Margo Candela, author of Good-bye To All That, launches her blog tour!

Monday, August 23, 2010

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Margo Candela's husband owes her six months...preferably on a tropical island sipping margaritas. The deal was: she had three years to write her first novel Underneath It All and find a publisher. She signed the book contract at 2 1/2 years so she still has six months coming to her. She's been musing over a few brochures of Fiji.

Of course, Underneath It All wasn't her first novel. Her first was a romance novel spoof she wrote at age 15 on an antique typewriter she paid $20 for--actually, her mom paid $20. Sadly, Wenchhead and the Isle of Evil Men was never published. Do you think it was the title?

In between Wenchhead and the Isle of Evil Men and Good-bye To All That, Margo enjoyed a trip to magazine land where she wrote articles on everything from extreme sports to computer hardware to plushies (people who are really into stuffed Shh, don't tell Margo's mom about the last one. She might want the $20 or the antique typewriter back!

When she's not writing, Margo vacuums. It's her secret solution to writer's block; and when she hits the NY Times bestseller list, Margo dreams of buying a Dyson DC 25 Animal. And shoes. Ask her about the black heels on the cover of Good-bye To All That.

Margo Candela was born and raised in Northeast Los Angeles. She moved to San Francisco to attend college and ended up staying for a decade before moving back home in 2005. Her first three novels, More Than This (Touchstone, Aug. 2008), Life Over Easy (Kensington, Oct. 2007), and Underneath It All (Kensington, Jan. 2007) are set in San Francisco. More Than This was a Target stores Breakout Book and an American Association of Publishers national book club selection at Borders Books with Las Comadres. Good-bye To All That (Touchstone, July 2010) is her first novel set in Los Angeles and is the only novel picked by Los Angeles Magazine for its 2010 Best of L.A. list.

Margo's websites:

Good-bye To All That

By Margo Candela

When her Hollywood career goes haywire, a young woman must say good-bye to all that...or must she?

Raquel Azorian has worked her way from temp to executive assistant and is this close to a promotion to junior marketing exec at Belmore Corporation, the media behemoth she's devoted herself to. She's learned to play the Hollywood game--navigate office politics, schmooze the right people, avoid the wrong ones, and maintain a sense of decorum even in the craziest of times. All she needs is for her boss to sign her promotion memo. Instead of putting pen to paper, he suffers a very public meltdown that puts not only his professional future but also Raquel's on the line.

Getting to the next rung on the Belmore ladder will require every ounce of focus, but that's not going to be easy. Raquel's mom has decided to leave her husband and move into Raquel's apartment, and her older brother seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into depression. Raquel has to keep her job, stop her parents from divorcing, and save her brother. In the chaos of juggling too much, she finally reaches a breaking point; there's just not enough time for everyone. She's going to have to choose--success at work or happiness at home. But then a chance encounter at a bookstore cafe leads Raquel to start planning her own Hollywood ending...on her own terms.

Genre: Chick lit
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Touchstone (July 2010)
ISBN: 1416571353

Good-bye To All That is available through, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and both chain and independent bookstores nation wide.

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!
If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Margo Candela's novel, Good-bye To All That, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment.

Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: Welcome, Margo! We're thrilled to be launching your blog tour today. I've always been interested in book dedications. Could you tell us who the mysterious Monica in your dedication is and what part she played in your writing Good-bye To All That?

Margo: Monica is my younger sister and she saved my butt during an intense rewrite of Good-bye To All That. I had five weeks to make it happen and she read each of my chapters as I finished them so that I could focus on the next. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have gotten through it. She did take weekends off and I did ply her with loaf after loaf of homemade banana bread, but she deserved a dedication and then some. It was an extremely stressful way to write a book and I wouldn't suggest it to anyone, but it did teach me a lot about myself as a writer and what I could accomplish when I was 100 percent focused on getting the job done under a tight deadline.

WOW: I've read that family and friends shouldn't be reading your first drafts. After all, aren't sisters supposed to love everything we write? Is it difficult to hear criticism from people so close to you?

Margo: There comes a point where I, as the writer, can no longer read what I've written. When I reach that point, I know it's time to ask the few people who I trust for their honest opinions. I always ask them to read as a reader, not as my friend, sister or fellow writer. I need to know what works and what doesn't. My friend Paula gives excellent notes because her brain is just amazing. I trust her opinion implicitly. My editor, Sulay Hernandez, is also a genius at boiling things down. She doesn't overwhelm me with details, she just points me in the right direction. But in the end, it's up to me to make sure that the final draft is as good as it can be and that takes a lot of revising and being pragmatic. The point is not to entertain myself as a writer (this is what my blog is for), but to write a book readers will enjoy.

WOW: What do your readers help you with? Do they influence major things like plot line or are they more technical: grammar, dialogue?

Margo: I love writing dialogue and I've usually figured out the plot by the time I've started writing. What I usually need to hear is if they liked it or not. And if it's not, I have to figure out why and how to fix it. My sister Monica is my go-to gal for grammar questions. I know I drive her crazy sometimes, but she knows I majored in journalism instead of English for a reason.

