Saturday, September 24, 2011

THE LAST BLIND DATE: AN AUTHOR INTERVIEW, REVIEW, AND GIVEAWAY

 GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE LAST BLIND DATE
BY LINDA YELLIN

ABOUT THE BOOK:
A fun, charming memoir about a woman who falls in love, packs her bags, and starts over in the city that eats its young.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Melinda Cheryl Jacobson 
Melinda Cheryl Jacobson
Born at a very young age, our heroine hated the name Melinda.
 

Even before she was old enough to think, she thought it sounded uptight and prissy. She still thinks it sounds uptight and prissy. 
To read the rest of Linda Yellin's "bio" visit her website HERE where I borrowed this from.
 
AUTHOR INTERVIEW:
1. Welcome, and thank you for agreeing to an interview for BOOKIN‘ WITH BINGO. Is there any personal information you would like to start out with today?
I think of personal information in terms of my cholesterol count or my shoe size, neither of which are particularly inspiring pieces of information. But okay: 172 and 8 ½. 

2.  Where did you get the inspiration or idea for this book?
After I moved to New York and was banging my head against the wall every day trying to adjust, a friend suggested I write a list of the ten funniest things that had happened to me since I moved to town. It took me a long time to come up with that list because at first, nothing seemed that funny. But eventually I did, and that became the genesis for the book.
I’m excited. I just got to use the word ‘genesis’ which I’m hoping makes me sound very intelligent.

3. How did the title of your book come about?
Painfully. Really – it took less time to write the book than come up with a title. I went through about a million of them. You want some samples? Here goes:
THERE’S ALWAYS A CATCH
WILL MOVE FOR LOVE
PLAID IN A BLACK SKIRT TOWN
MARRIED IN MANHATTAN
I DO, TWO
STARRY-EYED WITH BAGS (I still like this one. It makes me laugh. But I’m the only person who apparently finds humor in it.)
 

Every time I’d come up with a new list, I’d go online to see if another book was already using any of the titles. Then I’d do a cyber-focus group – sending out the surviving names for friends (and eventually, even enemies…I was desperate) to vote for their favorites. This all went on for quite some time and would probably still be going on if the book didn’t have to eventually go off to the printers. The editor-in-chief (I should be capitalizing that, right?) plucked THE LAST BLIND DATE out of one of my many lists. She didn’t even blink. Saw the bugger and said: “That’s it!”

4. Do you see yourself in your characters? Which characters are easiest or more difficult to write?
That’s an easy question for a memoir. I see myself in, well – me. Writing other real life characters is generally no sweat. If you get stuck on how to describe them, just look across the room and chances are they’re sitting at the dining table or in front of the TV. (and you people know whom I’m talking about.) The hard part is when the ‘characters’ – as in, say, your mom, your spouse, your ex-boyfriend – reads how you described them. That’s when you might have to excuse yourself and go hide in a dark movie theater for a few hours.

5. What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out? What are you currently reading?
Let me answer in terms of authors: John O’Hara. (great storyteller; great dialogue.) Evan Hunter. (great storyteller; great dialogue.) Herman Wouk. (great storyteller; great dialogue.) I believe a pattern is forming here…
 

I like a story that keeps moving and characters whose banter makes me want to join the conversation. I get impatient with minutia of detail. I remember starting Anne of Green Gables as a kid. I couldn’t get past the first nine pages – all this description about the barn and the leaves and the dew on the grass. I’m sure I just set ol’ Anne aside and went to watch The Three Stooges.

6. What is the next or current book/project you are working on?
I’m working on a novel now. Only three more chapters to go for the first draft. Then I’ll spend the next four or five years working on the title. It’s not a good idea to say what a book’s about this early into the process, because what if I say, “Oh, I’m writing about a boy with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead who goes to wizard school,” and you tell me: “that’s been done.” I may lose my momentum.

7. What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?
I’m a vegetarian. I want you to know that in case you’ve been thinking you’d like to invite me over for pot roast.

8. Do you own an eReader of any kind and how do you feel about their impact on books, as well as you as an author?
I should be mortified to say this because my first novel, SUCH A LOVELY COUPLE – which I really love – was just re-e-released, but, uh – no. Not yet. I still have this shelf full of books – the kind made of felled trees – that I’m working my way through. And I love book stores. Adore book stores. Don’t want to see book stores go the way of record stores. (How many people just said: Record store? What’s thaaaat?) But I’m so tempted. Love the idea of a lightweight book always in my purse. So it’s inevitable. Plus I’ll want to download SUCH A LOVELY COUPLE.

9. What is your advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?
Look at everything that happens to you as “material.” That can get you through a lot of awkward moments, boring meetings, painful childhoods, bad blind dates. (note subtle reference to blind dates!) If right now, you’re the tallest girl in your seventh grade class, the boys won’t dance with you at parties, your hair frizzes if somebody one town over sneezes, just keep reminding yourself: “Hey, this is good stuff! Someday I can write about all this!” I know this for a fact…having been the frizzy-haired tallest girl in seventh grade who sat on the sidelines at dances. And I just wrote about it! See. Wasn’t that fun?

