Today we welcome author Sheila Roberts, whose novel On Strike for Christmas, made an unforgettable impression on me. I honestly can’t remember when a book has made me laugh that hard. Sheila’s humor and inspiration returns in Bikini Season, which was recently released by St. Martin’s Press.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Sheila. I’m thrilled to have you here!
And I’m delighted to be here. Getting to meet and talk with people is one of my favorite parts of being a writer. Thank you so much for having me.
Let’s start off by finding out more about you. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for years… actually since I was in about the third grade. My first book, a Regency romance, was published in 1989. I was 12. (Just kidding!)
Why do you write humor into your stories? And, how to you make it work so well?
I just love to laugh. I gravitate to funny books. If I’m going to work this hard I want to enjoy the process. Do I make it work? Whew. That’s good to know.
Are you just as funny at home as you are in your books?
I think I’m hilarious. Every reviewer should love me as much as I love myself!
Tell us about Bikini Season.
Well, Bikini Season is about a group of friends who all realize they need to lose weight and get in shape, and all for very different reasons. And let me tell you, I so identified with many of their diet adventures. Heck, I’ve had many of their diet adventures. There’s a reason diet is a four letter word.
Now, in On Strike for Christmas, you had women from a knitting group, and in this new one you have a group of women from a cooking club. What draws you to write about groups of women with similar interests?
I think women’s friendships are hugely important. Writing about friends who are there for each other makes me feel good. Hopefully, it makes my readers feel good, too. And when it comes to dieting, we really need our girlfriends for support!
Having planned a wedding before, I bet there is a lot that you can find to go wrong with Erin’s wedding plans. How bad does it get for her?
Well, let’s just say there’s a reason that wedding dress isn’t fitting. Sometimes the problem doesn’t lie with the wedding but with whom you’re marrying.
While Erin is in the midst of planning her wedding, her friend Angela is dealing with the fact that her marriage is falling apart. Does this cause tension between them?
No, I don’t think so. But that might have been a cool thing to do.
Tell us about Erin’s other friends, Megan and Kizzy. Why will readers relate to them? Why will they care what happens to them?
I hope readers will relate to Megan, who comes to realize that both her figure and her future really lie in her own hands. Getting control of our eating habits is so hard, especially when we eat for comfort. Sometimes the eating and weight issues aren’t really our problem. They’re just the symptom. I think I’m a lot like Kizzy though. I have a very spoiled appetite and I’ve been in the habit of giving in to it a lot over the years. But as you get older that kind of thing tends to catch up to you. In the book, Kizzy faces some very real health issues. I actually based her on a dear friend who found herself in Kizzy’s boat. We were very worried about her.
Tell us about Erin’s prince charming, Adam Hawthorne.
Well, I think he’s what Dr. Phil would call a nightmare groom.
Where can readers purchase a copy of Bikini Season?
I’m happy to say that as of April 1st you can find it at your local bookstore, on Amazon and even at your local Target. It was selected for their April breakout author program.
What’s up next for you?
I’m just finishing up a fun book about women who meet at a community garden and become friends. This is pretty funny considering the fact that I have black thumb. But I’ve collected some great garden tips for the book and I think it will be a fun read.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I hope that readers will enjoy “Bikini Season” and visit my website Sheila's Place to sign up for my free monthly life improvement newsletter, Super You.
Thanks for spending time with us today, Sheila. It’s been great to hear about your latest novel. I’m sure I’ll love it. Best of luck on your virtual book tour!
Thank you hugely for having me. Happy spring!
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