September 7, 2009

Review with Q & A: The English American by Alison Larkin



When Pippa is born, she is adopted by an English couple. She struggles with feeling like an outcast. She isn't quite sure where she belongs. She has friends and she knows that her adoptive family loves her, but she can't help feeling like something is missing.

Pippa finally decides that she must venture out and make the journey to America and meet with the woman who gave birth to her, Billie. Pippa soon discovers that nothing is simple and dreams are hardly ever reality.

I loved following along and sharing Pippa's life. She is hilarious and real, definitely someone I would love to be friends with.

Q & A with Alison Larkin

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

I wanted to be a playwright ever since I can remember, but had no idea I wanted to write novels until about three and a half years ago when I started writing The English American.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Ann Lamott, author of Bird by Bird, the best book on writing out there.


How do you create the characters in your books?  Are they based on people you know?


I start writing without thinking and after awhile the characters start to show up. Some of my characters are based on people I know, some are based on people I would like – or hate - to know. Some of them are a mixture of pure imagination which is – what? A combination of something you’re thinking about right now and a half memory of someone you saw rollerblading across Central Park twenty years ago?

What is the one book you think everyone should read?
The English American by Alison Larkin. Definitely. Womanomics by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, which I’m reading at the moment, is also very good.

If you weren’t a writer, what would be your profession?
I already have several professions. As well as being a writer, I am a professional comedienne/entertainer, keynote speaker and audio book narrator. If I weren’t any of these things I’d very much like to look after elephants in the African bush.


If you could trade places with anyone in the world, past or present, real or fiction, who would it be and why?

Myself at twenty-one. No question. As long as I could take with me everything I know now. Like Pippa Dunn, the heroine of The English American, when I was in my twenties I dealt with my acute fear of abandonment by doing all I could to avoid love, adventure and/or passion by dating Dull Blokes Only. That way, I figured, if the boyfriend du jour did leave me, it wouldn’t matter. Since I found my birth parents I have come to discover that these kinds of insecurities had everything to do with the fact that I was abandoned as a baby and nothing whatsoever to do with the guys in question. So if I could, I’d love to change places with the ‘me’ I once was, knowing what I know now. I wouldn’t waste my precious youth doing everything I could to protect myself from being hurt. I’d have a lot more fun. I’d follow my passions. I’d take risks. I’d allow myself to play with fire.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?
Apart from my kids, food, water, a tent, chocolate and a boat? I’d have a lifetime subscription to www.audible.com, an MP3 player and tons of batteries. That way I could listen to any book I wanted at any time.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

Four Weddings and a Funeral.

What is the one thing that you want all your fans to know?

That I’m off on another book tour starting next week – details on the appearance page of HYPERLINK "http://www.alisonlarkin.com" www.alisonlarkin.com - and I love, love, love meeting my fans when I’m on the road. I also really enjoy phoning in to book clubs for a chat! The best way to reach me directly for this or any other reason is to shoot me an email via my website.

If you could invite 5 people to dinner, who would they be and why?

When I met my own birth parents at the age of twenty-eight, I found out that I am a direct descendent of General Winfield Scott on one side, Governor Spotswood of Virginia on the other - and, my birth father insists - Richard the Lionheart. I’d definitely invite them to dinner. I’d also invite my great grandmother who was Cherokee Indian. And my other great grandmother who lived in the Deep South and used to waft down the long staircase in the middle of the night dressed in white to play Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto. She left her husband to go off with a traveling theatre company and then came back and remarried him. I’d love to know how these people thought and loved and lived. I’d love to know how much of who they were has shown up in my own – and my kid’s – DNA.

Thank you Alison for taking the time to answer my questions.

Visit Alison's website here.

Sign up for the newsletter here.

Become a Facebook fan here.

Check out her YouTube page here.

