Josh & Anna and Gabe & Claire
Publication date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
No marriage is perfect.
Josh and Anna Montgomery are trying to have a baby. Well, Anna is. Josh is making the minimum contribution necessary, and it’s ruining their relationship.
Gabe Hawkins is trying to survive the wild ride that is life with his wife, Claire. It’s passionate everywhere but in their bedroom.
For these four friends, the difficulties of their marriages are camouflaged by hazy happy hours, extravagant vacations, picturesque weddings, and sleeping in. The possibilities of their youth are wilting in the light of their waning twenties, and on one fateful night, four friends become two. Survivors become lovers. Truths are told, and nothing seems like forever anymore.
- How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since 2011. I was out of work, my husband gave me an iPad for Christmas, and I just started writing in bed at night. I wrote REDEEM ME on that iPad without an external keyboard. Just listened to music and wrote…completely out of order and I’m sure, horrifically.
- Where did your love of storytelling come from?
I don’t know. If there were writers in my family, they didn’t share their talents. I’ve always loved to read, but never tried writing until very recently. I wasn’t “identified” as a writer in school. I really don’t know…
- What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Because of the surprise ending of this story, it’s almost impossible to edit. Once you know the truth, you can’t unknow it and go back to the beginning and make sure it all works. That drives me crazy because I’m forced to be dependent on other people. (Thank goodness, I have such great ones helping me.) As each person read the book, they were kind of depleted because then they knew and a reread wasn’t as effective. There were many discussions at every point of editing this book as to motivations, pieces of evidence, and plausibility. The purpose of editing is to second guess your work, but it was particularly uncomfortable with this book.
- What inspires you?
The sky. The sunrise, sunset, and the moon. I could look up my entire life and never get over how small and connected and lovely this world is.
- Who inspires you?
Women who work full time and raise children. Stay-at-home moms. Women who choose not to have children.
Veterans, active members of our armed forces, and their families waiting at home, police officers, firemen and women, refugees, and anyone else who has overcome the unthinkable. I’m not only inspired, I am astounded.
- What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
Oh my, I’ve been around the block. I’ve adjusted auto bodily injury claims, worked in human resources, was a corporate trainer and a diversity specialist. I’ve waitressed (which I think every member of society should have to do for at least a year), been a coat check, handed out food samples in the grocery store. All of it, is in each of the books. At times, some of my coworkers even inspired some characters. I didn’t always love my job, but I truly loved working. I still miss it. Writing is a lonely endeavor. You have to be alone to get the work done, but I miss the collaboration, the lunches, and the people.
- What do you like to read in your free time?
I typically gravitate toward women’s fiction. I’m currently reading Liane Moriarty’s BIG LITTLE LIES, and it’s fabulous. I usually read very popular books because I love to join in the conversation about them and they’re typically a safe bet since they’ve been vetted by so many people before me. If a book has been critically well received, I’ll branch out into other genres.
- Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I usually work backwards from my deadline and calculate the amount of words I need to write per week. Once I hit it, I relax a little. I’m tremendously more productive with a word count goal.
- What is your favorite motivational phrase?
A man I used to work with always said, “If you can’t get out of it, get into it,” and I have repeated it over and over again throughout my life. Pretty much every day when someone asks me what’s for dinner.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write for yourself. Don’t pay attention to what is selling. Write the book you want to read right now. Don’t skimp on editing. Your name is going to be on this work forever, make it the best it can possibly be. JOSH & ANNA and GABE & CLAIRE was the first book I truly did not care about the reviews. I loved it enough to survive the rest of the world hating it. That’s power…and that’s what I wish for every writer out there.
Eliza Freed graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks and her neighbors began to talk; her mother told her to find a job.
She settled into Corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Eliza quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It’s during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate.
She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.