Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Interview w/Beth Harbison + Review of Chose The Wrong Guy Gave Him The Wrong Finger

Today I welcome back NYT Bestselling author Beth Harbison who's chatting about her fabulous new novel-Chose The Wrong Guy Gave Him The Wrong Finger. Read on to see why she says ––"Happy endings are important to me, though I never really thought about it much until you asked the question. I think life – and politics and parenting and so on – are thought-provoking and too often dark themselves. I don’t need to read or write a book that leaves the reader thinking, “Wow, maybe there really IS no magic in the world, maybe life is just random and death IS just The End…” "

ISBN-13: 9780312599133
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 7/9/2013
Pages: 384

Here’s what’s being said about Beth’s novels;
“Harbison dazzles in her latest, a perfect blend of chick lit and women’s fiction . . . Absolutely first-rate.” —Publishers Weekly (starred) on When in Doubt, Add Butter
"Delicious, just like dessert."—People Magazine on When in Doubt, Add Butter
"Touching, truthful, and profoundly satisfying, Harbison delivers her finest work yet." —Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of Jeneration X on Always Something There to Remind Me
“Harbison continues to wow readers with her charm and genuine characters.”
—Booklist on Hope in a Jar
"Harbison serves up a deliciously light blend of 1980s nostalgia and women's fiction...Harbison raises the emotional stakes and gives this story a little more bite without losing her fun, breezy style." –Publishers Weekly on Always Something There To Remind Me
"Harbison's writing is zingy and funny..." –Publishers Weekly on Secrets of a Shoe Addict

Here’s the blurb from the novel:
Ten years ago, Quinn Barton was on her way to the altar to marry Burke Morrison, her high school sweetheart, when something derailed her. Rather, someone derailed her—the Best Man who at the last minute begged her to reconsider the marriage. He told her that Burke had been cheating on her. For a long time. Quinn, stunned, hurt, and confused, struggled with the obligation of fulfilling her guests’ expectations—providing a wedding—and running for her life.
She chose running. With the Best Man. Who happened to be Burke’s brother, Frank.
That relationship didn’t work either. How could it, when Quinn had been engaged to, in love with, Frank’s brother? Quinn opted for neither, and, instead, spends the next seventeen years working in her family’s Middleburg, Virginia, bridal shop, Talk of the Gown, where she subconsciously does penance for the disservice she did to marriage.
But when the two men return to town for another wedding, old anger, hurt, and passion resurface. Just because you’ve traded the good guy for the bad guy for no guy doesn’t mean you have to stay away from love for the rest of your life, does it? Told with Beth Harbison's flair for humor and heart, Chose the Wrong Guy will keep you guessing and make you believe in the possibilities of love. 

Please welcome New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison back.

Beth welcome back, tell us a little about the new novel, Chose The Wrong Guy Gave Him The Wrong Finger.
I have to admit that I love the title.
Tell us how and who came up with it.
Actually, my editor, the brilliant Jen Enderlin, came up with it.  She tends to come up with most of my titles and what she comes up with is so provocative that I come up with a whole story to put under them.  It’s like a game.  So Jen remembered reading an old article where a runaway bride wrote something similar and it was EASY to make up the rest.

It’s a pretty big deal to see yourself on the New York Times bestseller list.
Tell us your reaction when it happened to you.
It was a huge  deal – believe it or not, I was in the Orlando airport, coming home from Disney World, when my publicist at the time, Steve Troha, called me with the good news.  We’d been hoping, so we were really in it together and I’m pretty sure he had almost as much fun delivering the news as I had getting it.   I wanted that conversation to go on and on forever.  I think that’s when it stopped being fun for him, lol.  But, seriously, it was life-changing in that even if it had just happened one time, one week, it would never un-happen, so it’s a cheery thought I can return to over and over.  It kind of feels like Christmas morning did when I was seven.

You were born and raised in the DC suburbs and live there today.
Is there anywhere else in the world you’d like to live?
I’ve lived other places but this is home.  It feels, happily, like home to me.  That said, I’d love to have a farm (that someone else took care of) around here somewhere, maybe Western Maryland or WV or southern PA, and I’d definitely like to have a place in Florida.  I think the place in Florida is more likely, since my daughter is living down there and could be paying rent to me instead of some stranger.

Your bio says that your first writing attempt was in the 4th grade when you rewrote the ending of Black Beauty (thank you).
Do all your novels have happy endings?
Are Happy Endings important to you?
Happy endings are important to me, though I never really thought about it much until you asked the question.  I think life – and politics and parenting and so on – are thought-provoking and too often dark themselves.  I don’t need to read or write a book that leaves the reader thinking, “Wow, maybe there really IS no magic in the world, maybe life is just random and death IS just The End…”  We don’t really know, probably, anything about life and fate and spirit or anything, so I don’t think it’s any less “realistic” to have a happy, “it was meant to be, all the hell was leading up to this heaven” ending than to have a grim, “I suspected life sucked all along” ending. For some reason, it’s easier to feel negative than positive, even though positive feels so much better, so it seems like people then equate negative with “realism” and I just don’t buy that.  Work harder, have your own happy ending, and here, I’ll write down a few ideas of what that can look like….  That’s my new philosophy of writing, thanks to this question. J

 What kind of research do you do for your novels?
I feel everything.  I feel happy, sad, longing, angsty, greedy, hungry, you name it.  Then I write about them.

