Here’s what Spotlight is about; it’s an interview that promotes you! It will feature questions that are formatted to your needs. Questions will be focused on your work, upcoming work and some personal [but not intrusive] questions for your fans to get to know you more!
Today features Faith Andrews
Tell us about yourself:
My name, well, my pen name is Faith Andrews. My real name is Jessica Ippolito-Goldstein and that just didn’t seem like it’d look nice on the cover of a book. So I used my middle name and my husband’s and—voila—I’m Faith Andrews. I live in New York…that little borough called Staten Island (insert jokes here). I’m a stay at home mom of two wild, crazy, beautiful, amazing little girls. Writing wasn’t always my life; before the kiddies I was a tax accountant (yuck) and since the birth of my first daughter in 2006, we’ll just say my occupation changes from day to day. Having kids was always my dream and having girls…it’s all I ever wanted, but a few years ago my love for reading came back when I was stuck at home in between naps and tired of Soap Operas. I picked up a book (I think it was chick-lit, something by Sophie Kinsella) and haven’t been without a book in my hands since. Which brings me to what I like to call the post-Fifty world. I, like everyone else with a pulse, read Fifty Shades of Grey and my eyes were opened to a whole new world. I wanted to write, like really bad…and the rest is history.
About your writing;
When did you start writing?
I only started writing about a year ago and it’s consumed my life. It’s all I want to do…like ever. The kids and my husband endure hours of being ignored and really sucky dinners, but I just can’t help it. When the voices in my head want out…they want out. Since then, I’ve completed two manuscripts and started a third. I write about real-life things, lots of situations that relate to my life and what’s going on around me. Hey, it’s what I know best, but in all my stories, whether based on a tiny bit of reality or a huge chunk of it, the characters take on a life of their own and surprise me every single time.
What inspires you to write?
Everything! Seriously…I’ve been inspired by a good book, dreams, songs, a funny quote from one of my kids, the death of my father, a scene in a TV show. Ever since I started to write, I’ve become aware of all the little hints of inspiration swarming around me. I do have to admit though, that listening to anything by Mumford & Sons can put me in another realm…if I had solitude, my iPod and my laptop for a week, I could probably get a whole new book written.
Adding something else;
If you spend the rest of your life in a novel or novel series, what novel would it be and why?
Oh God, this is a hard one. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of romance. I have one too many book crushes and would LOVE to meet any one of them in real life. I can’t say I’d be up to the challenge of Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey, or that I could handle someone as charming and magnetizing as Gavin Blake from Collide so I’m going to have to resign to being one of the Cullens. When my mother told me to read Twilight I laughed. I told her I wasn’t into vampires, I didn’t like supernatural anything! But I quickly found myself utterly enthralled by the fantasy world created by Stephanie Meyers. I often joke that I would love to be a vampire just for the fact that they don’t need to sleep…hell if I didn’t need to sleep the house would be spotless (at lightning speed with my vampire awesomeness) and I could read and write into the wee hours of the morning without worrying about dragging my tired butt around the next day. So yeah, I wouldn’t mind living in Forks, Washington amongst some of the most beautiful, sparkling creatures on earth.
What couldn’t you live without?
Besides my kids, my husband and my friends and family…I could never live without music! My favorites would have to be Mumford & Sons, Dave Matthews Band, the Lumineers, but I like almost everything. And my kids…forget the Wheels on the Bus, my three year old has a list of bands she wants at her fourth birthday! They sing along to all my favorites and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never learned to play an instrument, but music just lives inside my bones. It can totally set a tone for my day or my mood and I will always think that’s magical.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about writing?
I used to read tons of chick lit, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks. I tend to read the trending, must-have, bestseller of the moment. But recently with the rise of self published, indie authors, my whole outlook on the writing world has changed. I don’t believe you need the backing of a BIG publishing company to be a good writer. I believe your success as a writer has to do with the reader. If your story, your writing, can connect to the reader on some level, make them feel something, then you’ve done your job as a writer. You have to grow a thick skin when it comes to writing, inevitably there will be criticism, but putting yourself out there takes a lot of…I’ll say guts…because every writer understands that these books are our babies.
What kind of books do you like?
I’m a big romance girl…I love a happy ending and I love sexual tension, but bottom line, I love a good story. Some of my favorites to date are the Twilight series, the Fifty Shades Trilogy, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares, I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb, Collide by Gail McHugh, Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder, and absolutely anything by Colleen Hoover.
How do you stay confident in yourself especially by putting yourself out there in the internet world?
The best advice I was given is to grow a thick skin. I read thread after thread, blog after blog about successful, well-known, bestselling authors who were rejected time and time again before getting picked up. Rejection sucks; I’ve already had my fair share and I’ve only been at it a year, but with each rejection comes a lesson. Rework a scene, fix a character flaw, polish the crap out of the manuscript. No matter how good your writing may be, you will always doubt yourself. Every time I pick up a new book I start to read and then my mind wanders…is mine as good as this? Oh, that’s a great line, why didn’t I think of that? It’s the nature of the beast, we’re always going to compare and contrast. But one word sticks out…I have a love hate relationship with this word…SUBJECTIVITY. What one person loves another will hate. I’m worrying right now about this interview…will my answers pale in comparison to what the other authors have to say? Am I a fool to think anyone cares what I have to say? Truth is, I don’t know. But I can only put myself out there and find out.