PRAISE FOR THE LAST BLIND DATE:
 “THE LAST BLIND DATE is a candid and charmingly funny account of love and step-parenting.  Linda Yellin’s sympathy, wit, and nerve make her determined forging of a family a success, and this book about it completely winning.”
—Hilma Wolitzer, best-selling author of Hearts,
The Doctor’s Daughter and Summer Reading

“Filled with lots of girl-talk, this memoir will appeal to readers who can’t get enough of the beginning, middle and sweet endings of love stories.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Move over, Nora Ephron.  There’s a new humorist in town.”
—Sam Apple, The Faster Times

“A valentine for optimism, risk-taking, and love itself.”
—Sally Koslow, author of With Friends Like These

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
I was able to take THE LAST BLIND DATE with me on a recent trip, and thought I could read it on the plane. No way! I kept finding myself laughing out loud and well, obviously my family and friends wouldn’t think anything of it but the strangers on the plane were a little taken aback. And so I was unable to get back to Linda Yellin’s book until recently and I am so glad I did…at home! There are just some times when a long morbid memoir, no matter how well written, can get old fast. This is not one of them! Yellin writes a memoir that is filled with true life experiences but her humor makes all of it, the good and the bad, so painless to take in.

THE LAST BLIND DATE is a story where the author has no problem writing about her attempts at dating several years after her heartbreaking divorce. Often times, the dates were with men she was set up with and she tells how many were just not the right fit. And then came Randy. When she meets him, Linda checks Randy out and he seems to “complete her” with his kind of humor and caring personality. Dealing with a long distance romance was no easy task but then neither was Yellin becoming a stepmother either. Yellin’s humor is never better than when she recounts her getting used to her new life on the East Coast. In THE LAST BLIND DATE, Linda Yellin tells her story so honestly, with just the best kind of humor, that you feel like you know her and wish there was more. Hopefully, this won’t be the last we hear or see of Linda Yellin.
 GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO MELISSA AND THE GOOD FOLKS
AT SIMON & SCHUSTER, I HAVE TWO COPIES
OF THE LAST BLIND DATE TO GIVE AWAY
  
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:


+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THE INTERVIEW ABOVE WITH LINDA YELLIN. IF YOU COULD ASK THIS TALENTED AUTHOR A QUESTION, WHAT MIGHT IT BE?

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING ABOUT AUTHOR LINDA YELLIN'S WEBSITE BY VISITING HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK, PLEASE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, COMMENT ON EACH WAY SEPARATELY.

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, OCTOBER 4

84 comments:

MRWriter said...

What a lively interview. I'd ask her if she always knows how a story will end before she starts writing it.

AlexDean03(at)yahoo.com

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lag123 said...

Loved the interview. I would like to know: "If Linda were to use a candle to describe herself, what fragrance would she be?"

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Pat L. said...

Would love to find out why is this the last blind date.

Question for author: who are autobuys for you.

Pat L. said...

By reading author's bio, I can see she has a very good sense of humor about herself.

debbie said...

I enjoyed the interview. I would like to ask, what is the best dating advice you ever got?
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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Tore said...

What a great interview. I would love to read what the author went through while dating and how she knew Randy was the one. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

holdenj said...

It sounds very much like I would enjoy her sense of humor! How soon can we expect something else?
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mamabunny13 said...

The interview made me feel like she is someone I could hang out with. What would be your least favorite genre to write?
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com.

mamabunny13 said...

Something I found interesting on her website is she was "born at a very young age". *giggles*
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

traveler said...

Enjoyable interview. I would lke to ask her most memorable experience ever. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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her website is unique and reflects her sense of humor. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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petite said...

I am captivated by this post. What a unique and entertaining interview. I would say how did she envision her life. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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petite said...

the photos of her life are wonderful. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

If you could move away from New York, where would you choose to live?

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

From the Q&A on her website, she was asks how she likes to start her work day. I love her answer. "First I take a break."


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Karen B said...

What a great interview! Her humor makes me want to read whetever she has written!
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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Jolee said...

Interesting comments on what she is writing next. I can't for the life of me think of anything clever to ask at the moment....brain lapse on a Saturday night. :-)joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Jolee said...

On her website...pretty clever pictorial on who is Linda Yellin? :-) joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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Teressa Oliver said...

Great interview. I have recently become a vegetarian in an area that is not too accepting of it. I would ask her any advice on "coming" out as a vegetarian?

Linda Kish said...

I loved the interview. I really don't have any questions. Maybe is there a sequel? Like, life after the move and with the step kids later on?

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I loved the bio on her site. The pictures reminded me of my own life.

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meandmom said...

I would ask if she has a special writing routine.

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RAnn said...

You got a mention on my Top Ten Tuesday list this week. Have a great week.

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Misusedinnocence said...

I love memoirs! This sounds great. And I would ask her what her favorite musical is.
misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I learned that she'll be in Connecticut on the 5th of November (Gunpowder treason and plot!)

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rubynreba said...

I would ask her if she designed the cover for her book. I think it is a striking cover.
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bloomerbear said...

I would like to know what city she ends up in that eats its young

pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com
thanks for the chance

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