INTERVIEW WITH IRENE WOODBURY AUTHOR OF POP-OUT GIRL @IreneWoodbury #interview



Irene Woodbury’s third novel, Pop-Out Girl (2017), pushes a lot of buttons. It’s a gripping look at the tumultuous life of a 23-year-old showgirl-wannabe named Jen Conover who pops out of cakes at special events in Las Vegas for a living. The novel offers riveting glimpses into the loves, lives, triumphs, and tragedies of Jen’s family and friends as well.

Irene grew up in Pittsburgh, and has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Denver. The University of Houston 1993 graduate also called Texas home for seven years. Her writing career began In 2000. After five years as a successful travel writer, she switched to fiction. Irene’s first novel, the humorous A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, was published in 2011. The darkly dramatic A Dead End in Vegas followed in 2014. Pop-Out Girl is another dramatic effort. With her husband, Richard, editing, Irene completed the novel in eighteen months. She hopes audiences will enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it. 

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About the Book:

When Zane Hollister returns home to Las Vegas after two years in prison and discovers his showgirl-lover is with another guy, he goes ballistic. After stalking and taunting the couple for
months, his toxic jealousy takes a darker turn. To wipe out Colton, Zane masterminds a devilish zip line accident and a terrifying car crash. When those fail, he resorts to kidnapping Jen and forcing her to marry him. And it gets even worse when Zane shoots Colton’s boss, Matt, by mistake as he aims for Colton in a horrific drive-by shooting.
        
With Matt lingering in a coma, Jen’s cocktail-waitress mother, Brandi, absorbs a seismic shock of her own. After hearing Matt’s name on the local news, she realizes he’s her first love of decades past—and Jen’s real father.
        
Will Matt emerge from his coma to reunite with Brandi and Jen? Do the cops nab Zane, who’s hiding out in Hawaii? And can Jen and Colton’s love survive Zane’s lethal jealousy?
           
There’s a happy ending for some, but not for all, in Pop-Out Girl.

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What’s inside the mind of a women’s fiction author?

Awareness of, and compassion for, women. Understanding the pressures and expectations heaped on them from day one, and how they cope, or don’t.

What is so great about being an author?

The freedom to do what I want. To control what the characters are thinking, saying, and doing. Real life is not like that.

When do you hate it?

When I feel something could, or should, be better, and I don’t quite know how to get there. I also hate the long hours of immobility. Not great for the bod.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

I like to write first thing in the morning, from eight to ten-thirty. And for two or three more hours in the afternoon. That’s it, but it’s very concentrated.

How do you handle negative reviews?

If there’s constructive criticism, I pay attention. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I would hope for politeness and civility.

How do you handle positive reviews?

A feeling of gratitude and joy comes over me. Someone understands what I’m trying to say. That’s what it’s all about.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

Sometimes they’re impressed, and sometimes they give you that “Oh, God, I hope she doesn’t start talking about her latest project” look!

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I do laundry or housework and that gets me motivated pretty fast to get back to writing.

Any writing quirks?

I’m a bit compulsive. If I get an idea, I have to act on it right then and there or I’m afraid I’ll lose the momentum. I’ll turn the computer on at three A.M. if I feel inspired.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I would shake my head, smile indulgently, and get back to work.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Yes, because sometimes things go well, and sometimes they don’t—and you don’t have a lot of people you can turn to for help because it’s basically up to you. It’s a lot to take on sometimes.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

I think making money from what you write is a wonderful way to feel truly successful and validated. Great reviews and appreciation from readers are other ways to feel successful. It’s all good.

What has writing taught you?

That life can’t be controlled the way writing can be. When you leave your fictional world, you have to make the transition back to a place where you don’t make all the decisions.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

Always make sure you have that last chapter nailed down early because, by the time you get there, you’re going to be too exhausted to be able to come up with something as great as the rest of the book.

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