Last August I had the pleasure of introducing Anita Hughes to you and sharing how much I enjoyed her debut release, Monarch Beach. Since then I’ve gotten to know Anita much better since she’s practically a neighbor, and we’ve met up several times for coffee and long chats about being moms and wives and writers. I love Anita’s passion for great books and could talk to her all day about what she’s reading and loving and what she’d recommend.
Anita’s brand new release, Market Street, hits stores today and I adored this book! It’s a fast read and witty and yet also poignant and she captures San Francisco–one of my favorite cities in the world–so beautifully. I just spent the weekend in the “City by the Bay”, and I felt like I was right back in Market Street, and loving it.
I’ve got Anita back on my blog today as a guest, because I know you’ll love Market Street as much as I did, and Anita is just fun to talk to!
What do you love most about being a writer?
The thing I love most about being a writer is creating new worlds and populating them with my characters. I really form a connection with them – I can see them in my mind when I’m not writing, and I always miss them when I finish writing the book.
Was there anyone or anything that helped inspire you to be a writer?
My mother inspired me to be a writer. When I was thirteen I wrote a full novel – called The Great Book of Suchness – and she helped me type it out, make carbon copies, and send it off to an editor at Harper and Row. I actually received a revision letter back – but I got distracted by school and being a teenager and didn’t follow through. If I had only known what solid gold I held in my hand! My mother had complete confidence in me and never thought I was pursuing a foolish dream.
Tell us what your new book is about, in 2 or 3 sentences.
Market Street is about the heiress of a San Francisco department store who must choose between her messy marriage and opening a food emporium in Fenton’s, her mother’s department store. It is also a novel about women and friendship. I love the characters and miss writing about them!
What are you working on now?
My next book is called Lake Como, and it is set in San Francisco and Lake Como. I loved writing this one because it felt like I was going to Lake Como every day – which is definitely one of the most beautiful places on earth. It’s also a novel about female friendships and has great male characters!
What’s your favorite time of the day and place to write?
My favorite time to write is in the morning, after I’ve taken my children to school. I write on the love seat in my bedroom which has a lovely view of the golf course and is very quiet.
If you could meet one person who has died, who would it be? What would you want to discuss with him/her?
I’d love to meet George Eliot, Edith Wharton, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe. I love all sorts of fascinating women and I would probably talk about books, movies, travel, love.
Five favorite things to do on a weekend?
I love to walk to the beach with my children – they always have a lot of things to tell me about school, and we are not interrupted by cell phones or computers. I love to see movies, I love to sit and read the Sunday New York Times. I like to browse the shops in Laguna Beach – it always feels festive and the people walking around are happy. I love to go to bed early and catch up on sleep!
What does success mean to you?
Success means your children are happy, after that I think it’s getting some satisfaction out of your work and hoping that you are contributing to other people’s happiness. I love to write and I hope I make my readers happy when they read my books.
Don’t forget to visit Anita’s website at http://www.anitahughesbooks.com to learn more about her and her fantastic books. To celebrate Anita’s new release, I’m giving away copies of Monarch Beach along with lots of fun JP swag, including a signed copy of The Good Daughter as it, too, celebrates San Francisco. For a chance to win one of these great prizes, please tell me if you’ve ever been in San Francisco, and if so, what is your favorite memory of the city, or your favorite thing(s) to do when visiting. The Anita Hughes contest runs through Friday, March 29th with the winners announced on Saturday morning so do check back to see if you’ve won.