December, 2007


Robyn Harding is a former copywriter who lives in Vancouver with her husband and two children. She also spent a year in Chicklit Club's hometown of Perth, Australia. Her latest novel, Chronicles of a Mid-Life Crisis, is out in May.

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  1. 1. How did you get into writing?

    I've always loved to write - since I was about eight years old. It was a hobby for many years because it really never occurred to me I could make a living at it. I'd been working at an advertising agency when I left to stay home with my two young kids. Somehow, I found a little time to sneak away and write and within about four months, I'd finished the manuscript for The Journal of Mortifying Moments. I decided to try to submit it and was thrilled when I found an agent and then a publisher.

  2. 2. What attracted you to chick lit?

    Bridget Jones's Diary. I'd never read anything like it before. While I'd tried my hand at deep literary fiction, I never got very far and it was never very good. I decided to try injecting some humour into my writing and it was like I'd suddenly found my voice. At the time, I had no idea that 'chick lit' was even a genre. I just knew it was fun to read and a lot of fun to write.

  3. 3. How important is humour to your stories?

    It's everything! Well, it's a huge part of what I write - and why I write. I love to laugh and I love to make people laugh. I don't think I have the emotional fortitude to write dark, heavy stuff. I'd probably end up bed-ridden in a deep depression.

  4. 4. Are any of the mortifying moments Kerry has in the book based on real life?

    They are all fiction! No one believes me! Everyone who reads the book thinks I have a really kinky sex life. Okay, the ski hill incident did happen to a friend of mine, but it was heavily fictionalised for the book. She was so sweet to let me write about it. And I did have a boyfriend who broke up with me just after I'd had my wisdom teeth removed. But other than that, all fiction! My husband and I are not into S&M!

  5. 5. What is your most mortifying moment?

    Just after I finished high school, I had a summer job working as a receptionist at a moving and storage company. The place was crawling with men - most were overweight, sweaty truck drivers, but I had a little crush on this muscular young delivery guy. One day, I skipped out to the warehouse to deliver a phone message to one of the drivers. There was a group of about seven guys standing around talking - including my crush. As I handed over the message slip, the phone in the office started to ring. I turned and ran to answer it, when my ankle completely gave out. I fell, very dramatically, flat on my face. I actually skidded along the warehouse floor. I remember the guy I liked yelling, 'Holy shit!' As I dragged myself off the floor, I noticed I was covered in dirt and bleeding. I scurried to the bathroom where I locked the door and cried.

  6. 6. What was the inspiration behind The Secret Desires of a Soccer Mom (also known as Secrets and Wives)?

    I was kind of living that life at the time - minus the adultery and murder. I was stuck at home in a suburban community with young kids and I was feeling pretty damn bored. I could really relate to how a woman could crave drama, even danger and be willing to take insane risks in her quest for a little excitement. I'd been playing around with the concept when my editor suggested I add the murder-mystery element. It had never occurred to me to write a mystery, but I had a lot of fun with it. I'm actually meeting with some producers next month who are interested in turning the book into a TV series.

  7. 7. Tell us about your latest novel, Unravelled.

    It's the story of Beth, a 20-something who joins a knitting circle after she breaks up with her sweet, but commitment-phobic boyfriend. As the group learns to knit together, their Thursday sessions become a sort of cheap group therapy. They develop a strong bond of friendship, and Beth is feeling more optimistic than she has in months. She's even started dating again. But the man she finds herself falling for has a secret so shocking that it could destroy their relationship - and blow apart the best group of friends she's ever had. Da-na-na! (ominous sounding music).

  8. 8. What are you working on now?

    I just finished editing my new novel Chronicles of a Mid-Life Crisis (out May 2008) and I'm working on my first non-fiction book. It's called Confessions of a Green Mom: One woman's struggle to raise a family and save the planet. (I guess it's pretty self-explanatory.) I've also got some really exciting screenplay stuff in the works - though everything is on hold at the moment because of the Writers Guild strike.

  9. 9. Tell us about the plot for Chronicles of a Mid-Life Crisis.

    Trent and Lucy have created the perfect life: good careers; lovingly restored heritage home; a bright, private-schooled daughter. So Lucy is blindsided when, after 16 years of marriage, Trent tells her he's leaving. 'It's not that I don't love you,' he explains. 'But I need to get to know myself as an individual.' He's not about to admit that he's also getting to know his sexy co-worker, Annika. And while Trent had craved the excitement of a new relationship, the oversexed Annika may not allow him the solitude (or energy) to ever 'get to know himself'. Lucy is crushed, but she holds it together for 15-year-old Samantha. Lucy throws herself into her career as a props buyer for the hit teen comedy Cody's Way. And she has supportive friends, including one who believes all problems can be solved with some highlights and a Botox treatment. While Lucy hopes to salvage her family, her new look has attracted the attentions of 'Cody' himself. Twenty-seven-year-old teen-heartthrob Wynn Felker is rich, gorgeous and surprisingly sweet. His photo is also plastered all over Sam's bedroom wall. Can Lucy really date her daughter's girlhood crush? Lucy and Trent struggle in their separate orbits until Sam's shocking rebellion causes them to reunite as parents. They're forced to examine what they want for their own futures, and that of their family. At times hilarious and heartbreaking, this novel goes beyond the mid-life crisis cliche. Told from both the male and female perspective, it examines the break-up of a marriage, the adage 'life begins at 40', and what it means to be a family.

  10. 10. What is your favourite piece of feedback you've received about one of your books?

    It was the first 'fan' email I ever got. A woman had read The Journal of Mortifying Moments and she felt like it changed her life. She'd just broken off a long engagement and was having regrets. She said the book made her see the humour in her situation, and gave her hope for a more positive future. I was thrilled - and surprised - that the book had had such a positive impact. But every time someone takes the time to write and tell me they enjoyed reading one of my books, it just makes my day.

  11. 11. Which books would you most like to get in your Christmas stocking?

    I have been meaning to read Philippa Gregory's novels - The Other Boleyn Girl, The Virgin's Lover etc. I've heard they are amazing, and I'm really interested in that time period. I watched the miniseries The Tudors on TV and it was fantastic. Thanks for reminding me. I just called Santa and put a bug in his ear.

  12. 12. What are your interests outside writing?

    I have two awesome kids who keep me really busy. I do martial arts once a week. I'm not going for my black belt or anything, but it's a great work-out and so empowering. And my husband and I both LOVE to watch movies.

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