I also have a deep respect for copy editors. I am a messy writer, even when I get to the turn-in stage. What they do, going through a manuscript line by line is beyond my skill set. I try to be very careful because I don't want to make their jobs harder than it already is, but I always miss things and I'm grateful there's someone out there to catch my mistakes.

WOW: Do you have a group of writers who help you with your work?

Margo: I have a group of friends who I talk writing with. It started with my first group in San Francisco where we'd gather at a cafe and commiserate. I joined another group when I moved to L.A. and we've become friends who just meet to talk. We talk writing, we talk about life and we talk about life as a writer. For me that's way more important than critiquing. The writing I can usually figure out myself with some good editing notes, it's the rest of the stuff I need to be talked through. I keep in touch with them through email and we see each other when we can. Good friends are hard to find and good friends who understand you are even more rare.

WOW: How long did it take you to complete Good-bye To All That from the research to the first word through the editing to completed book? Which takes the longest: research, writing, or editing?

Margo: I wrote Good-bye To All That in stages. At one point, I stopped and started another book which I convinced my editor would be much better than Good-bye To All That. Then I back-tracked and finished it. (My editor is very a point. I know I've cashed that chip in and can't ever do that again.) I need to write a few drafts before a book feels right. I think I wrote about three or four versions of Good-bye To All That before it got to where it needed to be. If I leave out the time I spent staring at the wall or working on that other book, I think it took me about 9 months with most of the work taking place in five weeks during the fall of 2009.

WOW: I bet your sister is relieved to hear you won't be doing the five-week marathon writing/editing session again! So, tell us about your next project.

Margo: I'm trying to decide between two ideas, both set in Los Angeles and involving women who work on the periphery of the entertainment industry. One is fast and funny like Good-bye To All That and the other is a bit more like my third novel More Than This which is my version of a love story. As soon as I decide, with help from my editor, I'll get back to doing this novel-writing thing all over again.

WOW: Can we vote? I'd love to see another fast and funny novel. I couldn't put Good-bye To All That down. Thanks, Margo, for a great peek into your writing life. Maybe next time we'll get that recipe for your famous banana bread!

Want to join Margo Candela on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

August 23, 2010 Monday
Margo Candela will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Margo's fun new book!

August 25, 2010 Wednesday
Mystee takes a moment to tell you what she thinks of Margo Candela's latest novel, Good-bye To All That. Then, Margo takes over for her guest post.

August 27, 2010 Friday
Do you like surprises? Author Margo Candela will be surprising readers of Lori's Reading Corner with a guest post. She'll also be giving away a copy of her latest novel, Good-bye To All That.

August 30, 2010 Monday
What do writers do when they aren't writing? Novelist Margo Candela gives us a peek at the writer's life (and cleaning habits) today on Caroline Clemmons' blog. She'll also be giving away a copy of her latest novel Good-bye To All That.

September 1, 2010 Tuesday
Margo Candela is stopping by Mason Canyon to tell us why reading and writing chick lit didn't ruin her life. She's also giving away a copy of her latest novel Good-bye To All That.

September 3, 2010 Thursday
Come on by for an interview with Margo Candela and enter to win Margo's latest novel Good-bye To All That.

September 7, 2010 Tuesday
When did chick-lit start? How has it changed? What will it become? Chick-lit author Margo Candela will be at Writer Unboxed answering all those questions and giving away a copy of her latest novel Good-bye To All That.

September 9, 2010 Thursday
Stop by for an audio interview with novelist Margo Candela and a chance to win her latest book!

September 10, 2010 Friday
Writing a book can make you crazy! Margo Candela, who just released her fourth novel, tells us how to stay on the side of sanity and still finish your book. There will also be a review of her latest novel Good-bye To All That and two copies are being given away!

September 13, 2010 Monday
Stop by for Mary Jo's interview with Margo Candela and a chance to win her latest book Good-bye To All That.

September 15, 2010 Wednesday
Stop by to learn what author Margo Candela thinks about the label chick lit, and tell us what you think about all the micro-niches publishers are assigning books. You also have a chance to win Good-bye To All That!

September 16, 2010 Thursday
Margo Candela stops by Meryl's Notes to share her writing advice with readers today!

September 17, 2010 Friday
Don't miss a great interview with Margo Candela at Word Hustler today and an opportunity to win her latest novel Good-bye To All That!

September 20, 2010 Monday
Margo Candela, author of the novel Good-bye To All That, discusses writing about sex and romance without a punchline. Not to miss!

To view all of our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

If you have a blog or website and would like to host Margo Candela or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at:

And be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Margo Candela's novel Good-bye To All That! And check back in a couple of days in the comments section to see if you won!


Lisa Tiffin said...

I love hearing that even succesful writers suffer the same indecision and doubts. Just goes to show how there's no "right way" to approach writing.

And if this book is anything like Margo, sounds like it will be a very fun read!

Margo Dill said...

Hi Margo:
I hope you have a great 6-month vacation with your hubby. :) Congratulations on your success. I love chick lit, so I would love to win this book!

