How did I get it?:
Received from the lovely Diversion books for part of the Birthday Bash Blog tour.
Mina Clark is losing her mind—or maybe it’s already gone. She isn’t quite sure. Feeling displaced in her over-priced McMansion-dotted suburban world, she is grappling not only with deep debt, a mostly absent husband, and her playground-terrorizer 3-year old Emma, but also with a significant amnesia she can’t shake—a “temporary” condition now going on several years, brought on by a traumatic event she cannot remember, and which everyone around her feels is best forgotten. A routine trip to the dentist changes everything for Mina, and suddenly she’s not sure if what’s happening is real, of if she’s just now fully losing her mind… especially when she realizes the only person she thought she could trust is the one she fears the most.
This latest novel by Francine LaSala (Rita Hayworth’s Shoes) is a fast-paced, richly layered, and darkly humorous satire filled with quirky characters and unforgettable moments of humanity.
I heard about this book from Diversion Books. I didn’t really know a lot about it, but having enjoyed books from them in the past, coupled with an intriguing synopsis, I thought I’d give The Girl, The Gold Tooth and Everything a try. I’m glad I did, because it was an intriguing, original read.
The Girl, The Gold Tooth and Everything is the first book that I’ve read of Francine LaSala’s. I would definitely read more from her. I found her writing to be incredibly accomplished and readable. I don’t want to say too much about the plot, because I don’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t read it yet. I would describe the plot as highly original, mysterious and interesting. I kept on trying to guess what was going on, but I couldn’t. I love that it wasn’t predictable.
Francine LaSala has created some fantastic characters. I could easily compare some of the characters to people I know in real life!
The Girl, The Gold Tooth and Everything is well worth reading, if you enjoy a magical, mysterious read.
Interview with Francine LaSala
What inspired you to write The Girl, The Gold Tooth and Everything?
Inspiration came from many places, including where I was in my own life (mother of young children, unemployed, hating the dentist), but like any story, you start with some raw material and then the story kind of just unravels the way it wants. Yes, I do live in a condo complex like Mina, but mine is nowhere near as lavish as where she lives. (Though my Home Owners Association may be as obnoxious as hers.) Basically I wanted to tell the story of a woman who was lost in life, and found her way again, becoming stronger than ever. I do that a lot in my stories; this is just how this particular story turned out.
What do you find easier to write, fiction or non-fiction?
Fiction is SO much easier! Even if I’m ghostwriting it. I suffer writing nonfiction nowadays. I get bored. But fiction just flows out of me. As an example, I just wrote a short story for a Christmas anthology called Merry Chick Lit, coming out later this month. It was nearly 9,000 words long. Not that impressive except that I wrote it in a day, and that’s with working full time (and not writing it at work, which I’m not just saying because I’m worried my bosses are listening, because even I can’t believe I did that). I also wrote the story just after completing an insufferable biography ghostwrite, which took 5 weeks. I was creatively exhausted after that and I may have backed out of writing this Christmas-themed romance had the project not been for charity. I was worried I would have nothing left in me. But not so. In fact, writing that short piece seemed to energize me. Writing fiction is definitely like breathing for me.
Were you encouraged to read as a young child?
Oh yes. My dad likes to read but my late mother was a real reader. She loved mysteries and quirky authors like Janet Evanovich. I definitely got that from her. I started reading when I was four. It was a book about fall leaves–funny, the things you remember. I think I spent my childhood with my nose in a book. I’m seeing that starting to happen in my older daughter and I’m also encouraging her to read as much as possible.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Who wouldn’t want to have written Bridget Jones’s Diary, starting a whole new fun movement in writing fiction? Or a runaway bestseller that lands a film deal and a lifetime of financial security? Though to be honest, and dramatic, yes, it’s sort of like asking (for me, who is overly dramatic), “Is there a child you wish you had given birth to?” So the answer is yes, there is more than one book I wish I’d written–the ones I’ve written. Now don’t ask me if there’s a book I wish I hadn’t written… 🙂
You seem to keep really busy with many different projects! What do you see as your biggest achievement?
Professionally speaking, my biggest achievement was getting my first book out there. It took more than 10 years for me to finish writing and then publish Rita Hayworth’s Shoes. I think once you get past the first one, you can do anything. It took me only months to write The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything, and it’s a far more complicated, involved book. But I was able to do it because I did the first one. I accomplished that and the floodgates opened for everything else.
Favourite author? Voltaire
Favourite book character? Bridget Jones. I will always love her.
Favourite place to write? Panera Cafe. My writer’s Mecca.
A fictional character you love to hate? Bridget Jones. She makes me nuts.