Thursday, November 21

Interview & Giveaway: Sliding Past Vertical by Laurie Boris

Sliding Past Vertical

Sliding Past Vertical
Laurie Boris

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Date of Publication: September 21, 2013

Number of pages: 263

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN

Sarah Cohen is a walking disaster. She means well, but the ex-diver’s hasty decisions wreak havoc on her life in Boston. Good thing Emerson is a phone call away in Syracuse, with a metaphorical mop to clean up the mess. Their long-distance friendship can be excruciating for him, though. Years after they shared a brief college romance, he’s still in love with her. When everything goes wrong, Sarah takes another plunge: back to the scene of her last mistake, to start fresh. Unfortunately for Emerson, the move puts her too close for comfort. Her attempts to straighten her life’s trajectory are sometimes amusing and sometimes catastrophic. With Sarah around, is anyone safe?
“I spoke with her last night,” Rashid said.

Milk dripped off the piece of chocolate donut Emerson had just dunked into his glass. Rashid merely sipped his tea, prepared, as always, with one sugar, stirred five times counterclockwise. He set his cup on a folded napkin, arranged his small, brown hands right over left on his lap, and gazed mildly ahead.

Emerson chewed his bite of donut. He admired his housemate’s resolve. It terrified Emerson to imagine spending the rest of his life with a stranger of his parents’ choosing. His greatest fear was that she’d find him inadequate, that she’d long for a “manlier” man, with broad shoulders and a square jaw, one who would take charge, make lots of money, never complain, and always know how to fix things. Inevitably, she would leave him and sleep with other men, like Sarah had. He swallowed and said, “How did it go?”

Rashid shrugged. “She comes from a good family. She is studying business management.”

“That’s it?”

“It’s a very demanding program. I don’t see how she has time for much else.”

“No, I meant, that’s all you learned about her?”

“It was a short conversation.”

“But she’s…no offense, but a total stranger. What if you’re, you know, wildly incompatible?”

“My parents would never choose such a woman for me,” Rashid said. “They know me best and only have my best interests at heart.”

Today, we welcome Laurie Boris to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give her a big Geeky welcome!

I have some questions for you that are writer specific as well as some fun stuff so that we can really get to know the real you. *grin* Plus we will finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready to begin?
Awesome. I’m part geek myself. Can’t wait!
Writing Specific
1. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
I was a magician’s assistant for a few weeks. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds. And the pay stinks. But for a writer, no experience is wasted, so it will probably pop up in one of my books someday.
2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Edit manuscripts for my clients, watch socially unredeeming television, and go for long walks. Not at the same time.
3. How did you choose the genres you write in?
They chose me. They come with the characters who fall into my head and the stories they have to tell. Some are funny, some are serious, some have more mystery about them, and some have more romantic elements. I’m what writers call a “pantser.”
4. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
So many it’s hard to focus on one, but I’ll try. When I was in high school and college, I would binge-read popular fiction on breaks as an antidote to heavy textbooks and required literature. I went for light, frothy stuff like Rona Jaffe and Jackie Collins. Or I’d read whatever novels my parents or visiting relatives left around the house. I don’t know where it came from, but one day I found a paperback copy of Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York by Gail Parent, one of the writers on the old ’70s TV show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Essentially, the whole thing is a suicide note written by an overweight Jewish woman who was killing herself because she couldn’t find a husband. It was hysterical. I read it over and over. It was the first published novel that made me think, I could write this stuff. I could be a novelist.
5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism came from my late uncle, who published three novels during the ’80s and ’90s. When, quivering in my little shoes, I handed him my first completed manuscript, he said that while I hadn’t broken the first commandment of writing (“Thou shall not bore”), he couldn’t relate to the subject matter. That was hard to hear, because back then my skin was thinner and I thought I’d just die if I didn’t have everyone’s approval. Now I understand it was probably more about personal taste. Not everyone is going to relate to or like everything I write, and that’s okay. The best compliment I’ve ever received, not as much about my writing but about me as an author, was from my younger brother. He’s really busy with a demanding job and an active family, so he doesn’t get to read as much as he wants to. Once when I visited his house, he pointed me toward his bookcase, and seven or eight copies of Drawing Breath (my second novel) were sitting on a shelf. Turns out he bought a bunch and was handing them out to friends.
Fun Stuff
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
I want to hang with Ben Franklin. I’m sure he’d have a ton of great stories. I’d definitely want to co-write a novel with him.
7. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
A comfortable bed, a long-handled backscratcher, and a laptop with a solar battery. I’m assuming there’s WIFI and a Starbucks, yes?
8. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
My own parents are pretty amazing, but if you’re making me walk the plank on this one, I’m picking Jamie Lee Curtis and Steve Martin. They both seem smart, quick-witted, and down-to-earth. And they’re both writers.
9. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Lots of mold and a freezer full of Hot Pockets. I write and edit a lot. Please don’t tell me my mother, because she thinks I live on brown rice and kale.
10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Survivor. It’s what I do. Not the reality show, though. I’d probably get voted off during the opening credits.
Think Fast
Summer or Winter? Autumn.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. With coconut milk.
Cake or Pie? Pie. Pecan. My mother’s.
Car or Truck? Car. Stingray.
Print or Electronic? Electronic.

Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Um…read a book? Life’s too short to eat bad cookies? Anyway, thank you for letting me visit. Oh, and sorry about the carpet. A little red wine should lift that club soda stain right out.


Laurie will be awarding a Grand Prize of a $30 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and an e-book copy of her backlist book, Drawing Breath, will be awarded to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop.

So follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Book Tour Info: 
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:

November 18:
Zee Monodee - Author's Corner

November 19:
Unabridged Andra
Deal Sharing Aunt

November 20:
Straight from the Library

November 21:
Musings and Ramblings

November 22:
Long and Short Reviews

Author Bio:

Laurie Boris is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and former graphic designer. She has been writing fiction for over twenty-five years and is the award-winning author of four novels: The Joke's on Me, Drawing Breath, Don't Tell Anyone, and Sliding Past Vertical. When not playing with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she enjoys baseball, cooking, reading, and helping aspiring novelists as a contributing writer and editor for She lives in New York's lovely Hudson Valley.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page


  1. Judith, thank you for hosting today! :D

  2. Sounds like a great book, wonderful interview

  3. Have to step out for a bit...I'll check in a little later. Meanwhile, what was your favorite book from childhood? Discuss...

  4. I love finding a new author through the book blogs, I have Sliding Past Vertical on my TBR list now.

  5. Nice interview, I enjoyed getting to know you better.

  6. Thank you, Christina. It's nice to meet you, too!


  8. Great interview!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Sounds like an amazing read!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  9. Enjoyed the interview! Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. Wishing everyone a wonderful and magical holiday season. evamillien at gmail dot com

  10. I absolutely loved this interview. I know if an author is this good in a simple interview, she will be fantastic in her books. I cannot wait to read her work. I am going now to subscribe to her blog. I only have almost 6000 books on my TBR list. That's not counting those I've scheduled for review. I'm moving Laurie Boris to the top of my list. Thank you also for some great advice.

  11. Judith, thank you for hosting today. This was fun! :D

  12. As a magician's apprentice you must know all the secrets - do tell.



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