A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance: Interview with Author Joanna Charnas

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Joanna Charnas
“A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance” is a new work by social worker and author Joanna Charnas that was inspired by her real-life mid-life dating experiences.



“A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance” is a new work by social worker and author Joanna Charnas that was inspired by her real-life mid-life dating experiences. The quirky characters she met and unusual situations she found herself in was akin to something out of a movie—a topic that Joanna, a dedicated film buff, knows quite a bit about! Joanna found her own Hollywood ending and wrote an epilogue centered on dating and relationships featuring tips that are a terrific resource for anyone of any age.

Joanne recently discussed this book via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in becoming a writer and how did you find a publisher?

Joanna Charnas (JC): I’ve received praise for my writing since I was twelve years old, but never wanted to be an author. My late father repeatedly encouraged me to write about my experiences with the medical community. Initially I thought writing about my encounters with large medical infrastructures wouldn’t be helpful to other patients, but over time I changed my mind, and began to outline my first book. My stepmother is the award-winning science fiction writer, Suzy McKee Charnas. When I felt ready to publish, I sought her advice about finding a publisher. Based on her advice I found my publisher, MSI Press after about four months.

MM: How did this book compare and contrast to your past ones?

JC: My other three books are all self-help. “A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance” is a memoir that’s about my search for romance after my divorce in my forties. It’s also about my on-going love affair with the movies. This book is light and fun. I think of it as the perfect vacation or beach book.

MM: How long did it take to complete the book and are all the characters and events based on true ones?

JC: I wrote the first chapter of the book in 2003, the second one in 2004, and most of the other chapters in 2005-2006 as the events in my life were taking place. I edited and re-branded the book from 2015-2019. Every single person in the book is real. A few of their demographics are altered to protect their privacy, and most of the names have been changed, but everything else is true.

Joanna Charnas
Author and social worker Joanna Charnas.

MM: What’s the strangest experience you’ve ever had on a date?

JC: Hands down dating someone who believed he was a Buddhist monk and who dressed like one would be the most far out dating experience I’ve had.

MM: How long did it take you to finish the book and how have you been advertising it?
JC: The majority of the book was written over the course of 2005. The last three chapters were written when the escapades I describe took place; 2006; 2010; 2012. My publisher will place ads for me in trade magazines, and I plan to advertise on Goodreads.

MM: What topics might you write about in the future?

JC: I’m considering writing a book devoted to movies.

MM: What’s the best piece of dating and relationship advice you can offer?

JC: My best dating advice is to trust your instincts and don’t minimize them. I also encourage people not of to settle. Hold out for what you truly want or need.

MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?

JC: My fantasy is that “A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance” is turned in a cable series. I believe in dreaming big.
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To learn more, visit Joanna’s official website.