Allison Winn Scotch's 'Time of My Life'

An interview with Allison Winn Scotch, author of 'Time of My Life' amongst others.

Betty’s Lit Lounge Featured Book Giveaway

Time of My Life

Allison Winn Scotch answers the what-if question we all wonder about!

-Stephanie Elliot

Allison Winn Scotch has been a frequent contributor to many national magazines (I guarantee you’ve already read something she’s written!). She’s also the talented and successful author of The Department of Lost & Found. I’m excited that her latest book, Time of My Life: A Novel, hits stores this week. It has already received great reviews and has been called “a fabulous, madcap read.” It’s a great tale for any woman who’s ever wondered about the one who got away or the one she let go. Basically, it’s a book for all women!

Stephanie: I kind of felt like I wanted to have my chi unblocked after reading Time of My Life. Can you give the Betty readers a quick synopsis?

Allison: Time of My Life is the story about a woman who, on the surface, seems to have it all. But when you peel back her layers, you discover that she is deeply unhappy and has lingering what-ifs about her past. Rather than face her current problems, she wakes up one day seven years in her past – at her old job, with her old boyfriend – and has the opportunity to rewrite her future.

Stephanie: What was the main inspiration behind this book? The one defining factor that made you think, “WOW! I’ve got to write a story about THAT, and I’ve got to do it NOW!”

Allison: Well, I’d been contemplating doing a time-travel story, but I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. I mentioned it to my agent, and I think she was deeply perplexed by both the idea and me! But I didn’t know how to sort it out in my mind. But then one afternoon while the idea was brewing, my best friend called while she was on vacation where her ex-boyfriend lived, and she said, “I’m so weirded out … I can’t stop thinking about what my life might have been like.”

Then we had one of those intimate life conversations that you can only have with your closest friends, about her what-ifs and my what-ifs, and I assured her that this was all very normal, even though people didn’t really talk about how much they wonder about what could have been. We hung up, and I headed out for a run, and BAM … the idea, characters and plotlines just presented themselves very clearly. I came home, wrote what are now the first 14 pages, and sent them off to my agent, who flipped for them. I think, as so many of us get older and look back on our younger years with nostalgia, it’s very easy to consider what the other possibilities could have been – and I wanted to explore that.

Stephanie: I was fortunate enough to read an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy, for those who may not know what an ARC is), and when I was reading, I kept thinking, “This is such a movie! I can see this absolutely as a movie!” I know it’s been optioned for a movie; when you were writing it, did you write it with this intention? I mean, it totally reads and feels like movie scenes!

Allison: No. I mean, of course, most writers are totally thrilled when and if their book is optioned, but I didn’t write with that in mind. I honestly just tried to write the most organic, honest account of marriage and regret and friendship and loss and discovery that I could. The movie option is just icing on the cake. And, yes, I am totally and completely psyched to see it on-screen!

Stephanie: What do you hope readers come away with after reading Time of My Life?

Allison: A few early readers have told me that it’s made them reexamine how they view and treat their husbands, and, wow, that’s a pretty wonderful thing. To have that sort of impact where a reader can take what you wrote and realize that maybe she should have more appreciation for her current life. I know that writing the book made me appreciate my OWN life a little bit more too. But I also think that there is nothing wrong with having those pangs of nostalgia and those lingering what-ifs. I don’t think that it means that your marriage is in trouble or you’re painfully unhappy: It only means that you want to take a moment to explore and recognize the past. I’m a big believer in that, and I fully believe that all my past steps – both good ones and bad – have led me to where I am now. So when I’m feeling a little blue about something and daydreaming about some episode from years ago, I try to remember that all roads have led to this one, and that there was probably a reason that I jumped off that course I’d previously been on.

Stephanie: Are you working on your third novel now? What’s it about?

Allison: Right now, I am at the very, very early stages of brewing a new idea. I’m not quite there yet. I’ve stopped and started several novels, but have come to realize that I need to be fully and completely inspired by an idea for it to translate well on-page. Recently, I was gobsmacked by a new idea, and I’m gestating it right now. We’ll see what happens with it!

Stephanie: Feel like giving away a copy to a Betty fan?

Allison: Sure, of course! Let me know who wins, and I’ll send out an autographed copy ASAP!

Stephanie: Awesome! You read that right, Betty readers – leave a comment to enter to win your very own autographed copy of Time of My Life! I promise it’s one of those books you won’t be able to put down!

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