“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.
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.