Interview with Jess Riley, author of All The Lonely People
Tell us about All the Lonely People
After her beloved mother dies, thirty-seven-year-old Jaime Collins decides to ‘divorce’ her estranged siblings and posts an ad on Craigslist for a new family with whom to share Christmas dinner. Essentially, All the Lonely People is about forgiveness, taking responsibility for our relationships, and family: those you make, and those you make peace with.
What genre is it?
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Complete this sentence for us: If you like_______________, then you’ll love All The Lonely People.
One of the best compliments I ever got came from an Amazon reviewer who said that if Tina Fey lived in Wisconsin and wrote a novel, she might come up with All the Lonely People. The same reviewer compared me to Jonathan Tropper and Nick Hornby, and I’ve been trying not to let it go to my head ever since.
We’ve all got family members we wish we never had to ever see again. But what’s so wrong with Jaime Collins’ family? And what is Jaime like?
Her sister Gwen is a highly successful, Type A ice queen, distant both physically and emotionally.
Jaime’s more of a quiet people pleaser—she’s afraid to confront her brother and sister, harboring old resentments and insecurities, and emotionally adrift after the loss of her mother. Still, she feels the pull of DNA and yearns for a better relationship with her siblings; but she’s at a loss as to how to achieve that, so she funnels these feelings into her little experiment.
Tell us a little about some of the people who respond to Jaime’s ad.
Some of the other characters include a kind and maternal widow (Evelyn), a grieving grad student (Alyssa), and transgender woman named Chris who is struggling with both her sexual identity and an abusive relationship.
Now tell us a bit about you.
I live in a 128-year-old farmhouse which my husband and I are constantly remodelling, and I have a Cairn Terrier who despises the theme music for certain public radio programs. I am deeply addicted to gardening, which introduced me to one of my stranger hobbies, Monarch ranching. Every summer I raise and release about 50 butterflies from my postage stamp city lot, which is great fun. Takes some of the guilt out of it when I hit one with my car.
Have you got a blog where readers can keep up with your work? How can we follow you on Facebook and / or Twitter?