Margo (yep, I'm a Margo, too--you don't see that too often, do you?)

PatriciaW said...

I read Margo's debut novel, Underneath It All, which I loved but then I sort of lost track of her and what books she had coming out. Glad to see she's still writing chick lit, a genre I love.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thanks for the very interesting interview. I wasn't previously familiar with Margo's work but will now look for it. I'm a writer but also an avid reader, and I do enjoy chick lit. This sounds like a fun book!

Jacqueline Seewald
TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS, Five Star/Gale, August 2010 publication

Margo Candela said...


It's true, there is no right way, only the way that works for you. Trust me, I read tons of 'how-to' books and it just took lots of time developing my own method. Hopefully, it'll work for me with the next book.

Margo Candela said...

Hi Margo,

I used to wonder where the 'T' went. If I could take a six month vacation, I'd travel and read and travel so more. My husband coming along would be's a vacation!

Margo Candela said...

Patricia and Jacqueline,

You both illustrate why reaching out to readers is so important. In the end an author can write a great book, but if no one knows about it, it'll just fade away. I hope you both get a chance to get (re)acquainted with my novels!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fantastic read! I LOVE the idea of a writing group that's more of a chat/help/vent group than actual critiquing. As one who has been toying with writing a book but hasn't actually gotten up the gall to do so, this was such an inspiring interview. Can't wait to get my hands on your books, Margo! Best of luck!

Margo Candela said...


I'm all for venting groups, but you have to have a good mix of people. Too much venting leads to too little writing. I've gotten really lucky with my groups, I hope you do too.

DogRiverLady said...


Fascinating interview! Your book sounds like a great read--perfect for relaxing at the end of a busy day. Thanks for the inspiration--I,too, have dreams of writing one day. Best wishes!

Cady Lee said...

Oh my! I am so going to make that deal with my husband! Congrats!

Margo Candela said...


Even though Good-bye To All That is about work, it's a lot of fun. That's my main goal in writing, to make it fun for the reader even if things get a little complicated during the story for the characters.

Margo Candela said...

Get your deal in writing and notarized. Not sure about your husband, but mine has a selective memory.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Chick-Lit and am thrilled to have found a new author for myself to read! I look forward to getting all of your books, you are a real inspiration and I think it's great to have your family review your stuff! They will always be honest because they are the only people that really care about you! I read everything I write to my husband and he's very honest and always tells me the truth. I only trust him. (and my mother!)
Good luck on all your books!

Linda said...

Linda Hopkins

My above comment didn't get my name!

Margo Candela said...

Hi Linda,
I have to make clear that it's gotten to the point where I have to bribe certain family members to read my stuff. But I never make anyone read first or even third drafts. That's too much to ask of anyone.

Thanks for the luck!

Christina said...

Christina - - Sounds like a wonderful book - and what an interesting story, with a husband who supports her writing and challenges her!

Kristi's Book Nook said...

I love a great chicklit book. Congratulations on your success.

Margo Candela said...

Christina and Kristi:
Good-bye To All That is my most chick lit yet and my Mom says its a great read...not just because she has to say that but because she's my Mom.

Karen McGrath said...

Good interview, thanks. I like to hear about the revision process.

Best wishes on your tour!

Tarah said...

Congrats on beating your timeline - that's awesome. The book sounds like a fun read!


Margo Candela said...

Hi Karen,
For me revising is like peeling off layers until I get to the best part of the manuscript. Usually the core of the idea stays the same and what changes is just about everything around it.
It's a lot of writing, planning, taking a step back and doing this until it feels right.

Margo Candela said...

Thanks, Tarah! I've always had the habit of being just a bit early. I blame my parents.

409cope said...

This sounds like a great,fun,summertime read.Oh,why does summer go by so fast? cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

Melissa said...

Thanks for a great interview and a chance to win this book!
mbamster0720 at gmail dot com

Laura Rachel Fox said...

What a fascinating interview. I love hearing about Margo's process and the work it takes to get a novel to the publishing stage. This sounds like a great read.

Benita said...

Everyone writes in his or her own way and faces blocks, obstacles and times of easy word flow. Thanks for sharing this wonderful interview.


Rhonda said...

I would like to read how the book resolves all the issues of the characters


Lesley said...

Hmm, dealing with family turmoil(aren't we all!) yet a chance encounter leading to her Hollywood ending. Sounds like a great read!!!

Becky said...

Great interview! Sounds like a great book, would love to read it!

beckyspoolstra at

susansmoaks said...

sounds like a great read, i really like the cover
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Bakersdozen said...

I appreciate the interview and would love to win the book. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

lknott said...

Looks like a good book to read. Enjoyed your interview and the insight of the author!!!

WOW! said...

Hi Ladies,

Thank you for all your comments! We held a random drawing for Margo's book, Good-bye To All That, and the winner is... Laura Rachel Fox!

Congratulations, Laura! Please e-mail with your snail mail address and we will forward the info to Margo.

Readers, be sure to check out the rest of the stops on Margo's tour for more giveaways and inspiration from Margo Candela. :)

Happy reading and writing!

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