Sunday's on the Phone with Monday

Let's talk about a wonderful novel, shall we? I just so happen to have one to share with you: 

I have always been a follower of family drama, probably because I am at pro at the sport by now, but mainly, because I love discovering the emotions that fuel the human condition. And families have it all: trust, love, hatred, unconditional ties, forgiveness and time. And this book has all of that.

About the book: Claudio and Matilde are a couple with 3 daughters, one of whom needs a new heart and another who is adopted. Claudio goes to great depths to keep his family together but sometimes that means keeping secrets at the risk of hurting the same people he wants to keep close. The characters are all impossibly unique. Just when you think you've got them figured out, the author digs a little deeper and explains their emotions in a way that is totally engaging and intriguing:

A little about the author: Christine Reilly lives in New York City. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Dalton School, and Collegiate School. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and her Master’s degree in writing from Sarah Lawrence College. 

Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is her first novel.  I got an amazing chance to interview Christine about some of the thoughts and motivation behind her story and she really inspired me in my own writing. 

First, I want to know a little about the inspiration behind Claudio and Matilde. They are a great couple, I love how easy they fit together, but at the same time, you can see as they age, they are almost a little too comfortable? Did you know that was going to happen as you wrote the story?
There's the saying "write what you know," but there's also "write what you want to know about," and I've found that with fiction I almost always tend to steer towards the latter.  I'm very curious about what I haven't lived through.  I am lucky to have parents who've had a long and wonderful marriage, as well as both sets of grandparents, so I've witnessed it, but I'm inexperienced with the private and firsthand side of such a relationship.  So part of the fun with writing Claudio and Mathilde's relationship over the years was examining what that relationship would be like.

Do you have sisters? Did your relationships in your own life help you to imagine the relationship between Lucy, Natasha and Carly? 
Actually, no- I have two brothers.  Like Lucy, I am the middle child.  I have always been fixated on the idea of sisters, and I write constantly about them.  I also think that I am every character in my book.  

Who was your favorite character to write? 
Jane.  I also wrote most of her scenes last, when I was 25.  I wrote the rest of the book mostly between ages 22 and 24.  

Jane's had many facets and dark thoughts, was it difficult to develop her character? 
Yes, but I've always had a dark side.  I think all humans do.  I found accessing it through Jane to be therapeutic.  So Jane, thank you.

My note: I am so in love with this answer. I agree about having a dark side and that's why writing is such a brave and fearless art to follow, because you really do have the chance to put it all out there. 

What books influenced you as a writer?
So many -- I read all kinds of books.  Some of the authors who have influenced me the most are Jennifer Egan, Truman Capote, Vladimir Nabokov, Toni Morrison, Tim O'Brien, James Baldwin, Amy Bloom, Maile Meloy, and Jeffrey Eugenides.

What are you reading right now? I'm always reading multiple books -I like to read both fiction and nonfiction at the same time.  I just finished Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff.  I was a fan of hers since I read The Monsters of Templeton many years ago.  I'm also reading The Younahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton Di Sclafani, White Girls by Hilton Als, The Mare by Mary Gaitskill and Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik.  

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Not a message, but a word -- "always."

Sunday's on the Phone to Monday is available in print, audio and e-book. Get your copy now!