If You Tame Me received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Kathie Giorgio.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
If You Tame Me. It was released on 9/26/2019 by Black Rose Writing.
What’s the book’s first line?
“Audrey never expected a young green iguana to be sitting squarely centered in the picture window of her neat and tasteful living room.”
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
On the morning of her 55th birthday, Audrey takes stock of her life and finds it lacking. While she’s done well, she’s missing something important – a mate. She is also rocked by the 2016 election and wonders if it’s possible to be a feminist in the current political environment. In a fit of desperation, she ponders adopting a cat…but comes home with an iguana named Newt instead. Newt is destined to change Audrey’s life.
Next door, Frank, a widow, lives with his six parakeets. He develops a crush on Audrey, but is at a loss as to how to approach her. He’s shocked when his first wife, who he divorced, shows up on his doorstep to offer help, but he’s gobsmacked when his second wife, who died three years prior, shows up as a ghost to be his dating coach.
Birds, a lizard, a man, a woman…what happens is magic.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
Honestly, what happened first was that dreamlike state that hits right before you fall asleep. I was just about over the edge when my mind began playing. I thought, So…there’s this woman. She just turned 55. When she was a kid, she loved Fig Newtons. She loved them so much, she wanted to marry a man named Newton. But now she’s hit this birthday and she’s never been married. So…she decides to adopt an iguana and call him Newt. I remember deciding not to get up and write this down, because it felt so ludicrous. A woman? And her iguana? But the next morning, it was still there, in my mind. So I wrote it, originally as a short story. But then, during the 2016 election, I saw a young woman wearing a “Not The F-word” t-shirt, and when I realized the “f-word” was feminist, I was so shocked, my jaw literally dropped. I began to apply that to Audrey and the short story grew into a book.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
First and foremost, to laugh. To read something enlightening in the middle of all this political chaos. But also, to learn along with Audrey what it really means to be a modern-day feminist during this administration.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
I’m tempted to say that the most distinctive thing about Audrey is her iguana, Newt. And that relationship is definitely unique and distinctive. But really, the most distinctive thing about Audrey is her unwillingness to give up hope, to give up the sense that good things can still happen, and that it is possible to change the world.
Who does the character remind me of?
I didn’t realize this until pondering this question, but the answer would be…Me.
If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?
I’d love to see Elizabeth McGovern or Brooke Shields as Audrey. Frank would be David Morse, if he’s still acting.
When did you first decide to become an author?
I was writing before I even knew what it was I was doing. I used to use carbon paper to trace the pictures from my picture books and then I’d rewrite the stories the way I felt they should be written. When I was in the fifth grade, I read one of my stories in front of my class. From the back of the room, my teacher whispered, “Wow, Kathie. You’re a writer.” And it was like that word just sunk into my skin. That’s who I was. I’ve never looked back.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
Oh, no. This is my tenth book. My first novel, The Home For Wayward Clocks, was published in 2011 by the Main Street Rag Publishing Company. That was followed by Enlarged Hearts (2012), a short story collection, Learning To Tell (A Life)Time (2013), a novel, Rise From The River (2015), a novel, Oddities & Endings (2016), a short story collection, and True Light Falls In Many Forms (2016), a poetry chapbook, all by Main Street Rag. Then, I moved to Black Rose Writing and in 2017, came out with In Grace’s Time, a novel, then Today’s Moment Of Happiness Despite The News (2018), an essay collection, and now, If You Tame Me, due out in September 2019. Also, in March of 2019, my poetry chapbook, When You Finally Said No, was released by Finishing Line Press.
So ten books. And I don’t even know how many stories, essays and poems in literary magazines and anthologies. I feel like I can finally say I have a body of work.
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
Teaching, editing and advocating. I own my own business, AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop LLC, an international creative writing studio offering online and on-site courses and workshops for all genres and abilities. We also offer coaching and editing services. AllWriters’ is soon to be 14 years old.
How much time do you generally spend on your writing?
I’m an afternoon writer. Typically, I’m at my desk by 1:00 and I write until 5:00 or 6:00, depending on when I begin with evening classes and clients. I write every weekday except for Wednesday when I teach an afternoon class.
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
I thoroughly enjoy the personal touch that a small press publisher (not a self-publisher) offers. I know my publishers – I talk with them, interact with them, and plan with them. I’ve always had full cover control. And when it comes to marketing, they have my back. I’m not out there, all alone, doing it completely by myself.
The hardest part? The hardest part is always the writing itself. The publishing is the frosting on the cake.
Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)
I am motivated by my readers. Knowing that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life just gives me an unbelievable charge.
Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?
I’ve given up trying to answer that question with just one writer. I have to have a favorite female and a favorite male. My favorite female writer is Ellen Gilchrist, for her boldness and her absolute fearlessness in tackling difficult topics. My favorite male writer is John Irving. He is the King of Quirk. His characters are unlike anyone you’ve ever met, yet you feel like you could pass them on the street at any moment.
Which book do you wish you could have written?
The only books I wish to write are my own. I want to read everyone else’s.