others, because I’m a firm believer in karma coming back on them. I’m not saying my main character deserved to be stalked, but maybe she wasn’t as innocent as she claimed to be. If anything, its food for thought for anyone who chooses to read this story.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes, I have based characters on people I know. Like I’ve mentioned previously, my first manuscript is loosely based on events that happened on my mother’s side of the family. They were dysfunctional and I chose to weave stories I heard growing up into a full-length account. Several of the events actually happened to me. Snow Escape was a completely made-up story. The manuscript about my husband’s cancer was completely fact-based.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Honestly, it would take me a very long time to mention every book. From classic to contemporary literature, I have varied interests when it comes to reading. Let’s just say I’ve been influenced and inspired by almost every book I’ve ever read and it would be an injustice to mention some over others.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have two and I can’t choose between them. First is Virginia Woolf, because I consider myself to be the same type of writer. An incredibly emotional person, her books tend to elicit profound responses from readers because of the sensitivity she possessed. Tennessee Williams is tied for first because he was brilliant. I love just about everything he ever wrote, because his characters were so memorable.
We here at Read, Rate & Review want to thank Ms. Goodman for taking time out to answer our questions!
Check out our review for her book "Snow Escape" HERE