Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ten Questions from Tara: Interview with Cynthia Ellingsen

The Whole PackageToday, I have the author of The Whole Package answering some questions. The Whole Package is a fiction novel that revolves around three friends who because of, or in spite of, the drama in their personal lives, start a "Hooters" for women, the Whole Package. I previously reviewed this book in mid August and I will provide the link at the bottom of the page for those who may have missed it and wish to know more.

1.  How and when did this idea really strike you?

I was walking on Hollywood Blvd. - I lived in LA for eight years - and watched as a family waltzed into Hooters. There was a mom, a dad and like, three little boys and I thought, “Geez. What are we teaching these kids?” I started wondering what the father would say if there was a restaurant like The Whole Package and the wife wanted to go there with her three little girls in tow. The idea was born.

2. Cheryl is very tomboyish and career oriented. Jackie is in love with finer things and money. Doris is a stay at home mom. Which character do you relate to the most and why?

I’m a little bit of all of them, really. I’ve always admired the Jackie’s of the world and certainly empathize with Doris. Ultimately, though, I’d have to say I’m a Cheryl. Like her, I’m something of a tomboy. I grew up in the country, so I was always running around with the neighbor boy, climbing trees and catching frogs. Plus, I’m an Aries. That should say it all.

3. Cheryl freaks out when her boss gets a hold of her Blackberry because there are files in it she doesn't want him to see. Do you have things in your cell phone you don't want anyone to see? Care to dish as to what it is? :)

Ha! Great question. YES. I have some just horrific pics of me taking self photos, trying to look hot. Come on, you know we’ve all done it. I try to erase after every modeling session but I’m sure there’s one or two super embarrassing ones on there.

4. Hooters is mentioned often throughout the novel. Cheryl tolerates it when her male coworkers want to go there on business trips. How do YOU feel about Hooters?

I think Hooters is comical, in some respects. But when you stop to think about it, it’s a little weird that it’s a socially acceptable restaurant. I mean, come on. It’s called Hooters.

5. Have you been to a male strip club? Tell us a little about the experience.

Hmmm... I can’t remember. Let me reread the scene at the strip club and see if it sparks something. ;)

6.  Speedy Dicks, Early Risers, Welcome to Eat Outs are just some of the restaurant names suggested in the book. Tell me of others that you didn't mention.

Ballers, Balls Out, Long John’s and of course, my personal favorite, Schlong’s. Although Schlong’s did get a cameo.

7.  Who would you rather be served by, Anthony or Gabe? Wearing what?

Ooh, Gabe! No, Anthony... No, Gabe... Geez. That’s the best question yet. I mean, Gabe is goooooorgeous and he would be delighted to give me a makeover. As for attire, is it weird that I’d bring back that light blue scarf he’s flipping around in the fight with Anthony? It really brings out his eyes.

8. What male love interest in the novel is, in your opinion, the “whole package” – Andy, George, or Doug?

Andy. He’s H.O.T. I mean, when he says, “You got a little crush?” I just get all weak-kneed. I am madly in love with Andy.

9. Mandy, Doris’s teenage daughter plays a big role in the book. What do you see her being or doing when she grows up?

Mandy idolizes Jackie, so I imagine her doing something that involves international travel. Or perhaps she could carry on The Whole Package legacy across the globe?

10.  I always ask this. As a dog mom, it’s a must question for me. Do you have any pets? Tell me about them.

I do! I love cats and dogs but have wicked allergies, so I’ve been forced to go furless. In lieu of owning that creepy hairless cat, I’ve carefully selected a life partner in an African Sulcatta tortoise named Hank. He has a face like a little old man. Such a cutie. 

Thanks for joining us, Cynthia. :) 

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