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Thanks for stopping by the Character Interview Blog Hop!
Last week DEBORA DENNIS interviewed Corinne Mackenzie, the heroine of Muffins & Mistletoe and the editor of the Starlight Hills Herald who’s not above enlisting the town’s muffin-making matchmaker to win back her man! Muffins & Mistletoe
is a Contemporary Romance/Holiday Novella. Find her interview here
. Visit her website here
Debora Dennis is a native New Yorker and has been an avid romance reader since she first discovered Barbara Cartland on the shelves of her middle school library. A true believer in second chances and it’s always the right time to fall in love; she writes time travel romances and lighthearted contemporaries with modern snark and spice! When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family, adding to her pocketbook addiction, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves. She loves to hear from readers and to connect via social media. Visit Debora on Twitter
Today I’ll be interviewing Max Green, the heroine of my upcoming novel, Goddess of Suburbia. Max is a PTA mom whose tidy, boring life is suddenly anything but. She’s embroiled in an Internet scandal, her marriage has fallen apart, her teenage daughter won’t speak to her and her first love has shown up two decades after he broke her heart…
I glance at my watch. Max Green, the heroine of my upcoming novel, Goddess of Suburbia, is ten minutes late and I’m about to give up on her when she slides across from me in a high backed booth at the East Hollow Diner.
“I’m so sorry,” she says breathlessly. “Normally, I would have called or texted to let you know that I’d be late, but the paps were chasing me and I had to drive through a few different neighborhoods to lose them.” She looks cautiously out the window, then sinks down in the booth a bit.
I look outside and notice a lanky guy with a camera pointed right at us, the giant lens fully extended. I fix my hair a bit and sit up straight, even as Max sinks down lower. I sink down to match her height. She’s not a tall woman to begin with and I can barely see her nose over the table. “Are you OK?” I ask, concerned.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I just wish they would leave me alone. I mean look at me, I’m dressed in tired mom couture. My best sweatpants and hoodie…”
“I think it’s cute,” I offer. She’s wearing a pale pink zip-up hoodie with a white tank underneath and a pair of heather gray jogger pants. Her honey blonde curls are piled on her head, loose tendrils escaping. Her luminous brown eyes have slight circles underneath, proving her point that she’s tired. She’s still beautiful, though-naturally. And, I can tell she even doesn’t realize that – the best kind of beauty.
“Thanks, that’s sweet of you to say. Sorry I’m slouched down. Let me know when the guy leaves and I’ll sit up. Are you going to eat? I’m kind of starving. Can you call the waitress over?”
I motion to the waitress and we both order scrambled eggs and toast. Max gets an orange juice. I have tea. By the time our food comes – faster than I expected – the paparazzo is gone and Max is upright once more. I let her get down a few bites of eggs and toast, before I jump in.
“You ready?” I ask. “The questions might get a little personal.”
“Honey, after having my naked body zipping around cyber space, nothing fazes me. Ask away.”
“OK – what’s your greatest fear?
“That’s actually pretty easy. My greatest fear is that Nick, my ex, will get my kids. I worry that he’ll somehow turn everything around and make it my fault. It’s hard enough handing my kids over to him and his slutty girlfriend every other weekend. I can’t imagine what I would do if he got custody. He’s threatened me with a fight, but I don’t know if he’d ever follow through. Oh – and I have one more huge fear. May I share two fears?
“Sure – the whole point of this interview is so that my readers can get to know you better, so the more you share the better.”
“I’m afraid people will never get bored of me. I know they have to evenutally – I mean, my fifteen minutes have to be up soon, don’t they?” Max sighs, her eyes pleading. “I’m just so sick of the scrutiny. I’m sick of having to worry about whether or not the paps are following me. I’m sick of having my photo taken when I’ve got on no make-up and I’m dead tired. I know, that sounds shallow and I wouldn’t care, but I don’t want Ben to see it. I mean, it’s not like I wear a lot. Just a slick of lip gloss and some eyeliner. Plus, I hope he’ll see me eventually without make-up on…” Max pauses for a moment, a dreamy look crossing her countenance before she snaps back to reality. “But, more than anything… I want to shield my kids. It’s just too much.”
I didn’t mean to stress Max out more than she already is, so instead of my next planned question, I ask her if she wants to tell the readers a bit about Ben.
There’s that dreamy look again. “Ben was my first love – he was a sexy, bad-boy rocker with a sweet side and I fell for him the moment I laid eyes on him. We were inseparable in college, but I thought I’d never see him again. ” Max sighs heavily. “He broke my heart when I was twenty-two, but really it was my fault. I was young and stupid and my jealousy drove him crazy. I’ve never blamed him. He wants to see me now, but I’m not sure. I’ve just been through hell with Nick. I don’t know if I’m ready to take a chance…” Max shakes her head, her curls quivering a bit, threatening to break out of their clip and spill down. I think I see a few tears welling up, but she quickly blinks and composes herself.
So much for not stressing her, back to part two of my question. “So, speaking of Nick – is there anyone you’d never tell about your fears?”
“Well, Nick for sure. He’s the kind of guy who can smell fear and will exploit it for his own gain. If he knew I was afraid of him getting the kids, he’d probably think he’d have an open shot at custody. I have to present a strong, unafraid face to him, even if I’m terrified inside. Oh – and if he thought that there’s a chance I’ll stay in the spotlight, he’d use that to his advantage too – say the kids would be better off with him.”
“I’m sorry you’re going through all this. Is there anyone you’ve shared your fears with?”
