Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dear Reader, Love Irene Woodbury

Dear Reader,

I hope you will love my characters as much as I do. In spite of their flaws, they are good people who mean well, but they are weak or scared sometimes and make mistakes. Big mistakes that have lifetime repercussions.

Take eighteen-year-old Brandi Putnam. She runs away from San Jose four days before her wedding to Matt because she can’t deal with the fallout from her parents’ mistakes or her fiance’s parents’ disapproval of her family. What Brandi does hurts Matt, but, really, what options does she have?

So she leaves town with Lizard Moats, which looks like she’s running off with another guy when she’s really just leaving town with a friend she can trust.
She has already been victimized by what her parents have done—and now she victimizes herself by dumping the fiancé she loves right before the wedding. It’s one of those tragic cases where something looks awful, but there really are good reasons behind it. Still, people judge Brandi’s actions harshly because they don’t understand.

Brandi’s daughter, Jen Conover, grows up with many of the same insecurities and vulnerabilities her mother has. After 21-year-old Jen meets rich, handsome, successful Colton, everything is fine-- until her ex-boyfriend, Zane, comes back from prison and tries to destroy them both. Jen loved Zane, but he was not good for her. Colton is good for her, but he’s from a wealthy family that disapproves of her. It’s somewhat like her mother’s relationship with Matt. Jen is still drawn to Zane, but she tries to break things off. It becomes complicated and traumatic—and ultimately she ends up losing both Zane and Colton. Very sad because she’s a lovely person and so sincere, but a bit naïve. Jen made a youthful mistake when she got involved with Zane, and she pays for it dearly.

Norris Blake Quinby is another character in Pop-Out Girl who starts out young, fresh, and brilliant, and ends up being physically and emotionally maimed by her 15-year marriage to Matt. Norris is devastated when the union turns out to not be very intimate or loving. She writes two romance novels, one a huge success, one a total flop. Then there’s a terrible accident on her husband’s boat and she gets hurt in an accident while fighting with him over his feelings for first girlfriend Brandi. Norris reacts to all of her problems by leaving Matt and their three sons and running off to Las Vegas to indulge herself in every way possible, while making her husband pick up the tab.

Right or wrong, Brandi, Jen, and Norris are compelling characters, all of them strong and smart, but also insecure and flawed. Just like real people. I loved creating them and I hope readers will enjoy getting to know them in Pop-Out Girl.

Thanks for listening, Dear Reader!

About the Author

Irene Woodbury’s third novel, Pop-Out Girl (2017), pushes a lot of buttons. It’s a gripping look at the tumultuous life of a 23-year-old showgirl-wannabe named Jen Conover who pops out of cakes at special events in Las Vegas for a living. The novel offers riveting glimpses into the loves, lives, triumphs, and tragedies of Jen’s family and friends as well.

Irene grew up in Pittsburgh, and has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Denver. The University of Houston 1993 graduate also called Texas home for seven years. Her writing career began In 2000. After five years as a successful travel writer, she switched to fiction. Irene’s first novel, the humorous A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, was published in 2011. The darkly dramatic A Dead End in Vegas followed in 2014. Pop-Out Girl is another dramatic effort. With her husband, Richard, editing, Irene completed the novel in eighteen months. She hopes audiences will enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it. 

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