Sarah always thought her life was on track, that is until her 29th birthday party. The discovery of a list her younger self put together outlining what she wanted to achieve by the age of 30 turns Sarah’s world upside down. Suddenly her seemingly happy life and career look lackluster and Sarah sets off on a journey to transform her life. On her quest to achieve perfection one month at a time – a happy marriage, partnership in a law firm and being able to fit in a size six purple suede miniskirt – Sarah learns to challenge society’s ideals of achievement. Filled with harsh reality, humor, and romance, Next Year I’ll Be Perfect explores what true happiness and success is all about.
Author Bio:Next Year I’ll be Perfect is Laura Kilmartin’s first novel. She previously published four essays in Write for the Fight: A Collection of Seasonal Essays. All author royalties from that collection have been donated to breast cancer charities.
Laura is an attorney who lives and works in her native Southern Maine. A pop culture savant, she loves to read, write, travel and collect DVDs of cancelled TV shows in her spare time. Please visit Laura’s blog at http://laurakilmartin.com or follow her @LauraCKilmartin on Twitter.
Q. What inspires your writing?A. I find inspiration all around me, and just try to keep my eyes open so I don't miss it. Like most writers, I love to read and nothing inspires me to create like being entertained by someone else's words. I also love to travel and experience new places, but am content just sitting in my local coffee shop where I make up back stories for the people sitting around me. Being a native Mainer, I find a great deal of inspiration at the ocean, sitting on the beach and letting the sights, sound, smell and even taste of the salt air wash over me.Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?A. I have been amazed and humbled by the outpouring of support from my family and friends since my book was published. Friends I haven't heard from in years have rushed forward to congratulate me and people I once thought of as acquaintances have contacted me to tell me they read my book, liked it, and even bought a copy for a friend. It is a little bit thrilling.Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?A. Marketing. Writing a book is fun and creative with just enough frustration and hard work thrown in that you really feel like you've accomplished something at the end of the day. Promoting the book, though, and trying to get it into the hands of readers is a business. While I've been very lucky to have wonderful partners in the folks at Booktrope Publishing, there is still a lot of marketing that falls to the author. Self-promotion is something I'm still not entirely comfortable with, but I understand its necessity, especially as a reader when I'm on the other side. People have limited time to read, and loads of wonderful stories to choose from. Authors need to make readers understand why their book is worth someone's time.Q. If you could not be author, what would you do/be?A. I am also a lawyer and try to juggle both professions. Luckily, both involve writing - just one is fiction while the other is non-fiction.Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?A. That's a great question! "Imperfect Harmony" was the original working title for my novel, and I think it also fits my life beautifully. Nothing and no one is perfect (despite the title of my novel), but in general things seem to work.Q. What is your favorite book of all time?A. To Kill a Mockingbird is right up there, but the book I've re-read the most often is a children's book, Heaven to Betsy by Maud Hart Lovelace. The author wrote an entire series, but this one is my favorite. It is about a girl just entering high school in the early 1900s who deals with issues and emotions remarkably similar to her more modern counterparts.Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?A. I think I'm the most like Betsy Ray from the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace- which may explain why I like the books so much! Betsy is a writer who craves new experiences and travel to The Great World, but most important to her are her family and friends and having a house filled with love, food, laughter and joy. Betsy also has a great number of flaws which makes her real and to which I relate.Q. What character from all of your book are you most like?A. Without a doubt I am very much Like Sarah Bennett, the main character in my novel Next Year I'll be Perfect. We're not identical, but I didn't have to reach down very far to find inspiration for a woman who struggles with finding professional and personal success as well as self-image issues, but can still find happiness and humor in ordinary daily life.Q. What is your favorite season?A. Summer. Summers in Maine (when they aren't called on account of rain...) are glorious. It isn't too hot, and there are lakes, mountains and the ocean all waiting for you. I spend every possible moment of the summer outside.Q. What inspired your book cover?A. I love my book cover! It was designed by Greg Simanson. My book manager Kara Mann and I gave him a few ideas about the story and suggested the cake element, but he really developed the design. We worked through a few different versions, but I love where we landed because I think the cover conveys the tone and a general sense of the story, which is what every good book cover should strive to do.Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.A. I hosted a book party for my family and friends to thank them for their support shortly after my book was published. My friend Ken gave me a gift that night of a laminated print of my book cover with my face photoshopped over the drawing of the main character. It was ridiculous and hilarious and I loved it.Q. Are you working on something new?A. I am. I have a few story ideas that I'm working on. One is a sequel to Next Year I'll be Perfect. I think it will be interesting to find out what happens to Sarah when she faces down the big 3-5. I'm also working on a new book with new characters also set in Maine. It will be in the same genre, and explore similar themes - a woman who isn't quite as pulled together as she thought she would be by this stage in her life.Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?A. The first thing I want to say is thank you very much for the opportunity to talk to you little bit about myself and my book. Publishing Next Year I'll be Perfect has been a dream come true for me, and I'm very proud to say that it has been getting great reviews on Amazon. I hope people are interested in checking out the book and I would certainly love for any of your readers to stop by my blog at laurakilmartin.com. I spend a lot of time there talking about books, movies, and TV shows and love to have people share their thoughts with me about the same.