Hello To Margo…Author of Good-bye To All That

Be sure to comment with your answer to win a copy of Good-Bye To All That!

One of my favorite things about this whole book bloggy thing I have going on here is coming across so many wonderful people.  Recently I met Margo Candela, and reviewed her latest novel, GOODBYE TO ALL THAT…which I loved!  I really enjoyed the personality of Raquel and have really enjoyed getting to see a bit of Margo’s personality as well!  We teamed up for a little interview to get to know Margo a little bit better!

Hello Margo! So glad you could take time and answer a few questions!  Let’s not waste any time…

C(ici)Why did you begin writing?  When did you realize it was going to become a career?

M(argo):  I was an avid reader growing up, but I never considered writing as a career until I joined my community college’s student newspaper. It was there that I realized I could take raw information and ideas and turn them into something useful that people would like to read. I switched my major to journalism with a focus on magazine writing and I still base my fiction writing on what I learned in j-school.

C:   How long does it take you to write a book?
M:  I’m known as a fast and prolific writer, but it does take me a few months. Once I get the first draft done, I take some time away from it before I revise it. Then, after another break, I polish it and send it off to my editor. The second and third parts take longer than writing it and I’ll revise and polish it again after my editor has read it and given me notes. My goal is to write a novel a year. Any more than that would mean I wouldn’t pass a drug test.

CWhat kind of schedule do you keep when you are writing?

M:  I keep business hours, but my most productive writing time is between noon and 3 pm. I take of all my odds and ends (laundry, dog walking, eating, posting to my blog, etc) and then I focus on making my word count goal within those few hours. When I’m on a deadline, I work in the evenings and there’s rarely a weekend when I don’t spend at least a couple of hours working on a manuscript.

CWhat does your family think of your writing?

M:  They’re very proud that I’ve been published and more than a little relieved that my gamble paid off. It’s a risky way to try to make a living, but I’m lucky that mine has always been in my corner, especially my husband. Family is a central theme to all my novels, but I’m very careful not to write about mine. If I do write about someone I know, it’s in a very loose way. I’d like to keep my friends and still be invited over for Thanksgiving at my parents’ house.

C:  (laughs) boy could I give you some characters to write about :)

CWhat inspired you to write GTAT?

M:  I love office life. I find it just as interesting and complex as what goes on within families and personal relationships. GTAT is evenly split between work and family life so I got to explore how each affects the other. I also wanted to write about the other side of Hollywood where the non-glamorous part of the business happens.

COf the books that you have written, which one is your favorite and why?

M:  I’m not supposed to have a favorite, but I do. My third novel More Than This has a special place in my heart because it’s a love story and I don’t do love stories. It’s all about fate, acceptance of self and the twisty paths the characters must take to realize their destiny. It also has an open ending which I knew was risky, but was right for the book.

CWhen you are not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

M:  Reading is my main and constant vice. I read tons of magazines and books, both non-fiction and fiction. A perfect day for me would consist of a few hours to read without interruption.

C:  I agree…that would be the perfect day…well, a girl can dream…

CIs there a particular character of yours that you feel deeply connected with?  Who?  Why?

M:  All my characters are their own people, even though they’re not real people. What they do share with me is my sense of humor which is sometimes a little dark and can be crude. I always like hearing which of my characters readers get attached to. To this day, my editor tells me how much she loves Noel from my first novel, Underneath It All. He’s very sweet and a little lost. If he were a real person, I’m sure she’d let him move in with her while he sorted out his life.

C Where do you get your ideas for your books?

M:  Ideas come to me randomly so as much as I wish I could, I can’t  will one to pop into my head. What I do is read a lot, pay attention to what’s going on around me and, if I’m lucky, that’ll turn into an idea I can follow through on.

CWhat kinds of books do you enjoy reading?

M:  When I’m working on something, I stick to magazines because I don’t have the brain space to make room for a novel. I subscribe to lots of magazines, from Us Weekly to The Atlantic, to make sure I’m reading a wide variety of content. When I’m in between manuscripts, I’ll go on author binges. On my last one, I read back-to-back novels by David Nicholls. On my nightstand right now is a chunky biography on Mao Tse-tung that I’m looking forward to starting as soon as I turn in a manuscript at the end of the month.

CIn one of your tweets you mentioned having a ‘title list’.  Is that where you jot your ideas for future books?  How long is it? (And by chance is the follow-up to GTAT on there?)

M:  Sometimes I come up with the title before the actual idea for the manuscript so I always make sure to jot them down. It’s gotten pretty long, but only a few of those titles have book ideas attached to them. I’d love to revisit Raquel and am hoping to do so in the future. I imagine she’s having quite a time with her new career as a talent manager.

C:  I imagine she is, and I am really looking forward to reading all about it!  (hint, hint)

CBeing from California and living where most of us vacation…where do you go for vacation?

M:  I don’t do nature. I appreciate it and think it should be preserved and protected, but don’t ask me to visit it. I love cities and walking through them. Lately, all our vacations have been stateside, but I’d love to take a month and go to Europe to visit Paris and from there spend time in Istanbul and St. Petersburg. I hope to make it happen in the near future.

C:  I am gearing up for a new family adventure of camping and don’t know how I will do, I’m with you on the whole nature thing!  I would rather be on the beach in California!

CAside from writing great books for us to read, what other projects do you have going on?

M:  I’ve adapted my second novel, Life Over Easy, into a screenplay and will be doing the same for More Than This. I also have a couple of original romantic comedy ideas I’m working on. It’s a completely different mindset and business from books and book publishing. I’m also working on what will be my next novel, The Brenda Diaries. I’ve set up a blog (http://brendadiaries.blogspot.com/) and Twitter account (http://twitter.com/brendadiaries) for Brenda and hope to have the manuscript done in a few months.

C:  Yay!  Can’t wait!

CIf you could recommend one book as a “must read”, which book would it be?

M:  I’m going to have to go with my all-time favorite book, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. It’s sheer perfection and can be read by kids and adults alike. It’s the only book I wish I could read for the first time each time I pick it up.

C:  There you go folks…another book to add to the “To Be Read” list!

CAnd last but not least, milk, white or dark chocolate?

M:  I’m a milk chocolate gal. Always and forever.

C:  That’s my kind of gal!!  I don’t waste time on the other chocolates myself.

I certainly appreciate Margo taking the time to answer my questions…BUT…before she goes she is going to give one lucky reader a copy of Good-Bye To All That!

So here is what you need to do to enter for your copy of Good-Bye to All That…

**Of course we would both really appreciate it if you followed our blogs (Margo’s and Cici’s) and both of us, @margocandela and @cicistheories on Twitter…but whatIS required to enter is for you to leave a comment answering the following question (please be sure to include your email so we can contact you if you win).

Who is your favorite character you’ve read about?

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Winner will be contacted via email!

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