Friday, February 01, 2008

GCC Presents: Karen Neches and Earthly Pleasures

So I'm totally fascinated with the concept of today's GCC book, Earthly Pleasures. Of late, as I've mentioned on this blog, I've been contempating those big WHY questions - why are we here, what is our purpose, and of course, religion and God and all of that plays into it. So it's easy to see why I'd be drawn into the description of this book, which was a Notable Book Sense February pick and which Publishers Weekly called "smart, funny and appealingly unorthodox."

Here's the scoop:

Welcome to Heaven. Use your Wishberry to hustle up whatever you want. Have an online chat with God. Visit the attractions such as Retail Rapture, Wrath of God miniature golf and Nocturnal Theater, where nightly dreams are translated to film.

Your greeter might just be Skye Sebring who will advises her newly dead clients on what to expect now that they’re expired. “Heaven is like a Corona Beer commercial” she assures her charges. “It’s all about contentment.”

So different than Earth where chaos reigns. Unfortunately for Skye, she’s been chosen to live her first life. She’s required to attend Earth 101 classes, which teach all of the world’s greatest philosophies through five Beatle songs.

Skye has no interest in Earthly pursuits, until lawyer Ryan Blaine briefly becomes her client after a motorcycle accident. Just as they are getting to know each other, he is revived and sent back to Earth.

She follows his life via the TV channel “Earthly Pleasures” but discovers he has a wife as well as a big secret. Why then does he call a show for the lovelorn to talk about the lost love of his life?

In Earthly Pleasures (Simon and Schuster, February 2008, $14) great love can transcend the dimensions, narrowing the vast difference between Heaven and Earth.

How great does this sound?? So, so great. Anyway, as always, we're lucky enough to have Karen stop by to answer a few of my usual questions. Read on for more... (and LOL at her obsession with gum - don't we all have weird piccidillos like that?)....

1) What’s the backstory behind your book?

I had this sudden thought: Lovely Bones meets Bridget Jones. , I was so excited, I felt like I’d discovered how to turn rocks into gold. Then I spoke with a publicist who said, “What a horrific notion.” Too late. I was already 70,000 words in. My agent hated it. My editor wanted to use it for kindling. I almost gave up on it. I cursed the novel many times but now it’s my favorite.

2) It seems that a lot of readers confuse fiction with real life, assuming that a novel must be an autobiography of the author as well. How many elements of your real life are reflected in your book?

I wrote this novel while I was still in a honeymoon haze. (I got married after having been single for 20 plus years.) It’s kind of a soul mate scenario: A greeter in Heaven falls in love with a mortal on Earth. I clearly had love on the brain when I wrote it.

3) A lot of my blog readers are aspiring or new authors. How did you land your first book deal?

I was VERY lucky. My first novel, Bet Your Bottom Dollar, was only the second novel I’d attempted. I’d gotten a lot of positive feedback at writers’ conferences so I queried widely and landed an agent after only a couple of weeks. After a few revisions, she sold it and it ended up being a lead title for Simon and Schuster.

4) I have a serious procrastination problem when it comes to tackling my fiction. What’s your routine? How do you dive it? Do you have any rituals or necessary to-dos before or while you write?

I have to chew Extra Watermelon gum when I write. I used to chew a weird flavor called boysenberry but Wrigley discontinued that flavor so I had a hellish week training myself to like watermelon. Now I’m hooked.

5) Clearly, your book will be optioned for a multi-million dollar film deal! Who would you cast as the leads, if you were given creative control?

Kate Hudson as my main character, Skye Sebring because she has a sunny, angelic look. Matthew McConaughey as her love interest, Ryan because he’s so good with Kate and Ryan can be cocky at times. One of the main characters is a 85-year old black woman named Caroline and I’d like to Cicely Tyson in that role (with appropriate make up of course.) God, who is female in my novel, would have to be played by Bette Midler, becasue she never takes herself to seriously.


Anonymous said...

That sounds great! Just flew over to to add it to my wish list so I can put it on my next big order.

Larramie said...

This is on my Wish List too. Talk about time travel... *VBG*

bob said...

Oh My Lord how I do love this!

Plus the question and answers what a great post and I think I found a new author to love!

I love hearing the Lovely Bones meeets Bridget Jones, too funny.