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IR Approved Author Crystal Hemmingway: “My favorite books are those that leave me feeling optimistic about the world, and remind me to be more compassionate toward others.”

Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Crystal Hemmingway.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend, published July 16, 2019.

What’s the book’s first line?

My novel is written in an epistolary format, so the first line comes from a chat conversation: “Soooo excited for Hawaii!!!”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

Is it wrong to trick your mom into dating a robot? Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Bridget Jones, this smart romantic comedy is told in an addicting, fast-paced style.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

I was working on another book at the time, and got stuck at about the 100,000-word mark. I wanted to write something fun to reset my creative mind. I gave myself about a week to come up with a concept, so I consulted my running list of writing ideas. There was one on there from a manga, about a girl who gets a mail-order boyfriend, but I wanted to take it one step further. Instead of a young woman dating a robot boyfriend, I thought it would be funny if she gets it for her lonely single mother, without actually telling her it’s a robot. And that’s where it started.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

It’s a light-hearted, funny read that is almost guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.

When did you first decide to become an author?

When I was in school, I used to write short stories and read them to my friends at lunch. When I got to the end, they would ask, “What happens next?” I loved the feeling of making them laugh, and trying to keep them hooked. I think that was the moment that I started to take my writing seriously.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

I’ve written about 3-4 other novels that were good for practice, but not so great to read. This is the first novel that I submitted professionally, and it is now my debut.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I write most weekdays, and I try for about four hours a day. Writing the drafts and revising is the fun part for me, and I can get caught up in it easily. When I’m outlining or researching, I often focus on other pursuits while I look for inspiration.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

I love having a greater say in the publishing process. For this book, I was able to be involved in the cover design and other aspects of the marketing. You start to recognize how some parts of the process are really difficult to outsource, because you, as the author, tend to care more about your novel than anyone else. However, I definitely struggled at times with decision fatigue. I also found the publishing process to be overwhelming, as I had to learn a lot of new skills at once.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

I don’t think traditional publishing would be a good fit for this novel. Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend is a quirky epistolary story, and is more difficult to sell than a typical rom-com. A story like mine depends on word-of-mouth, and we were able to focus on that with our marketing campaign. I think that would’ve been more difficult at a traditional publisher, because their business models focus on certain titles with mass appeal. However, I have other stories in progress that have a broader appeal, so I may go through the query process again in the future.

Is there something in particular that motivates you?

My favorite books are those that leave me feeling optimistic about the world, and remind me to be more compassionate toward others. My goal is to write books that give others that same feeling, while hopefully making them laugh.

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