I remember hearing buzz about author Emily Belden’s debut memoir “Eightysixed” and had the thought “why do I care about a memoir of someone I’ve never heard of?” Well the answer after reading it was I did care. Eightysixed is funny, sharp, witty and full of things we all go through. I was fortunate to catch up with Emily to ask her about her book!
You can buy her book Eightysixed by CLICKING HERE
1. Your book Eightysixed has been out for a couple of months, how has it been so far talking with readers who have had such an inside look into your life?
EB–It’s pretty incredible and weird. I have visited a number of book clubs and when I open the floor for Q&A, I’m reminded just how much I put myself out there. People want more details on the juicy stories…and I don’t blame them!
2. Trent. I think everyone I know has had a “Trent” in their life. I think if anything should come from your book into society at large it should be people using “Trent” to describe a former partner. How much did that relationship effect not only how you looked at dating and life, but the attitude of the book?
EB–It’s funny you say that, because almost everyone I talk to about the book admits Trent “sounds just like the guy I’m dating.” Why is Trent an epidemic? Anyhow, when I decided to leave Trent, I asked myself: is it possible that I could find another guy who is good looking like him? (Yes.). Is it possible I could find a guy who makes me laugh – in between the tears – like him? (Yes.). Is it possible that I could find someone with those basic qualities, BUT who wants to not avoid me on weekends? Not drink to excess? Not be a total self-centered pig? (YES. YES. YES!). So with that as my mantra, I set forth to find who I really was meant to be with. That’s not to say that Trent did leave me insanely angry and bitter, which you can certainly feel the effects of in the first parts of Eightysixed.
3. Food and Chicago are big characters in Eightysixed. I’ve been to Chicago a few times and other than Lou Malnati’s and Harold’s Chicken, We didn’t eat out much. If I was there for a weekend, where are the must go restaurants you’re sending me to?
EB–You cannot go wrong with Lou’s. It’s my favorite pizza on the planet. But should you desire something more than deep dish, my next favorite is a little hot-dog and hamburger joint called Portillo’s. It’s a total calorie fest, but who can deny their cheese fries and chocolate cake shake?
4. There are tons of laugh out loud moments in Eightysixed. Writing humor I think is one of the most challenging things to write. Did you spend a lot of time going back over material and tweeking to get the wording just right or did you just kinda let it flow?
EB–Eightysixed was all about the flow. The funny thing about the book is that it’s special for being…not special at all. It’s just that the routine things that happen (breakups, dating mishaps, etc.) are told in a certain way that makes them funny and alluring. I tell you, replicating this natural storytelling for writing fiction has NOT been easy. I don’t know how you do it.
5. The post script of the book could be that you just got married! Congrats by the way! How weird is it having a new last name now? That would drive me insane.
EB–It’s super weird. The best is that for as simple as it is (Lange), people can’t pronounce it. They try to rhyme it with the word “Range” or they make it sound very fancy by doing a soft “a” and “j” (Lahnjah). Someone even called me “Langhee” and asked if I was Asian. Oh, the joys of married life.
6. Have you been writing at all during this massively busy time in your life…I mean who has a book published and plans a wedding all at the same time!
EB–I’ve certainly been trying to. But between family drama that would put the Osbourne’s to shame (all thanks to the wedding), and buying a new house, I haven’t had the “me time” you need in order to crank out a few thousand words!