Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author, is my very special guest today. She penned the wildly popular Time of My Life and just-released The Song Remains the Same.
Her new novel is the story of Nell Slattery, one of only two survivors of a place crash. Nell wakes to find herself in a hospital with no memories of her life. Her family and friends endeavor to fill her mind with stories about who she was, what she did, and her relationships with them. But as Nell’s memories begin returning to her, she realizes that the stories she has been told do not align with what she is recalling. Can Nell forgive and move on from past betrayals in order to reclaim her authentic self and be happy?
Choosing Our Best Lives
When I set out to write this book, I think I really did so to cope with my fear of plane crashes. But then a funny thing happened: the book evolved into something much different – the crash was a jumping off point and really almost became secondary to what I then started contemplating: what if something occurred in our lives that wiped the slate clean. In the book, it’s the crash that does that, that wipes my heroines memory clean, but from there, the crash becomes irrelevant. It’s the exploration of who we are, both with and without our memories, that really became the main focus of the book . . . and of the year that I spent writing it!
I mean, sit here for a moment and consider it: if you woke up today and couldn’t remember who you were living with, what you did for a job, heck, even what you liked to eat for breakfast, would you make the same choices all over again? It’s a question with no real answers, but the truth is, that even just considering it can be a good barometer of where you come from and where you’re going. What I love most in my books is examining women who aren’t necessarily living their best lives, and then putting them through the ringer to see what it takes to get them to that best life. For Nell, my heroine, this may mean that she has to explore some really murky terrain and make different choices than she would if she could remember what she’d done the first time. I mean, would you still date your ex-husband, would you still sit day after day in your mindless job, if you hadn’t made choices long ago that influenced those decisions?
Again, these aren’t questions that we can really answer (without losing our memory ourselves!), but still, they’re good food for thought. Good ways to step back and assess how we can get to our own best lives, even without amnesia. Maybe this means reassessing old choices, maybe this just means being content that all roads have led to this one. Wherever you are, there’s always a little space for some soul searching, and hopefully, furthered continued happiness.
Allison Winn Scotch was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. She relates that her mother assured her father “he could take that business trip to Montreal because, no, there was no chance that I would be making my appearance while he was gone, [but] out I popped. Which my parents now like to use as a frequent analogy about my general attitude and overall take on life.”
She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Honors History and Concentration in Marketing from the Wharton School of Business. She dabbled a bit in the public relations, marketing and internet worlds before discovering that she wanted to work for herself from home and get paid to write full-time. So she spent eight years working freelance contributing articles to virtually any magazine published, including Glamour, Self, Shape, Redbook, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Family Circle, InStyle Weddings, Bride’s, Cooking Light, Parents, and American Baby. She still writes articles but focuses now focuses on celebrity interviews and profiles, which gives her the liberty to indulge her “pop culture obsession and gives me an excuse to read junky magazines and watch lots of tv.”
She is, however, most proud of her four published novels: The One That I Want, Time of My Life, The Department of Lost and Found, and her latest, The Song Remains the Same.
Allison says that when she’s not “planted in front of the computer (which is nearly always – seriously, ask anyone who knows me; I’m here – send me a note!),” she’s spending time at home in New York City with her husband, children, and faithful dog, Pedro.
Thank you, Allison!
Be sure to visit Colloquium this Thursday, April 5, 2012, to read my review of The Song Remains the Same and enter to win your own copy, graciously provided by author Allison Winn Scotch!