Today we’re talking to Hilary Grossman, author of ‘real-life’ contemporary romance Dangled Carat – One girl’s attempt to convert the ultimate commitment-phobic man into a doting husband with a lot of help from his family and friends!
Today, Dangled Carat is on offer via eBookSoda for just 99 cents / 99p!!.
Hilary had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship—why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose.
But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn’t ready—and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point.
For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin with the one they love, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the very picture of patience and grace, Hilary’s humorous and honest story will hit home.
Tell us a little about what prompted you to write Dangled Carat.
While many of the things that happened to me (two faux engagement parties, for example) were very unique, being involved in a relationship with a commitment-phobe is a very common situation. I felt that my story was something so many women could relate to which is what prompted me to write this book.
But more than that, I wanted to share my story in the hopes that I could help someone who was in the same situation. It is a very difficult position to be in. Everyone in your life has an opinion and “advice”. You are always seem to be second guessing yourself and your actions. My desire to help has been accomplished! I recently received an email from self described commitment-phobic male reader who shared that after reading the book he realized some of the ways that he has sabotaged his relationships in the past. He completely related to Marc. He also told me how he learned that he has to go at his own pace regardless of what the other person seems to want – it will either work or not. He also learned that he has to communicate his feelings and just relax – enjoy the moment and let nature take it’s course – rather than worry about what tomorrow will bring. This new attitude has kept him in a relationship that he would have already ended in the past!
Dangled Carat is written in a unique way. You took a personal story and wrote it like a novel. The reader feels like they are reading chick lit, but at the back of their minds they know it’s a true story. Was it difficult for you to write your story in this format?
It was very hard. I really struggled with deciding if I wanted to fictionalize this story or stick with it as a memoir. In fact several agents strongly suggested I fictionalize it so that it would be more marketable. But in the end I just couldn’t do it. For the reasons mentioned above I wanted to keep the story as a memoir. But I also wanted it to be a fun read. I didn’t want it to read like a “how to book” on how to get a guy to commit, as most other similar books are. So I as I wrote, I just pretended that I was sharing my dating experience with a new friend over a bottle (or two) of wine.
The most difficult part of writing this story was sharing all my innermost thoughts, fears and experiences. Some of which I never expressed to anyone in the past. It was almost like going through therapy!
How did you come up with the title of your book?
It sounds corny, but the title came to me while I was driving home from work and stuck in a major traffic jam. I was struggling with what to call the book. And as soon as Dangled Carat popped into my head I knew that was the perfect title. After all, that carat kept on being dangled! No one should have as many faux engagements as me….
What was the most difficult part of writing this book?
In my first draft, I didn’t include any s-e-x. My editor, Christina Baker Kline, NYT bestselling author of Orphan Train, told me that I couldn’t have a relationship / dating memoir, of such a personal nature, and not include sex. I knew she was right, but I just couldn’t write it. It took me hours to work up the nerve to write that section!
What was the most encouraging experience you had during your journey to publication?
Like all other authors I querried agents. I was very realistic with myself during this process. I didn’t expect to land an agent, but I knew I had to try. I was shocked that five agents requested my manuscript, and one of them spent an hour on the phone with me making suggestions as to how I could improve the story! Although none of them ended up taking on the project, knowing that they were interested, gave me a huge confidence boost! I am also in awe at how supportive and encouraging authors are. They are so eager to offer advice. They help you celebrate your successes and provide a shoulder to lean on if you are unsure, upset, or just need to bounce an idea around.
Was there a definitive ‘moment’ in your life where you decided ‘I am going to be a writer’?
Not really… Writing was always something that I wanted to do / enjoyed doing. For as far as I can remember I always would dream of one day writing a book. Actually I played around and started many over the years, but I never stuck it out long enough to finish one. Then one day, about four years ago, I got tired of dreaming. I decided to started my blog, Feeling Beachie, to see if I had the wherewithal to write as well as to see if anyone would be interested in what I had to say… I fell in love with blogging, and writing became a regular part of my day. Then BlogHer had a conference about turning a blog into a book and I jumped at the opportunity to attend. I was so encouraged by the sessions that I started writing Dangled Carat immediately after.
How did you react the first time you held your book in your hands?
I cried. I was so happy that I was able to transform my life long dream into reality.
Thanks so much for sharing your writing (and relationship) experiences with us. It’s been great having you on the blog!
Today, Dangled Carat is on offer at eBookSoda for just 99 cents / 99p!!
Here’s where you can find Hilary online: