Interview with Amanda Stauffer, author of Match Made in Manhattan!

Today, Amanda Stauffer, author of the recently released Match Made in Manhattan, is here to answer a few of my questions. 

So without a further ado... 

1. What are the top three reasons why readers should consider picking up Match Made in Manhattan this winter?

Gosh, that’s a tough question. OK, I’ll try:

  1. The lion’s share of dating-centric novels focus on a single relationship or love triangle, often equating “success” with receipt of a diamond ring. This book is different in more ways than one.
  2. The friends. To be honest, creating Alison’s “inner circle” was simple because I just mirrored the fabulous ladies (and a few gents) in my own life. I didn’t give a whole lot of thought to them, because they were already fully formed characters in my head . . . and in my life. I wrote Match Made in Manhattan as a kind of ode to the marvelous and colorful people you can meet when dating if you keep an open mind. But many early reviewers have honed in on the friendships as a major theme, and now I want to be like: heck yeah. Come for the men, but stay for the friends.
  3. Brendan and Alison ask each other silly icebreaker questions like, “If you were a fruit, which fruit would you be?” I think if Match Made in Manhattan were a fruit, it would be a peach. It’s got a deeper, multi-faceted core, wrapped in a sweet, juicy layer. I hope readers discover not just the light, funny moments but also some of the more probing issues it subtly addresses.

2. The friends were definitely one of my favorite parts of the book! Match Made in Manhattan tells the story of Alison. Would you mind sharing a little about her? Also, if you could give her any advice what would you say?

While the men are all fictional characters, Alison is pretty much me, transcribed on the page. It therefore makes it a bit tough for me to describe her accurately. I can try? She’s creative, and her love of learning translates into a quasi-spirit of adventure; but she’s also a bit more buttoned up than her peers in certain ways. She’s confident and independent, and she prides herself on being even-keeled and stoic. I won’t say more or I’ll spoil her developmental arc.

If I were to give her advice, I might tell her to stick to her guns; it’s a major mystery to me, but several early reviews have been hyper critical of her “Pants Speech,” alleging that it would never work in real life, and she’s a tease because of it. I can say with some surety that the Pants Speech does work in real life. So I hope she continues to stand up for herself and her own levels of comfort, regardless of the flack she gets for it – from her male suitors or her female readers.

3. Sticking to her guns is great advice! In Match Made in Manhattan Alison turns to an online dating app and goes on a series of horrible dates. Would you mind sharing one of your worst first date experiences?

I actually adore 99% of the characters in this book, and my general feeling is that it’s pretty hard to have a “bad first date” (more on this in question #7), though of course we’ve all had one or two. My worst would have to be with a guy who opened the date by telling me that he’d found me on Facebook and discovered we had precisely one friend in common, whom he had dated several years earlier. He then spent the next 30 minutes waxing nostalgic about her beauty, particularly the “curve of her full lips” and her ultra-long legs. I always try to see each first date as a learning opportunity, but there wasn’t much of a takeaway from that date . . . other than the fact that there are indeed a few awkward bad apples.

4. Oh that's so awkward! What’s one of your favorite scenes or lines from Match Made in Manhattan (no spoilers please!)?

The ending. Of course I won’t spoil it, but after many iterations of the final chapters were written and submitted, rewritten and resubmitted, I found myself fighting hard to keep the ending I originally penned several years ago. It’s a funny story, with an even funnier e-mail thread between me and my absolutely wonderful editor, Amy Singh, but after several rounds of edits, we both realized the original ending worked best. I’m glad I explored all the other possible conclusions – it was a good exercise in storyboarding and arc development – but at the end of the day, I’m really happy that my original intent and message were preserved. Maybe one day I’ll bind all the alternate endings into an anthology, or at the very least, post them to my author website :)

5. I really loved the ending as well! It wasn't what I predicted, but I felt like it fit the book perfectly. How did the title Match Made in Manhattan come to be?

My agent overrode my original (more serious-sounding) title and came up with Match Made in Manhattan. My publisher totally dug it, so it stuck.

6. Match Made in Manhattan is your first book. What’s been one of the most exciting things to happen on your path to publication?

My sister, a voiceover actress, is the narrator on the audiobook version of Match Made in Manhattan(!!!). It’s a much longer story, filled with a tremendous amount of serendipity and perfect timing—and having nothing to do with me or any authorly input—but her agent submitted her to audition, and she landed the role. If you listen to the first 10 seconds you’ll hear her say, “Match Made in Manhattan, written by Amanda Stauffer. Performed by Elenna Stauffer.” And getting to hear those 10 seconds was even more exciting than getting to hold my first paperback copy.

7. That's awesome! Do you have advice, or words of wisdom, for readers currently using dating apps?

Haha, do I ever! It’s part of why I wrote this book :)

The biggest takeaway for me has been that we shouldn’t worry about wasting our time on dates that don’t go anywhere. The beautiful thing about modern dating is that there are, per the moniker of one dating site, plenty of fish waiting on your computer or phone; they’ll all still be there when your current mediocre date is over. So try to slow down and enjoy your evening. Even if you learn that the person on the opposite side of the table isn’t for you, if you keep an open ear and open mind, you’ll probably learn something(s) in the process: about a job you never knew existed, a new neighborhood, a new outlook. And in that way, you’re emerging net positive . . . and after this exploration ends, a new one can begin with the click of a button.

8. What’s one random fact that readers would be surprised to learn about you?

*Well* . . . Alison is more or less me, so once you read the book, there will be very little about me that surprises you.

9. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Sure! Fun fact: The book is rather self-referential with a handful of “Easter Eggs,” in-jokes, and threads woven throughout. So on each subsequent read, you’ll emerge with a greater, deeper understanding of the protagonist and of my intended themes.

That's super cool! Thanks for stopping by, Amanda! 


About the Book: 
After two intense, dead-end relationships, serial monogamist Alison finds herself confused, lonely, and drastically out of touch with the world of modern dating. Refusing to wallow, she signs up for a popular dating app and resolves to remain open-minded and optimistic as she explores the New York City singles' scene. With the click of a button, her adventures begin: On one date, she's dumped before the first kiss; on another, she dons full HAZMAT gear; she meets a tattooed folk singer turned investment banker, an undercover agent who tracks illegal exotic animals, and dozens of other colorful, captivating personalities.

Giving them each her signature "pants speech"—her pants aren't coming off unless she has a real connection with someone—she desperately wants to push past the awkward small-talk phase to find true love, but finding "the one" is starting to feel impossible. That is, until she meets Luke, who is sophisticated, funny, and not to mention, hot. Alison finds herself falling for Luke harder than any guy she's dated and finally letting her walls down, but will he stick around or move on to his next match?

Match Made in Manhattan is a fast-paced, contemporary story about the struggles of dating in the digital age. Replete with online profiles, witty dialogue, and a super-supportive group of female friends, this all-too-real and relatable debut novel will have readers laughing, crying, and rooting for Alison all the way to the end.

Buy Links: 

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks 

About the Author: 
Amanda Stauffer is a Yale and Columbia grad who works as an architectural conservator in New York City. She was Editor-in-Chief of The Insider’s Guide to Colleges, 2005 (St. Martin’s Press), and she copyedits young adult novels in her spare time when she isn’t writing her own books.
MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN is her debut novel.
Author Links: 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments so never be afraid to leave one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Design by Imagination Designs
Artwork by www.CreateTheCut.com