100 Days of Cake
Author: Shari Goldhagen
Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: Get well soon isn’t going to cut it in this quirky and poignant debut novel about a girl, her depression, an aggressive amount of baked goods, and the struggle to simply stay afloat in an unpredictable, bittersweet life.
There are only three things that can get seventeen-year-old Molly Byrne out of bed these days: her job at FishTopia, the promise of endless episodes of Golden Girls, and some delicious lo mien. You see, for the past two years, Molly’s been struggling with something more than your usual teenage angst. Her shrink, Dr. Brooks isn’t helping much, and neither is her mom who is convinced that baking the perfect cake will cure Molly of her depression—as if cake can magically make her rejoin the swim team, get along with her promiscuous sister, or care about the SATs.
Um, no. Never going to happen.
But Molly plays along, stomaching her mother’s failed culinary experiments, because, whatever—as long as it makes someone happy, right? Besides, as far as Molly’s concerned, hanging out with Alex at the rundown exotic fish store makes life tolerable enough. Even if he does ask her out every…single…day. But—sarcastic drum roll, please—nothing can stay the same forever. When Molly finds out FishTopia is turning into a bleak country diner, her whole life seems to fall apart at once. Soon she has to figure out what—if anything—is worth fighting for.
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About the Author and Guest Post
After serious pursuits of literature at Northwestern (BSJ) and Ohio State (MFA), Shari Goldhagen discovered she had a knack for sifting through celebrity trash and worked as a gossip writer for publications including The National Enquirer, Us Weekly, and Life & Style Weekly. And her articles on pop culture, travel and relationships have appeared everywhere from Cosmopolitan to Penthouse. She has received fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell and currently lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
What kind of writing advice would you give aspiring writers?
The best advice I can give writers is to, um, just write.
You may have a fantasy about a romantic life of literary fame and fortune. I blame movies for this; writers in film usually start off living in utter squalor (which is totally unnecessary, btw) and then they write some groundbreaking, international bestselling novel that makes them so rich and well-known that random people will recognize them on the street.
I’m pretty sure that’s happened all of never. The truth is you’re probably not going to get rich doing this. I’ve sold three novels to major publishing houses . . .and I’m not about to quit my magazine job. My neighbor’s first book was an international best-seller, but she didn’t leave our crummy building for some ultra luxe high-rise. Even when you do get a big payday, after you factor in how long you spent writing the darn book, it works out to about seven cents an hour. As for getting stopped on the street, well other than maybe Stephen King, can you even tell me what a single writer looks like?
And the reality is that most aspiring writers won’t even get to that level of mid-list mediocrity. Most won’t finish their books, let alone find traditional publishers. Isn’t this a great pep talk?!!! All I’m saying is that you should only pursue this because you really, really, really want to, like more than you want to do anything else. I won’t say do it because you enjoy it; most writers hate at least some part of the writing process—there’s a reason a lot of us diplomatically say, “I like having written.”
But if this is that thing you want, then yeah do it—but really do it. Not when it’s fun, not when you’re “inspired,” not when you’re in coffee shops and you think it makes you look deep and think-y to type on your laptop or scrawl things in a notebook. Do it in the mornings before you go to your day job or school. Do it on Friday nights instead of meeting your friends. Do it instead of binge watching Jessica Jones (personally I can vouch for the difficulty of that one). Be that person who actually does finish the rough draft. And then be the person who recognizes that you’re probably going to redo the whole thing in a revision anyway. Then do that revision. . .and the next one.
Sure there are going to be people with more natural ability than you, people who have a keener ear for dialogue, people with boatloads of industry connections, or ideas that just flat out blow yours away. Having a natural talent and pals is the biz is great, but those things alone are hardly going to get you there. But if this is the thing that you can’t/won’t quit and you put the work in, I’m betting on you instead of them.
3 Finished Copies of 100 DAYS OF CAKE (US Only)