Friday, April 19, 2013

Showcase: Almost Always by Bobbi Reed

Almost Always

Here’s the way Eva sees it: if John is so concerned about her butting into strangers' lives, he shouldn’t leave her sitting at a table in Bob Evans with nothing to occupy her time . . .

Enter Cecelia—a pregnant teenager who needs a family for her baby. Fate has placed her at the table behind Eva and John.

Now Eva has a chance—a chance to give her daughter, Shelly, the one thing Shelly desperately wants. 

But nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Because sometimes daughters are not born to us—they are gifted by desperate teenagers—or seated behind us at Bob Evans . . .

Q.  What inspires your writing? 
Often, I’ll hear about a true event and find that it stays with me. If I can’t shake it, and it starts to take on a life of its own in my imagination, then it’s probably compelling enough to me to invest years of writing into it. Almost Always was inspired by a true story. I know someone who struck up a conversation one day with a stranger, a pregnant girl who didn’t feel she could keep her baby. The woman I know facilitated an adoption by her own daughter, who was unable to conceive. The adoption went through; the child is ten years old now and has lived with her adoptive parents since infancy. It was such an odd thing to do, and even stranger that it all worked out. Whenever I would tell anyone the story, they’d say, “Who would do that?” In writing the book, I set out to answer that question. I wanted to create a person who would believably do such a thing and make the reader really understand her. I should mention that everything in the book—the characters, the events—is fictional. Only that initial inspiration is based on truth.  

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?
I get to write books! Seriously, though, books have been a hugely important part of my life since I first learned to read. I always have a book that I’m reading and a stack waiting for me. Running out of books would be like running out of toilet paper. Being a part of the creation of fiction is very meaningful to me. 

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?
Writing fiction is driven entirely by self-motivation. It takes years (maybe even a lifetime) of working on your craft to produce quality work. There is never a guarantee of a reward for that work—at no point will anyone ask you to write a book. Continually finding that motivation and remaining committed is the most difficult part.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
I think the people who design Lego sets have the coolest job in the world. I have no qualifications for that job whatsoever, but I think it would be great to go to work every day and build with Lego.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
Don’t Do Dumb Things—it’s my personal motto, although I employ it with varying degrees of success. You’d be surprised at how many decisions can be made by reminding yourself not to do something stupid.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
Anne Tyler’s The Accidental Tourist. I truly have a hard time believing that Macon Leary isn’t a living, breathing person in this world who I may have the opportunity to meet someday. I love all of Tyler’s work; I’d be happy to read a grocery list if she wrote it.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
When I was a kid, I was sure that I was Ramona Quimby. As an adult, I think it’s harder to claim a character as yourself. The years give us a much greater understanding of the nuances of people, fictional or otherwise and no two are alike. But I think I might still be Ramona. I’d love for Beverly Cleary to let us know how she turned out as an adult, so I could check.  

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
It’s hard to admit, but there are aspects of Eva that are very much like me. She gets into everyone’s business, but only because she wants so much to help. Eva is who I might become if I don’t watch myself.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
Hands down, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I want to start at Platform 9 ¾, go to class at Hogwarts, sleep in the Gryffindor dormitories, try my hand at a spell or two. I definitely need a shopping trip in Diagon Alley.  

Q.  What is your favorite season?
Summer. I love the sunshine and the heat, even the humidity. I’m pretty sure I was meant to live in the tropics, but I somehow ended up in Ohio. I’m always cold.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
I love the cover for Almost Always. Of course, it’s inspired by the character of John and his hobby of building gingerbread houses. I saw a television special, once, of a gingerbread-house building contest and knew I had to use that somewhere in my fiction. It became a great element in the story, functioning as both a catalyst for evolution in Eva and John’s marriage and a symbol of that evolution. I think it’s great that this element was chosen for the cover.  

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
I wish I had a great story to share here, but nothing strange or funny has happened yet. It’s been a very positive experience as I’ve had the opportunity to meet readers. I am a fiction writer, though—maybe I should make something up . . .

Q.  Are you working on something new?
Yes, but it’s too new to talk about yet.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
Thank you! I’m so appreciative of readers. I write with the hope that someone will read my book and have that feeling I’ve had so many times when I’ve really connected to a book I’ve read. It’s all about the reader: a book doesn’t come to life until it is read.   


  1. This is a great interview. I hadn't seen it before although, as another author published by PageSpring, I have been following Reed's book. I too am an Anne Tyler fan but Saint Maybe is my fav. My blog is

  2. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. I would love to have you here sometime, just drop an email!

  3. Great interview! My favorite line: "at no point will anyone ask you to write a book." True that.


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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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