It’s been a while since I’ve interviewed Meredith Schorr, and with the release of her seventh book, The Boyfriend Swap, I thought it would be fun to have another conversation.  Meredith, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. And to everyone else,  Happy Reading!

TBF: You just released your 7th book. Have you changed how you approach writing from your first to most recent?
MS: Absolutely. For my first couple of books, I started with only very basic information about my characters: name, age, appearance, general personality. Now, I do more in-depth character studies on my main characters before I write the first page. I know what they were like in high school, their relationship with their friends and family, relationship history, what extra-curricular activities they did in high school, their favorite season, their greatest accomplishments, biggest fears, strengths and weaknesses. It helps me keep their actions/reactions consistent. I also outline more than I used to. I doubt I will ever outline an entire book from start to finish before I start writing, unless I switch genres where it is necessary (mystery, suspense), but I like to plot out a few scenes at a time to ensure the story has a constant direction and to keep pacing in mind. I often stray from the outline, but at least I don’t stare at a blank page for too long. I’ve found that my novels have been tighter since I’ve been doing this.

TBF: Do you have a favorite character from your books?

MS:That is a difficult question since I consider all my characters my “babies” and I love them all equally. My favorite character is usually the one I’m writing at the time. If forced to choose a favorite, I’d probably pick Kim Long from the Blogger Girl series, mostly because I know her so well having written four books with her at the helm, including one from when she was fifteen years old. She’s grown up so much since the first book and I’m proud of all she’s accomplished.

TBF: What sparked your idea for The Boyfriend Swap?
MS:It all comes back to Kim Long again! In the first version of Novelista Girl, there is a scene where a literary agent is asking Kim what else she’s working on. Kim says she’s writing a romantic comedy about two women who swap boyfriends for the holidays and discover they might be dating the wrong person. It was just a throw-away line of dialogue that I didn’t think much about until several people read the book and said it was a brilliant idea for a chick lit novel. I decided to write it myself. I ended up deleting it from the revised version of Novelista Girl (re-edited for publication by Henery Press), but all the credit for the idea goes to Kim!

TBF: What do you say to people who denigrate Chick Lit as “fluff” or “not real books”?
MS: Honestly, I try not to concern myself with what people say about the genre in general and focus, instead, on what readers expect from my books. I work hard to create realistic characters with strong growth and development. Most of my fans appreciate that my books are light and humorous, but also smart. I’m trying to build my brand based on the traits I bring to each of my books and hope that readers will see beyond whatever label people want to call them—chick lit, romantic comedy, humorous women’s fiction—and read them because they were written by me. Fingers crossed!

TBF: eReader or physical book?

MS: eReader

TBF: Who is your author crush?
MS: OMG, I have so many of them. I have go-to authors in my genre whose books I will read when I need a swift kick in the butt to up my game: Kristan Higgins, Jill Mansell, Rainbow Rowell, and Sophie Kinsella, and Jennifer Crusie is a new addition.

TBF: If you could choose only one to watch, would it be Love, Actually or The Holiday?

MS: I love them both, but I think Love, Actually. I especially adore the Colin Firth storyline.

TBF: Pick one of your books and tell me who you would cast if it were turned into a film?
MS: Blogger Girl: Kim (Isla Fisher or Anna Kendrick); Nicholas (I change this one often, but my current pick is David Alpay); Bridget (Blake Lively), Jonathan (Adam Brody); Hannah (Odette Annable)

TBF: I read your post about Hallmark Channel Movies. I like the Good Witch series from Hallmark. Have you watched it?
MS: I have not. I stick mostly to the romantic comedy movies or the Hallmark Hall of Fame films. I don’t typically watch the mysteries either. But if you really enjoy The Good Witch, I might give it a shot!

TBF: Has writing in this genre – romantic fiction – changed how you approach dating?
MS: Not really, although it has provided me with ridiculously high expectations! Why can’t I meet a gorgeous widower under fifty, who also happens to be sensitive, funny and intelligent with a child desperate for another mother figure???

TBF: What are you working on now?
MS: I’m on final edits of my next novel, which comes out on April 24, 2018. It is called Bridal Girl and is the third book in my Blogger Girl romantic comedy series. My main character is planning her wedding and trying to acclimate to her new role as a published author. She’s not doing very well at either…
I’ve also started the first installment in what I hope will be a three-book romantic comedy series, each featuring a different main character. I don’t want to go into much detail since the book is not yet in contract and is less than 4000 words so far, but it deals with estranged high-school sweethearts forced together through work.