Today I get to chat with a true goddess, or at least a chick lit goddes. Isabella Louise Anderson hosts the popular Chick Lit Goddess Website and is wrapping up the editing process of her first two novels, Refined Dreams and The Right Design. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of American, received a certificate for winning NaNoWriMo and is currently working on her third book, Somewhere Down in Texas, based on similarities in her life
Q; What made you take the plunge and enroll in the Gotham Writing Workshop?
I won’t forget the night I singed up for my first Gotham Writers’ Workshop class, Creative Writing. After filling out the form and closing it without sending it at least a dozen times because of fear, I finally gained enough nerve (thanks to the glass of wine I had by my side) and clicked on the ‘submit’ button – whew! I’m so glad I did because since taking that first course, and have taken several others afterward, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting amazing and talented writers who I can call friends. I also completed their Fiction Certificate Program, which was a wonderful experience.
Q: Tell us a little about Redefined Dreams and The Right Design.
Redefined Dreams: Lucy is in love with her fiancé. He’s everything she’s always wanted, but in a fight about their non-existent sex life Jackson blurts out that he’s gay and shatters her world. After deciding she’s had enough crying and needs to get back into the land of the living, Lucy begins a relationship with her ex-wedding coordinator’s son, Nathan, but his mother is anything but pleased.
Together Lucy and Nathan stick strong together ignore his mother’s dismay…until Lucy finds herself pregnant! Can Nathan get over his strong feelings about not wanting to be a father, or will Lucy be a single mother?
The Right Design: Carrie and her boyfriend have been together for six years – and still no proposal, but she’s okay with that because she already feels like his wife. When she arrives home to surprise him, wearing only a negligee, heels and a trench coat, she’s shocked to find him in their kitchen banging another woman. Devastated, she flees to her sister’s home that Sara shares with her husband, Sean. Shortly after she begins to stay with them, Sara announces that she’s pregnant, and Carrie knows that it’s time to move on and start her life in another city. After relocating herself from Dallas to the ritzy and wealthy life in Palm Beach, Florida, and landing a job, Carrie decides go out on the town.
When Carrie comes face-to-face with her first client, Brad, who happens to be the same man she met at the bar on the previous night, she’s overwhelmed with emotions. As their attraction grows over time, her head telling her to stay focused on her work and the job she’s doing, and her heart telling her it’s okay to mix business with pleasure challenges, Carrie finally takes a leap of faith and pushes all morals and fears aside, and allows herself to fall in love with Brad.
After a weekend of getting to know each other and making love, Carrie’s ex shows up and asks her to take him back. Much to her dismay, she somehow ends up in his arms.
Will Carrie succumb to her desires and go back to her ex, or has she fallen in love with Brad?
Q: Do you favor one of your books over the other?
Yes, and no. I love Redefined Dreams because it was the first book that I’ve completed. It took a year 2010-2011, but I’m proud of my accomplishment. After finishing RD, I began to think of myself as a writer. In November of that same year I participated in NaNoWriMo, in which I finished The Right Design. It is nice to know that I can write a book in a year and in a month!
Q: Why do you write romance/chick lit books? Is the genre a good fit? Does it complete an aspect of your personality you might otherwise keep hidden?
Great question! I’ve always loved to read Romance, Danielle Steel being one of my favorite authors at a young age. The first Chick Lit I read was Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. After reading it, I knew I’d never go back. I saw Giffin’s characters to be more like me – in my mid-20’s, dealing with work, friendships and relationships. I find it to be very refreshing to have characters who weren’t only in the same age but personality wise also. One day I sat down to try to write my own Chick Lit, which is still in the back of a drawer somewhere, and unfinished. As for my hidden personality, most would say that my characters are like my personality.
Q: Have you always been a writer or did the muse hit you later in life?
Writing has always been a passion. Whether or not it was my focus at any point in my past, I’m confident enough now to say it’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life!
Q: Do you consider yourself a romantic person? Is your husband? If so, what’s the most romantic thing you’ve done together lately.
I have to laugh at this question only because I grew up watching soaps and reading a lot of Harlequin books – I wanted the Cinderella story! I’d have to say I was romantic then, but I’m not as much now. I’ve been with my husband for 10 years this June and we’ve been married for four in December, so being romantic for us means cuddling up on the couch with our cat and watching TV.
Q: Share a little about your biggest challenge as a writer and how you overcame it.
I guess I’d have to say finishing writing my first book, Redefined Dreams. My husband pushed me all the way and if it weren’t for him, I don’t know if I’d be finished with it!
Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?
1. Spend time with the hubby, friends and family
3. Watch TV
Q: Did you grow up reading? If so, which books were your favorites?
I’ve always loved to read. As I mentioned, Danielle Steel was my go to author for romance and Emily Giffin for Chick Lit, but Judy Blume’s books will always be unforgettable!
Q: What’s next in your writing life?
Get published, and keep writing! Since both my first two books are in the editing process, I’m right now considering whether or not I want to publish traditionally or try it on my own and self-publish. Fingers crossed that both, or at least one, of my books will be out this year.