Carolyn Fruzzetti and Meghan Pearsall are a collaborative writing team from Alexandria, Virginia. Basic questions are answered below and please also visit http://sundialbook.com
How did you meet?
MIP: “We met on swim team when we were little. It was 1982 and Carolyn called my house one day and asked me what I was doing. I answered, “Nothing.” She replied, “Good, I am coming over.” Then, I heard a dial tone. The rest you could say was history. We have been friends ever since.
CFF: “We have always had the same interests. We’ve always played sports together and enjoy coming up with creative projects. Meghan always has another idea she wants to try. Like the summer we thought we would become advertising executives since we made up our own commercials and video taped them every day. That was before we realized we hated the structure of corporate life!”
How do you work as co-authors?
CFF: “Although we are both originally from Alexandria, Virginia we don’t live close to each other anymore. So, we talk on the phone. A LOT. And we use cloud computing. We have Jay Sanne to thank for that suggestion. It streamlined the way we work.”
MIP: “For me, I enjoy brainstorming the ideas with Carolyn and coming up with interesting concepts. Seeing it come to life through our characters and plot is really exciting. We are really total opposites, so we make a good writing team. She thinks of things I would never consider and vice-versa. I think that way, we create a really well-rounded story.”
What did you do before you wrote SUNDIAL?
CFF: “I got my bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with a minor in Business from James Madison University. I worked in marketing and business development for large global companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deutsche Bank. I worked on Wall Street during the September 11th terrorist attacks. After seeing that destruction firsthand, I moved back home to Virginia and decided to do something I always wanted to do and went to culinary school. I attended L’Academie de Cuisine and got my professional culinary degree. I then ran my own personal chef company and worked for Nordstrom’s restaurant division. I got married in 2007, and had my first child in 2008. I continued to work until my second daughter was born in 2009. It was then that we started the book and this new chapter in my life of staying at home and working two jobs as mother and author!“
MIP: “I got my bachelor’s degree in English from James Madison University. My first job was working for The Alexandria and Mount Vernon Gazette newspapers as an Arts and Entertainment Editor. Then, despite the fact that I dislike math, I went into banking! I worked in public relations and marketing for Riggs Bank N.A. in Washington, DC. I got married in 1999 and moved to Charlottesville so my husband could finish medical school at UVA. I got my Master’s degree in Education in community counseling from Lynchburg College and worked in a domestic violence shelter. We had my daughter in 2002 and we moved to Baltimore for my husband to complete his residency. We had my son in 2005 and moved to Richmond, Virginia. Once I moved to Richmond, I became an advocate for food allergy awareness and safety.
Why did you decide to Self-Publish?
MIP: “After we finished the manuscript, we followed the typical protocol of sending out queries. Fortunately, three agents asked to read the manuscript but we also got our share of rejection letters–or worse, no response. While the agents were reading the manuscript, we started our contingency plan of what we were going to do if they all came back with a ‘no.’ Happily for us, we stumbled onto the blogs of J.A. Konrath and H.P. Mallory. We learned what it was to give up our “e-rights” and decided we didn’t want to do that. Self-publishing became an extension of the creative process for us. We liked picking out the book cover art and designing the blog. It was not intimidating–it just added a new dimension to this adventure.”
CFF: “Self-publishing is really evolving. Technology has transformed the way we read and readers now have more options than ever. And, speaking of control, we like holding onto the control of the manuscript and our lives. Realistically, we are not going to be able to go on book tours or fly to NYC for a quick meeting at the drop of a hat. We no longer have spontaneous lifestyles!””
How do you find time to write?
MIP: “I get up early to write and write after my kids go to sleep. Once my youngest started kindergarten, that gave me a bit more time–but only a bit. Stay-at-home moms are always on the go! I am grateful to fit writing around our hectic but rewarding schedule of homework, sports practices and games, enrichment classes and friends. I am glad I am available to my children and believe it is the greatest gift I can give them. I have to thank my husband for being supportive and encouraging me to do what is best for our family.”
CFF: “I hit the ground running every morning with two daughters under three. Family is my first priority so I have to do most of my work at night. Sometimes, the last thing I wanted to do is continue to work after the kids go to bed but this is a fulfilling project for me and where there is a will there is a way. I am very determined to make this a success, to reach our goals and put in the work necessary to do that. I hope people enjoy the story and it would be nice to add a few extra bucks to the college funds.”
Will you be going on tour?
No. One of the reasons we decided to self-publish is because we believe our story has legs of its own. We want you all talking about SUNDIAL and don’t think us talking about SUNDIAL in your local Barnes and Noble is really that valuable.
Can I email you?
Yes. We respect the time you spent in sending the email and we think it is common courtesy to reply. Please forgive any time delay, but we will respond! Contact us at: email@example.com
Can I interview you for my blog/website?
Yes. We wouldn’t have written the book if we didn’t expect to talk about it! Thank you for thinking of us. Please put BLOG/WEBSITE INTERVIEW REQUEST in the title of your email so we can address it as promptly as possible. Again, we will do our best in responding in the timely manner you deserve!
Can you read my story for me?
No. Sorry, we really can’t. We can tell you what we did and that was to enlist a group of beta readers that we could count on for honest feedback. There are writing groups you can join and several websites that allow you to submit your work for comments if you are willing to do the same in return. If you think you have a good story–don’t give up! Go for it!
Do you have an agent?
No. We had several agents ask for our manuscript but decided to self-publish instead.
Will you be my Facebook friend?
We would love you to be friends with Whitney Forbes, Blair Delaney or Reid Wallace. Also, feel free to like the book on FB. Thanks for thinking of us!
What are you doing when you are not working on the next book?
We are busy devoting a lot of time and energy to our families! We both also hit the gym every morning and love to catch up with friends. In addition, Meghan makes time for working in her garden, playing tennis and reading. Carolyn loves to cook, go to farmers markets and cruise through Nordstrom.