Margo and me at the Sacramento Public Library Authors on the Move fundraiser which is hands down one of my favorite literary events of
the year. The booze flows free. The food rocks. You're surrounded by fabulous authors. It's a complete gas.
Today I'm thrilled to present Margo Candela. I met Margo several years ago at a gathering of Bay Area Chick Lit writers (this was when it was okay to call yourself a chick lit writer and not, say, a writer of post-feminist humorous literature). She's charming, witty and disarmingly pretty. Her newest book, Good-bye To All That, is being released TOMORROW by Touchstone. Publishers Weekly says that Margo "combines a cunning wit with a deep understanding of the office politics specific to the entertainment industry to create a frantic atmosphere and a near breathless momentum as the story barrels toward an ending that's anything but your focusgrouped happy fade-out."
Congratulations, Margo! Welcome, to Drunk Writer Talk. As always, the first thing we want to know here is what's your favorite drink?
I'll drink anything fruity. It's sad, really, how junior high my tastes are.I cried when I heard Zima was no longer going to be made. It delivered the alcohol and the fruity in one beautiful bottle. I should have stocked up. My new thing is the exact opposite of a drinky drink-- ice water. Worse yet, I've recently discovered ph balanced/enhanced water. While it tastes just like normal water, at $2 a bottle I'm sure it's much better for me.
This is the point where Maureen usually says something witty and funny about our guest's drink choice. But seriously, Margo? Zima? We live in CALIFORNIA, girlfriend! As God is my witness, next time we're together, I'm bringing you a bottle of Scribner's Bend Symphony. That's give you fruity, but in a good way. Now . . . tell us a little more about Good-bye To All That. Thisis your fourth novel, but your first set in Los Angeles rather than SanFrancisco, right? Why the locale change?
It was time for a change both in my writing life and in my real life. We moved back to L.A. in 2005 and while I truly miss San Francisco, Los Angeleshas opened up all sorts of writing possibilities for me. People are not like folks in the Bay Area. I'm still just enough of an outsider to be able to appreciate the differences. I visit San Francisco any chance I get and my
third novel, More Than This, is my version of a love letter to the city.
Good-bye To All That takes place inside the entertainment industry. What kind of research did you do to learn about what takes place behind all those closed doors?
People love to talk about their jobs and it wasn't hard to get friends who toil away at the kind of job Raquel, the main character, has to open up about their days. Names have been changed and situations have been fictionalized as I'd never sell a friend out even though I heard some juicy stories. Raquel's job and experiences are amped up and sometimes cleaned up versions of what I heard. For me, office politics are as interesting as the dynamics between family members and in this book I got to explore both.
I always find that each book has something specific that endears it to me. What's the special little something in this book that makes you love it?
I love that Good-bye To All That is honest. I'm not trying to sell anyone on a fantasy of what it's like to work in Hollywood. Not everyone can have a glamorous job that's worthy of half hour reality show. The truth is, someone has to do the filing and the fetching. Raquel takes her job very seriously and she expects her hard work to pay off, but is confronted with the consequences of her choices. Good-bye To All That may not have a happy ending, but it has a hopeful one. It was the best and most honest one for the book and I'm proud I had the guts to write it as such.
What's next for you?
I recently adapted my second book into a screenplay and I'm also working on my next novel which, yes, will be set in L.A. Mostly, I'm just seeing where life takes me. Some days it takes me to my local Target where I aimlessly wander the aisles and that's okay. I like Target. The people are friendly and the bathroom is always clean.
And now my little drunklets, we have a special treat! We'll choose one lucky commenter to win a copy of Good-bye to All That. Come on, you know you want a copy of the book that the LA Times put on its summer reading list!