Judith Sterling, Middle Ageish, online dating, romantic comedy, Shirley Goldberg, The Wild Rose Press, women's fiction
Please welcome Shirley Goldberg! She’s a sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press) and here to talk about her recent release, Middle Ageish. Let’s see what she has to say…
Tell us something about yourself.
When I was in my teens all I wanted to do was travel. At nineteen, my best friend and I quit university and went to Ireland.
We hitchhiked all around the country, me with a suitcase as big as a sheep. (I ended up sending most of the clothes I’d brought back home.) A sweet couple put us up in their barn for the night and served us a four-course breakfast in the morning.
They would have given us a room, but my friend, Elise, wanted to sleep in a real barn. We hitched all around Europe and ended up meeting a group of travelers at the Youth Hostel in Rome, continued on to Greece with them. We’re still in touch to this day.
Funny that I ended up marrying a Greek physics professor and living in Crete for eleven years.
Why did you choose the cover concept you did for Middle Ageish?
My novel is romantic women’s fiction. Since the title of the book, Middle Ageish, immediately tells the reader the characters are older, I wanted a cover that conveyed the idea of a rom com for the over-45 reader. A fun, beachy read, but with the real life problems that come with life experience.
Who would you recommend this book to and what should readers be aware of before reading it?
Here’s what a reader said about my book in a review:
“In the beginning I thought, ‘I’m not sure this book is for me. I’ve been married for 50 years.’ I quickly changed my mind. I loved the book.”
My readers are probably in their forties and older, married or divorced and looking for a light read––although there’s some heartbreak and angst in the novel. The heat level is low and the door closes when it ratchets up.
Also, since the book centers around online dating it will appeal to anyone who’s dated online, or is curious about it. If you’d like to read more how-tos about dating, check out my website link below.
And, if you think Sunny’s dating escapades are exaggerated, ask your friends who’ve dated. They’ll give you the real scoop––just as it plays out in the story.
Relationships are what our books are all about, all different kinds of relationships. What interests you about how people find one another?
Everything about relationships fascinates me, from the meeting and greeting aspect to the reasons couples break up. The book grew out of my own dating experiences, but I needed time and perspective before I began writing. I worked my way gradually from taking notes after dates to transferring the notes to the computer in story form.
And I compared notes with friends, usually over a glass of wine. Our experiences had so many similarities, I began to see a pattern. Everyone wants a special someone. No matter what we say to the contrary, the craving for the one person who understands you is universally important to almost everyone on the planet.
What defines you as an author?
I want to make my reader laugh. I want her to recognize a little bit of herself in my characters.
It’s been a pleasure having you here, Shirley! Middle Ageish sounds like a wonderful, fun read.
And now, a peek between the pages:
An email from Noah, the guy who lived on Long Island, slid into my inbox. What was I doing meeting some far away guy? What if we hit it off? New Haven to Long Island. A ridiculous commute.
A little thump, thump warning from my chest, an adrenalin rush. Don’t get carried away here. No expectations. We were meeting, only if I liked his phone persona.
Meeting. Nothing more.
I skimmed the email, smiling like an idiot.
May I please have your most honuorable presence to enlarge by far the companionment of my pleasurelyness on Saturday the eighth of December MCMXXVVIIMZQX at 1030 hrs under the auspiciscisable weather conditions of shine or no shine or falling snow or sleat yes, even that for the purpose of our ffffirst date in the way of a nice slow freaky amble on the Canal in the Towne of Hamden and of my dreams. Boat optional.
My warmest thoughts, hopes
Respect. Fully. Noah
Ps. May I call you? Please.
I emailed my phone number and sat on my bed waiting for the phone to ring. All I could think of was Luke, the day we emailed back and forth until he said I can’t stand it anymore, and I’d sent him my phone number.
Well, Noah wasn’t Luke.
The phone rang.
“Hello, this is Noah—your blind date.”
“Aren’t we being polite?”
“Yes, should we be something else?”
“Well, I’m nervous, and you claim to be shy.” I picked at my toenail polish.
“You don’t believe I’m shy?”
“No, I don’t. You’re definitely not shy in email.”
“No. But I have the chance to think about what I’m writing.”
“Yes, that’s an advantage.” This guy has a great voice. I wonder if he knows it. “But it can be a problem because then you have to live up to your email potential.”
Plus, he was fun to tease.
“My email potential?” He sounded worried. “Now you’ve got me scared. Running scared.”
“So,” I said, “should we walk and then meet?”
He laughed, a friendly, reassuring laugh. “I liked it when you said that. Made fun of you, too. Did I get you mad?”
“Absolutely. Did I make you jealous when I went on that Harley date?”
“Is that why you wanted to meet me?” I asked.
“I wanted to meet you from the beginning.”
“What beginning?” This is fun.
“Oh, I think it was when you called me “honey” in your email.”
“You liked that?”
“I did,” he said. “It sorta broke the ice.”
“Oh. You have a New York accent. I hear something there, especially when you say “becawze.”
“That’s because I live in New York and grew up there, too.”
“So, let me tell you something, but I don’t want to scare you.”
“You’re scaring me. Do you have a record or something?”
What a waste. That’s all I could think. All those lovely emails, the funny French and Italian translations, the great voice. The man was hiding something.
“No, it’s not that kind of scared.” His voice became faint, as if he’d turned his head away.
“Just say it then.”
A long pause before he spoke. “I was thinking, just in case we fall madly in love, well, I rented a room there.”
“Here?” I said, bewildered.
“Holy crap, yes. There. Look, I thought if we hit it off, I could stay over and see you tomorrow. That’s my idea.”
“Oh? Is that all?” He sounded genuinely hurt.
“Well, I feel pressured, and I haven’t even met you.”
“Don’t feel pressured.”
“OK.” And after a long pause I told him I felt pressured.
“Forget it. It was a bad idea. I shouldn’t have said anything.”
“Yes, you should have.” He shouldn’t have.
Buy the book:
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A little more about Shirley:
Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website http://midagedating.com offers a humorous look at living single and dating in mid life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. Middle Ageish is her first book in the series Starting Over. Her character believes you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.
Visit her website for another excerpt from the book. Sign up and grab a copy of Happy Hour, a short story about an online meet and a tiny misunderstanding.
Find her here:
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