ABOUT THE BOOK
Paige Scott spent her childhood shuffled between relatives who ignored her, and her adult life hiding in her crumbling marriage to wealthy David Davenport. When David suddenly thrusts her into a remote, impoverished world, Paige is forced to face the betrayals of her past – not to mention the colorful townies of her present. Unexpected friendships and her discovery of running propel her on a jagged and comical journey toward learning how to truly live.
Gaelen VanDenbergh is a writer, runner, and compulsive list-maker who lives in Philadelphia with her family, a fat cat, and several fish. Her debut novel Running Against Traffic, was a Global Ebook Award nominee, a semifinalist in the The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards, a semifinalist in the Readers’ Favorite 2013 International Book Award Contest, Indie Book of the Day, June 30, 2013, a 2013 Beach Book Festival Award nominee, and has received a four star review in InD’tale Magazine.
When not writing, Gaelen enjoys reading, running races for charities, and spending as much time in Key West and the Adirondacks as she can.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
What’s your story? How did you get into writing?
I’ve always been a writer. Since I was six years old, I’ve been writing stories. I spend a lot of time in my own head, because there are constant movies playing there that I need to write down. If I don’t, my head will explode.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
The best advice for writers that I ever read – and took to heart – came from the great Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg. “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” My own advice would be to follow his advice, and also to refuse to give up. This can be an arduous road but if it’s the road you know you were meant to take, then keep going.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m finishing up the sequel to Running Against Traffic, entitled Running in Circles, as well as two other novels that have been in process for a handful of years, now.
What has been the most challenging part of publishing or marketing your book?
It is like starting your own business, in a market that is becoming increasingly saturated. Getting your name out there, getting noticed, accumulating readership and followers, it’s tricky and unwieldy but can be done with a lot of hard work and some lucky breaks. I am lucky to be married to my publicist, who has shouldered a lot of that aspect of the business. I have had to find a way to get my name out there while continuing to write.
What has been your favorite part?
The positive reviews have been so rewarding. Knowing that I put so much time and heart into this, and of course it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, so reading that other people have read and loved what I’ve written is priceless.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many, I hate to leave out anyone, but in no particular order I’ll throw out a few: Margaret Atwood, Melissa Bank, Mary Karr, Dorothy Parker, the Beat writers, Anne Tyler, I could go on and on.
What gave you the idea for your current work?
I have been in Paige’s running shoes, coming to a point in life where you can give up or you can make huge changes. It’s a dire place to be, especially when you don’t feel like you have any support system in place. When you’re all alone making these decisions, that’s dark. So, being in this dark place, my now ex husband was constantly dragging me to towns in the middle of nowhere, to visit dilapidated houses that we could “fix up”. Since our marriage was on shaky ground, and I was in the aforementioned dark place, I began to imagine that he was secretly plotting to buy one of these houses, drive me out there and leave me. Needless to stay, we stayed in Philadelphia. But I penned that paranoia and it became the beginning of Paige’s journey in Running Against Traffic.
If you could be any character in the book, which one would you be?
I don’t think I would want to be any of them forever, but if I could be one of them for, say, a week? I would be Paige, especially if Al was feeling particularly friendly that week.