interview with my mom!

I try to write a blog post a week and I typically write my weekly post on the weekend. When I’m out of town, as I was this weekend visiting my mom so we could both do our taxes with the family accountant, it makes finding time to write a post very challenging without neglecting my maternal figure. The way I saw it, I had two choices: I could either skip the blog post this week or I could somehow combine my time with my mom with completing the task.  Since I’m rarely one to refuse a challenge, I made it work. For my blog post this week, I bring you my interview with Susan—my mom.

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Besides being the woman who gave birth to me, my mom is also one of my most productive writing muses and among the strongest and funniest women I know. (I take after her, of course.) Even though she’s been my mother for *cough* years, there are things even I don’t know about her. So, I decided to conduct this interview. As you’ll see, the questions become increasingly personal as we both warm up:

Meredith: Who are your favorite authors?

Susan: Eileen Goudge (my mom is so impressed and a little envious that Eileen is actually a dear friend of mine), Julie Buxbaum, Belva Plain, Meredith Schorr (fourth. She mentioned me fourth), Jennifer Weiner, Cynthia Freeman, and Maisie Mosco.

Meredith: What is your favorite genre?

Susan: women’s fiction and family sagas (immigration experience, rise to riches)

Meredith: Where do you get your books?

Susan: The library, Jewish Community Center, my daughter. I very rarely buy books.

Meredith: How influenced are you by covers?

Susan: Not very. I’m more drawn to the title and reading the blurb. I also get recommendations from the Hadassah Best-Seller list. (You think my mom is Jewish?)

Meredith: Do you care about reviews or if you’ve heard of an author before you read a book?

Susan: Not at all.

Meredith: How do you feel about sex in books?

Susan: I used to be more interested in it, but after I’ve experienced practically everything, it doesn’t titillate me anymore (TMI, Mom. TMI!) It doesn’t turn me off, but I skip a lot of it.

Meredith: Why don’t you buy books?

Susan: Too expensive.

Meredith: Would you ever consider getting an ereader?

Susan: Yes

Meredith: What is holding you back from getting one?

Susan: Not having someone to set it up for me and show me what to do. I  don’t think I can handle doing it myself. (Like mother, like daughter) I’m a technophobe.

Meredith: Do too many typos in books bother you?

Susan: Very rarely have I come across books with a lot of typos, at least that I’ve noticed. (Yeah, but she noticed a mistake in my book that no one else caught – apparently, there is no such thing as a Ford Escalade – the car Cheryl was driving in How Do You Know?)

Meredith: Have you ever wondered if you’d be able to write a book?

Susan: It’s crossed my mind, but I don’t think I’m talented enough. I’ve had ideas about books but to write one? No.

Meredith: Tell me one of these ideas.

Susan: A man leaves his wife to fend by herself with her children and she goes back to law school and becomes a lawyer and she faces him in court one day – she’s the prosecutor and he’s the defendant. What does she do? (Note to self: book 10 maybe?)

Meredith: Do you think your own life could make an interesting memoir and, if so, why?

Susan: Absolutely. Because I made lemonade out of lemons. When I was working, I didn’t want to have any credit card debt or interest and any time I got money, I invested it while others spent foolishly. I didn’t want to worry about the buck when I retired and I made it my business to be independent even though I was a single mom with a deadbeat ex-husband and three children. While all the other kids had Benetton shirts and designer jeans, my girls couldn’t and when they got older and had jobs, half the paycheck had to go in the bank and half they could spend how they wanted to. (I’m sorry I begged you to take me shopping all of those times!)

Meredith: Do you think your conservative outlook with money was passed along to your children?

Susan: Absolutely. (No one tell her about the Christian Louboutin shoes I bought a few months ago.)

Meredith: Of what in your life are you the most proud?

Susan: My three children. My biggest accomplishment. All three are beautiful human beings on the inside and the outside.  (*blush*)

Meredith: Is there anything you would have done differently if you could go back in time?

Susan: Yes. I’d be more attentive to my children when they were little, I would have studied harder, and I’d be nicer to my mother.

Meredith: What is your favorite part of being a grandma?

Susan: They’re not my responsibility!

Meredith: When you’ve observed your two older daughters raising their children, have you ever thought that how they dealt with something was not how you would have done it?

Susan: Yes, only one thing. My grandchildren have too many material things and I don’t think they appreciate the hard work their parent’s did to get those things for them.

Meredith: How do you think your daughters were better mothers than you?

Susan: They were more involved.

Meredith: At seventy-three years old, how do you feel about the aging process?

Susan: I don’t feel differently than I did when I was younger. I’m grateful for my continued good health. When I have my annual mammography and freak out about it, I’m so grateful for good results. I don’t take it for granted since life can change on a dime.

Meredith: At what age do you think you were the happiest so far?

Susan: Right now. (Wow. Finally something to look forward to.)

Meredith: Do you think that people who say quality of life decreases as we get older are wrong?

Susan: In my case, yes, because I’m healthy, have all of my marbles, a pot to piss in, three wonderful children, and friends. I’m active and don’t have to worry about where the next dollar is coming from. That makes me happy.

Meredith: As you get older, obviously your body changes as well as your skin. Was this a difficult transition for you and did you notice it happening?

Susan: In my 60s, I noticed my neck and eyes changing and so I had work done. I never thought I’d have money to do that. If you can do it, do it! Menopause came and went with no hot flashes. My period just stopped and that was the end of it. And I didn’t dwell on it. It’s a rite of passage. You can’t go back so don’t dwell on it. You can’t go back so you might as well enjoy the time that you’re in. (Can I hear a round of applause for my mom’s attitude, please. She’s an inspiration.)

Meredith: If you could have been any career you wanted, what would you choose?

Susan: There’s really no career I would have wanted, but I am sorry I didn’t study harder in school – that it wasn’t a priority in my life. Getting an education was not a priority, but that’s how you were raised in the 50s. You were raised to marry well. I never thought I’d have to earn a living and neither did my parents, but I don’t blame them. Divorce was less common and I thought I fell in love with the perfect guy. He was an Ivy League college graduate who went into his father’s established practice. No one could have predicted how it would play out.

Meredith: What are your talents?

Susan: Playing mahjong and canasta (LOL)

Meredith: Who are among your celebrity crushes past and present?

Susan: Pernell Roberts, Kenny Rogers, Peter Riegert,  Alan Arkin, Josh Duhamel. (She was almost somewhat age appropriate until that last one…)

And now for the lightening round:

Love or money? Money (Mom…)

Salt or sugar? Sugar

Appetizers or dessert? Dessert

Extended foreplay or a quickie? Quickie.

Bald or hairy? Bald with beard

Television or movies? Television

Red meat or chicken? Red meat

Vegetables or fruit? Neither (hehe)

Dogs or cats? Neither (Says the woman who loves to cuddle with all of my sister’s dogs and dragged us to pet stores to look at the puppies even though she wouldn’t let us have one!)

Overweight or bad skin? Overweight

Rain or snow? Rain

Pants or dresses? Pants

Blind or deaf? Deaf

And there you have it: Susan Goodman at a glance.

Thanks for playing, Mom. I love you!

Isn't my mom cute?

Isn’t my mom cute?

My interview with author Susan Buchanan

One of my virtual writer friends, Susan Buchanan, author of two chicklit novels “The Dating Game” and “Sign of the Times” recently interviewed me for her blog. She asked me some tough questions, for instance, whether I’ve ever been so wrapped up in my love life that I allowed my other relationships to fall by the wayside (like Jane Frank did in my novel, “A State of Jane”) and some of my more embarrassing dating moments. Read on to see my answers, but please note that the giveaway of A State of Jane is over. The book is still only $2.99 though… 🙂

I am also currently reading “The Dating Game” so stay tuned for my review on Amazon and Goodreads!

Love is in the air – Valentine’s Day Q & A with Jane Frank


Love is in the air and since it must be celebrated, the price of A State of Jane has been lowered to only 99 cents until Sunday, February 17th.  Get it while it’s cheap(er)!  If you’re already downloaded it (and I thank you from the bottom of my heart and hope you enjoyed it), I’m excited to announce that eight of my favorite authors have also lowered the price of one of their ebooks to 99 cents!  I’ve read most of these books and they are fabulous.  See below for buy links to these fun and flirty romantic comedies. 

These other authors and I thought it would be fun to ask a character from our featured novel to answer some personal questions about her love (or lust) life.  I asked Jane Frank, the main character from A State of Jane if she would participate and after some blackmail (I threatened to tell everyone about her infamous strip tease) and some bribery (I promised to consider writing a second novel with her in the starring role), she agreed. 

Meredith:  Are you currently in a relationship?  If so, tell us a little bit about your significant other. And if not… what are you looking for in a romantic partner?

Jane:  I am not currently in a relationship and this is the first time since I was 16 that I’ve been single.  It’s been a year since Bob and I broke up though, so I am ready to fall in love again!  I’m really not that picky.  He needs to be intelligent, hopefully with an advanced degree.  He should be taller than me by at least four inches and preferably two years older.  He must be a non-smoker with a full head of hair, preferably dark, and he can’t be a vegetarian because that would be a waste of my stellar cooking skills.  Finally, he should be generous with good manners.   And physically fit. Other than that, I’m completely open. I’m not really picky; just selective.

Meredith:  Wow, your flexibility is astounding.  *rolls eyes*.  So, how old were you when you had your first kiss – and can you share what you remember about it?

Jane: I was actually 15 which, as my older sister reminded me often, is kind of old, but I was shy around boys and my boobs hadn’t come in yet so boys didn’t pay much attention to me.  I was at my friend Melanie’s birthday party and the cooler kids were playing spin the bottle.  My closest friends didn’t want to play because you had to French kiss but I was determined that the saying “16 and never been kissed” would not apply to me so I played.  I had my first three kisses in the same night.  I can’t remember the first one because I was so nervous.  It was like an out of body experience.  The second one was gross because the guy was like a lizard. He was all tongue!  But the third kiss, Ryan Branson, was heavenly.  He must have felt the same way because we made out at every party for the rest of the school year.  We even got to second base.   He never spoke to me in school though.  These douchebags start early!  

