Book Fox Chit-Chat with Author Josalyn McAllister

Josalyn McAllister’s first book, Love Over Easy, has tickled and delighted its readers so far. Just look at some of the reviews:

“I enjoyed and devoured this sweet and beautifully written love story!”

“Such a fun read. Just don’t plan on starting it at 10 pm like I did… I couldn’t put it down so I stayed up way too late so I could finish!”

“I love the humor, the characters, the setting… one of my new favorite books. Thanks for helping me get back into reading.”

So, we wanted to sit down with the author and pull back the curtains a bit and see what inspired the book and what we can expect to see next.

Q: What inspired you to write Love Over Easy?

A: When my husband was in grad school at the University of Iowa, he got a summer internship in Orlando, Florida. It was a long, two-day drive with two toddlers in the back seat. To entertain ourselves we started brainstorming what would be the most cliche romantic comedy plot of all time. We laughed a lot and really had a good time with it. I tried to write that book for NaNoWriMo that year, but it didn’t go very well. After a few drafts, it morphed into Love Over Easy.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

A: I have wanted to be a writer since I was in 2nd grade. I read voraciously and the idea of contributing something to the library sounded like the most important thing I could do. I started out scribbling really corny descriptions of beautiful and perfect girls, but didn’t really get around to writing plot lines for them. When I was in 6th grade my teacher really praised my writing and told me that she believed I would be published one day. It was very encouraging. When I got a little older I wrote really embarrassing Newsies fan fiction with my friends. It wasn’t until after I had my first baby that I sat down and wrote my first novel, which was really bad. 

Q: What do you love in a good book?

A: For a book to be really great, I feel that it needs to be compelling and thought-provoking. Compelling so that I can’t put it down and thought-provoking meaning that I think about it when I’m not reading it and will remember it for years after I’ve read it. I like quirky character combinations with good chemistry. I like a good plot twist or two, a book that is a puzzle. I also really like beautiful writing and themes. I have a pretty eclectic taste. I don’t discriminate against the genre.

Q: Do you have some favorite reads from this past year?

A: I loved My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. I’ve described that one as Anne of Green Gables but the protagonist is an English boy who lives on a Grecian island. It has a similar feel. I also really liked Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull which is a business book about Pixar. It was fascinating. Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance was a great, self-aware memoir. I also liked Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Q: What do you do when you’re not at the keyboard?

A: My husband teases me that I could be really successful if I just picked one interest and focused on that. Reading, of course, is a big one. I like to bake and cook and am interested in nutrition. I love to run, especially now that the weather is cooling off. I like to do strength training as well. My husband and I love board games and have an extensive collection. I also enjoy sewing for my kids, particularly Halloween costumes. Along those lines, I absolutely love holidays and throwing parties, as well.

Q: Which character do you connect with the most in Love Over Easy?

A: I identify with MaryAnne. She loves her people and wants to make everything shiny and good for them, even if it is actually to their detriment. Maybe that’s TMI about me. lol. My best friend thinks that I’m Pedro. 

Q: Does Violet take after you at all?

A: Not really, I’ve never been the kind of person that doesn’t know what they want out of life, which is Violet’s MO. We do share some hobbies – food and running. 

Q: What can we expect next from you?

A: I’m currently working on a cozy mystery series set in the North Georgia mountains. The first book will come out at the beginning of 2021. The protagonist has the ability to see people’s emotions as colors surrounding them, which should aid her in her sleuthing but generally causes more confusion than clarity. 

If you haven’t already, go pick up a copy of Love Over Easy, and to keep in touch with Josalyn and get updates on new books, join her reading group.