Summer Beach Reading: This Penn Alum’s New Book Has You Looking Into the Future

What if you woke up one day to all your dreams coming true…but those dreams were more like nightmares?

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More about her book, how she got her start and how and where you can attend her book reading tonight (Thursday) in LA

What if you could see into the future? Would you want to know what fate has in store?  Check out the synopsis of The One That I Want:

UPenn and Allison Winn and The One That I Want

“Tilly Farmer is thirty-two years old and has the perfect life she always dreamed of: married to her high school sweetheart, working as a school guidance counselor, trying for a baby. Perfect.

But one sweltering afternoon at the local fair, everything changes. Tilly wanders into a fortune teller’s tent and meets an old childhood friend, who offers her more than just a reading. “I’m giving you the gift of clarity,” her friend says. “It’s what I always through you needed.” And soon enough, Tilly starts seeing things: her alcoholic father relapsing, staggering out of a bar with his car keys in hand; her husband uprooting their happy, stable life, a packed U-Haul in their driveway. And even more disturbing, these visions start coming true. Suddenly Tilly’s perfect life, so meticulously mapped out, seems to be crumbling around her. And as she furiously races to keep up with – and hopefully change – her destiny, she faces the question: Which life does she want? The one she’s carefully nursed for decades, or the one she never considered possible?”

Allison got her start as a writer back at Penn:

“I actually think you can trace my start back to Penn! My senior year, I wrote one of those bi-monthly op-ed columns, where you had your little picture and your own byline, and mine was called, “Allison Wonderland.” Honestly, landing that column and being given the freedom and confidence in that helped me realize, when the time came in my mid-20s, that I might have a shot as a writer. I was a freelance magazine writer for about seven years and transitioned to fiction four years ago with the publication of my debut novel. Now I do fiction full-time with the exception of celebrity interviews, which I do for fun and to justify my subscription to People and US Weekly.

Allison’s path after Penn started in the world of freelance writing:

“I was out in Los Angeles and moved back to NYC to help another Penn friend with her internet start-up. I did a lot of the writing for the site and for our clients, and when we sold the company, these clients asked to keep me on as a freelancer. From there, I segued into freelance PR and was hired as a ghostwriter for their celebrity clients. And FROM THERE, I landed a ghostwriting book project for The Knot. With that book under my belt, I was able to transition into magazines fairly seamlessly, though not without A LOT of work and rejection. After years of writing pieces for all of my favorite mags, I wanted to stretch a different muscle, and tried my hand at fiction.

How did Allison land her agent?

“I landed my agent through the usual way: blind querying. I did a lot of research on who might be the best matches for me, and then I emailed, emailed, emailed. I think people think that you can’t land someone great – or be successful – without connections, but I did. It’s about good writing and perseverance and hard work. My agent then shopped my book around to publishers. My debut put us in a four-way auction, and I accepted an offer at William Morrow, an imprint at HarperCollins. I think it is very, very difficult to garner the attention of a big publisher without an agent, so I always suggest that people take that route, as arduous and frustrating as it may be. We left HarperCollins for my next book and moved to Random House – which is also my publisher for The One That I Want.”

…Read more of Allison’s insider’s advice on how to become a published novelist HERE

See Allison tonight (6/24, 7 pm) at her reading/signing at Borders Westwood.

Get Allison’s The One That I Want

Get Allison’s The Department of Lost and Found

Get Allison’s The Time of My Life (on the New York Times Bestseller List!)

More Penn authors HERE



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