Inspiration from the Unexpected
Like most writers, I’m always asked where I find the inspiration for my novels. I’d be answering honestly if I said that my ideas come from just about everywhere. But I’d be a little more than chagrined to admit that the idea for my latest novel, A GIRL LIKE YOU, came from the Real Housewives show.
Now, I don’t watch the Real Housewives of Anywhere. Not that there is anything wrong with the show. I’m a total reality show junkie. Survivor, The Bachelor, So You Think You Can Dance. Bring ‘em on! But the Real Housewives isn’t a show I’m addicted to. Lucky for me, however, that while switching channels one afternoon, I came across an episode. Two of the housewives were talking and one mentioned that she had just dropped her daughter off at college, then went on to commiserate that all the girls at her daughter’s sorority were beautiful and how was her daughter to “shine” if there wasn’t an ugly girlfriend around? Talk about an epiphany! I immediately began to “see” my novel and my central story question was born: What if you found out you were the ugly girlfriend?
In case you’ve never heard of the expression before, let me give you the definition I found in the Urban Dictionary. Ugly Friend: A friend a person brings with him/her to a gathering /event in order to make him/herself appear more attractive in comparison.
When my main character, Emma, overhears herself referred to as the ugly friend, she’s devastated. But it begins a chain of events in her life that lead her to discovering more about her friends and ultimately, about herself, changing her life forever. Sometimes the unexpected turns out so much better than we first imagined.
What if you found out you were the ugly friend?
Emma Frazier is smart, hardworking, and loves her job as a journalist for a Florida lifestyle magazine. Emma knows she’s no great beauty, but she’s pretty certain she has a shot with her handsome new boss, Ben Gallagher—until Emma overhears a mutual acquaintance refer to her as the “ugly friend.” In an effort to reclaim her battered self-esteem, Emma decides to impress Ben at work by promising an exclusive interview with NASCAR legend, Trip Monroe.
Emma and Trip went to high school together and although it’s been fourteen years since they’ve spoken, Emma is certain she can score an interview with the elusive super star. But connecting with Trip turns out to be harder than Emma imagined. Her quest for the interview leads her back to her tiny hometown of Catfish Cove, where old secrets and a new romantic interest shake up Emma’s views on life and teach her that maybe the key to finding true love is as simple as accepting yourself for the person you were always meant to be.
Maria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, THE BOYFRIEND OF THE MONTH CLUB, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A GIRL LIKE YOU, is an August, 2012 release by Berkley, Penguin USA. You can find out more about Maria and her novels by visiting her website at www.mariageraci.com.