Thursday, March 16, 2017

Interview With Elodia Strain

I am so thrilled to be featuring my friend, Elodia Strain. We have been online friends since 2007 when I devoured her first book, The Icing on the Cake. We have read and blurbed each other's books through the years since then. She was one of the first to read my latest manuscript. Her support for this still-unpublished book has been enormous.

We were blog buddies, and with a few other awesome ladies, started the Ink Ladies blog several years back. We have been hanging out online for years, and I can't wait to meet her in real life one of these days!

I am excited to announce her newest book, The Dating Experiment. I had the pleasure to interview Elodia. Read our fun interview below. 

Here is a little bit about her new book, The Dating Experiment.
After losing her job, her house, and her guy, the last thing Gabby wants to do is be in a dating experiment--especially with her ex. Her only chance of making it through is with help from her best friend, Ian. As she participates in the study and its hilariously awkward dates, Gabby begins to wonder: can science lead her to her perfect match? Or will she have to find him all on her own?

What was your inspiration for this book? 
The idea for this book actually started at the grocery store. My husband and I were shopping and we saw an ad—for soap, I think it was—that said something like, “Now 50% Better!” We started talking about research studies and statistics and whether or not we should buy the soap, and then he said, “Maybe you could have a research study in one of your books.” You know you’re married to an author when you talk about plotlines while shopping for toiletries. So he gets all the credit.

Do you have anything in common with your main character, Gabby? 
Well…I share her love of Nancy Drew books, her fascination with the fifties, her soft spot for young people doing good things in the world. And on a larger scale, I share her questions about luck. I often feel terribly unlucky. I have a single C on my college transcript because I didn’t get the email where my professor explained he’d made a grading mistake and needed the entire class to re-send our finals. I have an extraordinarily overzealous immune system. I know way too much about cars because I’ve spent many a day of my driving life on the side of the road with an overheating radiator/broken clutch/shredded fan belt. But deep down, at the end of the day, as I’m thanking God for all I have, I feel so, so blessed.

How do you manage to bring so much humor to your books? 
I honestly don’t know. When my first book came out, my own brother said to my dad, “I didn’t know Dia was funny.” My dad and my brothers have this amazing stand-up comedian kind of wit where they can think of something hilarious right on the spot. I don’t have that. If I think of something funny to say, it’s hours/days/months after the moment has passed. The first drafts of my books have a lot of spots where I literally type in parentheses (think of something funny) and then hope something comes to me. And if it does, I am immensely thankful. Because infusing humor into my writing is something that has become very important to me. Life is hard. I want to make it a little bit less so for anyone and everyone to reads my books.

Who is your book crush? 
Sarah Mlynowski, hands down. I love everything she’s written. She crosses genres and audience ages and somehow it all just works. I remember reading an interview with her where the interviewer asked, and I’m paraphrasing here, “What is the biggest difference between writing Young Adult and Adult novels?” and she said that she didn’t notice much of a difference except for page length. That’s absolutely astonishing to me! Because my answer to that question would have been something like, “Well, there are hundreds of differences, starting with the fact that I have to eat a different breakfast when I’m writing YA and…” So, yeah, she’s awesome. 

Who is your favorite female book character? 
I love this question! It’s actually a tie. Ruby Oliver from E. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver novels and Emma Corrigan from Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret?

Tell us about GLAs (Good Little Anythings) in the book
This was a really important part of the book for me. I feel like so much is bogging us down these days: Politics, food allergies, the cancellation of The Grinder. I have experienced first hand the miraculous power of a good deed. In fact, I have a Mylar balloon that I got from a dear friend on Valentine’s Day that is still clinging to the ceiling of my dining room, a whole month later. And every time I see it, it brightens me up inside. I don’t think it’s said enough how truly immense any act of goodness is—no matter what it is, and no matter how small it may seem.

Tell us about your next project. 
My next project….Well…I’m actually floating some ideas right now with a few of my personal favorite authors for some kind of collaboration, so that is super exciting. I’ve also started to write my next romance, but it’s still just a baby of an idea. I guess it’s time to head to the grocery store for a little inspiration!

Thanks, Elodia, for taking the time to answer my interview questions. Find out more about Elodia on her website I  want to read the book even more now. The Dating Experiment is on my Kindle, and I can not wait to read it!

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