Q&A With Allison Winn Scotch
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Q&A With Allison Winn Scotch
Today I have the pleasure of doing a Q&A with New York Times Bestselling author Allison Winn Scotch. Allison is the author of the novels, “The Rewind,” “Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing,” “Time of My Life,” “In Twenty Years,” “The Department of Lost & Found,” “The Song Remains the Same,” “The Theory of Opposites,” “The One I Want,” and “Between Me and You”. On top of being a novelist, Allison is a magazine contributor to Cooking Light, Fitness, InStyle Weddings, Men’s Health, Prevention, Redbook, Self, Shape, and Women’s Health. Allison also has a writing blog.
Q: At what point in your life did you realize writing was your calling?
A: I started writing in high school and got a lot of positive feedback from a specific English teacher, but I didn’t really think much of it until I landed a pretty coveted op-ed column in my college paper. I still didn’t think I could do it professionally until about eight years after college when firms started hiring me to write ad and web copy for them, and from there, I transitioned into freelance magazines. My career has really just been essentially a snowball effect of one thing leading to another. Magazines gave me the confidence to try fiction, and my debut eventually led to ten books, including The Rewind.
Q: What advice do you give to anyone wanting to be a writer? What advice do you give to anyone struggling with writer’s block?
A: Well, the best answer to both of those questions is that you just have to write. A blank page is a blank page until it isn’t, and the only person who can change that is you. You don’t have to write ten pages in a sitting. Set a manageable goal for yourself so that you can achieve a specific word count per day and feel good about it. For some people, that might be 250 words a day. For some, it might be 500. For me, because I’m contracted and have no choice, I hold myself accountable for 1000 words a day when I’m working on a manuscript. They can be terrible words, but terrible prose can be edited. No prose cannot be. So just write without self-criticism. The first draft has to get done one way or the other, so you may as well just do it.
Q: What were your favorite novels you read this year so far?
A: Ah, impossible question! I have read so so so many great books in 2022. There’s no way to list them all but a few recent favorites have included The Spanish Love Deception by Elana Armas, Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt, and The Change by Kirsten Miller.
Q: What’s it like being a magazine contributor and a blogger on top of being an author? It sounds very impressive.
A: Well, truth told, that’s a bit of an outdated bio! I did indeed write for every magazine in the world back when magazines were in their prime. It was hectic and fun and exhausting – I’d often have six or so deadlines a week, and turn-around times were breakneck. I transitioned to fiction when I needed a slower pace and also found that I just couldn’t write another how-to article with any sort of passion. My favorite part of the magazine gigs, however, were when I primarily focused on celebrity interviews. I got to meet so many people I admire, or at least whose work I admired, and I never got bored of it.
Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If so, can you spoil it a little bit about it?
A: Yes, I’m revising my new romcom that will be out in 2023. It’s about America’s Sweetheart, the Queen of Romcoms, whose reputation is blown up when her phone is hacked, and she retreats to her hometown, where she finds an anonymous love letter that may or may not have been penned to her from a regretful ex. She sets out, along with her best friend’s journalist brother, to solve the mystery of the letter while secretly hoping to rehabilitate her career instead.
It’s pretty fun! ☺
Q: I read somewhere Hollywood has the rights to “Time of My Life,” and “Theory of Opposites”. Will they start filming them soon? Also does Hollywood have the rights to more of your novels?
A: The thing about having your book optioned is that it is thrilling but also unlikely to really go anywhere. So I truly have no idea if any of my projects will see the light of day. That said, I’m currently writing episodes of Between Me and You for Kerry Washington’s team – we’re adapting it into a romcom for Audible Podcasts, and that’s been really fun. The Rewind has also been set up at a major streamer (hasn’t been announced yet, so I can’t spill all the beans), and I’m optimistic it is going to get made.
Q: If you had to choose, out of all the novels you wrote, which ones would you call your favorites?
A: I have different favorites for different reasons. Time of My Life really broke my career out of mid-list, and for that reason, it’s the easiest one for me to point to. I also really love the notion behind it – the idea that women strive for perfectionism but it’s all just a smokescreen. I love Theory of Opposites because I thought I wanted to walk away from publishing before writing it, and discovered that I still had a lot of love left for the craft. I love Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing because it’s a pointed examination of how women are treated in society, and finally, I love The Rewind because I love the entire story, the characters, and how it returned me to my romcom roots.