I've had the privilege of communicating with Theo Nestor, author of How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed and she's graciously agreed to visit the blog to answer some questions. For those of you haven't read the book yet I advise you, walk, skip, or run your way over to the bookstore and pick it up.
Q & A
1. Give us your brief “elevator speech” of what How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed is all about?
How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed is the story of the journey I went through when my marriage ended abruptly. It is the story of going from heartbreak to whole again. It's kind of a working girl's Eat Pray Love, a divorce story about staying home rather than going away.
2. What were the easiest and the most difficult parts of writing a memoir?
The hardest parts of the book to write were the scenes with my ex-husband. When I was writing the book, I still had a lot of anger toward him, and while I wanted the book to be an honest expression of my experience, I didn't want to misuse my opportunity by being vengeful or disrespectful. But, I also didn't want to sugarcoat the story. It was also difficult to write the scenes that showed how my children were affected by the divorce, but again, I knew those parts needed to be in there to make the story real and meaningful to other parents.
3. This book examines your journey through what you call the three stages of divorce: shock/denial, adjustment, and acceptance. In a market with so many other books about relationships and women going through divorces, what makes yours stand apart?
I think the ordinariness of my story makes my book stand apart in some ways. We aren't rich, super good looking, semi-famous or criminal. My kids were nine and five at the time of the divorce so there was no chance that I'd be traveling the world as I recovered from my divorce, so How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed takes readers to all the ordinary places that a divorced mom ends up--an attorney's office, school carnivals, the grocery store, and occasionally in the arms of her new boyfriend.
I think another aspect that may set the book apart is that I focus on what it's like to be the child of divorce going through a divorce herself. When I got married, I was determined not to divorce. I didn't want my kids to go through some of the things I went through--being asked who your real father is, feeling like an outsider, wishing my parents didn't hate each other.
4. Reading the reviews everyone mentions your humor and I couldn’t agree more. Did you consciously add humor into the prose to counterbalance the more serious moments or are you just that funny?
Thanks! I didn't especially "try" to be funny, just because whenever I try it doesn't work out so well. I did find some of the experiences I had in my first year alone so bad --interviewing for a job at Microsoft, going through the misery known as of divorce court, to name a few--that they almost seemed funny in a surreal sort of way.
5. If someone were to play you in a movie adaptation a la Eat Pray Love who would it be and why?
Thank you for asking! Yes, make a movie! I can't decide between Janeane Garofalo and Tina Fey. I want someone who can deal with the rat in the basement problem with humor and still clean up pretty nice. Okay, Tina, the part is yours!
6. What is your writing regimen?
I don't have one, per se. I do write almost every work day in one way or another (my blog or freelance articles), but my "real writing" I might only work on two or three times a week, usually ducking out to a cafe for a few hours to get away from the distractions of home. I have a "writing partner," and she and I meet once a week to support each others' work and spend an hour or two writing side-by-side.
7. What advice would you give in terms of capturing real life experiences and translating them into writing?
The first step, I think, is to start listening to the stories going on around you all the time. Carry a notebook. When you see something at Target or the dog park that intrigues you, take a note. That's how King Size started. I had a notebook in my purse at the time for a class I was teaching, and I was feeling so miserable and isolated that I started taking notes about the other women in the waiting room at the attorney's office, about something another mother said to me when she heard about the split, about a song I heard on the radio.
Then, when you're writing the scene, close your eyes and let it play out before you. Don't write what you wished happened or what you would've expected to happen. Write down the real life with all its quirky contradictions.
8. How did you land your agent and what advice can you give unpublished authors about that process?
An editor from Brain, Child magazine suggested my agent to me. I think the website www.agentquery.com might be a good place to start.
9. What can we expect to see from you next?
I'm writing a memoir about my childhood called: Like Mother, Like Daughter, Like Crazy: A Memoir of Unrequited Love.
10. How can readers follow you online?
Follow my blogs:
Check out my Website: www.theonestor.com
"Like" my Facebook fanpage (I have book giveaways fairly routinely.)
For a sneak peak at the first chapter of How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed, see here and to win a signed copy of the book be sure to enter my book giveaway contest by September 16.