Interview & Contest: Allison Winn Scotch

Jen: Today we are happy to welcome Allison Winn Scotch to Romancing the Book.  Allison, please tell us about The Song Remains the Same and where the idea came from.
Allison: The Song Remains the Same is about a woman who survives a plane crash but who loses her memory in the process, and has to put her life back together from the stories that her friends and family relay back to her. Obviously, this is an extreme situation (!), but what it really explores is who we are without our past history (or who we are because of it), and how we can move forward into a new and different life while not leaving the past behind. The idea came from the fact that I have recurring plane crash dreams that really shake me to my core, and because they are almost always an indication that something subconsciously is bothering me. So I took what is one of my greatest fears and managed to write about it in a way that was sort of cathartic for me. The book itself isn’t about the crash at all, but that gave me a launching pad to explore what I always love to explore in my books: what if you’re not living your best life? How can you get there? What’s next?

Jen: Was there any special research that went into this book?
Allison: My father is a neurosurgeon, so I had a decent understanding of the brain (as much as you can without going to medical school and by hearing about his surgeries over dinner every night while growing up), but I did do a fair amount of research as to why and how this can happen to a brain. Because as out-there as it sounds, amnesia does indeed occur. I also spent A LOT of time filtering through old music catalogs. The book is built around a music play list, and I took a lot of care into which songs and lyrics I selected: it was many, many months of listening, remembering old favorites, and fine-tuning until the playlist was a perfect reflection of Nell’s life.

Jen: What does one of your days look like?
Allison: It really depends on where I am in a project. When I’m in the thick of a book or a script, I take my daughter to school, come home for a quick workout, and then spend most of the day writing. I take a break in the middle of the day for lunch and errands and a dog walk, but then I’m back to it before my kids get home. When I’m not smack in the middle of a big project, it really varies. Today, I’m spending the morning working on interviews and promotional things, and then I might blow off the afternoon. (Shhhh.) 🙂 Some days, I’m juggling celebrity interviews which I write for a bunch of places, some days, I’m just catching up on emails and reader tweets and that sort of thing. It’s a perfect job for me because my personality gets really antsy with monotony, so I rarely do the same thing two days in a row.

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Allison: There are too many other writers to cite: truly, at every point in my life, someone new has come along to help push me to be a better writer, whether it was Judy Blume as a child or Laura Dave, my critique partner and dear friend, or someone like Nick Hornby, who I read obsessively in my 20s as I was developing my craft. Right now, as cheesy as this sounds, my kids inspire me. They provide a soft place to land if I’m having a crappy day, and they’ve enriched my life in ways that you can’t explain until you become a parent. This probably fuels my emotional life which helps me write deeper, more nuanced characters.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Allison: I’ve been working on a few screenplays over the past year, and I just filed one with my producers. So I’m really excited to see what’s next there. As I mentioned above, I’m someone who loves what she does but also gets bored after a while, so I always like to take on new challenges. Learning to write a screenplay was an entirely different endeavor than writing a novel, so I’ve certainly had a steep learning curve to ascend. I’m still learning, but it’s been a blast – I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Jen: Please share a short bio with us.
Allison: I was born in the ’70s at 3:43 AM in Charlottesville, VA. After my mother assured my father that yes, he could take that business trip to Montreal because, no, there was no chance that I would be making my appearance while he was gone, out I popped. Which my parents now like to use as a frequent analogy about my general attitude and overall take on life.

Er, not the kind of biographical information you were looking for?  Then continue reading my bio at my website.

And you can also find Allison on Facebook and Twitter.


Contest details:

  • The prize is a print copy of The Song Remains the Same.
  • The contest is open to US residents only.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • Because a valid email is needed to comment in WordPress, if you are ineligible for the contest, but still want to comment, please leave some sort of “don’t enter me in the contest” note in your comment.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, May 13.

Purchase Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

22 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: Allison Winn Scotch

  1. Sarah says:

    Great interview! Recurring plane crash dreams. Scary! I love how you took one of your fears and developed it into a story. Sounds interesting.

  2. That sounds like such a fascinating book! I have dreams of the same nature (although, not plane crashes… mine usually center on drowning or falling from a very high place) and I have a lot of respect for Jen for facing those dreams head on and transforming them into a story to share with others.

  3. Ursula says:

    I think it’d be interesting to see how the loss of memory, and the stories others tell about you, impact your life. For those never having gone through something like that, it seems unfathomable to imagine what it’s like. Not remembering your friends, family, childhood, etc…would be horrible!

  4. April Alvey says:

    This Book Sounds So Amazing It Reminds Me Of Something That Happened To My Family When I Was Growing Up. I Would Really Love This Book I Gotta See How It Ends.

  5. Maureen says:

    I like the idea of a playlist for the characters life and it must have been quite a journey for her.

  6. erinf1 says:

    Thanks for a great interview and giveaway! I love the premise of this book! It’s very original and I can’t wait to read it. Definitely added to my wishlist 🙂 I find it very interesting that you took the scary dreams you were having and “exorcised” them by writing about it.


  7. Jen B. says:

    I have thought about the question of what makes us what we are. It is such any intriguing concept and such a scary topic. I can’t imagine losing my memory and having to learn about myself like I’m a stranger. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. Linda Mc says:

    This sounds really fascinating. I just finished up a paralegal program. During the program one of my classmates fella nd hit her head and she actually lost her memory from the past 10 years. She had to drop out of the program, and had no memory of it at all. I’ve heard though, that she has regained some of her memory and continues to do so. Scary how things like that can happen at any moment.

  9. JoAnne says:

    Hi Allison. Nice interview. I read the book and reviewed it for
    It was a nice story but I felt it had a lot of angst and sadness in it created by those who were supposed to be closest to Nell.
    Hope to read other books by you.
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Bridget O'Neill says:

    I have been a fan of Allison since reading her first book, The Department of Lost and Found. As a young breast cancer survivor (diagnosed at 31), I really related to the main character in that book. I’ve loved all her books, and am excited to read this one!

  11. Ellie says:

    A wonderful interview which shows how the author learned about amnesia and researched from her own father’s experience as a neurosurgeon. A multi-talented author whose book sounds compellng.

  12. I have always believed we underestimate and take for granted God’s amazing gift of memory. The ability to store up the precious times in our life is a blessingbeyond measure. I can’t imagine losing it. The book sounds intriguing.

  13. I read Allison’s last release, The One That I Want, and really enjoyed it. I’ve been anxiously awaiting her new release, especially since I’ve been following her on Facebook and seeing her updates on the new book for months. I still need to pick up her other releases too 🙂

  14. I’m interested in knowing if the screenplays she’s been working on are based on any of her books or something new. Good luck to Allison.

    Looks like a really interesting story!

  15. Jen @ RtB says:

    Our contest winner is Bridget. An email is on the way to her with directions on how to claim her prize.


Comments are closed.