Hi, Anita! Why don’t you tell us a bit about your debut novel, Monarch Beach?
MONARCH BEACH is about a young San Francisco heiress who discovers her French chef husband wrapped around his (female) sous chef. She accepts her widowed mother’s invitation to spend the summer in the Presidential Suite of the St. Regis, Monarch Beach. There she tries to overcome her grief and plot a new path for her future.
Where did you get your inspiration for Monarch Beach?
I actually live (with my family) in a villa on the grounds of the St. Regis, Monarch Beach! It is so beautiful here, I thought: if you are really unhappy does being in a gorgeous place make you feel better, or do you carry your grief wherever you go?
What is your writing process like? Do you outline everything or just write and see where the story goes?
With MONARCH BEACH, I knew the final scene and some key scenes in the middle. In my next two novels (both coming out next year) I worked from an outline but the stories definitely veered off in new directions. Once you start writing, your characters do things and take you places you don’t expect.
What was your favorite scene to write?
One of my favorite scenes is when Amanda attends the Monarch Butterfly Release. The St. Regis holds this event every Saturday during the summer. They release dozens of butterflies and everyone makes a wish. It is the first time Amanda feels hopeful about her future.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write is on the loveseat in my bedroom. It has a beautiful view of the garden and the golf course. It is very peaceful and I can watch the baby bunnies in our garden.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Write the story you want to write, the story that excites you. If you do that, chances are your readers will love it too.
And since it’s summer, I’ll throw in a few summer-y question:
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Well, I am a huge frozen yoghurt fan! My favorite frozen yoghurt flavors are cake batter and chocolate malt.
Some beach reads you’d recommend for this summer?
I loved OVERSEAS by Beatriz Williams – it is the perfect romantic beach read. And I just finished WIFE 22 which will keep you laughing.
Thank you so much for taking the time out to do an interview with The Book Vault, Anita! I'm a huge fan of froyo too!! Definitely a yummy treat I love to enjoy, along with a good book!