The English American by Alison Larkin Hardback

The English American by Alison Larkin eBook

Reserve a paperback copy, releases 11/17 The English American by Alison Larkin Paperback

Sarah over at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. has given me permission to give away a copy of this book to one of my readers.
Open to residents of the US
Cannot mail to a P.O. Box
The books will be mailed out by the publisher

ENTRIES:

Leave all entries in one comment or separate comments:
+1 for commenting
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+5 for sharing this contest -make sure you leave the link in your comments (on your blog, -sidebar counts, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) THIS CAN BE DONE ONCE A DAY
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+5 for faving me on Technorati (right sidebar)
+1 for friending me on Myspace here.
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+1 for grabbing my NEW button and placing it on your sidebar - leave link or your this entry does not count.

*Current friends/followers receive the extra points as well - just make sure you remind me in the comments*

**Must leave an email address in comment or must be visible in blogger profile**

Winners will be chosen Sept. 15th and notified via email.

39 comments:

elnice said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I wonder if it was hard to write because it reflected her adoptive life. Great Q&A session.

Marjorie said...

I am a follower and would like to win this book.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

AmandaSue said...

I'd love a chance to read this thanks!
-I'm a follower of this blog
-I'm a follower of your other blog.

unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

Paula said...

I think this sounds like a really good book. I would love to win!!!

ryspenc@yahoo.com

amweeks said...

This book looks wonderful! I love stories where a person tries to find out more about themself!

amweeks said...

I follow!

amweeks said...

I follow on twitter! (amweeks)

amweeks said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/amweeks/status/3865582627 -#1

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amweeks said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/amweeks/status/3865582627 -#5

amweeks said...

You'rea technorati fave! (amweeks) -#1

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Anita Yancey said...

This sounds very interesting to me. I would really like to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!

I am a follower!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

LoveMyCoffee said...

Please count me in for this one.

I follow
I subscribe by email
I friended at goodreads

Dutchlvr1(at)aol(dot)com

DarcyO said...

This sounds like a good one! Count me in!

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DarcyO said...

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DarcyO said...

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cqueen2 said...

+1


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cqueen2 said...

+1 following your blog

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cqueen2 said...

+1 for following me on twitter(cqueen2)


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Anonymous said...

sounds interesting..thx for contest..
thehighflyer3(at)hotmail(dot)com

RubyMoon said...

I'd love a chance to follow along with Pippa on her journey to America. Thanks for the chance and the great interview w/ Alison.

+1 comment
+1 Follow on GFC (ally/rubymoon)
+5 Follow freebies4meandu (Ally/rubymoon)
+1 FB friend of Bridget
+1 Networked Blog Follower (rose manning)
+5 Technorati fave (rubymoon)

RubyMoon said...

Re-try as I know I didn't leave an email address.

Would love a chance to folow along w/ Pippa on her journey to America.

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

+1 comment
+1 Follow on GFC (ally/rubymoon)
+5 Follow freebies4meandu (Ally/rubymoon)
+1 FB friend of Bridget
+1 Networked Blog Follower (rose manning)
+5 Technorati fave (rubymoon)

Belinda M said...

Please include me in your giveaway

+1 I follow your blog

+1 follow on twitter as prairiebelle

+5 shared http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/22537-readaholic-english-american-alison-larkin-book-giveaway-sept15-canada

+5 follow freebies4meandu

+1 facebook friend

+1 networked blogs - belinda m



Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


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renee said...

Sounds like a great read please enter me
+1
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renee said...

+1 I follow
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renee said...

+1 i follow on twitter
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renee said...

+5 i tweeted
http://twitter.com/nicjosemm/status/3954262245
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catss99 said...

Entries:
+1 for commenting
+1 for following this blog
+1 for following me on twitter
+5 for sharing this contest:
https://twitter.com/catss99/status/3976291334
+5 for following my other blog freebies4meandu.
+5 for faving me on Technorati

Amanda
catss99@yahoo.com

Jaime said...

would love to read this
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Jaime said...

I follow this blog

flowerchild said...

please count me in..thanks
flower_child_23(at)hotmail(dot)com

catss99 said...

tweet

http://twitter.com/catss99/status/4022478014

amanda
catss99@yahoo.com