Discover more from Brooke Lea Foster's Dear Fiction
5 Fabulous Minutes With: Annabel Monaghan
Where authors spill about their novels.
Author Annabel Monaghan and I knew of each other long before we met — for many years, she taught novel writing at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College where I was taking classes. “You haven’t met Annabel!” my fellow classmates would say to me. “She’s a great teacher!” OR “You have to take her class!”
But Annabel is also a lovely novelist and an all around nice person. Her debut Nora Goes Off Script is a charming rom-com that captured so many readers hearts last summer, including mine (and I don’t typically read romance). Her latest novel Same Time Next Summer looks equally fun to read. The great thing about Annabel’s writing is that her characters are a well of complicated emotions. You can feel their beating hearts on every page. Annabel stopped by Dear Fiction to answer some of my burning questions. Do you have a question for her? Leave it in the comments.
What was the most challenging part of writing Same Time Next Summer?
I wrote this book a million times. I wrote the past sections from Wyatt’s perspective and the present sections from Sam’s perspective. Then I wrote the whole past in the middle and later chopped it up into sections. It was completely unwieldy. When I ended up writing most of it from’s Sam’s perspective it made sense because it’s really her story.
Has your husband read it? Does he ever see himself in any of the exchanges between your characters?
I love this question. My husband has read this book. He's about as far from a guy with a guitar as you can imagine. And, if you read Nora Goes Off Script, I hate to tell you that he’s not a movie star either. But he’s pretty romantic and little bits of him do sneak into my books. Those moments feel like little inside jokes.
From Brooke: Awwww. Adorable! Love that.
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I feel like a successful romance often culminates around one or two or ten great lines, both the content and the delivery. Which line do you feel you nailed and why?
I really love when I like a line and then readers quote that line back to me. It’s as if we’ve connected over something small but meaningful. There’s a part in this book where Wyatt says, “there’s the rest of my life right there.” It sort of pulls on my heart strings because what he’s looking at is sort of ordinary but it means everything to him.
From Brooke: That is a GREAT line. So powerful and yet so simple. Annabel actually had one of her readers make her pencils with some of her most romantic lines printed on them. See below.
What are your biggest literary pet peeves when it comes to reading the genre?
You may regret getting me started on this one. The thing that drives me bananas in EVERY genre is when the author doesn’t trust the reader to come on the ride with her. Like she doesn’t think we get it so she says it six ways. Any kind of overexploiting makes me feel like the author thinks I’m slow on the uptake. Things like “my eyes welled with tears because I was about to cry” or “I stormed out of the house angrily, because I was so mad” honestly make me want to stop reading. Similarly, at the end of the book when the author feels compelled to summarize the main themes in an extra few pages, as if you hadn’t just read the whole book…. Makes me nuts.
From Brooke: Yes! Yes! Yes! Agreed. I think summarizing in general makes me nuts. Scenes have to speak and spring from the page. Don’t tell us how to feel. Show us!
Feel free to leave Annabel a question below! xo Happy summer, everyone!