Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Interview - Sheila Roberts, author of Bikini Season

Sheila Roberts is back, visiting us today with a 5 Q&A about her new book, Bikini Season

1.) What's been happening with you since On Strike For Christmas was released?
I have been busy. I am really enjoying being at St. Martin's. It's a great publishing house and my editor, Rose Hilliard, is simply fabulous. We've worked hard on getting Bikini Season ready for public consumption and I'm happy to say it's an April selection for Target's breakout author program. So, that's exciting. I'm almost ready to turn in another book and then it will be time to start book number four. Wow, I'm making myself tired just reading this! But it's a good kind of tired, the kind you have after you exercised.

2.) If you say "bikini shopping" to a group of ten women who are in their 30's, odds are at least 9 of them will groan and respond negatively. What prompted you to write Bikini Season?
My editor actually suggested writing a book that deals with that famous four letter word: diet. And I was all over that because most of us women can identify with weight issues. I deliberately included one character who saw herself as less because of her weight, since I think we women often beat up on ourselves needlessly. While I believe it's important to stay healthy, ten or twenty extra pounds doesn't make us ugly. Now, having said that, it is easy to fall into bad eating and exercise (or lack of exercise) habits and drift along fat and happy and unhealthy. And that's not good. This is the only body we get. We can't turn it in for a newer model. So it's important to take care of it. Not easy, that's for sure, but important.

3.) Which do you prefer - one piece or two?
One piece. One very big piece.

4.) You seem to have a really good understanding of the friendships among women. Are your books based on your circle of friends?
I think girlfriends are the best asset a woman can have. I am rich with amazing friends, but in my books most of the characters simply spring from my imagination. There are some that bear a resemblance to a real person, though: me. And this book is no exception. The chocolate cravings, giving in to that ice cream temptation, diet pill disasters - those are all me. But probably many other women, too! For the last year I've been fighting the battle of the bulge with two girlfriends. It's a slow, hard fight, and with three weeks left to go before the big book signing party where we were going to appear all hot and skinny, well, let's just say that there's a lot of panic going on right now.

5.) What's next?
Next spring, watch for my book "Love in Bloom" about three women who meet at a community garden and become friends. Pretty ironic that I'm writing a book centered in a garden since I have the world's biggest black thumb, but with a new house to landscape I have caught the gardening bug big time. I'm hoping I get the hang of this gardening thing before I kill everything I've planted. But that's the beauty of fiction, isn't it? You can do things in a book you'd never be able to manage in real life. And maybe that's why I enjoy writing so much.

Thank you, Sheila.

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