What’s the funniest/weirdest thing that ever happened to you at an author event/signing?
The funniest thing is always the saddest thing too – it’s sitting at an elaborately festooned table in front of scores of empty chairs, with signs all around that say “author signing” or some variation thereof, directing people to the bathrooms or Nicholas Sparks novels.

One of the weirdest signings I ever did was at a casino – the only casino, I think – in Cherokee, NC.  It was mobbed, crazy, I signed and signed and signed, way past the ending time.  Missed a Trace Adkins concert that the casino was comping me tickets for.  But the thing that was weird about it was that 80% of the people enthusiastically asking for autographs and pictures didn’t look like they would ever, ever read one of my books.  And that’s not my backhanded way of saying they looked illiterate, though many did, but it was mostly hardcore gambling men.  It was fun.  Except for all the questions like, “How do you research your sex scenes?”  Someone is always willing to ask that, but there, almost everyone was willing and did.

Your daughter Paige Harbison (Here Lies Bridget, The New Girl) is an author too.
Do you seek each other’s advice etc…?
We read each other’s work because we know each other’s voices so well and can often tell what the other is trying to say but perhaps not saying as effectively as she could.  My sister, Elaine Fox, is also an author and I have long had the same experience with her.  We all sound alike on the phone and we all sound similar – yet very different – on the page.  It’s unique and fortunate.

What’s the most difficult task of an author today in your opinion?
It’s a great job, I’d never complain about it, I am blessed and lucky beyond belief, but for me, personally, the most difficult thing is that I am alone in my own head all the time.  That is my job.  To be alone in my head and to write it down.  This is great when I’m on a roll with a story that I am confident about and know where I’m going with, but if I’m chewing on a problem, it can be difficult.

Your novel Shoe Addicts Anonymous has been optioned to become a movie starring Halle Berry. How exciting for you!!
Will you do any consulting for the film?
When can we expect to see in on the big screen?
They are in pre-production, which involves a lot of things I don’t entirely understand about the business, so I don’t know when it will be on the screen exactly.  There are things that need to be done, including Halle gestating and giving birth, and then they can film so I hope the timing on both those things will coincide and we’ll see this out in 2014 or 2015.

No, I don’t do any consulting.  That is a business I don’t know at all, so I trust the powers that be completely – I’m not a jerk about sticking to my “vision” since what works on paper might not always translate to film, so there is some tinkering to be done.  I see that as new life for the story, and enjoy all the ideas I hear.

And yes, it is exciting.
Visit Beth’s website here

My Review of Chose The Wrong Guy Gave Him The Wrong Finger

It’s ten years since Quinn Barton left her groom at the altar after his brother, the best man shocked her with tales of her groom’s infidelity she knew nothing about, which ultimately led to her and the brother’s insane revenge fueled affair.
Quinn’s convinced she’s moved on but when ten years later she’s making their grandmother’s wedding gown, she and the brothers reunite for the first time since that fateful, unhappy day and she realizes just how much she’s fooling herself because there are unresolved feelings and ghosts from the pasts that are hard to bury when your eyes are closed. She’ll have to do some serious soul searching to find out which brother if either is or was ever the right one for her.

Harbison’s meditative, heart-wrenching epiphany filled tale is a drama-thon and worth every pulse pounding page. Her plot may be a familiar topic in romance but she takes it to the next step and gives it tons of depth. Her characters are realistic, imperfect souls who’ll capture reader’s hearts and their empathies. Her narrative is flowing and visual, her dialogue is easy to read and a mix of belly laughing humor and angst filled histrionics. I’ve been privy to Ms. Harbison’s antics before and I’m pleased to say that I enjoyed every page of this one.

Barnes & Noble


  1. Will add it to my list! Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. Hey girlfriend have you read any by her? I think you'll really like it!!!
      thanks for stopping by.

  2. Great interview, I laughed about the casino men and sex scene question, I read another author interview today when she said it is so weird people assume I know or did the things I write about in those scenes and yet they don't assume an author who writes about bombs builds them in his basement..so true! Loved your thoughts on this one Deb.

    1. thanks Kim, for the comment and the compliment :)
      I've had the pleasure of interviewing Beth and her daughter Paige before.

  3. I need to read something like this when the mystery and thrillers get overloaded in my brain! Thanks for bringing this one to us, Debbie!

  4. Thanks Eadie, I love all Beth's books to me her answer about happy endings say it all and when ever I'm in the mood for a feel good read she's one of the authors I know I can trust for just that.