How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I have had many experiences throughout my life that have stuck with me, and either a particular element or emotion or person involved has often sparked a story. Some of my experiences have been out there. How can I not write about such insanity?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My sister and I were always writing and drawing, I remember that. Creating stories, with illustrations. She’s a brilliant artist. I mostly just tried to copy her artwork. And I just kept writing. I’m constantly writing in my mind.
When and why did you begin writing? I have always been writing, since I could hold a pencil. I remember when I was very young my grandfather used to type up my stories on his old typewriter, making them look very official.
What inspired you to write your first book? My now ex-husband was always dragging me to look at dilapidated old houses in very remote, miniscule towns, and insisting we live there. As we were having our share of problems at the time, I became suspicious that he was plotting to dump me in one of these places. That started Running Against Traffic, and then the characters took over.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Running Against Traffic is a dark comedy about a woman named Paige who, for many reasons, has given up on life. Then her husband gives up on her, dumping her in a small town where she knows no one and has nothing, and she has to figure out why she got there, and how to live her life. This is done with the help of unexpected friendships, facing her past, and a pair of running shoes.
How did you come up with the title? Running is prevalent in this book. And it’s the first of three, the Running Series. I’m a runner, and when I first started running years ago, my mother told me I should always run against traffic. Running Against Traffic has several meanings, in this case.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? I think keeping the emotional content raw and real was hard for me, because I was forced to relive some experiences that were painful and uncomfortable, and my tendency is to immediately resort to humor. I laugh at everything, which makes these situations or memories tolerable.
Tell us a bit about your family. My immediate family consists of my seven-year-old daughter and my husband. They share my sense of humor, and they understand my neuroses and stick around anyway. That’s love.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? I don’t follow the crowd. I have my own mind, and I use it.
What is your favorite color? Black.
What is your favorite food? Anything with cheese, garlic and salt.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Key West, Florida. My home away from home.
For a limited only, $2.99
Genre – Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG13
Paige Scott is done in. Done for. Done with it. Having spent her childhood shuffled between relatives who ignored her, and her adult life hiding within the walls of her relationships with men, she is prepared to live out her empty days in her crumbling marriage to David Davenport. David has other plans, however, and flings her into a remote, impoverished world, in stark contrast to the wealthy cosmopolitan one that was all she knew. Here she is forced to face the betrayals of her past and learn, for the first time, how to care for herself, and for others.
Hilarity and tragedy, addictions, unexpected friendships, and Paige’s discovery of running and the relief it brings propel her on her journey toward the mending of a broken spirit, and learning how to truly live. Step by step, mile by mile.
Gaelen VanDenbergh is a writer, runner, compulsive list-maker, and author of the contemporary fiction novel Running Against Traffic. She lives with her family in Philadelphia. Please visit Gaelen at www.gaelenvandenbergh.com.
15th May – Book Review & Guest Post at Life Altering Reads
16th May – Book Review at Top Shelf Books