I’m happy to welcome back Wild Rose Press author Shirley Goldberg. Today, Shirley shares details about her creative journey and her upcoming release,
A Little Bit of Lust. [Release Date: December 7]
What was your inspiration for this book?
Before Covid, I went dancing most Sunday afternoons at a restaurant on the CT shoreline in Madison, CT, called Donahue’s. Over the years, I met other dancers and we became regulars. The idea of three friends who hang out, go dancing, and work together grew as a possible storyline for a book.
Courtship, dating, and relationships have always fascinated me, with their ebb and flow. A rich source of material. Courtship is an old-fashioned word for a very real process that has stages and markers and has been poked and prodded by scientists and sociologists for hundreds of years. What better inspiration for The Eight-Minute Ice Cream Social, an event in the book? Characters throw themselves into uncomfortable first meets, sticky conversations, and awkward misunderstandings. Competition raises its jealous head.
What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?
Throwing kinks into the plot is the fun part. Angst, family complications, and heartache running wild. Anything goes. Throw in a cranky sibling, a dating grandmother, and a sidekick who’s an advice-giver or nosy or a meddler, and well, that’s adrenalin-sparking storytelling.
But readers are the best part of writing. Hearing from a stranger about how she laughed or recognized her own problems in my book is mind-blowing. That anyone takes the time to recount even a minor tidbit she relates to is satisfying.
On the not-so-fun side, you have to write when you don’t feel like it. You have to kill your darlings if the lovely words on the page don’t work or they have nothing to do with the story. You have to torture your characters, embarrass them, show their bad side. Above all, you have to rewrite and rewrite. And rewrite. You lose track of how many drafts you’ve worked through because the number of drafts…no one cares. “Does it work?” is the point.
Finally, you have to put the word out about your book. That’s called marketing and promotion. It’s a learned skill and it costs money and it’s difficult. Hmph.
What is your favorite quote?
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.” Roald Dahl
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Oh, this is a fun question. My superpower would be to write faster and better so I’d only have to write a first draft and it would be…perfect. Perfect means a riveting story with characters you’ll never forget, love scenes you wish you starred in, and memorable dialog everyone highlights on their Kindle. A page turner. Bahahahah. Now, that’s a superpower, and is why we writers keep honing our craft, taking courses, watching Margaret Atwood and Elizabeth Berg and Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson on YouTube.
Any advice for aspiring writer?
I would advise aspiring writers to read good literature across genres. Read as a writer, analyzing as you go. Choose to read writers you don’t know, research a writer whose books are different from your own, read a classic, dip into your fellow authors’ books and write reviews. Supporting other writers should be a part of your plan for world domination.
What are you working on next?
My next book is Revamped, a humorous paranormal romance. Dante, the hero, is an energy vampire who gives up the life. He hates draining people. Dante meets Sophie, a “Foodish,” my special word for regular folks. Guess what?
The book is part of a series with six other authors. A mortar and pestle with special powers travels through time, beginning in the middle-ages and continuing on up to contemporary times.
Tagline: How many second chances will she give him?
Love-cynical Lucy Bernard delights in her independence. Baking, all things Instagram, the occasional special guy, and most of all hanging out with best friends Deon Goldbloom and Phoebe Karis. But when Deon kisses Lucy at the beach on a chilly afternoon, the two friends jump into a lust-filled romantic weekend. So what’s with slotting her into “ignore” status afterward?
Deon Goldbloom is a widower who can’t move on after his wife’s death. Is he a little crazy spending a sexy few days with Lucy and calling it the best time he’s had in four years? Yeah. Except blue Monday comes calling, and Deon isn’t ready for the guilt.
Lucy wonders how a smoochy weekend turns into a friends-with-benefits disaster. And Deon wonders if he’s made the biggest mistake of his life putting Lucy on “ignore.” Using all his nerdy charms, he launches a campaign to bring Lucy around. Maybe they can chart a course back to one another if Lucy will only forgive him.
