Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beside My Doorstep by Chloe Zola:Interview: Orangeberry Tour Stop


Welcome Chloe, thanks so much for stopping by. Tell us what makes this is a multimedia memoir? The multimedia aspect is featured on my website: There you will find a handful of short films that blend narration of the book’s most poignant moments, music, and antique video footage.

Tell us a bit about your family. My family is the most frustrating and beautiful force in my life. This book, and everything else I do is for them and because of them- regardless of how crabby I seem most days.

What inspires you to write and why? The people around me- both ones I know deeply as well as people I pass on the street. Anything that breaks my heart a little or catches me sideways triggers sentences in my head

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I am most comfortable writing creative nonfiction but have just begun working with fiction and might be falling in love with it. I have realized that there really is no such thing as flat out fiction. I think that genre is a writer’s way of organizing and coping with all of the people, events, constant happenings in their lives- an unbiased outlet.

What inspired you to write your first book? My family. That’s what it’s about and who it’s for- it is an ode to them, so naturally, they are the inspiration. Oh, and Sue Monk Kidd. The day I finished reading The Secret Life of Bees was the day I started working on Beside My Doorstep. In the back of her book, in an author interview, she was quoted saying “I think many people need, even require, a narrative version of their life.” That sentiment resonated very deeply with me.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I have learned to do nothing. If I am struggling to get something down on paper I usually walk away and detach completely. This usually solves the problem. The letting go of what/how I am supposed to write allows it to come much more naturally.

How did you come up with the title? The title was the first real thing I knew about this book. When I was 18 I got a tattoo of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds on the inside of my wrist. If you read the book, you will know that his music is rooted deeply in the nostalgia of my childhood, and that specific song was my first favorite. Beside My Doorstep, is that song deconstructed slightly. The idea of smiling with the rising sun, three little birds beside the doorstep singing sweet songs…this is a theme, a reminder, through out the book and through out my life. Not to mention the book is broken up into the different houses that I lived in as a child- so the idea of the doorstep is fitting.

How did you develop your plot and characters? They developed themselves over the course of my lifetime. What I chose to include was based on the theme of the story, and how each character’s development contributed to that.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Definitely. It is the same message that I wrote the book trying to find. It is that it is okay to be in love with your life even when it is messy.

Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Yes I have a couple of things in process. I have just completed an illustrated novella, of sorts which I will publish in the next week or so. This is my first real attempt at fiction, so take it with a grain of salt!


My name is Chloe and I am 22 years old. You can call me Coconut, read Beside My Doorstep, or you can go to and watch the book in video form.

Connect with Chloe Zola on Facebook & Twitter & Pinterest
Buy now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG
Another messy and mundane memoir exploring what “normal” means for modern American families. A string of stories that are as bizarre as they are heartwarming, Beside My Doorstep follows Zola and her split-level family as they move from house to house over the course of twenty years. Raw and genuine, Zola illustrates a profound mother-daughter relationship centering on the wild and persistent ghosts of her mother’s past- a deeply-rooted bond that is heavy and brilliant and constantly burning.

Written by a young woman with an extraordinary talent for observation and compassion, Beside My Doorstep paints a picture that is both universal and deeply personal in its dysfunction, humor, tragedy, and discovery- all themes inherent in the storm of growing up. The magic of Beside My Doorstep lies in the way that Chloe sees the world and her ability to show the reader how to do the same.

25th January - Twitter View with OB Book Tours
26th January - Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours
27th January – Author Interview, Guest Post & Book Feature at Promiscuous Diva
28th January – Guest Post at Gimme the Scoop

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