Q & A with Erin Duffy
Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences: Let’s see, I’m a Capricorn, I enjoy women’s fiction, baking, and long walks on the beach as long as it’s not too hot because I get sunburned really easily. I grew up about thirty minutes outside New York City and absolutely love everything about Manhattan, especially since my parents and siblings all live here, too. I’m very close with my friends, and keep in touch with them often, but I am horrible, and I mean, horrible, at responding to voice mails. I played sports my entire life, including two Varsity sports in college, but for reasons I will never be able to explain, I can’t really ride a bike. I am not a beach person, and I’d be much happier wearing a big cozy turtleneck, buried under a blanket, in front of a fireplace somewhere, than I would lying in a bikini on a beach anywhere in the world. (That last one drives my friends absolutely crazy when we travel!)
It’s been noted that “Bond Girl” is based upon your experiences. Was writing any of it difficult? I definitely based parts of the book on my experiences, but it’s not a diary by any means, so it was probably a bit easier than people would think. I was a little nervous that people would think that they were getting a first hand account of true to life events, which made me nervous, because I’m not someone who’s all that interested in sharing my personal life with just about anyone! I also found that as a first time writer, it’s very hard to open yourself up to the criticism and commentary that comes with the territory, so that was actually probably the scariest part of writing it for me.
What is a normal day like for your now that you’re an author? How does it compare to when you worked at Merrill Lynch? There’s no such thing as a normal day for me as far as I can tell anymore! It’s nothing like going to work in an office where you have to be up and out of your apartment with your makeup on and your hair done by a certain time. This new world I could theoretically work in my pajamas all day and no one would know or care, though I try really hard not to do that because other writers have told me that’s one of the fastest ways to go insane. Usually, I try to write about ten pages a day, get to the gym, and catch up on blogs or interviews like this one. Some days I’m more productive than others, but I’m trying to go easy on myself and say that it’s just because it’s a major life adjustment to go from working on a trading floor with hundreds of other people to working alone in your apartment all day. I’m hoping to develop a better type of normalcy as I go!
What do you like best about the writing process? I like how there’s not really a “right” or “wrong” way to do things, and that I have the ability to do anything I want with the characters. I think it’s fun to explore personalities and character traits that are different and quirky. You can put any words you want in the mouths of a character, I mean, things you’d never have the nerve to say yourself in a million years, or things that maybe you wish you said at some point in your life and never did. For me, being able make people on paper say anything I want without consequences has been the best part so far.
Which famous person would you like to meet? There are so many interesting and important things going on in the world right now that I KNOW I should say someone in the political arena and be smart about it. But I don’t want to lie on this blog, and the truth is, if I had the chance to meet one famous person, I’d like for it to be Taylor Lautner or one of the other guys from Twilight for the sole reason that my niece would then officially think she has the coolest Aunt on earth. You can’t underestimate the importance of being popular with the adolescent set.
How long did it take you to write “Bond Girl?” Start to finish, it took me just over a year. The first few months I was working on it full time, and then I finished it on nights and weekends. I worked on it basically seven days a week for that period though. By the time it was done I had the whole thing memorized and felt like Alex was a roommate!
What did you do to celebrate it being published? My friends actually threw me a cocktail party, which was so amazingly nice of them, and it was a ton of fun. I had friends fly in from all over the country, and we all got to catch up over champagne and appetizers. They even had chocolate shoes made in honor of the shoe on the cover. They still won’t tell me how they managed to find someone to do that! I couldn’t have picked a better way to celebrate.
Do you have any guilty pleasures? How much time do you have? I have a ton! For starters I’m a chocolate fanatic, and can and will eat just about anything if there’s chocolate in it. If you are looking for examples outside of the edible persuasion, I’m obsessed with the show Top Chef, a reality cooking competition, and then there’s always my Us Weekly addiction. It doesn’t feel like Friday until I get my paws on the latest issue. I could go on but I’m afraid I’ll embarrass myself further!
Who played your favorite “James Bond?” Pierce Bronson hands down. I’d like to say it was because of his superb acting chops, but in reality I was glazed over for most of the movie staring at how ridiculously good looking he is. How does anyone have a conversation in person with that guy without completely losing their train of thought?
What is your favorite word, and why? I feel like this is a trick question, that writers are supposed to say that they love all words equally the way that parents talk about their kids. This is probably going to sound ridiculous, but for some reason, I really like the word ‘slush’. I like that it has multiple meanings, and can at the same time mean a nice little frozen ice desert that people love, and dirty street sludge that can ruin your shoes and make people miserable. It’s a schizophrenic word. I love that.
What is the best advice you can give to new writers who want to leave their jobs and become a writer? Oh boy, that’s a hard one. I’m no expert, I only did it myself a few months ago and I’m definitely still trying to figure it out. I guess I’d say make sure you are self-motivated and disciplined before you decide to remove all the structure from your life. It’s probably the most difficult part of being a writer, for me, at least. It’s hard to try to build your own schedule and not get distracted by little things, or just procrastinate until you want to rip your own hair out. It’s much easier to hit the snooze button on the alarm when you don’t have a boss waiting on your arrival, and that can be a tricky thing when you’re trying to write a novel!
Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, would you like to share anything? I do! I’m working on a second novel right now, and while it’s not a sequel, I hope people will enjoy the characters the way they’ve enjoyed the ones in Bond Girl. It focuses around women in their early thirties. So far, I’m having a lot of fun with it!
Additional comments by Erin: Thank you so much for having me on your blog! This whole experience of being published has been a lot of fun for me, but I’m really enjoying the opportunity to connect with people through sites like this one. Thank you so much again for your time!
**Buy “Bond Girl!”