Today Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Monica Epstein and female lead Michelle Loeser from Where There Is Will, an older woman/younger man novel out of the Last Rose of Summer line from The Wild Rose Press. Welcome Monica and Michelle.
Michele, tell us a bit about Where There Is Will. I’m trying to put my life back together after my twenty-year marriage ends in divorce. I have zilch self-esteem and can barely make ends meet. I take a job transfer to London to get away from those who knew me as part of a couple. I want a chance to start over in a place, where no one has preconceived ideas of how I should act. The last thing I’m looking for is love. But when actor Will Sheridan offers to help me acclimate in exchange for cooking lessons, how can I resist? But when our friendship turns to attraction, we’re faced with a number of challenges.
What did you think the first time you saw Will? The very first time I saw him, he was a child acting in films. It wasn’t until his fifth film that I noticed how nicely he had…developed, if you get my drift.
And your second thought? When I met him in person on the plane to London, he looked just as scrumptious as he does on the screen, but there was no hiding the baby face behind the stubble. You see, he’s quite a bit younger than me. The other thing I noticed was how inquisitive he was.
Did you feel it was love at first sight No, not at all. Maybe lust at first sight because he’d matured, but I couldn’t imagine being in love—even being intimate—with someone so much younger. There’s a nineteen-year age difference between us.
What do you like most about him? His confidence. He’s comfortable with who he is and he doesn’t put on pretenses. He’s also so down to earth despite his wealth and fame.
How would you describe him? Like I said, Will is comfortable in his own skin and doesn’t take advantage because he’s famous and wealthy. He’s kind, generous, caring, and the best cheerleader a woman could ask for!
How would he describe you? He’d say, “Michelle is beautiful, smart, and talented, but she has one flaw—she can’t see those traits in herself.”
What led you to the choice of technical writing as a profession? I’ve always been good at putting words on paper. I especially liked writing creatively, but didn’t think I could make money doing it. It was my lack of confidence speaking again. I took the easy way out by choosing a writing career that was a little more stable than writing novels.
What is your biggest fear? Although Will helped me overcome it, I was terribly afraid of heights. So afraid that I’d have anxiety attacks. I was too embarrassed to tell him when he took me up London’s giant Ferris wheel, the London Eye. Imagine how embarrassed I was when he offered to pull the emergency brake because I was having difficulty breathing.
How do you relax? Well, I avoid Ferris wheels now! Seriously, I enjoy listening to music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter. It might seem like an odd choice, but she was the first protagonist in a book who went against society’s mores and held her head up despite persecution. I faced similar odds by being with a younger man, although not nearly to the same extent.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Believe in yourself. Bet you can guess who gave me that advice.
It's Monica's turn at bat. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? I can’t choose particular books or movies, but I’m drawn to stories where the heroine grows as a person. I hope readers of Where There Is Will are inspired by Michelle’s journey from a woman with low self-esteem to one of confidence and success. Where There Is Will is a story of learning to love yourself before you can love someone else.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? I was completing an online course called Submissions That Sell. The students had helped each other perfect their query letters. One of my classmates told me The Wild Rose Press (TWRP), known for publishing romances, now took women’s fiction, as well. I consider Where There Is Will to be both women’s fiction and romance, so I investigated TWRP.
What influenced your decision to submit to them? I loved how their books lines are named for roses. But I particularly liked that everyone published by TWRP had only good things to say about them.
Tell us a bit about the submission process. How long did it take from query to release? I submitted my query letter in May 2013, I think, and the manuscript was accepted for publication in mid-June. It was released for Kindle on December 27, so the entire process took just over six months. I was lucky, however, because my editor, Kathy Cottrell, didn’t ask me to rewrite much. I only had to add a few more scenes to enhance the story. I am extremely pleased with the entire process.
And we're glad, too! Thanks so much for visiting us, Monica, we wish you much luck with sales on this story and those to come.
Kat and Veronica
To learn more about Monica Epstein and the stories she creates go to: http://www.monicaepstein.com
To purchase Where There Is Will, go to http://amzn.com/162830229