(August Fog, #1)
Publication date: August 1st, 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Monica Waters has 31 days to choose between the love of her life or her soulmate. Juggling an unglamorous Hollywood career and a clumsy injury with an endless cocktail of antidepressants and dull daily routines, Monica moves through her thirties in a fog, avoiding the pain of her damaged marriage, broken body, and fragile mind.
Until he comes along.
When emerging artist Quinn Matthews moves next door, just coping with the downward spiral of life is no longer feasible. Their powerful connection ignites a relationship that will tip the boundaries of their perfectly balanced lives, sparking a mutual obsession and life-altering affair.
Monica tosses her prescriptions, striving to be free of their control, but with each passing summer day, dangerous secrets seep into their quiet suburban life, inching toward disaster. Sometimes the truth is hidden for a reason.
“This is a contemporary tale of a woman’s struggle to navigate love and mental illness, while defining where and how she will land on her own feet.” –Independent Reader
“A raw and honest look at the ugly secrets behind a flawed marriage and the stigmas of depression.”
- What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc?
A – I usually start with a theme or relationship concept then develop the main characters that I think would encounter these issues. For instance, in the August Fog trilogy, I wanted to address some very difficult topics that people tend to shy away from like adultery and depression but show them in a way that gained sympathy and understanding. My goal wasn’t to sway people to accept or condone the behavior but to feel enough connection to the characters to empathize with their situation. We have a tendency to avoid things that make us uncomfortable, yet those moments of understanding are opportunities to grow. I’m a plotter but I allow myself wiggle room to change directions. Sometimes you get into a conversation or scene and you think, “that’s not what that character would do,” and you realize the plan needs to be adjusted. Overall, I have an end-goal and a structured pace I try to nail, but it’s all fluid. I use Scrivener to write and organize my scenes but I always have a separate composition book dedicated to each novel or series. Writing ideas out by hand is crucial to me. It
stimulates the creative part of my brain that brainstorms some crazy ideas! I definitely have post-its all over my office but they never involve story ideas, they’re reminders for me to mail something or post something. I love taking them down and feeling like I accomplished something.
- How long have you been writing?
A – I wrote my first book in 2014 when I was laid upon a couch with a broken ankle that wouldn’t heal. Yes, that is the opening predicament Monica Waters finds herself in at the beginning of August Fog. That series has more of me and my life in it than any other but no, I have not cheated on my husband and no, I am not clinically depressed. I do however have intimate knowledge of numerous people who’ve dealt with both issues and I found their path fascinating.
- What common thread runs through all of your books?
A – I love exploring the moment in a women’s life when there is a fork in the road and she’s forced to make a decision that will change her life. Taking a journey through the lens of a woman who’s established in her career and possibly in her relationships with husbands and kids is fascinating to me. I think we all read to escape but we also want to relate and who can’t relate to at least daydreaming of a different life. Even when you’re sublimely happy and it’s all roses, diving into the what-if is fun. I also try to incorporate strong female friendships that show the power of reinforcement because all too often female characters are pitted towards one another as enemies when in reality that is not the case.
- What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
A – Write every day. Read every day, even if it’s only 3 pages. Read and learn about writing craft. Pay for professional editing. Meet and collaborate with other authors. Don’t rush to self-publish until you are 100% certain your books are ready. Network. Be kind and participate in the community. It’s not enough to “like” an Instagram post, comment, and often. Comment on blogs. Growing a community of writers lifts you up when you have those hard times… they won’t let you quit.
- Favorite Genres:
A – I love and read thrillers and women’s fiction the most but I love to throw in a Rom-Com and a few True Crime or Memoirs in to make sure my reading is mixed.
- Favorite Authors:
A – There are too many to list them all but lately my favs have been: Taylor Jenkins Reid, Janelle Brown, Riley Sager, Kiley Reid, Michael Robotham, Chandler Baker, Lyssa Kay Adams, Dennis Lehane, Nick Petrie.
- Top 5 Favorite Films:
1. When Harry Met Sally
2. Shallow Grave
4. The Big Sleep (a fav book too)
5. Tie between Zodiac (almost anything by Fincher) & Michael Clayton
- What is or was your “day job” before writing?
A – I have not left my career as a Production Designer in film and television. I have a designer and art director for over eighteen years and I still love it. I just have to find balance and I do not take as many projects as I used to.
- Has your “day job” influenced your work as an author?
A – Definitely. I get inspiration for pacing, lighting, mood, tension, décor, etc. from entertainment all the time. Above all, I love the story. I’m always designing the environment a character will inhabit whether it’s a physical world for an actor or
an imaginary one for a reader. I consider both equally important.
- Dream Cast for August Fog?
A – In a dream world, Kate Winslet or Christina Hendricks would be the ultimate choice for Monica Waters. Both are curvy and can carry a gloriously flawed character to redemption. As for Alex, you can see on my Pinterest board that I always imagined Jason Statham for that role but there are a lot of actors who can fill his strong, conflicted shoes. And Quinn… well maybe William Levy or Colton Haynes, although there’s a joking reference to Chris Pine in the book and despite his age being a little past the character, he’d be amazing in the role. Quinn’s body has to be well defined to show off the one, infamous body tattoo and his blue eyes need to glow. He should also need to be taller than Monica.