Lucy, Deon, and Phoebe go to their favorite CT shoreline hangout on a Sunday afternoon.
“You know,” said Steve, the interloper. “You and your friends are like The Three Musketeers. Always together.”
Together indeed. Lucy loved their routine. Arrive early while the band set up, grab seats, and make the rounds among their dancing friends. The band quit at eight, and they went home and got up early Monday morning to wrestle middle school kids, metaphorically speaking.
Steve leaned an elbow on the bar. “I’ve been here half a dozen times––”
He jerked back as Lucy’s best friend, Phoebe, trotted up and plonked her bag on the bar, startling them both. “Deon’s late. I don’t see him,” she barked.
Lucy sniffed and cleared her throat in a loud ah hem. “Mrs. Interruptus why don’t you?” she growled. “And hello to you, too. This is Steve.”
“Sorry, darling.” Phoebe bobbed her head in Steve’s direction, said a quick “hi,” and wrapped both arms around Lucy. “By the way, interruptus sounds sexual.”
“I was trying to be snotty.” Lucy turned up her nose.
Steve stood and gave Phoebe his seat. “Thank you, very thoughtful.” She shot Steve a quick smile and reached for her bag. “I’m stealing this dating idea from an ad for eight-minute dating. Some restaurant in Stamford.” She opened her bag and peered into its depths. “Can’t remember where I put that ad.”
“Dibs on Deon for ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo.’” Lucy raised a hand to signal the bartender. “I think Travis is impressed by my vast knowledge of Glenn Miller tunes.”
“I’m certain he is.” Phoebe, riffling through her handbag, gave Lucy a doubtful look. “You’d better alert Deon. He just came in. There’ll be a ton of good dancers here today with this band. Competition.”
Lucy glanced over at the stage where Deon stood talking to Travis, in Buddy Holly glasses and a porkpie hat.
“Got it.” Phoebe brandished her phone and scrolled. “I forgot it was in my photos. Look.” She thrust her phone at Lucy.
“Can’t read it; the print’s too tiny.” Lucy flung her arm in the air and waved in Deon’s direction, eventually catching his eye. He wandered over wearing his customary smirk, and Lucy handed him Phoebe’s phone. “Read this, would you?”
Deon cleared his throat and launched into his favorite accent. Elvis. “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen––”
“Hah, it doesn’t say that,” Phoebe protested.
“Meet your dream gal or guy. Only eight minutes to your SoulMate IRL! Here’s your chance. Ages forty to sixty-five. Follow the link for more information.’”
“That sounds like torture,” Deon said, dropping the Elvis. “IRL? What’s IRL?” He cocked his head. “Code for I’m really likable?”
Universal Link | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple
Author Bio and Links
Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website offers a humorous look at dating in mid-life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. A Little Bit of Lust is her third book in the series Starting Over, although all her books are standalone. Shirley’s characters all believe you should never leave home without your sense of humor and she agrees.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub
**Eat Your Heart Out and MiddleAgeish are on sale for $0.99**
I loved Shirley’s first two books and look forward to reading her third. Great interview. Hope you sell a ton of books.
Thanks so much, Susie. Awaiting’ yours, too!
Enjoyed the excerpt and getting to know Shirley. Congrats on your new release!
Thanks so much, Jacquie. It’ s fun figuring out what to share.
Lovely interview! How great to have a group of friends who bond over something like this. And your new book sounds delightful! Wishing you all the best, Shirley.
Yes, and it’s great having our author friends, too! It’s the best.
Enjoyed the interview, Ladies. And I love this statement, Shirley: “But readers are the best part of writing.” Totally agree with you! Your new book is on my reading list. All the best! xo
Love the quote and interview!
Love the Dahl quote and learning more about you. Book looks like a great read.
Fun interview…love the excerpt! Congrats and best wishes!
A great interview!