Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Author Interview - Meredith Cagen



      Welcome to the party everyone! Please help yourself to the champagne fountain and there are sweets as well as veggies galore to snack on. I am proud to be celebrating a book tour with Meredith Cagen, author of women’s fiction and her debut novel, SIZE EIGHT IN A SIZE ZERO WORLD.

      Meredith Cagen is a working wife and mother living in New York City.  She works as a freelance writer and registered nurse.  Her family has awarded her the “Queen of the Multi-taskers” title.  In her free time she goes to the gym and out to eat.

      Meredith returned to school to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  Finding the subject dry, technical and boring, she had a difficult time focusing on her studies.  Easily distracted, and prone to daydreaming, she wrote Size Eight in a Size Zero World.   

Deanna:  Thank you so much for spending time with us today! Tell us a bit about you that our readers might not know.

Meredith: Thank you, Deanna, and thank you to everyone who is stopping in to check out my new book. A bit about me…hhmm…People constantly surprise me, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but I am consistently amazed by human behavior. 

Deanna:  That’s what makes the world interesting and their mannerisms help us create characters. What happened that made you want to become a writer?

Meredith: Funny stories were popping into my head and I wanted to share them.  I am the vessel who records, compiles, and transforms these situations and events into a book.  Living on the Upper East Side of New York City, I have access to lots of material.  Everyone has a story.

Deanna:  Some authors don’t write under their own name. Do you write under a pen name?

Meredith: NO

Deanna:  That’s good to know. Do you find a certain type of character easier to write than another?

Meredith: I find it easier writing for female characters since I am a girl.  Men are from Mars, oh that’s another book.

Deanna:  Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Meredith: Absolutely, I love my genre.  These are outstanding books I’ve read from my genre: The Devil Wears Prada,  The Ivy Chronicles, The Nanny Diaries, Sex and The City………all are NYC-lit/Chick-lit………woman’s fiction.

Deanna: I enjoyed the series Sex in the City and your book has been compared to that. Why would my audience want to read your book?

Meredith: My main character, Lindsay is one of them (us).  She is the typical woman for this new millennium, working a job, taking care of her family, running her household, overworked, unappreciated, no time for herself, a super multi-tasker, while her husband watches TV and plays on the internet.
      She struggles to keep a sense of herself.  And then one day she meets someone who causes her to re-evaluate how she lives her life, turning her world upside down. She is a good girl trying to do the right thing and the wrong thing simultaneously, while remaining true to herself, whoever that is. It’s a very realistic journey filled with humor and heart!
      The book is an adventure into New York City society and relationships.
Read the book, and share with me your thoughts, mcagen@gmail.com

Deanna: Lindsey sounds like someone all of us busy women can relate to. What prompted you to write this book?

Meredith: I returned to school to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Nursing, years after completing my MBA.   It was daunting.  The first time I sat down to study for an exam, I had funny ideas racing through my head.  I had a difficult time focusing and actively started daydreaming.  I couldn’t concentrate, so I went with the flow and wrote down all those funny, random thoughts.  And the writing didn’t stop until Size Eight in a Size Zero World was completed.

Deanna: Random thoughts, you didn’t intend to write this book?

Meredith: I live in NYC.  Half the population promise they are going to write a book someday or are currently working on a book.  45% of the population says they have at least one book in them and someday they will write it.  4.9% don’t care about writing a book or a reading a book   I fall into the 0.1% who wrote a book without meaning to.
     In fact, I don’t remember writing more than half of the book.  The words poured out of me. I didn’t realize how creative I was until I started reading my own words.

Deanna: That happened for me on one of my books and it’s amazing when the words just flow. How long did it take you?

Meredith: If the book wasn’t published, I would still be working on it.  I tweaked it all the time.

Deanna: Is the book about you?


Meredith: The basic structure of the novel is a working wife and mother with two children, husband and dog living in a Manhattan hi-rise apartment building is my life.  But everything else is a figment of my imagination or poetic license. I wish I had devoted friends and a fairy tale godmother/aunt like Pamela.
     A lot of the stories in the book are truthful.  They may not be my story, but a friend’s story and I adapted it to fit the characters because it was unique.
Lindsay is an every woman.  Chances are you see some of yourself in her.  She is not perfect, but tries hard.  Eventually her desire to please takes a toll on her.

Deanna: Are you a Size Eight?

Meredith: Yes, in my dreams. 

Deanna: We’d all love to be size eight! Are you blonde?

Meredith: I am proud to say I am a natural brunette.

Deanna: Ditto…brunettes are so fun to be around, too! Aren’t we? Who is “The Man Upstairs?”

Meredith: He is a product of my imagination, 70% is based on one bachelor in New York City.  The other 30% is based on horrific boyfriend stories I heard.  There are men of a certain age who value their autonomy and do not want to be tied down.  Dating to them is like dining at a smorgasbord.  Men have no biological clock and can chose to get married and start a family according to their timetable.  I think these men are looking for perfection in a woman, when they find a flaw they move on.
     Perfection only exists in online dating profiles.

Deanna: Who is the 70% bachelor?

Meredith: He is a fixture in the New York City social scene. I doubt he would remember meeting me.  Think Britney Spears’ song “Womanizer.”

Deanna: What else are you asked?

Meredith: People want to know what is next for Lindsay.  I tell them, I’m thinking about it.

Deanna: Well I know readers are going to want book two from you so I hope it’s in there and flows as easy as this book did for you. Where can we purchase your book?

Meredith: It is available on Amazon.com, BN.com, BarnesandNobles.com, smashwords.com, any online bookstore, or go to my website, www.meredithcagen.com

Deanna: Meredith, thank you for being with us today and best of luck with the rest of your book tour. We're glad you stopped here. Readers, please leave your questions as comments and Meredith will be around today to answer for you. Thanks to all of you for stopping in to read Meredith's interview. Be sure to stop off at her website and don't forget Amazon or B & N! Cheers!

Meredith: Deanna, thank you for having me here today and thank  you to all who read this. I'd love to chat with you! See you on my website, too!