Joining me on the blog today is Ruth Kaufman, author of new novel My Life as an Extra. Ruth was inspired by her experiences as a film and TV extra, and she's already working on the sequel!

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
Rebuilding her life after divorcing, Marla learns to feel special when she’s not the star.

What inspired you to write My Life as an Extra?
I've worked as an extra on more than 70 movies and TV shows filmed in Chicago, and thought that world would make an interesting backdrop because of the lengths people  often need to go to complete a film and the various personalities that inhabit it.

Where do you do most of your writing?
I usually write at my desk in my home office because I prefer the larger monitor and better ergonomics. But sometimes I take my laptop to a quiet coffee shop or a friend's place for a different atmosphere.

What is your favourite book?
That's a tough question because I have so many on my keeper shelf! I love Margaret George's The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers: A Novel.

Which part of My Life as an Extra did you enjoy writing the most?
I had so much fun writing a scene later in the book that takes place at Marla's day job. I'm a panster (meaning I don't plot first), so I kept laughing out loud as developments unfolded. And when a certain event took place, it was quite the "aha" moment. I don't want to give any spoilers....

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
I'd say whenever I'm reading a book I love, that heroine is my favorite.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
So many! The first would be to learn about and stay on top of changes in the market. The second is to be aware that nowadays one book isn't usually enough for those who want to sell, so it's helpful to have a career plan and know how fast you can write.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I'm finishing revisions on the sequel to MLE, My Life as a Star, in which Marla learns be careful what you wish for when her acting career and feelings for a hot, famous director skyrocket.

Thanks, Ruth!

You can find out more about Ruth Kaufman by visiting her website, blog, Facebook, or by following her on Twitter.

My Life as an Extra

Chicagoan Marla Goldberg must rebuild her life at forty-one after an unexpected divorce. While adjusting to singlehood, trying to improve conditions at the radio station where she's an account executive and fit in with her successful family, she dips her toes into the daunting dating pool. 

Marla yearns to fulfill her long-held dream of being a full-time, working actor, yet can't quite believe, "Leap and the net will appear." Being a movie and TV show extra teaches her meaningful lessons, but she must learn what for her is the hardest lesson of all: how to feel special and valued when you’re not the star. 

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