What was your inspiration to start (and keep) writing?
I don’t actually remember not writing. From the time I learned the mechanical skill of writing I started creating stories for school and my family (and myself, let’s be honest). A few years ago I was going through a box of childhood things and found perhaps my first full-length work—a legal-pad autobiography bound with staples. Illustrated too, because I’m an overachiever like that. (I have since learned that my strengths don’t lie in illustration.)
Recently my favorite teacher—shout-out to the magnificent Connie Corley of Berkmar High—sent me some of my old AP English papers she’d actually saved, and I’d done one on Heart of Darkness that I instead wrote as a parody (with her permission), complete with back-cover copy and jacket-flap blurbs. It was both hilarious and embarrassing to read. I’m going to find a picture and send it so you, too, can appreciate my grandiosity.
(Okay, couldn’t find the high school paper, but I happened on the autobiography, excerpted here for your enjoyment.)
Tell us a bit about the genre you write in and how it found you?
Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner found me. I read each of their first books and it was like that moment you hear a song that just resonates all the way to your soul. (Shout-out to you, Justin Timberlake, you and your “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”) I knew I was interested in what the industry calls women’s fiction (because apparently a deep investment in stories about relationships and family and personal growth requires that you must have a uterus), but these two authors really hit on a vibe of heart and humor that felt like “me.”
Is there any author whom you’d admire and read every book they publish? Who and why?
Erp, I may have just answered that… I’m going to also add: Liz Tuccillo, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Marisa de los Santos, Lolly Winston, Nick Hornby, Isabel Allende, Sarah Bird… Oh, I know I’m forgetting favorites; there are so many! All because they have a way of drawing you into their world and bringing it and the characters to such full life that it’s as if you are living the stories with them. Losing yourself in a book is every book junkie’s crack.
If you watch TV what are your shows right now?
I never even had cable till I met my husband nine years ago, so I’m mortified by how much TV I watch now, but it’s gotten so GOOD! (Shout-out to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Rachel Bloom, who is my spirit animal.) In no order, my other current obsessions are: Jane the Virgin (Shout-out to Rogelio the brogelio!), House of Cards, House of Lies (WHY did you take it off the air, Showtime?), Episodes (also canceled—Showtime, WHY?), Orange Is the New Black, Modern Family, Luke Cage (this is getting embarrassing)…
I comfort myself that these are all fantastic example of storytelling from which I LEARN. So it’s educational viewing. Career enhancement… J
Do you have any talents other than writing that your fans maybe don’t know about?
I am an eighties music savant. A song comes on and I blurt out the artist like I have pop Tourette’s. I credit my stint working at a record shop (yup, dating myself) during that decade, like High Fidelity but with bigger hair.
If you could go on vacation anywhere where would you choose and why?
The beach, always, because the beach.
Do you have any writing rituals we should all start doing?
Okay, first, get a virgin and a very sharp pin…
I jest. (Seriously, who knows a virgin?)
I jest again. The number one ritual I can share is routine. Sit down every day (or on a regular schedule anyway) at the same time for the same duration, and I promise you things will start to open up and get on the page.
What is your favorite movie? & then book to movie?
The Princess Bride will ever and always be my first best cinematic love. But I’m going to go ahead and confess that in the top three is the bromance I Love You, Man, which I still can’t watch without uncontrollable giggling and snickering, even though I’ve seen it, like, literally probably twenty times all the way through. (Slappin’ da bass, mon!)
Book to movie—I thought the film One Day did a marvelous job with David Nicholls’s lovely, lovely novel.
What are three foods you can’t live without?
Cheetos, I think we have to say. On the other end of the spectrum we have spinach, which I probably eat every day. And can I count coffee? I could live without any food if I had to, but coffee would be a hard, hard sacrifice.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
“Snuck.” Weird, right? Webster’s says “sneaked” is correct and preferred, but somehow this bizarre, nonsensical conjugation of “sneak” has found its way into the vernacular—and the DICTIONARY, dammit! It’s like nails on a chalkboard. (Which actually doesn’t give me the heebie-jeebies. But rubbing panty hose together does, for what that’s worth.)
Thanks, Aimee! I always love being on your blog, and you ask the BEST questions.
About the Author:
Phoebe Fox is the author of the Breakup Doctor series, and has been a contributor and regular columnist for a number of national, regional, and local publications (she currently writes about relationships for the Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and She Knows). She has been a movie, theater, and book reviewer; a screenwriter; and has even been known to help with homework revisions for nieces and nephews. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two excellent dogs.
When your relationship is on life support, the Breakup Doctor is on call.
There’s no shortage of broken hearts in Breakup Doctor Brook Ogden’s successful breakup counseling practice—if love is a battlefield, then Brook is the cavalry. Luckily her own love life is in full recovery: after a long, tortuous road, she and Ben Garrett are finally headed down the aisle.
But when a local TV personality—and former frenemy—invites Brook onto her show, she’s blindsided live on the air when the interview turns into an act of long-delayed revenge meant to publicly humiliate her. Brook’s an expert at getting back on your feet when life knocks you down, but as the blows keep piling on—with a betrayal she never saw coming and a family crisis that threatens to pull the foundation out from under her—her confidence starts slinking away. With her clients dropping her faster than a one-night stand, suddenly the Breakup Doctor’s career is in critical care.
Brimming with both the sublime and ridiculous aspects of love—romantic and otherwise—Out of Practice is a funny and heartwarming tale about loss, grief, and failure that will resonate with all who have loved, lost…and dared to love again.
Related subjects include: book club recommendations, dating advice, women’s friendship and sisterhood, humorous fiction, women’s fiction, chick lit romantic comedy, rom com, funny romance.
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