Writers interview other writers all the time about their upcoming or current projects.
But when the writers conducting the interviews are also creative writers, the questions can sometimes get a little too “Tell me about your process.” A little too “What do you, as a writer, think about the great art of writing?” It becomes (frankly) a big writer circle j–well, back-patting circle of the kind illustrated in this Inside the Writers’ Studio video.
The following interview with Elisa Lorello, author of Faking It and the sequel Ordinary World, attempts to eliminate the “writer” audience (no offense, writers!) and instead deliver information that readers might like to know. Here’s where you readers play a role: Does it succeed? Is there more you’d like to get out of interviews with authors? Please share in the comments so we can improve our delivery.
And now, the interview:
What is the title of your book?
How did you come up with that title?
EL: On his now-extinct Facebook discussion forum, Aaron Sorkin replied to a comment by saying something like “I live for your adulation.” I think the character of Danny Masters was conceived at that moment as well.
Was there another title you considered instead, and what happened there?
EL: Nope. Once I had the title, it stuck.
What is your book’s genre?
EL: I market it as women’s fiction. It might fall under romantic comedy too, although it has some serious overtones.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
EL: When attention-craving, celebrity screenwriter Danny Masters meets spotlight-avoiding, bookstore employee Sunny Smith, each must decide to let go the things they want to hold on to in order to be together… but can they?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in the screen adaptation that will most certainly be produced?
EL: Lately I’ve been thinking Ben Affleck would make a good Danny Masters, especially if he grew his hair out the way he did for Argo. I think I’d want someone relatively unknown to play Sunny Smith. And Jim Parsons has to play Georgie Spencer.
What relationship (between characters) is the most complicated, and what’s complicating it for them?
EL: Great question. Danny and Sunny’s relationship is the most complicated for many reasons: he’s a celebrity and she’s an unknown; they live on opposite coastlines; thy have poor communication; they’re afraid of getting what they want. And, on top of all that, neither one trusts their own feelings for the other.
Who or what inspired the book’s protagonist?
EL: Adulation has two protagonists. Danny Masters has had what I like to call “a Sorkinesque career” and, like Sorkin, he has a publicized addiction. Any other similarities are coincidental. At the time, Sorkin was finishing up The Social Network and interacting with fans on Facebook — some, myself included, got a chance to meet him in person, and I began to wonder if celebrities and fans can overcome those boundaries and labels and actually have a relationship. Sunny Smith, the other protag, was sort of a female version of a guy I knew who used to work in a bookstore in that she was well-liked and respected and good at her job, but also somewhat reluctant to make herself the center of attention.
What is your favorite line of dialogue a character delivers? (No context.)
EL: Ooh, good question! I loved just about everything Georgie uttered (my favorite being “Carpe diem, and all that shit.”). But my favorite line is probably Sunny’s “Well there’s a Gershwin song for you.” Probably not funny out of context.
Fill in the blank: Readers who enjoyed _______ will also enjoy my book.
EL: Sleepless in Seattle
How would Adulation compare to the movie Notting Hill?
EL: I haven’t seen Notting Hill in a long time, but I think that might be another good point of comparison, in terms of that dynamic between a celebrity and an unknown. In contrast, however, Danny and Sunny spend a lot of the book on separate coastlines, but seem to be living rather parallel lives and both come from Long Island, so there’s a bit more of a “soul mates” quality to them (hence the Sleepless in Seattle comparison).
Who or what inspired the story?
EL: Originally, I had wanted to write a novel about a fan who meets her longtime music idol ever since I saw the original lineup of Duran Duran perform in 2005. But I could never figure out where to take the story from there, and the movie Music and Lyrics kinda killed my buzz. In 2010, when I met Aaron Sorkin following a Q&A at an advanced screening of The Social Network in Durham, North Carolina, it occurred to me at the moment he shook my hand that had we met under other circumstances—a coffeeshop, a university lecture, through friends—and he wasn’t “Aaron Sorkin, famous award-winning screenwriter,” this was a guy I would give my phone number to, perhaps even ask out on the spot. The what-if was born that night: what if a fan and her idol meet and it turns out they’re more than just compatible, but meant for each other? Can it work out, or has fame and fortune gotten in the way?
When will you feel “famous” enough to finally ask out Aaron Sorkin?
EL: HA! I hope I never get there, meaning I really don’t want to be famous. I want my books to sell enough so that I can keep doing what I’m doing, and I want people to like them, but I’m rather happy with my relative anonymity. That’s not to say I don’t like connecting with readers. I just don’t want my photo taken while I’m trying to eat a burrito.
However, truth be told, had we had more time to chat I probably would’ve had the guts to ask him out the night I met him. Not that I think we’re soul mates or anything. And I’m not one for long distance relationships, but consider this an open invite if he’s available (i.e not dating anyone): Hey Aaron: Coffee sometime?
When was Adulation published?
EL: Adulation was published in November 2012 and is currently on sale in the Kindle Store for $1.99.