sitting with me today is Whitney Dineen, author of Kindred Spirits, a chic-lit, romantic comedy.
Hi Whitney, and thank you for being here with me today! So, what is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
The main takeaway is that love is out there for all of us. Sometimes we just have to open our belief system to find it. Don’t always expect it find you in conventional ways.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the sequel to my first memoir, Motherhood Martyrdom & Costco Runs, called Standing in a Crop Circle. It’s about my weird journey from modeling in New York and Los Angeles to witnessing one of the largest UFO sightings in the world to raising kids as an older mom. It’s a whole lot of nuts, which is essentially my life.
What was your job before you started writing full time?
I used to own a celebrity based goody basket business when we lived in Los Angeles. I still bake for a select clientele, but only at the Holidays. The rest of the year I write books, raise my daughters, and wrangle my free-range chickens.
Has your environment or upbringing colored your writing?
Oh for sure! I write in three genres and they’re all influenced by my real life. My rom coms are full of my humor. They’re also full of the insecurities I’ve experienced. My middle reader series is based on a young girl whose family relocates during her junior high years, which mine did. And my memoirs are 100% me, sharing hugely embarrassing stories about my life and crazy journey.
What do your friend and family think about your being a writer?
By-and-large I think they’re surprised. I grew up with a learning disability (that I grew out of as a teenager), but as a result I didn’t read much as a kid. When I started writing, I started with full length books, which was a bit startling to say the least.
What does your writing space look like?
I write in my office which I’ve decorated with framed posters of all my books. I find this very inspiring when I think I don’t have another book in me. Ultimately, I always do.
Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
I’m very much an automatic writer, as in I never know what I’m going to write before I do it. It’s almost like I’m the secretary just taking dictation. It makes for a very fun writing journey though!
What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
The accomplishment of writing books alone has been exhilarating. But winning several awards for my writing has really been the cherry on the sundae.
Can you describe your writing style in ten words or less?
My style is full of humor, hope, and happy endings.
What are your top three favorite books of all time?
Gah!!! This is so hard to do. How about three of my top favorite 500?
- Twenties Girl, Sophie Kinsella
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson
- A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
Music or silence when writing?
Silence, always silence.
Up early or sleep in?
I’m an early bird. Even before having kids, early morning is my magic time.
Is marriage outdated?
This is an interesting question as I’ve often wondered if we’re drawn to marriage because it’s an institution we were programmed to strive for or if it has real purpose on its own. For me, I’m 100% onboard. I’ve been married to the same man for twenty-six years and he’s my best friend and my partner in crime. Having said that, I don’t think marriage is for everyone and I don’t think it’s a tragedy if you choose not to get married. Each person has to answer that question for themselves.
Well, thank you for this chat, it was certainly fun!
You guys, now here’s what Whitney’s story is about.
Dashing and successful, Richard Bingham has been voted one of the top ten bachelors in New York City. After unwittingly offending a reporter from Manhattan Life magazine, he finds himself on the receiving end of an article that makes his quest of finding the perfect mate nearly impossible.
After one dating disaster too many, Richard decides it’s time to seek professional help, so he signs up for the matchmaking services of the East Side Yenta.
Philippa Fielding is single and searching for love in London, but her accidental profession of “Message Deliverer from the Great Beyond” puts most men right off.
Will Pip’s new “Spirit Helper,” Bertram, be able to set her on the course for true love with a message for Richard?
Matchmaking, misunderstandings, and mayhem abound in this fast-paced romantic comedy about love, life, and the afterlife!
Pip picked up her pace as she was ten minutes behind schedule and Malcom was nervously looking around as though he thought she might be a no-show. As she neared him, a rather rough looking man started to jog along next to her. Pip stopped to let him pass, but he halted with her.
“Pardon me,” Pip inquired, “are you following me?”
The man answered, “’Course I am. Why wouldn’t I be following you? You’re gorgeous, love.”
She appreciated the flattery even if it came from an apparent lunatic. At five feet ten with shiny, thick, dark hair, Pip knew she made a good first impression. Her clothing was always top of the line, if a bit conservative, and she made sure to stay out of the sun so as not to wrinkle prematurely. She hoped her date found her as attractive as the odd fellow next to her.
As she shared pleasantries with the stranger, Pip pondered a fortuitous outcome to her blind date. She didn’t fully realize she’d reached Malcom until he offered his hand and inquired, “Philippa Fielding?”
Pip looked up and nearly fell into the most piercing blue eyes she’d ever seen. She answered, “Yes. You must be Malcom.”
Nodding his head in response, he asked, “Who were you chatting with just now?”
“I don’t know, exactly.” She continued, “Just some man who started to walk with me.”
Malcom looked around and inquired, “What man?”
Pip looked over her blind date’s shoulder and spotted the chap who’d been shadowing her. She pointed at him and replied, “That one over there, the one with dirty blond hair and a goatee.” She further clarified, “His two front teeth are chipped.”
Malcom turned and looked, but saw no one. At his confusion, Pip added, “He’s in his forties, wearing worn blue jeans and a grungy t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up.” She gestured further to clarify who she was talking about. “The one who looks like he’s just been in a pub brawl.”
He still had no idea who she was talking about, so he answered, “I don’t see him.”
Pip made eye contact and called out, “Excuse me sir, would you come over here, please?”
The bedraggled looking stranger gestured to himself, as if to ask, “Me?” Pip nodded and he readily approached. “Hello,” she greeted, “I’m sorry I didn’t get your name just now. I’m Philippa.”
His hand shot out and he smiled, showing off two broken front teeth, “Bertram, love. I’m proper chuffed to meet you.”
Pip dropped her hand, gasped, and let out an uncharacteristic expletive. “You’re Bertram? Bloody hell.”
Malcom watched his cousin’s friend warily. Obviously, he didn’t see anyone who looked like he’d recently taken a couple knocks to the face, as Pip was the only person in the vicinity who could see ghosts.
At that instant Philippa knew her date was over. She decided to just come clean with Malcom, explain her odd life, and walk away. If she was lucky, she could still join her friends at the cinema to watch the romantic comedy they were all keen to see.
Malcom realized Philippa might not be as odd as he first thought and said, “The way I see it, you’re either completely bonkers or you’re speaking to a dead person. Which is it?”
Pip found it refreshing that Sephra’s cousin didn’t immediately assume she was destined for Bedlam. She replied, “The latter, I’m afraid.” She further clarified, “It’s the result of a nasty fever I had as a child.”
Whitney Dineen is a multi-award-winning author of romantic comedies, non-fiction humor and middle reader fiction. When she’s not spinning stories, Whitney’s raising her young daughters, wrangling chicken, or eating french fries, not necessarily in that order.
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