Wednesday, June 21, 2017

POP-OUT GIRL by Irene Woodbury Interview & Excerpt

Author: Irene Woodbury
Publisher: SynergEbooks
Pages: 188
Genre: Commercial Fiction

When Zane Hollister returns home to Las Vegas after two years in prison and discovers his showgirl-lover is with another guy, he goes ballistic. After stalking and taunting the couple for months, his toxic jealousy takes a darker turn. To wipe out Colton, Zane masterminds a devilish zip line accident and a terrifying car crash. When those fail, he resorts to kidnapping Jen and forcing her to marry him. And it gets even worse when Zane shoots Colton’s boss, Matt, by mistake as he aims for Colton in a horrific drive-by shooting.
With Matt lingering in a coma, Jen’s cocktail-waitress mother, Brandi, absorbs a seismic shock of her own. After hearing Matt’s name on the local news, she realizes he’s her first love of decades past—and Jen’s real father.
Will Matt emerge from his coma to reunite with Brandi and Jen? Do the cops nab Zane, who’s hiding out in Hawaii? And can Jen and Colton’s love survive Zane’s lethal jealousy?
There’s a happy ending for some, but not for all, in Pop-Out Girl.


Amazon | Smashwords

Book Excerpt:

Jen was a romantic who loved weddings. From the time she was a little girl, she had daydreamed about her own, conjuring up elaborate fantasies about the dress, cake, and flowers. And so when she got an invitation to attend her friend, Carly’s, festive nuptials in Reno, she immediately RSVP’d that she’d be there.
         Getting out of Las Vegas for a fun-filled, relaxing weekend was just what Jen needed. She was still on a leave of absence from her job as a pop-out girl, a gig she loved that entailed emerging from a six-foot, multi-tiered cake and then singing, dancing, and stripping down to a teensy bikini for hordes of admiring guests at special events.
         Curvy, blond Jen was a huge hit, one of the most popular girls at Stripper Grams. But after a scary car crash, she had gone on leave and was now filling her days with dance classes, lunches with friends, and singing lessons. None of that got her through the weekends, though, which were long and lonely without Colton, her boyfriend who was out in San Francisco recovering from injuries sustained in that same freakish accident. Carly’s invitation couldn’t have come at a better time.
         Jen’s very cool, cocktail-waitress mother, Brandi, ran all over town with her to find the perfect dress. They finally chose a dove-gray silk and lace gown that would work well for a winter wedding. Jen was going to make the seven-hour drive to Reno with her friend, Brianna, another pop-out girl and one of Carly’s six bridesmaids.
         On a cold, dreary Friday morning in January 2017, an excited Jen waited to be picked up at eight. At least that’s what she’d told her mom, who was still at work, earlier. She had packed a suitcase and was flitting around the house, doing last-minute chores.
         At the stroke of seven, the doorbell rang. For an instant, Jen wondered why Brianna would arrive an hour early, but she was pumped to go so she flung open the door. To her horror, it wasn’t Brianna. There on the doorstep stood Zane Hollister, her toxically jealous ex-boyfriend who’d been making her life hell since he got out of prison six months earlier.
         Jen’s heart dropped. She gasped in fright and tried to close the door, but Zane quickly shoved his arm out and blocked her. She stared up at him, six feet of dark, brooding menace in black jeans and a worn biker jacket, hovering over her. His neck-length dark hair was a bit ragged and disheveled, his brown eyes glassy and bloodshot. He was obviously high on pills, maybe uppers, maybe downers, maybe a combination of both.
         “Hey beautiful, what’s up?” he purred in a slightly slurry, faux-light voice as he barged into the house, closing the door behind him.

About the Author

Irene Woodbury’s third novel, Pop-Out Girl (2017), pushes a lot of buttons. It’s a gripping look at the tumultuous life of a 23-year-old showgirl-wannabe named Jen Conover who pops out of cakes at special events in Las Vegas for a living. The novel offers riveting glimpses into the loves, lives, triumphs, and tragedies of Jen’s family and friends as well.

