Allison Winn Scotch’s latest book–The Theory of Opposites–just released, and as likely know it’s a big departure for her as this is her first foray into self-publishing. If you missed her post with us last week, check it out here, and then come back. Today, we’re with Allison to talk more about the book itself. Read on!
Q: What’s the premise of The Theory of Opposites?
Like a lot of my books, it explores the notion of living our best lives, of taking more risk, of finding more fulfillment. Beyond that, it’s the story of Willa Chandler-Golden, whose father has proven that free will doesn’t exist, and whose entire life has been one of inertia. When everything is turned on its head – her husband proposes a two month break, she is fired from her job, her 12-year old step-nephew moves in – she’s forced to take responsibility for her life. There’s also an incredibly insane – but lovable – cast of family characters, including a famous yogi-brother and a xanax-semi-addicted sister.
Q: What would you like people to know about the story itself?
That it is, in my opinion, a ridiculous roller-coaster of a story and a ride. And by “ridiculous,” I mean fun but not so fun that you won’t hopefully pause and consider your own notions of fate and free will and meant-to-be. I honestly wanted to write a page-turning, riotous book that as a reader, I’d enjoy. So that’s what I did.
Q: What do your characters have to overcome in this story? What challenge do you set before them?
Willa has to overcome so much – a wavering husband, an bonkers family, an ex-boyfriend who pops up on Facebook – but more than any of these things, what she really has to overcome is herself. Her self-doubt; her listlessness; her unwillingness to take accountability for her actions. And I guess I believe the same is true for our own lives off the page: we have to own who we are, what are mistakes might be…and so I presented Willa with these same challenges. There are the obvious challenges – like, her dad is the nation’s #1 self-help guru and has shaped her whole life – but there are more subtle challenges too. Like…who are you when the night falls quiet, and it’s just you and your thoughts and your determination? That’s really the bigger challenge for Willa.
Q: What unique challenges did this book pose for you, if any?
Ha ha ha ha ha! Well, as I’ve mentioned before on Writer Unboxed, everything about this book was a challenge. From finding the motivation to write it to deciding to publish it on my own after four books a traditional house. I came very, very, very close to walking away from the industry entirely. The book itself, once I started writing it, was wonderful and thrilling and the best writing experience I’ve had in a long time. But all of the factors that swirled around it were certainly the biggest challenges of my career.
Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of having written this book?
EVERYTHING. I mean it. Every. Single. Thing. To begin with, I truly love this book. I love these characters, I feel for them, I care for them deeply. I feel, and this may sound weird, almost indebted to them because they pulled me back into writing fiction, and I showed up every day at my computer because of them and their journey. And then beyond that, I made the major decision of indie publishing and was very unsure of how people would respond to that choice. Well, people have been more than gracious, more supportive than I ever hoped for, and the book is being really well-received critically too. So. I mean. I just…honestly, the whole thing has been rewarding beyond words.
You can learn more about Allison’s book on her website, or follow her on Twitter (@aswinn).