Today i had the pleasure of interviewing Bonnie Trachtenberg who is the author of the bestselling book, Wedlocked: A Novel, and she writes a monthly relationship column for LoveaHappyEnding.com. She used to be copy chief/senior writer for Book-of-the-Month Club and she has also written for several newspapers, magazines and websites. Bonnie lives in New York with her husband, four cats and a dog.
Books & Writing: What got you interested in writing?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: I’m not sure. It just came naturally and was always a part of my life. Ever since grade school I had an affinity for English and enjoyed creative writing assignments. I had an active imagination and loved expressing it on paper. Since it came pretty easily to me and I enjoyed it so much, there was an organic progression through the years.
Books & Writing: Were you inspired by someone or something?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: Not something or someone specific, but Hollywood had a big influence on me. Whether through film or television, I was captivated by a good story and great characters.
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a bit about your book “Wedlocked”?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: Wedlocked is an engaging romantic comedy about a thirty-six-year-old struggling actress named Rebecca Ross, who lets years of disappointment and heartache catapult her into a disastrous marriage and onto a honeymoon from hell. The story takes readers from New York to Los Angeles and finally to Italy, and explores such themes as mother/daughter strife, second chances, finding love, and most importantly, finding yourself.
Books & Writing: How did you come up with the story for the book?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: Wedlocked was inspired by true events from my life, namely my first brief, horrendous marriage after many years of singlehood. Being able to turn such a difficult time in my life into a humorous novel was a cathartic and very gratifying experience.
Books & Writing: Tell us something about the main character Rebecca Ross.
Bonnie Trachtenberg: Rebecca is a perfectionist Pollyanna from Long Island who leaves her sheltered home and heads out into the wild yonder of Hollywood in search of a brilliant acting career. But when life cuts her down, it turns her in a very unexpected and precarious direction. It’s from there that she learns so much more about herself than she ever expected and ultimately is able to find her place in the world.
Books & Writing: I understand you reviewed a lot of books in your career. How was it to have your own book reviewed for the first time?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: Nerve-racking of course! After you spend years creating an alternate universe that only you are privy to, exposing it to others is exciting, but also very daunting. Luckily, the majority of editorial and reader reviews have been glowing and each one makes me so glad I invested so much of my time and energy in creating the book.
Books & Writing: What motivates you to keep on writing on a book?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: Once I start writing I feel like the characters and events take on a life of their own. I could never just walk away and leave them hanging for all eternity!
Books & Writing: Are you working on something new at the moment?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: I’m in the process of ushering my second novel out the door. It’s a very funny romantic comedy that’s already garnering awesome reviews so I’m very excited. I’m not going to reveal the name until it’s ready to launch, which is, appropriately, occurring on Valentine’s Day at the World Literary Café.
Books & Writing: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years in relation to writing?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: I hope to have one or two more novels out there and hope to be spending more time writing and a little less time social marketing! I don’t think my neck and back can take much more of this!
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: My advice is to write about the things you really love and care about. Don’t let anyone talk you into writing what’s “hot and selling” if it doesn’t interest you because you’ll be miserable! Also, take writing classes, start a blog, and network relentlessly on Facebook and Twitter.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: My books will both be on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book outlets. Check out my website for lots of information on my articles, columns, blogs and much more: http://www.BonnieTrachtenberg.com
Books & Writing: Where can people find you on internet?
Bonnie Trachtenberg: Aside from my website, you can find me at:
Books & Writing: Thanks Bonnie for answering my questions!
Feel free to leave some comments below!
Below is an excerpt from her book Wedlocked!
I used to think the term “temporary insanity” was just a dubious courtroom plea. I found out the hard way that I was wrong. When you’re fraught with this condition, it’s kind of like meandering in a thick fog—only you’re too bemused to even realize you’re lost. Then, when it finally lifts, you feel you’ve awakened from a horrible nightmare—the kind that makes you relieved you’d never really do anything so stupid. Except you did.
Well, it’s taken almost a year for the enormity of it all to sink in. Looking back, I wish I had just heeded the numerous, glaring signs. Let’s start with the weather. How often did we get a 105 degree day onLong Island? Although never reported by the meteorologists, I now know the reason for this anomaly: the fires of hell were attempting to engulf my picture perfect wedding in a dramatic, raging inferno. Just a subtle reminder that I’d sold my soul and was on borrowed time.
As we were announced into a resplendent ballroom filled with enthusiastic guests, it was as if a UFO had plucked me out of my should-be life, only to plop me down in some sort of bizarre alternate universe. For it had been less than a year earlier that I was this close to seeing my dreams of fame, fortune, and romance come to fruition, when they exploded in my face like a cruel joke.
With Craig’s hand gripping mine, and the Starbright Orchestra’s lead singer channeling Frank Sinatra, the glorious, Gatsby-esque room that had so enchanted me, began spinning even faster than my shell-shocked, post-nuptial brain. What some brides know is that when you find yourself sashaying down the aisle on what’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life, things can sometimes turn bafflingly surreal. Sensing something’s terribly amiss, you chalk it up to jitters, refusing to acknowledge a most unpleasant fact: the man standing before you in white tie and tails is far from the soul mate you hoped for.
If I could have seen this truth in real time, I like to think I would have mustered the courage to make a mad bolt from the chapel. But I was thirty-six—trampled, lost, and romantically bankrupt—so the only thing running away that day was the train I was riding, and I kept my seat, although I was destined to wreck.
Incidentally, my theatrical background helped in my resolve to commit matrimonial suicide. As I entered the chapel, my thespian tendencies kicked in like an Ethel Merman-infused survival mechanism, ensuring I’d focus only on my given lines, blocking, and manic desire to please my audience. After all, as Ethel sang, “the show must go on”––and somehow, ironically, I was finally the star. My name is Rebecca Ross; welcome to my wedding day.