Stella James, our author of the month for November, is back to feature in an interview about her (somewhat) recent romantic comedy, 'The Beard'. Poppy Kramer's story is one that quite literally had me laughing out loud. It's a must for rom-com fans, and filled with witty commentary and hilariously cringey situations any woman of the modern age can relate to.
I got to ask Stella a few questions about 'The Beard'. Read on to find out what her favourite scene is, what challenged her the most when writing the story, and what she hopes readers take away from the book.
Poppy's cleaning obsession features prominently in the story. Are you a cleaning fanatic yourself?
Haha, yes, admittedly I am. I often clean when I’m stressed out or unsure about something. Like Poppy, I find it to be relaxing.
I loved the bond between all three Kramer sisters. Which one of them would you say you identify most with?
Although I share similarities with Poppy, I would have to say I most identify with Tulip.
Do you have a favourite scene from the book? A favourite quote?
My favourite scene is probably when Poppy goes to her parent’s house and finds her mother smashing watermelons and then moves onto her father’s office and witnesses his latest “hobby”...I could just picture Henry Winkler (my muse for Poppy’s father) sitting there with a weight loss wrap stuck to his mid-section. I giggled the whole time I wrote that part. I feel like now I should reveal my muse for Poppy’s mother as well – Emma Thompson. I love her.
'The Beard' is a (very hilarious!) romantic comedy. What do you like about writing rom-coms, and can you see yourself writing another one in the future?
I would say I most enjoyed the general lightness of the story. Sure, there are a few emotional undertones but for the most part, The Beard is meant to be an uplifting, easy vacation read and I really felt at ease with the story as I wrote it. At the moment, I don’t have anything else planned in this particular genre, but never say never!
What was the hardest part of writing the novel? Did you ever get stuck?
The hardest part was sticking purely to Poppy’s POV. I generally write dual POV and I was tempted to switch it up and include Will in some way, but I was determined to make this Poppy’s book. I wanted it to be all her. I did get stuck, several times actually, as I often do. But whenever that happens I just take a break and work on something else or work on nothing at all and do things that aren’t “book related”. It almost always helps me get my head back in the game.
What message do you hope readers take away from the story?
That you can always bounce back, and you should be your biggest cheerleader.
Are there any plans for spin off novels featuring Tully and Bell?
Not at the moment, no. But I have thought about it.
*Spoiler alert* Where do you see Poppy five years after the novel ends?
Her and Will are married, living in Chicago and have two children.
Thanks again to Stella for all her awesomeness!
Find 'The Beard' on Amazon here.
(Seriously. Go get it now!)