“Andi – she’s my best friend. I tell her everything. She always listens and somehow manages to put a positive spin on things. With the whole video thing she actually said that she thought it was great that I was ‘sparking heated conversations about beauty, boundaries and the Madonna / Whore paradigm.’ That’s why I love her. But honestly, her fears are so much bigger and more important than mine. Her husband has lymphoma – it’s in remission right now, but there’s always the chance of relapse, so that ‘s always hanging over his head.”
“She sounds like an amazing friend,” I say as Max quickly eats a few more bites of egg piled on her buttered toast. She glances at her watch as she chews.
“She is,” Max agrees after she swallows. “I haven’t got much more time. I have to pick Sam up from nursery school soon. I’m sorry.”
“No problem. There aren’t too many more questions,” I assure her. “But, I have to ask all of them. So, tell me about the one person who made a difference in your life.”
“My mom,” Max answers without hesitation. “She was the strongest woman I know. She fought at the end so valiantly – she had cancer, but lived longer than anyone thought she would. More than that, though – she taught me how to have a second act. My father passed away when she was only forty-nine, not much older than I am now. She dated different men – none really compared to my father, but she enjoyed their company. And, she didn’t date a man unless she felt something – some sort of zing. She told me once, ‘Don’t be with someone because they’re right on paper, just because you don’t want to be alone. Be with someone because you can’t live without them, not simply because you can live with them.’ I carried that with me for a long time.” Max pauses for a moment – perhaps remembering her mom – then shakes her head. “I still married an asshole, though. But, he did drive me crazy – we had that zing all right.” Max grins wickedly and I decide she must be a lot of fun on a girls’ night out.
“Zing is good, but not so much if the guy is an asshole.”
“You’re telling me.” Max glances at her watch again.
I’d love to hear more about the zing, but I know Max is pressed for time. “OK – next question:
Where do you go when you need time alone?”
Max doesn’t even need a moment to think about it, she answers, “The north shore. I love to drive up to the Sound and just sit on the beach, especially when it’s empty. I always feel closer to my mom there. She used to take me there when I was a kid. She was afraid of the ocean, so unless my dad was around to go with us – which wasn’t that often, because he worked a lot – we had to go to the Sound. No waves, so she felt safer. After the beach, she’d always take me for the most amazing ices. It was just this little shack, but the lemon was so true and pure, you had to spit the seeds out. It’s expanded a bit now, but it’s still one of my favorite places to go and whenever I go to the beach on the north shore, I stop there. You still need to spit out the seeds from the lemon ices.” Max checks her watch again. “I don’t mean to be difficult, but I really need to go soon. How many more questions?”
“Just two. Sorry – it’s the rules of the blog hop. We all have to ask the same questions. Well, the last one we get to choose from a list. But, I do have to ask this one… Do you have a secret?”
“Hmm, if you had asked me that about a month ago, I would have told you yes, I do. I made a sex tape with my husband in an effort to save our marriage. But, now that secret’s way out there, isn’t it? It seems like everyone in East Hollow has seen me naked. This town is full of gossips – everyone is always in your business. I always say, if you need to get information disseminated quickly, look no further than the East Hollow gossip chain. These ladies can get information to anyone, especially if you throw in the word adultery… ‘Coastal flooding with a wave of adultery,'” Max says smirking. “Add in ‘sex tape’ and within minutes it will be the talk of Shop Rite and the yogurt place. So no, I have no secrets anymore.”
“Is that liberating – having nothing to hide?”
“Not really. I’m an intensely private person and I really don’t like the thought of my personal life being out there on display. It makes me feel kind of sick to tell you the truth.”
“I can only imagine how hard that must be.”
“You have no idea.”
The sadness and frustration in Max’s eyes give me a clue – it’s hard, which brings me to my last question… “If you could ask for one thing, what would it be?”
“Peace. I want to just be – without eyes constantly on me. I don’t want to show up eating frozen yogurt in the tabloids. I don’t want to constantly glance behind me to see who might be following me. I don’t want my kids photographed – ever again. I want people to forget about me. Oh and I want the courage to give Ben another chance. That’s two things, isn’t it? Sorry – pick whichever one you want for your post. I have to run.”
“No worries, I can use them both. It’s ok to want more than one thing,” I say as Max throws a $20 bill on the table and slides out of the booth.
“That should cover my eggs and the tip. Have to get to the nursery school in less than ten minutes. Thanks – this was… fun,” Max says with a smile.
“Yes, it was. Thank you. But, you left too much – it covers both of our meals and the tip,” I protest to Max’s back as she rushes down the aisle to the door. She turns back and smiles and for just a moment, I can see the person she’d be if she got her wish for peace.
Be sure to visit Mear Platt’s blog next week for an interview with Daffodil Farthigale – identical twin to Lily Farthingale in My Fair Lily. Daffodil Farthigale is the heroine of The Duke I’m Going To Marry a Regency era historical romance.
Visit Meara’s website here.
Meara Platt is happily married to her Russell Crowe look-alike husband, and they have two terrific children. She lives in one of the many great towns on Long Island, New York and loves it, except for the traffic. She has traveled the world, works as managing partner in a boutique law firm in NYC, occasionally lectures and finds time to write. Her favorite place in all the world is England’s Lake District, which may not come as a surprise since many of her stories are set in that idyllic landscape, including her Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award winning story.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I hope you enjoyed getting to know Max Green! Goddess of Suburbia
will be coming out in the Summer of 2015 from Booktrope. Please visit my website
for release date information and to find out where I’ll be popping up for book signings and blog tours. Thank you!