Tuesday, January 20, 2015


My special guest on Books by Banister today is RomCom
author Stacey Wiedower. Her debut novel, 30 First Dates, came out of the gate strong last week (58 Amazon reviews and a 5-star average in just 10 days!), and I'm sure there are more great things in store for this funny and talented lady. I loved Stacey's short story in the holiday anthology, Cozy Christmas Capers, and can't wait to dive into 30 First Dates. Be sure to grab your own copy of the book while it's being offered at an introductory price of 99 cents!

Read on for Stacey's interview with the heroine of her novel, romance-challenged Erin Crawford . . .

*   *   *   *   *

The main character of 30 First Dates, Erin Crawford, is going through a bit of an existential crisis … though she doesn’t know it yet at the start of the story. A few months prior, she’d broken up with the potential love of her life because he was in love with someone else. When her current boyfriend becomes ex-boyfriend material, she hates the pattern she sees emerging. And that’s where I’ll start this interview. Consider this a conversation with Erin just as she’s launching her blog, which of course is named “30 First Dates!”

Me: How was the idea for 30 First Dates born?
Erin: Out of a drinking game, really. (Laughs.) I was goofing off with some of my friends, and my roommate Sherri suggested we all write a bucket list. The last item on my bucket list was to start a blog.

Me: So it was that simple? How did the dating portion of the blog come into play?
Erin: Well, I was mulling over my bucket list one night, which is actually a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30. But I had no idea what to blog about. A few weird coincidences put the idea of applying for “The Bachelor” into my head, and instead of doing that I decided I’d create my own dating reality show on my blog.

Me: You were engaged once. What happened to end that relationship?
Erin: I got engaged my senior year of college to Mathew, who I met at the start of sophomore year. The short answer to this question is that I found out he was fooling around on me, but the more complicated answer is that I was too young, totally scared and in no way ready to get married and settle down. I don’t think we’d have made it, so all in all I’m grateful things worked out the way they did.

Me: What about your ex-boyfriend Noah? You’ve referred to him as “the love of your life.” How did he become the one who got away?
Erin: The crux of the problem with Noah was that while I thought he might be the love of my life, I was not the love of his. It became clear to me while dating Noah that he wasn’t over his ex-girlfriend, Amelia. I could have seen a future with Noah, but in it I was always going to be second best. That’s why I broke up with him.

Me: Let’s talk career for a bit. You’re a teacher. Was that a lifelong dream?
Erin: You know, it wasn’t. I think like many entering college freshmen I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. In high school I was good at several different subjects and I really liked my senior calculus class – I had a teacher who made it interesting and even inspiring. That’s what pushed me in the direction of choosing math as my major, and probably what led me into teaching. If I could reach one kid the way she reached me, how cool would that be? Once I made my choice, I stuck with it all the way through graduate school and into Teach for America.

Me: If you could go anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, where would you land?
Erin: Paris. No question. It has this romantic quality about it that just seems so exciting, like by being there anything could happen. I’ve never been out the country before and haven’t seen much beyond the American southwest, but I have a strong feeling that’s about to change. That’s another impetus behind my 30 by 30 bucket list and 30 First Dates.

Me: How would you sum yourself up in five words?
Erin: Wow, only five? Anybody who knows me knows I talk a lot, and often before I’ve thought through what’s coming out of my mouth. But I’ll give it a shot: Outgoing, fun, hard-working, loyal and, if I’m being completely honest, a bit hard-headed.

Me: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Erin: I have absolutely no idea. That’s the exciting part about 30 First Dates, and it’s also the reason I started the blog in the first place. I wanted a new adventure, something to drive me to change things up in my life and maybe figure myself out in the process. I was tired of “floating.”

Me: You’re an only child. How do you feel that’s affected you, especially when it comes to relationships?
Erin: I grew up with parents who wanted me and made me feel loved in a neighborhood surrounded by other kids, including my best friends Ben and Hilary. So I won’t give the expected answer about feeling lonely. And my parents’ relationship gave me a good model for how I want my own family and home life to look one day.

Me: Does that mean you want to have an only child, too? How do you feel about having children?
Erin: (Laughs.) I get this question a lot, probably because I’m the girl who flees the room when the conversation turns to child-bearing and parenting and such. The whole process terrifies me, if you want to know the truth. I feel like I need to have a better plan in place for my life before bringing someone else into it who depends on me to have it all together. But just to get it on record, I do want children someday. Or a child. I wouldn’t be opposed at all to having just one, because like I said, it wasn’t a bad experience for me.

To find out how Erin’s adventure turns out, check out 30 First Dates! It’s available here as an ebook and in print. And thanks so much to Tracie for hosting me on Books by Banister!

Book Blurb

30 dates, 30 wild ideas, total media frenzy… but only one Mr. Right.

Erin Crawford is a relationship blogger with a bucket list and a vendetta. After having horrible luck in her own relationships, she decides to start a blog called "30 First Dates." Her mission: go out with 30 men before her 30th birthday. It's her quest to find a non-jerk in 30 dates or less. As she blogs about her sometimes humorous and sometimes just sad dates, she also begins to cross off her bucket list of 30 things she wants to do before she turns 30—killing two birds with one stone by completing the items on her dates! In fourteen months she skydives, skinnydips, crashes a wedding, travels to multiple cities and lives way outside her usual comfort zone. The only question is, as her birthday approaches and her list grows smaller, will Erin be able to find love? Or is she destined to be a first-date-only kind of girl? 

Author Bio

Stacey had barely blown out the candles on her 21st birthday cake when she took her first job as a reporter at a daily newspaper. She later followed her passion to interior design school and spent three years working at a firm with bizarre similarities to the set of Designing Women. Today she funnels that experience into her work as a full-time freelance writer, penning everything from magazine articles to website copy to a bi-weekly column called Inside Design. She also writes romantic comedy, and the zany characters she's met poke their heads into her stories from time to time. Stacey lives in Memphis, Tenn., with her husband, also a writer, and a son who's inherited their overactive imaginations.

Connect With Stacey:


  1. Thanks so much for having me here, Tracie! I hope you enjoy 30 First Dates!

  2. Great interview, ladies!! I'm really looking forward to reading 30 First Dates! :)