What inspired you to write The Weekenders? Over a bottle of good rosé wine last year, my editor came up with the title, and told me to figure out the story to go with it. I decided to write about a group, consisting of three couples, all of them at a crossroads in their lives, who own vacation homes on a remote barrier island.
Why did you set The Weekenders in Belle Isle, North Carolina? I wanted my characters to make a journey, physical as well as emotional, when they left their everyday jobs and lives, to take up what should be an idyllic summer escape. Of course, things don’t turn out as they anticipated.
Describe Riley Griggs, the heroine in The Weekenders. What makes her unique? Riley has been a good girl her whole life; good wife, mom, daughter, journalist. She’s only now discovering that maybe she needs to break out of that mold to become the woman she needs to be.
If The Weekenders became a movie, who would you want to star in it? Reese Witherspoon for Riley, Bradley Cooper for Nate. Sean Hayes would be great as Billy. I can see Lily Tomlin as Roo.
What’s your favorite weekend getaway? Ebbtide, our beach house on Tybee Island, outside of Savannah.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it? I don’t allow myself to believe in writer’s block. I believe in laziness, fear, and procrastination, all of which I plead guilty to. When I’m plagued with those emotions, I take a walk to clear my head, then grab a yellow legal pad and force myself to start jotting down ideas, any ideas.
What do you enjoy most about going on a book tour? Seeing different parts of the country, and meeting fans and booksellers. And room service!
What comment do you hear most often from your readers? My readers regard my protagonists as old friends—and they want me to bring them back in new books. They particularly love Weezie Foley, the heroine of my Savannah novels.
What do you do to celebrate when your books make it on The New York Times best seller’s list? I’m almost always alone, on the road, on a book tour when that happens, so I celebrate on the phone with my family and my publishing team, and drink a nice glass of wine at the end of the day. And I try always to remember to thank my fans—who make it all possible. When I get home, my husband and I usually celebrate with a nice dinner out. Then it’s back to work!
Are you working on a new novel? If so, can you share a bit about it? I’ve got a title and a setting and a premise for the next novel, but not much else. I can tell you that I’m bringing back a character from an earlier novel, Brooke, the runaway bride from Save the Date. I’m going to bring her down out of the tree house she was hiding in at the end of that book, and figure out what she’s been doing ever since.
Thank you, Mary Kay!
Mary Kay Andrews is The New York Times bestselling author of Beach Town, Save the Date, Ladies’ Night, Christmas Bliss, Spring Fever, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues. Her 24th novel, The Weekenders, is available now from St. Martin's Press. A former journalist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.