I grew up in Wisconsin, where I began writing from a very young age. In 6th grade, I created a bi-weekly soap opera called “Yesterday’s Desire.” It was written by hand in a collection of red notebooks, and I’d pass each episode around the class. People liked it and couldn’t wait for the next episode, so that inspired me to keep writing.
What was your inspiration for this book?
I own a company that researches consumer trends and insights, and I travel a lot between New York and Los Angeles. The differences between the two cities are so enormous. It’s like two different worlds. I thought it would be an interesting dynamic, especially to bring each city to life through the characters two different boyfriends, both of whom really capture the vibe and soul of where they live.
How long did it take you to think up and write Bicoastal Babe?
It took about 6 months, start to finish. It’s a fun story that moves quickly, and the ending lends itself perfectly to a sequel.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Definitely a panster! I don’t outline at all; the story just unfolds itself toward the conclusion. I also write very slowly and deliberately, piece by piece, word by word. And then when it’s finished, it’s finished. I make very few revisions.
Is Lindsey Miller near and dear to your heart? Is she or any of the characters created from someone you know?
She doesn’t represent anyone I know (including myself!), though my friends say they can hear my own voice in her very distinctively. But I feel like I know her so well, she’s practically become a friend too. That sounds so weird, but it’s true!
In the book, Lindsey has to choose between two guys and it seems like she loves them equally and doesn’t want to give either of them up, have you experienced that in real life?
For me (and also for Lindsey), the choice really represents two parts of her own self - wildly different by equally important - that she can’t live without. At the end of her journey, she comes to understand what to do about that... but then she encounters a twist that will redefine everything in the sequel.
Are you a west coast girl or east coast girl? Why?
Like Lindsey, I’m a little of both. I love the laid-back vibe and landscape of the West Coast, but the quaintness of New England in the fall has such a homey allure too. My readers are often shocked to find out that I’m not too much of a New York gal. Fun to visit, as they say... but a real challenge to live there!
Have you ever lived in the fashion world? Or have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’m extremely “fashion-challenged,” which is a shame because I love to rock a great outfit just like any girl does. But let’s put it this way: Thank God for store mannequins, because that’s the only way I know how to put together the pieces. Without them, I’d be lost.
They (the numerous writing books I’ve read) say that to write funny, you have to try not and be funny. Bicoastal Babe was hilarious, was that your intention all along?
I think a lot of the humor we relate to has to do with the awkwardness we all feel and experience - out in the world, with men, trying to “fake it ‘til we make it” in various ways. So for me, the key to unlocking humor in a story is to tap into that inner awkwardness and dorkdom (is that a word?), with no shame whatsoever. Just let it all hang out!
Lindsey seems to be caught between two guys. Do you think there are multiple people out there for every one women or do you believe in soul mates?
That’s such a great question! Call me an old-fashioned romantic, but I actually do believe in “the one.” However, I don’t think that person will always fulfill every single need we have. That would be impossible, especially because there are different sides to us that need different things at different times. That’s why it’s important to have a great arsenal of friends, I guess!
Do you have any pets? If so, what?
I have two big, fluffy, gorgeous Persian cats. The kind in the Fancy Feast commercials. Hershey and Benji. My husband and I laugh all the time, because we’re total closeted “crazy cat people.” We absolutely love animals of all kinds though. Someday we hope to get a Labradoodle, which is the floppy Muppet version of a dog.
And finally, can you tell us about your next book? Is it a continuation of Bicoastal Babe?
I’m working on the Bicoastal Babe sequel, but I just launched my second novel called The Very First Bite. I’m so excited about it! It’s about Lanie, a girl who’s dreading the approach of her 15-year high school class reunion. She’s got a dead-end job, a boyfriend who won’t commit and twenty pounds of extra weight... not exactly “good impression” material. So she’s scrambling to pull her life together in all those areas. She also has some ghosts of the past to confront, like her high school boyfriend (for whom she still has feelings) and her ex-best friend (who mysteriously turned her back on the friendship after seventeen years). It’s all leading up to the big night, and I think Lanie’s journey is one we can all laugh at and really relate to. I hope readers will enjoy it!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Stay tuned for an excerpt from Bicoastal Babe and a guest post from the author.
A few links to get in touch with Cynthia: