The Compulsive Reader: Author Spotlight: An Interview With Mary Hogan

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Author Spotlight: An Interview With Mary Hogan

As a part of out Author Spotlight, Mary Hogan, just back from a book tour in the UK, has graciously agreed to answer any question that may come her way. First of all, let's give Mary a BIG THANK YOU for being so honest!

And now, without further ado, here's Mary Hogan, with YOUR questions!

Your books focus a lot on self image. Is this due to past experience?

And present experience! I grew up in L.A., near the Baywatch beaches. My middle name is Helen and my sister called me Mary Helen Watermelon. 'Nuf said.

What would you change about yourself?

My middle name.

I have issues with my weight and the way I look, and wonder what it'd be like to get plastic surgery. If you had the chance, would you go under the knife?

I had my nose fixed about twenty years ago and it grew back. (I'm not kidding!) Noses and ears continue to grow throughout your life. A little-known fact. So, if you do your nose (or your ears) do it late in life. As for lipo....hmmmmm. I've always been tempted. But I know women who've had it done and they are still obsessed with their weight. Right now, my goal is to like--accept--myself as is. I'll let you know how it's going once we enter bikini season.

What kind of advice can you give to someone who doesn't like themselves?

One thing I know for sure is this: Everyone doesn't like something about themselves. Even (especially!) models. To me, it's just a matter of focus. Like my recently-regrown nose. I'm not thrilled with it, but I do adore my new haircut. So, I spend a lot of time at the mirror gazing at the back of my head. Accentuate the positive, ignore the negative. And always, always get a great haircut.

Have you ever met a celebrity like Susanna?

My husband is an actor, so yeah, I've met a few celebs. The trick is to treat them normally, because SO many people don't. Whenever I see a celeb on the streets of NY, I always ask for directions to the subway. I pretend I have no idea who they are. Honestly, my tactic rarely yields accurate directions (what celeb rides the subway??), but I do get a close-up look. Between you and me, lots of celebs have noses that have grown back.

How many books about Susanna will there be, and when will the next one be out?

Four books, total. Susanna 3...SUSANNA COVERS THE CATWALK...will be out this October. Our girl has a fab adventure at Fashion Week in NYC. Great fun.

Did you ever have anyone like Aunt Martie in Perfect Girl? (I wish I did!)

I wish I did, too! The thing I love most about Aunt Marty is that she's fabulous and (ultimately) human. If you can swing it, what better way to be?

The idea that Ruthie's dad was a sperm donor is really different, where did you come up with the idea?

My real dad was an alcoholic when I was growing up (see THE SERIOUS KISS). So, even though he was there physically, he was really an absent parent. So, I've always been drawn to characters who have difficult family lives. I got to thinking, what would it be like if a girl never had a dad at all??? Which is how I came up with the sperm donor idea. It was either that, or a wild night in the backseat of a car. But, Ruthie's mom would never have done that. Or would she......????? Did she???? hehe

Have you ever had a crush on a guy friend like Ruthie did in Perfect Girl?

God, yes!!!! But, I can't tell you his name. I still see him from time to time. Honestly, I always wanted to be his girlfriend, but he always wanted to be my friend. Story of my life (sniff). But now, I'm married to an incredible guy who is also my best friend. So there, John! (fake name)

What did you study in college that prepared you to work in magazine editing and then write books?

I was a film major. I wanted to be a director, but I hate Hollywood (see above RE: watermelons). I think the biggest thing you need to be a successful writer is something I was born with: the ability to sit on my butt for hours at a time. Oh yeah, and lots of staring into space.

What's one of your favorite books?

My current fav is "Eccentric Glamour" by Simon Doonan. Extremely funny with great fashion advice. Who could ask for more?

Do you have any other books coming out besides the Susanna books? / What are you working on now?

I'm finishing up the final SUSANNA. She goes to London and falls in love (sigh). After that, I plan to sit on my butt and stare into space.

Are you a full time writer, or do you have a day job?

Full-time writer. Weekends and holidays, too. Though I do do windows.

I've heard a lot about crazy writing habits. Do you have a writing quirk to share?

My writing habits are tres boring. I work everyday from 9:30 to Oprah. I've always wanted a quirk or two, but I'm painfully ordinary. Any quirks you can share??

(Note from TCR: I make my excess of push pins on my bulletin board say things before I sit down and write. Right now is says nifty...and I'm not even sure why.)

How was your tour?

London was hot, hot, hot! And, I don't mean cool. I was sweating the entire time. But, the work part was fantastic. One bit of fallout: I returned with a slight British accent. A la Madonna. I'm thinking of going on concert tour next year if I can whip myself into shape. Cheers!

Is there anything that didn't get asked that you wish had been?

Yeah. How much I weigh. I've always been dying to say, "None of your business!" like Chelsea Clinton.

Many, many thanks to Mary! If that interview hasn't tempted you into reading her books, click here to read the reviews!

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