About author, Anna Garner: Born and raised in the Midwest, Anna Garner’s adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school, and she’s since lived in Boston, NYC and London. For several years, Anna worked in fashion—first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper, and for a while she dabbled in design. Although chick lit was her first love, Anna started writing quirky romances, and her first one, Fashioning a Romance, was published in May 2012 under the name of Libby Mercer. This was followed by two more quirky romances: Unmasking Maya and The Karmic Connection. Since Lying to Meet You is written in old school chick lit style and isn’t a clear cut love story, Anna decided to publish it under her real name. She currently lives in San Francisco and spends most of her time cranking out more stories.
Welcome back, Libby! What have you been up to since your first appearance? Thanks so much for having me back, Isabella! Oh my goodness, I’ve been super busy since I last visited your blog. When I was last here, I was promoting Unmasking Maya, a quirky love story I released under the name of Libby Mercer. Since then, I released another quirky romance, The Karmic Connection, and I’ve also been polishing up Lying to Meet You, which I actually wrote four or five years ago. And I recently finished the first draft of a book I wrote that will be part of a chick lit trilogy about three friends in San Francisco who open up an ice cream shop. I’ll release the trilogy under the name of Anna Garner too.
Tell us about your new book “Lying to Meet You”: The book is based on the theory that being part of a couple makes a person more attractive to the opposite sex. So the main story line is that Chloe and Ethan (who have been friends since childhood) test out the theory and enjoy the results. But things get complicated, of course. Apart from this plot line, the book also deals with Chloe’s insanely hectic career and relationships with her friends and family. There are some laughs, some romantic moments, and also a big scandal at the end. I love writing about scandals! (Fictional ones, I mean.)
Hard/paperback or eBooks? Both! I’m strictly an e-reader right now because I have no room for more books, but if I ever get a bigger place, I’m sure I’ll add to my paperback collection.
How did you come up with the idea for the book? I can’t remember exactly how it came to me, but I did start with the theory about people in relationships being more appealing to others. I think—but I’m not positive—that I had a similar conversation about this curious phenomenon with girlfriends many years ago, just like Chloe has with her friends.
What are you reading right now? Broken Harbor by Tana French. I’m on this crazy crime fiction kick at the moment!
If your new book were turned into a movie, who would you want to play the parts? I definitely would want Zooey Deschanel to play Chloe. She looks just like I picture Chloe, and she’s so cute and quirky—such a chick lit heroine. For William Shannon, it’s got to be Henry Cavill. Lying to Meet You has this whole Superman theme running through it. Basically, William is Superman (ultra powerful industry titan with ice blue eyes and jet black hair) and Ethan is Clark Kent (dorky journalist, although definitely not as dorky as Clark Kent). So, Henry Cavill is a no-brainer since he played Superman in Man of Steel. I have no idea who I’d choose to play Ethan, though.
What is your favorite word? Stellar (although this is subject to change)
For this particular book, what was the writing process like? I wrote the first draft back in 2009. Sent it to some readers, got their feedback and started revisions. I completely redid a few scenes. Then more readers, more feedback, more revisions before I felt that it was finished. I started sending it out to agents. I got close to getting a contract—close but no cigars. I did, however, get some excellent advice from the agent I was (almost) working with. I did some additional revisions, and then put this story away for a while to move across the world. It stayed trunked for a year or so after I decided to switch gears and start writing quirky love stories and to publish them as Libby Mercer. Earlier this year, I decided to resurrect Lying to Meet You. I sent it out to more readers, got more feedback and made more changes. Then it was just a matter of polishing it up for publication. It’s been a long road, and I can’t believe this story is about to see the light of day!
What is your favorite line from your new book? Oh, it’s hard to choose, but here’s one I like: “I had no idea a tycoon could look so human.”
What do you want your readers to take away from “Lying to Meet You?” I just want people to enjoy it, and hopefully love it. I know how pleased and content I feel after reading a book I really love, and I’m hoping to incite that same feeling in my readers.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be? Hmm. I think I’d have to go with Sophie Kinsella. She’s my idol.
Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects? Absolutely! This ice cream trilogy in the works will be called Sweet Dreams (the name of their shop) and the first book is entitled Cricket’s Creations. Cricket (who has hippie parents, natch) is the protagonist of the first book. She’s got an unsatisfying career, and to de-stress, she spends her time coming up with unique ice cream flavors. Well, one thing leads to another, and she decides to go into business with a little help from her two best friends. The book has a slapstick kind of quality to it. In this way, it’s different from my previous work. Right now, it’s really rough, but I’m looking forward to polishing it up and getting to work on the second book of the series.