Author bio of Tiffany Romigh: A writer in Austin, Texas, ELASTICITY is the first novel by Tiffany Romigh. Previously a Vice President of Edelman Public Relations, the co-owner of fashion and beauty pr agency Mirror Mirror PR, and an award-winning advertising copywriter at agencies including Deutsch, TBWA Chiat/Day, Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson, she is currently at work on her second novel and several screenplays.
Interview with Tiffany Romigh
Have you always wanted to be a writer? I think in one way or another, it’s always been inevitable. People communicate different ways and, for me, it’s the easiest and most effective way for me to get the inside thoughts out. Then, once I realized that it felt like the right thing to do, and no one was throwing sticks and rocks at me after reading what I’d written, I looked for ways to make a living at it.
Tea or coffee? Here’s my caffeine method: Diet Coke, but usually half a can that I leave in my cup holder on the way to the coffee shop. Then I have an iced coffee while I do the first two hours of writing that morning. Then I get back in the car for a writing location change and drink the second half of the Diet Coke, but I cut myself off after that. Since I write at least five hours a day every single day, the world would be blurry if I didn’t.
How did you come up with the idea for your book, Elasticity? I became obsessed with the idea of the expansion and contraction of modern life, especially for women. So many of us, especially these days, have trouble finding moderation. We bounce back and forth between extremes trying to find the middle, we push and pull, expand and contract, all the while trying to find the things, the life, the story we can tell that will make us happy. We buy the car, then we lose our jobs and have to sell the car. We eat the things we love and gain weight, then we feel terrible about ourselves and do whatever we can to lose the weight – each of us has our own version. But ultimately, with too many of these expansions and contractions, if we don’t settle down and find our center, we’ll never be happy.
The title directly relates to this and to a passage in the book about the character WHITNEY, a compulsive eater, and her love/hate relationship with her black sweatpants. And, after losing everything important to her she goes on a terrible binge and reaches for those sweatpants, but the waistband has had enough. It has no more elasticity and snaps.
What must a writer have at all times? An ability to dig deep and write from the inside and not the position of looking at yourself from the ceiling and judging. At least one person in your life to keep you sane. A song to make you smile and one to make you cry. And, the perfect pair of black stilettos, even if they cost a fortune.
Describe what a typical day is like for you: With small variations, it usually looks like this: get up and write for a few hours to make sure I get started off on the right track, do some family things as a break, switch gears and work on a different project for a few hours, have phone calls with producers to hammer out story points of some of the films we’re working on, try to get one more hour of writing in, and then make dinner. Since I “came up” in the world as an advertising copywriter, I’m used to writing on an 8 to 5 schedule and not just “whenever it hits me.” I’ve found that if I sit down and make myself do it, the words will come. As much as I love it and as much as it’s a personal effort, it’s still a job, too.
Also, at some point, I usually go to Sephora and go bananas and redo my makeup (ahem, try tiny samples in order to make a purchase.) I love my life and feel so incredibly fortunate to have it.
Which other author(s) do you admire? I admire lots of different writers for lots of different things. Jonathan Franzen for sentences that blow my mind. Melissa Bank for stories that mean something. John Irving for Garp and his use of semi-colons. Gigi Levangie Grazer for reminding me how fun it is to be young and live in Los Angeles. Jenn Garbee for her taste level. Beverly Cleary for getting to it early. And Heather McElhatton for making me laugh out loud.
Hard/paperbacks or eBooks? Both, but I started running out of room and now buy books on my iPad. I have to say, I do love reading them electronically, and I didn’t think that I would.
What is the writing/editing/publishing process like for you, and which is your favorite? Hands down, the writing part is my favorite. The other parts are fine, and part of the process, but writing is rad.
What are you reading right now? I tend to read a LOT, not only because I love it but also because I’m kind of a square and don’t really get out and go wild and crazy. Just finished, in no particular order, In One Person by John Irving, The First Husband by Laura Dave, Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman, and Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single, by Heather McElhatton (see above.) But my favorite-est, wish-I-could-buy-it-again-just-so-I-could-read-it-again-for-the-first-time-est book that I just read based on a recommendation was The Chocolate Money by Ashley Prentice Norton. It is amaaaaaaaazing.
How did you celebrate when Elasticity was published? Since getting a book published is a total marathon and not a sprint, I celebrated in small ways every time we cleared another hurdle. If the celebrations were all thrown into a bag, and you and I reached in and grabbed a bunch, we would come up with these things among others: many glasses of Prosecco, Chubby Sticks from Clinique, perfect white t-shirts from James Perse, and many, many pedicures.
Do you have any advice for new writers? Tons of it, but like any advice, take it with a grain of salt (or if you’re like me, far too much salt. I love salt.) Don’t wait to write until you have “something”, just write as you go along because you never know when a few “nothings” link up together and become “somethings.” Think like an agent and imagine selling your own book to a publisher; read the descriptions of shows on the TV guide on your TV because they have to distill what the show is about into one sentence. I’m serious. It helps. Try not to worry too much about the mythology of writing or being a writer, just sit down and do it – you’ll have plenty of time to wax poetic when you’re on Conan.
Also: call your family, try not to text and drive, don’t be smart aleck-y, finish what you start, and when in doubt say yes.
Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects? I’m doing a bunch of scripts for films that I’m really excited about, and get to work with some incredible people on those. In addition, I’ve started putting some things together for my next book, but they’re still pieces of “nothings” in search of a “something” (also see above.) Plus, there’s a film version of Elasticity in the works, so that’ll be fun. I’ll keep you posted!