April 2, 2014

interview with savannah page

Blogger's Note: I'm pleased to share this interview with Savannah Page as she goes on tour with When Girlfriends Take Chances. Be sure to read through to the end for an excerpt of the book and a chance to win a fabulous prize.

Change the Word: What was your inspiration for this book?
Savannah Page: From the start of my When Girlfriends collection I knew I was going to have one of the six friends be a bit nomadic. I liked the idea of having a friend coming and going throughout a series, often bringing back with her experiences that could lend a different and unique perspective on her friends’ ongoing drama. Emily also provides that continuing shift or change in what is a relatively solid and every-day kind of life (albeit melodramatic) for the girls in Seattle. I really liked the idea of contrast that complements.

Also, from the start of the collection I knew I wanted to make “forever friendship” a theme, emphasizing that even though many women move out of their college town come graduation and begin lives of their own, they can still have a very deep and meaningful and special friendship over the years. My girlfriends and I are now spread all over the globe and we maintain our dear friendships. Knowing from personal experience that my friends and I can pick up right where we left off, no matter the distance, was a huge inspiration for the entire When Girlfriends collection, and this book in particular.

CTW: What is one characteristic you share with your MC?
SP: I love to travel! Though I’m not as well-traveled as Emily, I do love strapping on a rucksack and heading for the train station, or hopping in the car for a road trip, or taking a fun cruise. I hate thinking that I’ll die without having visited every square inch of the planet!

CTW: How did you go about planning for and researching?
SP: Emily is a globetrekker who has visited more of the world than the average young woman. Her travels shape her, so to better connect with her and really feel her character and story, I tapped into my own globetrekking adventures. I dug out some of my personal travel journals, flipped through guidebooks, and looked at photos from my travels abroad (for fun I’ve included some personal photos that inspired me). I also pulled some Bill Bryson books from my bookshelf for inspiration, especially to broaden my non-European traveling horizons.

I also wrote some random journal-like pieces from Emily’s perspective about certain cities she may have visited in her past so I could get to know her better and write her voice and story more accurately. Emily’s a really unique and fun-loving character—one of my favorites in the collection. I wanted to make sure her voice and approach to life were obviously different from the rest of her friends—influenced by living on-the-go and experiencing different walks of life and cultures.

CTW: What most surprised you during the writing process for this book?
SP: I didn’t think it’d be as difficult to begin as I had imagined. The book before it, When Girlfriends Chase Dreams, flowed extremely fast and naturally. Looking back, I think the possibilities to begin Emily’s story were so wide I was a bit afraid to begin, worried I’d take her down a path that “wasn’t her.” She threw me for a few loops in the middle of the novel, but ultimately her story is exactly as it was supposed to be, from start to finish, and with an ending that I still get butterflies over.

How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
SP: Picking up one of the many women’s fiction or chick lit books I have on the “Currently Reading” list is a great way to get in the mood. Listening to inspiring music is another one. Sometimes running the sweeper through the apartment will help me flesh out difficult scenes. Showers and time in the sauna actually also help me get in the zone. The only problem is that I’m then only able to quickly and rather messily jot down my thoughts on a notepad. Not exactly the best places to feel ready to write.

CTW: Where do you like to write?
SP: I have a cozy home office with lots of natural light. On occasion I’ll write in a café, but I do so love the peace and quiet and routine in my office.

CTW: What are your three favorite books of all time?
SP: As I’m sure any author and avid reader would exclaim, “Just three?!” I find myself rereading any Emily Giffin novel; I am instantly put into a good mood when I pick up a Sophie Kinsella read (so I’ll pick her pieces up over and over); I keep my Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gossip Girl, and Harry Potter collections dust-free. And I adore Roald Dahl’s classic Fantastic Mr. Fox.

CTW: If you could trade places with any literary character for one day, who would you pick and why?
SP: Even though I am a very indoorsy kind of girl and can’t fathom getting anything other than nail polish accidentally under my nails, I’d like to experience life as Laura Ingalls Wilder. I loved the Little House books and television program growing up. As a little girl I fantasized about being Half Pint. Perhaps it was the double-plaited hair and the freckles we shared, but what a fascinating time (and place) to be alive!

CTW: What's up next for you in your writing world?
SP: I’m releasing the seventh and final When Girlfriends novel next month! I am SO excited to share that story and celebrate the completion of the collection.

I’m currently working on two different projects (one women’s fiction, one chick lit), both of which look like they’ll be the start of new series. I’m itching to get those done for my readers!

CTW: Is there anything else you'd like to share?
SP: I adore my readers and love getting to connect! You can follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter. You can also keep up with my next novel developments on my Website & Blog.

