Interview with Aimee Pitta
Thanks to Aimee Pitta for letting me interview her – and be sure to check back tomorrow for my review of Happily Ever Before, co-authored by Aimee Pitta and Melissa Peterman!
Aimee: When I was 10 someone gave me a diary. I guess at that age all little girls got that as birthday gift along with a watch and a heart locket. I wasn’t really sure what do with it; I didn’t fully grasp the concept of a diary. I still don’t, even the adult version of journaling is completely lost on me. Anyway I was 10, I didn’t have any deep dark inner musings to write about, but I did have 4 other sisters who were quite entertaining and hilarious, and I was heavily influenced by the book Harriet The Spy, so I basically turned my diary into a notebook where I wrote plays and stories about everyone I knew.
How would you describe your books?
Aimee: That’s a tough one. I guess I would describe them as real character driven books. Books, that hopefully provide insight into how a real person in this given situation would react. I try to make sure that what I write rings true, from the dialogue to the prose to the situations the characters are dealing with.
What are some challenges and benefits of writing as a team?
Aimee: Writers are alone a lot. And when you write with a partner it’s nice not being alone. It’s nice to have someone to turn to and go does this make any sense at all? Does this seem plausible? And it was a true joy writing with Melissa because not only is she a delightful human being, and well stocked in the snacks department, but she’s got a background in improv, so when we would pitch out a scene, she would invariably jump up and act it out and in that moment we would know if the scene was the direction we should go for the book. Sometimes it was and sometimes it wasn’t but it led us to the right place. As for challenges, just scheduling, that really is the hardest part of writing with a partner. We both have busy live; Melissa has a tougher schedule than I to juggle so really that was only challenge.
Aimee: Well, it was born out of an idea of creating a vehicle of some kind for Melissa and as we worked on it we kept adding more and more story and then it morphed into an aha moment, of you know I think this would make a really good book. Melissa, who is a great writer, had never written a book before, I had already written 2, so the fact that she was game to undertake this journey made me even more excited to write it.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Aimee: I love writing. I always have. I love everything about it. I really don’t struggle too much as a writer. My friends tell me I’m annoying prolific which I suppose I am. I’ve learned not to stress about my writing, whether it’s a new script or a copy writing assignment, or a new novel. I’ve learned to walk away from the page when I need to walk away and I’ve learned to be grateful that this is something that I have a great passion for and at times get paid to do. The part of the process I have issues with and am still grappling with is the other side of it, the getting an agent, editor, lawyer, huckster, that person who believes in you, who supposedly gets out there and hustles for you, sells it, gets it to the supposed right people. The lack of that entity, if you will, in my life, over the years has caused me so much frustration and real heartache, and it is what led me to the path of self-publishing. It was hard to wrap my head around it because I felt that somehow if I self-published I wasn’t a legitimate writer, that my words didn’t matter because I hadn’t followed a traditional path a path that would somehow legitimize me. It look me a long time to make peace with that and to realize that self-publishing wasn’t my scarlet letter. And then knowing that I was taking this journey with Melissa made it less scary because not only wasn’t I alone, but she’s a wonderful cheerleader and her belief and trust in me as a writer and person, along with my family and friends, gave me the courage to undertake this adventure.
Aimee: I just love a good book. That being said I tend to shy away from the darker horror like fare, unless it comes highly recommended then I might pick it up and give it a try. I spent a large part of my life as a movie-marketing executive and I worked on a lot of horror films, from Se7en to the Nightmare On Elm Street series, so I’ve had my fill.
What do you want readers to take away from your story?
Aimee: That they had a good time. That they were as satisfied with the book as they are with a great meal and that from appetizer to dessert we quenched their appetite.
How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
Aimee: It seems key in terms of getting the word out about your book. Especially with self published authors like us. One well thought out tweet or post or pin can do wonders to get the public interested in your book.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
Aimee: Honestly, I’m still an aspiring writer. There’s no getting around that. That being said I think all writers aspire to tell a good story, to transport a reader, to get them so involved in your characters that the world slips away for a few hours. As for advice, never give up. Never let anyone compromise your voice. Always be writing.