Today I’m delighted to welcome Cara Sue Achterberg to my blog. I’d like to take the time to wish Cara Sue a very happy publication day as her novel Girls’ Weekend is published today!
Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself.
I’m a mom with two teens at home itching to get out and one in college who is always happy to come home. I’m also a foster mom for rescue dogs. Last year we helped save over 25 dogs! My husband says I’m using dogs to fill my almost empty nest. When I’m not writing, I love to grow things – veggies, fruit trees, chickens, and even a few flowers. Running, blogging, cooking, and trying not to fall off my horse, True, are a few of my other hobbies.
How did you first come to be a writer?
I morphed into being a full-time writer quietly, while no one was looking. I didn’t study writing in school because I was pretty certain I could never be a “writer” even though I filled journal after journal, wrote angsty poetry, and worked on the school paper. I finally embraced writing when I was forced to stay home to take care of three kids and run our little farm. But even then, I freelanced, and didn’t tell anybody about the novels I was writing during naptime.
What is your book about?
Girls’ Weekend is about three moms who go away for a girls’ weekend and decide they can’t return to their lives that don’t seem to fit any more.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Ha. My life. I wrote this book while my kids were napping because I wanted to run away from my underfunded, overcrowded life, but could only do that on paper.
What is your writing routine?
I spend my mornings doing research, blogging, promoting, and writing articles – I think of this as my nonfiction time. The afternoons are for fiction. I usually have 3 solid hours for this. I never thought I’d be able to write in the afternoons, but as it was my only uninterrupted time for so many years while kids’ napped, it’s become my preferred writing time, so I save it for fiction.
What has your journey to publication been like?
Long and winding. Because I didn’t study writing in college, I had to learn how to do everything (storytelling, editing, querying, promoting) the hard way. I now teach creative writing and I do think having had to figure it all out myself has made me a better teacher. I got my agent the hard way – hundreds of rejection letters later. But I got my fiction deal through a writing contest. I didn’t win, but one of the judges was a publisher who signed me to a three book deal.
What’s your favourite book that you’ve read this year?
At the Water’s Edge by Sarah Gruen. I just loved this book. The characters were so well drawn and it was such a different story. Plus Sarah Gruen is crazy talented. It also didn’t hurt that I read it on a beach while on holiday on Grand Cayman Island.
What are you reading at the moment?
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Is there a question that you wish an interviewer would ask that you’ve never been asked? What’s your answer to that question?
Question: What’s it like to be a New York Times’ Bestseller?
Answer: I’ll get back to you on that.
If you were to be stranded on a desert island, which three things would you want to have with you and why?
Okay, assuming I can’t take any people or animals, I’d want a case of red wine, a journal and pen. I know I wouldn’t survive long, so I’d like to spend that time writing my magnum opus and letters to loved ones. While I was doing that, I’d drink the wine and fill the empty bottles with messages to send out to sea.
How can people connect with you on social media?
Ooooooh – I love to connect on twitter (@CaraAchterberg) or Facebook (Facebook.com/carasueachterberg). I have Linked In, Pinterest, and even Tumblr accounts, but I struggle to keep up with those, so I’m a little slower to react through those sites. And I have to mention my “dog blog” (AnotherGoodDog.wordpress.com) because I meet a lot of great people through that blog.
About the Book
Dani, Meg, and Charlotte have bonded over babies, barbeques, and backyards, but when they escape for a girls weekend away, they can’t bring themselves to return to lives that don’t seem to fit anymore.
Harried Dani can’t explain why she feels so discontented until she meets a young gallery owner who inspires her to rediscover the art that once made her happy.
Dependable Meg faces up to a grief that threatens to swallow her whole and confronts a marriage built on expectations.
Flamboyant Charlotte, frustrated with her stagnated life and marriage, pursues a playboy Irish singer and beachside business opportunities.
All three of these women thought they would be different. None of them thought they’d be facing down forty and still wondering when life starts. What they do when they realize where they’re headed is both inspiring and wildly entertaining.
GIRLS’ WEEKEND is a fun, yet poignant romp through the universal search for who we are, why we love, and what makes us happy.
About the Author
Cara Sue Achterberg is a writer and blogger who lives in New Freedom, PA with her family and an embarrassing number of animals. Her first novel, I’m Not Her, was a Nook and ibooks bestseller. Cara’s nonfiction book, Live Intentionally, is a guide to the organic life filled with ideas, recipes, and inspiration for living a more intentional life. Cara is a prolific blogger, occasional cowgirl, and busy mom whose essays and articles have been published in numerous anthologies, magazines, and websites. Links to her blogs, news about upcoming publications, and pictures of her foster dogs can be found at CaraWrites.com.