And for my next trick…
This time we’re hitting the chick lit scene with Amy Gettinger’s favorite book, Roll with the Punches.
This particular book is way different from my usual feature. It’s comedy/mystery/adventure/everything, or according to the blurb:
A rollicking, funny chick lit mystery/adventure, full of fun and light romance.
Falling is extra hard on tall people, like Rhonda Hamilton: the bone breakage, the bruises, the ignominy of it all. And Rhonda’s falling, hard. First, how in the heck can the latest novel published by a nationally bestselling author be a close twin to the manuscript Rhonda has just finished writing and has barely started marketing to agents? Plus, why is Dad suddenly acting so odd: storing milk in the garage and throwing away Rhonda’s clothes?
And that’s a mouthful.
Jolie: So, first, Amy, why this story at this time?
Amy: Because my father died of a violent dementia and I needed to process that. Plus roller girls. ROLLER GIRLS! Plus I was tired of murder, so I wrote a mystery/romance about plagiarism instead. Plus Roller Girls!
Jolie: Writing really is excellent for processing our personal tragedies, isn’t it? The book deals with light subject matter, but you still manage to discuss dementia as a disease. How is that?
Amy: Rhonda is a tall librarian who’s just finished writing her breakout novel and started taking it to agents and editors (I hadn’t found indie pubbing yet) when it pops up as a printed work by a famous reclusive bestselling novelist. She is trying to find out who stole her work when her mom has an accident and has to have surgery and Rhonda is stuck taking care of Dad, who is acting quite strange.
She has a writers’ group, who become suspects, except for the super cute guy who seriously can’t write that well. But who is soooo cute. There’s also a nemesis, a short, cute woman who visits the writers’ group as an expert and wants to change it to a group they all have to pay her for. Yeah, no.
Rhonda ends up at a writers’ group of roller girls, and she has to join the roller derby team to go to their group. That’s when the fun begins. She can skate, so she lets herself be dragged along on all sorts of skating and non-skating adventures. Oh, I forgot the super stern guy who shows up to rent a room from Dad and who ends up taking care of him a lot. What’s not to like about a a mystery with a crazy old guy and 2 hot dudes attached to it?
Jolie: That’s a lot! How do you feel about this book specifically compared to your other work?
Amy: Best one, though my body of work is not that large and Alice in Monologue Land is second by a hair.
Jolie: This is totally cliche, but I gotta ask. Where on Earth did you hit on this idea in the first place?
Amy: Mystery that isn’t murder, a group of crazy women having adventures, and inept caring for old guys leading to having to sleep in the car all night–like 4 times.
Actually, my dad was such a mess that this softened my overall impression of his illness as something pretty horrific. It really did. I wish I could do the same for my brother who died of leukemia, but leukemia is just not funny at all.
Jolie: So you were able to use the comedy of the book to work through the tragedy of loss. That’s pretty great to hear, and no wonder this one means so much to you. Thanks for sitting with me, Amy, and anyone who would love a laugh can pick up her book here on Amazon: