Friday, January 29, 2010

FAQ for Plan B: Boyfriend


I’m a technical writer. That means I write Frequently Asked Question pages (FAQs) at work. It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to post an FAQ when I have a new book out. (Previous FAQs for The Boyfriend's Back and His Secret Past.)

So here goes…

1. In the first chapter Sarah’s son gets suspended from school for bringing a knife in his backpack. Would a school really suspend a kid for that?

My friend’s daughter got the boot for a butter knife in her lunch bag. My husband said she must have been using it to spread anarchy.

2. I heard this book includes a Drunken Breakdown scene. What kind of research did you do before you wrote that?

Have you ever seen the movie Barfly with Mickey Rourke? I spent a few weeks immersing myself in that lifestyle, Heh. No, seriously. I didn't need to research to write that scene. I’m a writer. I make stuff up.

3. In the book, Charlie is obsessed with Jimmy Rollins from the Philadelphia Phillies. Are you a Phillies fan?

No. Like all good Pittsburgh Pirates fans, I detest the Phillies.

4. So how do you know about Jimmy Rollins?

My niece has a hermit crab named after him. She has another one named after Shane Victorino, but his name is hard to spell so I went with Rollins.

5. I thought you were going to say you looked Rollins up on Google or Sports Illustrated or something. You really don’t do any research at all, do you?

I think research would harm my process.

6. You have a process?

Yes. I make everything up.

7. Somehow I thought a writer would be more professional.

You want research, watch a Ken Burns documentary. You want a fake Vegas night with mini-cheescakes, read my romance novel.

8. But there’s a poker scene, right? Don’t you have to know the rules of poker to write a poker scene? That had to be factual.

I actually do know the rules of poker (thanks, Pop!), but Sarah and Charlie cheat their way through the game so it didn’t matter.

9. If they’re cheating, how do they know who wins?

Everybody wins in the poker scene

10. But…

Trust me, everybody wins in the poker scene.

11. Trust you?!! You just admitted that you make everything up.

Hmm. I'm not sure I like your tone, but to answer your question, this is an FAQ, not a romance novel. I’d never tell lies in an FAQ. Honest.

4 comments:

Lacey Devlin said...

Haha! Great post! Loved it! I have Plan B: Boyfriend tucked away, and I'm not allowed to read it until I'm on holidays :D

Becca J. Heath said...

Hilarious Ellen!
Can't wait til Plan B arrives in my mailbox!
=)

Ellen said...

Hi Lacey,

I love that this will be a holiday read. I think it's a fun book--hope you'll enjoy it.

P.S. Hope the holiday is coming soon!

Ellen said...

Becca,
Glad you enjoyed the FAQ. I have a good time writing these. I like to let the interviewer voice get a little peeved. It's fun to do both sides.

Thanks for stopping by.