How do you handle rejection? What advice can you offer to moving past it?
I should have read this one before rambling in the question above—hee hee. I usually handle rejection with an email to my writing friends ranting and raving about said rejection, but then I take a breath and realize that you can’t please everyone. Take each rejection with feedback as a lesson learned. It’s all you can do. I read one blog about a woman who queried her book over 400 times over 15 years…talk about perseverance. She ended up getting picked up and did very well with her book. I don’t know if I have it in me to wait that long to do something about it, but rise above and keep trucking…yeah, it’s cliché, but it’s good advice.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
YOU CAN DO IT! Write every day. Make time, even if it’s to get down ONE sentence, or to jot down an idea. My other big bit of advice is to get Beta readers and critique partners for your work. Your writing and your sanity will thank you for it. I consider my critique partners good friends now and I couldn’t live without them.
Featuring your work and or upcoming work;
Tell us about your book [s]
I am so excited about my debut. The book is called Man of My Dreams and it’s about a stay at home mom struggling with the monotony of her everyday life and the marriage she thought was perfect. Mia dreams, often, of her high school crush and while it has no significance on her present day life, it makes her wonder about what could have been. When Mia finds out that her Mr. Perfect husband has become Mr. Unfaithful she questions everything she’s ever known. Her separation from her husband collides with her chance to relive the past when she receives an invitation to her ten year high school reunion. There she comes face to face with her crush and her feelings for him (and his for her) are too hard to ignore.
The book has a really fun, nostalgic feel to it. The chapters alternate between past and present so you really learn about Mia and what’s molded her into the person she is today. In the end she has to make a decision between the man of her dreams and the man in her dreams, but what gets her there is worth the read.
Who is your favorite character and why? [If you can share without spoiling your work]
I can’t pick, I just can’t…it’s like picking a favorite amongst your children! Oh, alright…I’m not giving anything away at all, I swear it, but Noah is my favorite. He was the most fun to write and I love everything he stands for (“what if,” staying young, the past). Oh and he’s freaking insanely hot and charming.
What character do you hope readers understand?
Declan. Hands down. I hope they understand and I even wrote a few chapters in his point of view because he insisted on having a say. I think once the readers hear his side of things, they’ll fall in love with him all over again.
Do you have a favorite part of your own book (s) ?
THE REUNION! When I wrote those few chapters I felt like I was on a high. I made a playlist of ‘90s songs and listened, and reminisced, while I typed away and the words just flew out of me. It was the most amazing, exhilarating writing experience to date. I’m not exactly old (I’ll be 34 this year), but I really wish I was young again. I loved high school…I would go back in a heartbeat and relive those carefree, youthful days to the absolute fullest.
Choosing a character or even yourself, can you give us a sample playlist of music that would follow said person?
I thought you’d never ask…
- Killing Me Softly by The Fugees
- I Want You by Third Eye Blind
- 3 A.M. by Matchbox Twenty
- Closing Time by Semisonic
- Kryptonite by Three Doors Down
- Informer by Snow
- Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve
- Sex & Candy by Marcy Playground
- Champagne Supernova by Oasis
- Kiss the Rain by Billy Meyers
- One Week by The Barenaked Ladies
- Butterfly by CrazyTown
- Everything by Lifehouse
- We Belong by Pat Benetar
There are probably some I’m missing, but you get the idea, right? Total ‘90s flashback.
What would you like readers to get from your book (s) ?
I just want them to enjoy Mia’s journey. I would imagine that the audience will be a lot like me…mid-thirties, mom, married to the same (wonderful) man for a while. This book is about second chances, fighting for what’s important to you and remaining true to yourself and your beliefs. I think it’s relatable—that’s what I want.
What do you to for marketing?
Social media…I never realized what a gem it was until I decided to self publish. An indie author friend of mine showed me the ropes and told me what steps to take. I’ll never be able to thank her enough for her advice. Facebook is a huge outlet for networking with other authors, readers, bloggers and people looking to help you promote your book. I’m still learning, but I learn something new every day, literally.
Promote your books in a sentence or less
Gah! This is hard…A love triangle fueled by the lure of the past, the comfort of the present and the thrill of an unexpected future all rolled into one fun, nostalgic, heartwarming story.
What are you working on now?
I’ve reworked my very first manuscript, Taking Second Chances, and I am really excited about getting this one out there too. It’s about a 39 year old college professor who’s had a tough go at it. Her parents were killed in a car accident when she was 16, she became pregnant with twins and married at 18 and then a widow tragically at 30. Gabriella’s sworn off love, fearful of losing anyone again. She’s content being alone, or so she thought, until a stranger at a bar makes her think about moving on.
Caleb is a 27 year old loner. His father abandoned him when he was a child, his mother died of a drug overdose and the woman who raised him, the only woman he’s ever loved – his grandmother—has just passed away. She left him instructions to be someone and to meet someone. All she wanted for him was happiness. When he enrolls in the college of his grandmother’s choice he never imagined he’d be killing two birds with one stone.
When the two meet for the first time in the bar, their connection is magnetic, but it’s fleeting. But when fate brings the two of them together—this time as teacher and student—the two of them have to fight off their demons to make room for love.
Faith Andrews’ Links;
Links that readers can contact and or connect with you at –