I was so fortunate enough to be able to ask the fabulous Allison Winn Scotch a few questions about In Twenty Years (see last weeks post). It was my “Poolside Pick” of the week and a fabulous 2016 read. See below for what she said about her college years as well as some fun facts about herself!
Bliss Chat with Allison Winn Scotch
- I know your years at Penn played a big part in this book. Are any of the characters or experiences based on real event or people?
Nope! I promise! I had to swear the same thing to a few of my friends too. ☺ None of the characters are at all like any of the people I knew there…for me, personally, it’s much harder to cull from real life than it is to make up new worlds and people entirely, so really, I very rarely write based on people or my own experiences. There are certainly some cultural references – like, yes, we did all dance to Prince on the jukebox at our local bar – and things like that, but nothing else is true. ☺
- There are so many amazing characters in the book. Who was your favorite to develop? What storyline challenged you the most?
My favorite to write was probably Lindy. I know that she’s a polarizing character for some readers but for all the reasons she is complicated, that’s why I loved writing her. I struggle much more with characters who aren’t deeply flawed because working through those flaws are really what interests me as a writer…and as a person! To be honest, I didn’t realize how polarizing she would be, because I have so much love for her, until I heard from a few readers. As far as the storyline that challenged me most, it was probably Catherine’s: without giving too much away, I had to find the right balance between her believing that she was a “fraud,” and her actually being one.
- What was your most favorite part of your college experience? Least favorite?
I think, looking back, it was just that moment in time when everything felt possible, if that makes sense. Obviously the freedoms that come with no longer living at home and for me, at least, getting my crap together…in high school, I was a pretty good student but I didn’t work as hard as I should have. In college, I learned what it meant to self-motivate and take ownership not just of my work but of my relationships and friendships and all of that. I felt, as these characters did, invincible. My least favorite? Hmmm, I had a lot of romantic ups and downs, and I remember by my senior year, really feeling a bit claustrophobic and being ready to move on to something new. Though, looking back, I really do idealize those four years and mostly remember them with nothing but fondness.
- What would be your advice or thoughts to your own children about their college experience when the time comes?
Gosh, I just want them to find the school and place that makes them happy, that allows them to explore all aspects of themselves so that they can become fully-formed individuals. I really believe in giving my kids freedom and independence, so I hope that by the time they hit college, they’ll be able to truly take flight, whether it’s by studying abroad or pursuing an unexpected major or…just whatever seems to light their fire.
- As a writer, where is your favorite place to write?
Boring answer, but it’s my home office. I am SUCH a creature of habit, and I really struggle to write anywhere else. My office has these beautiful high ceilings and huge bay windows and my dogs like to come in and snuggle at my feet. It’s just the right fit to motivate me.
- Name 3 blissful things that you can’t live without?
My children (obviously!), my bed (splurge on nice sheets, it makes all the difference!!), my coffeemaker (nothing fancy but it’s still my favorite way to start the morning).
- What is the first thing you do when you complete a book?
Probably tweet about it! LOL. That or immediately email it to my agent. I like to just get it off my desk and send it out into the world so it’s someone else’s thing to deal with. I am very much an “out of sight, out of mind,” person, so I like to put it out of mind for a while and just be relieved that it’s complete.
- What was the last book that you read?
I have about 30 pages left of Before the Fall: I’ve very much enjoyed it, and as soon as I’m done with this interview, I’m gonna go sink into my couch and finish it.
- While on tour what is a must-have beauty product in your make-up bag?
A make-up artist friend just turned me on to La Bella Donna products. Their undereye concealer is really fantastic – weightless but completely great coverage. They also have a mineral blush which brings me back from looking half-dead.
- Are you looking forward to any books that are coming out in 2016?
Well, I think everyone is looking forward to Liane Moriarty’s newest, Truly, Madly, Guilty. That will be up next for me!