Blog Series: The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing: A  Real Emotional Girl


Many thanks to my dear friend and literary homegirl Janet Buttenwieser, author of Guts, for tagging me in the Good Reads project, THE NEXT BIG THING.  Below is a first for me as it was for her; a self-interview about my memoir.

What is the title or working title of your book?

A Real Emotional Girl: A Memoir of Love and Loss

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This book was actually my father’s idea. When I came home with the rest of my family to be with him for the remaining months of his life, I had left school and was worried about being able to graduate on time. My dad suggested that perhaps I could write an article or essay about my experience of caring for him as he neared death and get some kind of credit for it when I returned to college. As it turned out, I was indeed able to get an independent study grant—two of them, in fact (one to write the book and one to edit it), so that I could graduate on time.

I can’t honestly say that I would have a writing career at all, or would ever have written a book, had it not been for my father’s initial inspiration for this incredible book. More importantly, the book helped me heal and will hopefully do the same for others.


What genre does your book fall under?

Literary memoir

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Me – Well, if I really had my druthers, I’d pick Jennifer Lawrence.

Dad – Robin Williams. Full stop.

Mom – Sally Field

Dylan – Kit Harrington

Gabe – Taylor Kitsch

Uncle Wooby – Dermot Mulrooney

Alan – Ed Begly Jr.

Susan – Blythe Danner


What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A story of daughterhood and fatherloss, of growing up and looking in, and ultimately of love overcoming all else.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I actually flew through the first draft in just a few months, but it was a real piece of shit. Thank goodness publication came a whole decade down the road so that I had many years to figure out what the hell I was doing!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired by my father’s unbelievable capacity to love—that was strongest from start to finish. But I also wanted to write the book that I so badly needed and could not find when I was in the very darkest pits of my own grief in the wake of his death. I set out to create something that could provide solace and companionship to others as they march through that same darkness, and I so badly hope that I’ve accomplished that goal.


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Of course the book sounds like a real Debbie Downer, and it’s not a light read by any means, but there are funny parts, and there is an uplifting ending that might just leave you feeling altogether happy.


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am proud to have my book published by the fine folks at Skyhorse Publishing from New York. You can purchase a signed copy at or on



Next up, look for NEXT BIG THING blog posts by fabulous authors Kelly Davio, Ann Beman, and Joe Ponepinto.