1. What was your inspiration for this book?
The day I met Rosie, I made up my mind I didn’t like her.
This was the first line I wrote when I began writing in Polyester Pajamas and it was the first thought that motivated me to complete it several years later. Funny thing is the line was deleted during the editing phase. Still, I’ll always remember it.
2. Would you classify your writing as plot driven or character driven?
It is definitely character driven. Although there’s plenty of drama throughout, it’s the characters that’ll get you hooked right away.
3. Can you tell us a little about your main character?
Jean, a real estate agent, has just turned 50. Her husband has left her for a younger woman and her kids have gone off on their own. She’s alone, miserable, self-centered and, quite honestly, a real bitch.
4. Which of your supporting characters was the most challenging to write?
Jean’s mother, Mildred, was the hardest character to write about because of what she is going through in the novel. There were memories and emotions pertaining to my own mother as I wrote about her. Many readers have mentioned they cried while reading about Mildred. Well, I cried while writing these parts and cry every time I read them, too.
5. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book.
Rosie, another real estate agent, joins the same agency as Jean and sits right next to her. Jean can’t stand her because Rosie is the cheerful, optimistic sort and wants to help Jean get over her unhappiness. They go through plenty of drama together while, at the same time, Jean is dealing with her upcoming divorce, the empty nest syndrome, new men entering her life, and some unexpected news. During a pajama party, Jean and Rosie open up to each other and share their deepest, darkest secrets.
6. Why did you choose this genre?
I’m a middle-aged woman and also work on a day-to-day basis with plenty of women. It seemed like the perfect choice. Write what you know, right?
7. What do you hope readers take away from this book?
That it’s important to have a best friend, at any age, to share your thoughts and feelings with. Also, it’s necessary to work out issues in your life—they won’t go away until you do—and your attitude and beliefs make a big difference on how you handle them.
8. Who are your favorite authors?
Anne Tyler, Elizabeth Berg, Anita Shreve, Jennifer Niven, Frank McCourt, George MacDonald (just to name a few!)
9. Do you have any interesting rituals or habits when you write?
Not really. Sometimes I listen to music. Windham Hill’s George Winston is my favorite choice. He’s a pianist and his music is so beautiful.
10. Can you tell us about any future projects?
The sequel, in Woolen Bikinis, is being released this June by Great Gate Media, LLC (formerly Briona Glen Publishing). I’m also working on my first Christmas novel, and I’ll soon be working on a third book in the Jean and Rosie series for release in 2014.