Thursday, 2 June 2016

Q & A with Abby Vegas

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1.   Did you always dream of being a writer?

Yes, I think it was pretty much inevitable.

2.    How did your writing career develop?

I majored in writing in college – up to that point, I’d planned a career in journalism. But life had other plans, and I ended up working for a software company doing technical writing and e-learning development for more than twenty years. During that time I also wrote quite a bit of creative nonfiction on the side – essays, travel writing, memoir-type stuff. When I turned 40, my thoughts turned to the novel I’d always planned to write “when I got older” and I realized I should really get started on that!  

3.    Your newest novel is called Clean Break, what is it about?

Clean Break is the story of Lane Haviland – she’s struggling. She’s broke, she’s homeless, and she’s all alone in New York City. But she’s not quite ready to give up 
on herself, and she finds help in an unexpected place – Viktor, a fresh-off-the-boat Russian handyman whose motives are unclear.

4.    What was your inspiration for the book?

The fairy tale Beauty and the Beast was a big inspiration. It’s such a great story and it’s been told so many different ways. I really like the idea of two lost souls finding each other.

5.    Where and when do you write your stories?

Due to my day-job, I wrote most of Clean Break at night, which is appropriate since it’s a noir story. In warm weather I like to write on my screen-porch – with a kerosene lantern hanging up (old school!) When it’s cold, I’m usually writing by the fire.

6.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

I’m a huge fan of musical theatre and plays, so I’m usually planning something related to that obsession. My favourite musical or play is one I can take my daughters to. I feel very fortunate to have a husband and kids who are game for a family trip. Last summer we took a train from Chicago to Seattle (in a sleeper car!) and did all the touristy stuff in Seattle. This summer we’re visiting Alaska.

7.    If you could switch places with a character from a book, who would it be and why?

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. She’s just so damn sassy. And Mr. Darcy – swoon!

8.    What books have most influenced your life most?

Growing up, I devoured the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder – I read them over and over again! I couldn’t get enough of those stories. In fifth grade I read a book called The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig and that stayed with me too. And of course A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

9.    What are you working on at the moment?

I’m outlining my next novel! It’s still very much in the planning stage.

10. Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why.

Susan Isaacs, Liane Moriarty, and Diana Gabaldon. I’d pick their brains! (Figuratively, not literally.)

11. Imagine Clean Break would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

I’d cast Emily Blunt as Lane and Richard Armitage as Viktor.

12. You also wrote Living La Vida Vegas, can you tell us more about it?

Sure! Living La Vida Vegas is a nonfiction collection of four trip reports I wrote (mostly) in my twenties. It’s all about visiting Las Vegas with friends, behaving irresponsibly, staying out all night drinking and gambling. It’s short – good airplane reading. If you love Vegas, you’ll get it. If you’ve never been to Vegas, it might make you want to plan a trip there.

13. How would you describe your style of writing?

Procrastinating, tortured. (Wait – do you mean the process of writing, or the final result?)

14. Coffee or tea?


15. Sweet or salty?

I’m going to cop out and say both. It’s Ben & Jerry’s fault – their “Chubby Hubby” ice cream has pretzels in it! Conundrum solved.

Clean Break is on sale everywhere May 16th. My website:


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  2. This was so interesting to read - I love posts like this!

    Mind checking out and commenting on my recent?

    Alice xo