Thanks again for having me, Laura.

And readers, don’t forget to enter to WIN a $50 Amazon gift card! (That’s a whole lot of ebooks!!) Just use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form here.

Excerpt of When Girlfriends Take Chances
“That’s a fantastic idea!” Jackie blurts out.

“How come I didn’t think of that?” Sophie says.

“That’s not a bad idea, Claire,” Robin says with a nod.

“Perrrrrfect,” Claire sings, returning to her position on the floor by the coffee table. “Such a superbly perfect idea.” She claps her hands together several times. “What do you think, Emily? Brilliant idea, right?”

There are two words that incite major worry and panic, even in someone like me who’s as open to dating, well, just about anyone. One is “blind” and the other is—you guessed it—“date.” God help me.

We’re not just talking a blind date, but several—hear me, plural—blind dates.

“Think about it,” Sophie says, abandoning her wine, her eyes going all star-gazey. “You could meet all sorts of guys. You could dispense with the annoying and time-wasting ‘nice to meet you’ stuff.”

“Yeah!” Jackie cuts in. “Like you wouldn’t have to waste your time on meeting someone and striking up that first conversation that would lead to a date. It’s just, BAM, a date!”

BAM is right.

All right, I’m single, and I have been for a while. And, sure, it’d be nice to find someone I could really connect with and, yeah, fall in love with. But easier said than done. I mean, if I’m going to find someone I can be really and truly serious with then they’ll have to keep up with me, so to speak. I’m not a let’s-get-a-mortgage or even a let’s-have-a-career kind of woman. My lifestyle isn’t exactly what men who are looking for a serious and lasting relationship go for.

Besides, I’m not so hard-up for a date or budding romance that I need to sign on for a round of blind dates—a series of awkward meet-and-greets, an exchange of interests and goals and accomplishments, that unavoidable question about a second date, that unavoidable expectation come the third or fourth date. My mouth suddenly feels dry. I reach for my wine and take a heavy slog.

“I think this is brilliant,” Claire says. She crosses her arms, looking extremely pleased with herself. “This is revolutionary!”

“No,” Lara finally pipes in.

Oh, thank you for coming to my rescue, finally, Lara! I think, still draining my wine.

“It’s not quite revolutionary…yet.” A sly smirk is playing Lara’s lips. “We’re missing something that’ll revolutionize the blind dating experience.”

“I know!” I toss out. All eyes simultaneously turn to me. “I know what would revolutionize this experience.”

“Yeah?” Jackie asks eagerly.

“Totally…” I drag out. “…not…doing…it!” I smile brightly. “Brilliant way to revolutionize blind dating, right? Do away with the whole buggy thing.”

“Oh, whatever,” Claire scoffs. “Don’t be a sourpuss. We’re doing this, Emily. It will be amazing, just you wait.”

About the Author
Savannah Page is the author of the continuing When Girlfriends collection, heartfelt women's fiction that celebrates friendship, love, and life sprinkled with drama and humor. When she isn’t writing, Savannah enjoys a good book with a latte and jazz tunes, Pilates, and exploring her home of Berlin as an American expat. Currently she's working on the seventh and final When Girlfriends novel, and is cooking up something delicious for her next series.

Connect with Savannah
Website & Blog

About the Book
A novel about exploring love and life's path, and taking chances along the way.

Emily Saunders has never thought twice about grabbing her passport, rucksack, and camera and trekking across the globe. If there's an NGO, a study abroad program, or simply the travel itch, Emily's on the first plane out. Free-spirited, open-minded, and eager to explore, it's no wonder Emily's hardly in one spot (or relationship) for long.

For the past year and a half, though, Emily's found herself planted in her college hometown of Seattle. She's surrounded by her best friends, has steady work as a photographer and at her friend Sophie's café, and is certainly kept busy by the wild antics of her BFF Jackie. Life's enjoyable, but Emily's looking for something more. She's ready for a change, for adventure!

But when Emily tells her girlfriends she's ready for something new she does not expect Operation Blind Date!

Sure, Emily's single. Sure, she hopes to some day find true love. But being thrown into an insane challenge like this is not exactly the adventure she had in mind! Couldn't she just travel and focus on her photography? Or volunteer in Africa? Will a string of eligible bachelors lined up by her friends--a shot at finding a real and lasting love--really be that change she's searching for?

This is a spirited story about seeking adventure while being true to yourself, wherever you are in life. It's a story about love, risk, and self-discovery. About what happens when girlfriends take chances.

Buy the Book
Amazon (print and ebook)
Barnes & Noble

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