I was recently able to interview Hilary Grossman, author of the book Dangled Carat- One girl’s attempt to convert the ultimate commitment-phobic man into a doting husband with a lot of help from his family and friends.
Here’s a synopsis-
Hilary had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship—why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn’t ready—and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point. In this relatable, lighthearted, and playful memoir, Hilary reminisces about her life before Marc—from the insecure and awkward teenage years she spent in a back brace and dealing with the loss of her father, to her early relationships and, finally, to the day she met Marc and realized that she really wanted to see him again. Through their first date—even though Hilary was technically seeing someone else at the time—and the ease of their early time together until Marc first decided that they were moving too quickly, up until that fateful New Year’s Eve, Hilary shares the details of their relationship and how Marc’s inability to commit led her to find an inner strength and confidence she didn’t know she possessed. For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin with the one they love, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the very picture of patience and grace, Hilary’s humorous and honest story will hit home.
How long did it take you to write Dangled Carat? How did you come up with the idea for it?
It took me about eight months (weekends only) to write the first draft of Dangled Carat. After I finished I knew it needed work so I looked for a professional editor to help me. I was fortunate to be able to work with Christina Baker Kline, New York Times and USA today bestselling author of Orphan Train. Christina had my manuscript for a few months, and then it took me about three more months to incorporate her changes and suggestions. Unfortunately in the midst of the process my home and life was slammed by Hurricane Sandy. In all, from start to finish, it took about two years to complete. Dangled Carat is a memoir about my attempt to convert a commitment phobic man into a doting husband with a lot of help from his family and friends. While many of the things that happened to me (two faux engagement parties, for example) were very unique being involved in a relationship with a commitment-phobic man is a very common situation. I felt that my story was something so many women could relate to which is what prompted me to write this book.
Is this your debut novel as an author? If not, what other books have you written?
This is the first book I have written, and it is totally a dream come true!
Who is your biggest inspiration in your life?
My mother, she is an amazing lady. She has gone through a lot of things in her life and she has always been a pillar of strength while keeping a sense of humor. My dad passed away when I was fourteen years old. It was a very difficult time for both of us, but she was selfless in helping me cope. She also worked tirelessly to make sure that I didn’t miss out on anything because my dad was no longer alive.
What is your all-time favorite book?
This is a hard one! I have so manyJ! But I have to just pick one I have to go with Bitter Is The New Black by Jen Lancaster. Not only did I love this book, and find it hysterically funny, this book changed my life. Before reading it I didn’t know what a blog was or what a memoir was. Yes, I am bowing my head in shame.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Why?
It sounds corny but right where I am… I am very fortunate, I live in an amazing town on Long Island and my home is on the beach. For a beach bum like me it doesn’t get any better…
Tell me about your website, feeling beachie.
I actually started the blog four years ago with Dangled Carat in mind. I wanted to “practice” writing. Feeling Beachie is a very eclectic blog – it has a little bit of everything going on. I write a lot of humorous daily life type stories. I also host a weekly Wordless Wednesday blog hop as well as a weekly “Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun Blog Hop”. The Friday hop is blast. I always have a co-host and together we come up with 4 fill in the blank statements for all participates to answer on their own blogs. It is amazing to see how similar we all are. Finally, I have frequent guest posts by my cat, Lucy. She is the feline version of me and always has a lot to say
I saw that you live in New York. I am a native New Yorker myself. Are you a native or a newcomer?
I am a native New Yorker. I was born in Brooklyn and moved to Long Island when I was two years old. I still live on the island, about 15 minutes from where I grew up.
Which character of your novel are you most like?
Since this is a memoir, I am exactly like me…. But the interesting thing is when you write a memoir you have to relive a lot of experiences in your life. To accurately portray the story you have to really look inside yourself to understand your feelings and motivations which led you to do the things you did and make the choices you made. In this process I learned a lot about myself as well as shared feelings that I never expressed anyone before.
Learn more about Hilary at her website http://www.feelingbeachie.com . You can also follow her on Twitter @feelinbeachie