Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Interview with Annette Fix - Author of The Break-Up Diet

Today, I had the honor of conducting a little interview with Annette Fix, author of the new memoir, The Break-Up Diet. (Stay tuned for my review!)

Good Afternoon! Writing a memoir has to be a very personal experience -- you are basically putting yourself out there for the whole world to "read". How hard was it to open yourself up like that? And to be honest about your flaws? Was it emotionally draining for your or was it a cathartic experience?

I've always been an open book. From the time I was young, I've always said what was on my mind and been candid about my thoughts and emotions. Translating that openness to the page wasn't difficult. Of course, there were scenes that were just as hard to re-live in my mind as they were when they happened, and I'd often cry while writing. I don't know if I would say it was draining or cathartic. It just "was." That may sound a little Zen-ish. But I don't know how to explain it. I just lived the experience twice. Once in a life and once on the page.
As far as being honest about my flaws, I think it's easy to be honest when you don't consider them flaws. I'm human--that's really all I can ever claim. Flawed? Perfect? It's all subjective and based on someone's perception of me. If I embrace who I am, where I've been, and own the choices I've made in my life, it makes it easy not to care what other people think.

Why start with a memoir instead of something less personal...like fiction?

I was a screenwriter; I never intended to write prose. The break-up of my relationship sent me in a completely different direction. I believe the story chooses the medium. Of course, I'd love to someday see The Break-Up Diet made into a movie--probably small screen, cable -- maybe Oxygen or Lifetime. But, initially, I needed to tell the story free of screenplay structure. Writing in those two mediums feels like the difference between marching in a tailored business suit down a narrow path and dancing barefoot in a field of flowers.

I chose to write it as a memoir instead of fiction because I wanted readers to realize the happily-ever-after aspect of my story is true. Anyone can write a novel that has a happy ending. I think it offers more hope when women can see the fairytale concept of the prince and the sunset really does exist.

Your son, Josh, is a huge part of your life....obviously. But that makes him a huge part of this book. How did/does he feel about you writing about HIM?

I was a single mom for 15 years (sole support and care), so my son and I have always been and still are extremely close. I thought the answer should come directly from my son, so I called his apartment (he's 20) and asked him your question. He said, "I lived it, so I don't need to read it. I trust what you wrote in there. Being in your book makes me feel like I'm having my 10 seconds of fame. And since most of my friends have read it, it allows them to know me better."

Now for some fun questions....If they were to make a movie of The Break-Up Diet, who would play you? And Kevin?

Oh, for me, that's easy. Definitely Elizabeth Shue. The way she portrayed the character in Cocktail reminded me of me--casual, playful, kind of goofy. For Kevin...that's a little more difficult. Actually a lot more difficult. He was blonde with blue eyes, so of course my mind goes right to all the Hollywood hotties like Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey, Paul Walker, Charlie Hunnam. But they're all not quite right somehow. Kevin was very conservative, sensitive, and maybe a little lost--so whoever played his role would have to be able to capture that. As far as looks, I think Charlie Hunnam (if he had short hair) would be the closest match.

Who are your writing role models?

I love a good storyteller, but I don't know if I have any writing role models per se. I have my own voice and do my own thing. But I've recently come to admire the work of David Sedaris and Jen Lancaster. I'd never read anything of theirs until after my book was published--a reader mentioned that I would probably relate to the way they write. She was right. I like their voices and their worldview -- how they call it as they see it.

What books are on your nightstand right now?

The Leaning Tower of Piza in books: Life is a Verb by Patti Digh, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Fin Gardner, Paint it Black by Janet Fitch, The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd, Grub by Elise Blackwell, The Other Mother by Gwendolyn Gross, The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer. And my all-time favorite that I'm reading again: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

Finally....what is next for Annette Fix?

Ah, so many ideas, so little time. I'm focusing on book promotion right now, but in the near future, I may explore my wild-child youth in another memoir. I may write a book about single parenting. I'm kicking around the idea of a collection of personal essays about my time working at the gentlemen's club. I've considered adapting The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir to a screenplay. I'm really not sure what's next, whichever idea manages to wrestle my muse to the ground!!

Thank you so much for your time, Annette!!


Annette Fix is a freelance editor, a publishing industry and single parenting speaker, Senior Editor of WOW! Women on Writing, and the author of The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir.

Visit her writing blog at Annette's Paper Trail and The Break-Up Diet site. She enjoys hearing from her readers and other writers. You can email her directly at annette[at]annettefix[dot]com.

For the length of her blog tour, Annette will be giving away free digital copies of her memoir. If you'd like a copy, send an email to promo[at]thebreak-updiet[dot]com, please put "Confessions of a Book-a-holic" in the subject line.

You can purchase copies of The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir online and from any independent or chain bookstore.


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie, I am a lurker of your blog. I have gotten so many good reads from your site! I got the digital copy of The Break-Up Diet. I can't wait to start reading it. Thanks to you and to Annette!


Iliana said...

Great interview, Stephanie. Now, I'm looking forward to your review :)

Kailana said...

Great interview! Sounds like a good book. I look forward to your review!

Ladytink_534 said...

Good interview! It sounds like an interesting story and a great debut book.

Annette said...

Stephanie, thanks for hosting my blog tour! =) I can't wait to read your review!

Ladies, if you have any questions before or after you read the book, just leave them here, or stop by the book blog!

Ian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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