Meredith: Kissing 3 boys in the same night.  Even as a teenager, you were all about the extremes,  Jane Frank!  Moving on, describe your ideal evening.

Jane: If you asked me a few months ago, I would have probably said something about a fancy dinner but now all that really matters to me is being completely comfortable in a guy’s company and confident that he likes me for who I am and not just to get in my pants.  On the flipside, there’s nothing wrong with a guy only wanting me for sex as long as he is up front about it and not pretending to be smitten with me. “Oh, Jane, I love your curves!”, “Oh Jane, you are so sweet and romantic.  I’ve never met anyone like you before.”  “Oh Jane, we have all the time in the world.”  Please.

Meredith: Oh, dear. I didn’t mean to touch on such a sensitive subject.  Let’s skip to the next question.  What food gets you in the mood?

Jane: Good question!  People think that oysters are the best aphrodisiacs but I think they’re gross.  Chocolate and licorice.  If at all possible, chocolate covered licorice.  I know it sounds kind of crazy but I experimented once with some melted chocolate and black licorice and, oh my, Bob and I must have had sex like five times that night.  Word to the wise, stay away from rack of lamb.  Trust me on that one.

Meredith: Consider me duly warned!  Can you tell us about your worst date ever?

Jane: Oh, Meredith.  Where do I begin?  I’ve had so many bad dates lately!  Well, some of them seemed like good dates while they were happening but later, after some thought and well, lots of tears, I realized the dates kind of sucked!  There was the embarrassing strip tease for one.  Can we skip to the next question please?

Meredith.  Of course.  No worries.  Okay, how about this one.  What’s the best romantic gift you ever received – and the best one you ever gave?    

Jane: One year, I bought Bob courtside seats to a Knicks game.  He was so excited!  Especially since they were playing the Packers, one of their bigger rivals!

Meredith: You mean the Pacers? 

Jane:  Pacers, yeah. Isn’t that what I said?  My favorite gift was the year Bob bought us tickets to a James Beard Foundation dinner.  Some of my favorite chefs were in the house, like Tom Colicchio, Danny Meyer, Charlie Palmer, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.  Charlie Palmer made the best Poached Mediterranean Sea Bass I’ve ever had.  Heavenly.  I tried to recreate the recipe but it didn’t work. 

Meredith: You’re making me so hungry!  Okay, last question. How far will you go on a first date?  And how many dates do you need to go on before you knock boots?

Jane: Honestly, I’m so done with rules.  Rules Schmules!   The so-called “third date rule”?  Total bullshit.  A guy is just as likely to dump you if you sleep with him after five dates as he is after one.  I’m so sick of playing these stupid games.  Done. 

Meredith: Nicely said, Jane. Yes, we are done!  Thanks so much for being so open and honest with me.  I will get on the sequel as soon as I can!

You can read the other Q&As here:

And before you go, check out all of the books in our Valentine’s Day Promotion below – Amazon buy-links  included for ease of convenience!

A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr – Jane Frank is newly single after nine years and looking for a second chance at love. But when she dives head first into the NYC dating scene and finds it infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow, it may be time for Jane to turn the tables!

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind?

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister – Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself?

Rita Hayworth’s Shoes by Francine LaSalaJilted bride Amy’s down on everything until she convinces herself to purchase a cute, ridiculously expensive pair of second-hand shoes. Once she does, life starts looking up, and she falls into an unexpected new romance with the last man she’d ever expect to love. But can a pair of shoes really be magic? And is her new prince really just a frog?

Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie – When Roxy Rule shares a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, she must come to terms with her feelings for him while dealing with two sisters in full crisis mode, a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener and a fiancé who can’t wait to walk down the aisle. Can she keep it together–or will she break under the pressure?

The Green Ticket by Samantha March – College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty, but her good fortune quickly turns disastrous when she realizes her job is filled with lies, betrayal, and cover-ups. Keeping up with classes, her girlfriends and a budding romance, Alex feels the pressure – but will she overcome the challenges?

Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer – Disgraced New York fashionista, Maya Kirkwood, is fashioning herself a new life as an artist in San Francisco when she’s hired to do an installation of her work by dorky, yet dashing dotcom executive, Derek. The sparks soon start to fly, but this could mean disaster for Maya – a woman with an explosive past and far too many secrets.

True Love Way by Nancy Scrofano – When her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris, Marlo Spencer travels to her hometown to try to rekindle their relationship. But when dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and betrayals are revealed, can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart?

Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone – Lauren Tate’s perfectly planned life quickly unravels at the seams when a smear campaign threatens her career as a top TV executive, but she learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart goes missing.

my first interview!

Interviews are often held under scary/uncertain circumstances, most notably job interviews!  But I was not sweating my interview with Jen Daiker at all.  It was my first official interview as a published author and while I was not offered a job (or new publishing contract) at the end, I’m hoping it will lead to more sales of my book.  Even if one more person decides to buy the book as a result of this interview, I will consider it a success.  So, thanks to Goodreads for introducing me to Jen and a special thanks to Jen for asking me to appear on her blog!  I hope someday to return the favor 🙂