Irene grew up in Pittsburgh, and has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Denver. The University of Houston 1993 graduate also called Texas home for seven years. Her writing career began In 2000. After five years as a successful travel writer, she switched to fiction. Irene’s first novel, the humorous A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, was published in 2011. The darkly dramatic A Dead End in Vegas followed in 2014. Pop-Out Girl is another dramatic effort. With her husband, Richard, editing, Irene completed the novel in eighteen months. She hopes audiences will enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it.


Where are you from?
Pittsburgh, a beautiful place to grow up in. The street we lived on had many families with lots of kids and dogs. The church and school were a block away. There were candy stores, ice cream shops, parks and a zoo, and all kinds of fun shopping. From a young age, my friends and I walked everywhere or took buses. Just perfect, really.

Tell us your latest news?

My latest news is that my third novel, Pop-Out Girl, was published on April 30, 2017. I’m happy and relieved, but also kind of sad. I miss the writing and the characters, You get to know them so well, and then suddenly the book is done and you shift into marketing gear.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing poetry when I was nine or ten. I honestly don’t know why. It was an instinct. I loved to read from a young age, so that probably had a lot to do with it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I always knew I was a writer because I was more of an observer than a participant. As a child, I would stand back and watch everyone. That fed my imagination and got me started. Even if you’re not putting words on paper, the process of observing and watching is so important to a writer.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted to write a funny book where the female characters were not victims. Sure, they were confused and lost, but ultimately they were the heroines of their own lives. A SLOT MACHINE ATE MY MIDLIFE CRISIS (2011) was about a 45-year-old newlywed who goes to Las Vegas for a girls’ weekend with a friend—and never goes home again. It’s a funny, bizarre book. I laughed a lot while I wrote it, and readers found it funny too!

Do you have a specific writing style?

Probably, but I’m not aware of it. I’ve never analyzed myself like that. Readers enjoy my descriptions and characters, so I develop things well, but I honestly don’t know if I have a specific writing style.

How did you come up with the title?

I wanted something simple that people would remember. Also something short because when you Tweet, you don’t want a long title. And Pop-Out Girl wasn’t taken. Often when you have a title idea, you Google it and there are music videos or films with the title. You need to find something unique. Pop-Out Girl wasn’t taken, so it was fresh. I liked that.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

One message in Pop-Out Girl is that first loves are so important in one’s life. People or situations often interfere and come between young couples, but their love never dies. No matter how many years pass, or how many other relationships there are, that first love lives in your heart forever. This is how I see Matt and Brandi—and how Zane thinks of himself with Jen.
How much of the book is realistic?
I think all of it is realistic. If you look at some of the bizarre things that happen to real people, it all seems believable. I like to write books that are a little over the top, but at the same time realistic.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No. The characters and situations in Pop-Out Girl were made up by me. I got one central idea for the book (a man comes to Las Vegas and meets a lovely, sweet showgirl—and he doesn’t realize she’s his daughter and she doesn’t realize he’s her biological father) and developed it from there.

What books have influenced your life most?

Classic novels from writers like Henry James and Edith Wharton. Their storylines are brilliant and complex and their writing exquisite. Their novels are works of art.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Edith Wharton. She wrote women’s lives in a realistic way. Her novels are a social and historical depiction of the era she lived in. Beneath the elegant surfaces of her female characters there is suffering, but it’s subtle, poignant, and beautifully written.

What book are you reading now?

Slipstream, an autobiography of British novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard. What a gifted, amazing woman and writer.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

None that I can think of at the moment.

What are your current projects?

I’m busy promoting and marketing Pop-Out Girl. I’d like to writer another humor novel, or maybe a sequel to Pop-Out.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?

Professors in college were very supportive. And friends of course.
What would you like my readers to know?

That they’re an important part of the process. Without them and their support and feedback, this would be a very lonely job.




1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being part of my PUYB Blog Tour, Deal Sharing Aunt. The feature looks great and I enjoyed the interview. Love your blog -- Continued success to you as a reader and writer, Irene