Today I am so pleased to welcome Macy Grews to the site, we were offered the chance to take part in Tara’s blog tour and Sylvia will be reviewing the book later today. We were asked if we’d like to host a guest post, and Sylvia asked Macy if her novel was auto-biographical at all.
Chinese Aliexpress Dress is a story about a woman’s delayed emotional coming of age after a difficult divorce. It also examines unconventional mother/daughter relationships, while negotiating the power of female sexuality in all its glory – at all ages. We take a journey while she explores traditional expectations regarding life, love and motherhood through her own missteps and triumphs.
I began to write Chinese Dress a few years after my own divorce. I was feeling quite lost at that point and disappointed in my progress post divorce – or lack thereof – and I thought that there must be other women struggling with the same issues I was: work, motherhood and dating.
You’ll find quite a lot of me in Chinese Dress, but it isn’t an autobiography. As you typically find with first time novelists, I poured a lot of my own experiences into the book and used my life as a jumping off point. You could call it a fairytale based on some experiences I had. I chose to make her ’s career choices reflect some of my own because they were easy to write about and because the makeup and acting industries can seem glamorous from the outside but are sometimes far from it. Because I was writing this book over such a long period of time (I started eight years ago), I had loads of material to work with. Girlfriends and other people I met would gleefully tell me tales -it’s amazing what people will share with you when they hear you’re writing a book – and it all became great fodder. Dating in Hollywood is something that is quite unique and begs to be exploited for its comedic potential. It can seem like people strive out here on a daily basis to lower the bar on bad behavior. I worked hard to create a balance of having the characters be comical or wicked – yet still believable – while maintaining a sense of what it’s like as a single mother attempting to date and get back in the stream of life again. I threw all of the material into the pot, let it simmer for a bloody long time and the end result became Synchronized Breathing.
Writing the book became a life raft, of sorts. It was something that gave me a sense of purpose and a love affair with the page that I was hesitant to let go of. So many positive changes occurred over the course of writing it, that I almost couldn’t bear to part with it. But now the journey feels complete and it’s finally time to share it.
My biggest desire for the book would be for other women out there who are feeling uncertain about the direction of their own lives to be able to have a good laugh. And maybe even feel a tiny bit hopeful again about the future.