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February 1, 2013

Visiting at Plotting Princesses: Sally Felt talks Groundhog Day & the comedy gold of breaking out of "Same-old, Same-old"

Welcome, Sally, to the PP! And congratulations on Going Native.

In the dark of winter, nothing lightens my mood like a brilliant romantic comedy. I’m especially fond of 1993’s “Groundhog Day,” with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

When Phil Connors (Bill Murray) asks, “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?”  it’s easy to relate. Who among us hasn’t felt trapped by a stifling relationship or dead-end job?

In the film, Phil is doomed to relive the same day over and over until he gets it right. Only when he decides to transcend the monotony and take an honest interest in the people around him—and become a better man—does he win Rita’s heart and unfreeze the calendar. 

In other words, when we’re stuck, we can wait (and wait) for circumstances to change. Or we can take a risk and do the changing ourselves.

That’s the choice facing my heroine, Violet. Rather than go to Rio with the free-spirited friend she idolizes, she stays stuck in her dutiful Good Girl ways and offers to house- and dog-sit instead. But come Groundhog Day, there’s a rowdy block party at her new digs, a little champagne carbonating her blood, and before she knows it, Violet accepts a dare that lands her in a stranger’s arms. 

It’s her chance to try something different. To risk feeling sexy. To walk a mile in her friend’s sky-high heels. It’s not a perfect fit, and there’s a price to pay. But scary as it is, it’s a lot of fun.

That’s how risk works, you know? We must break the pattern in order to begin exploring what’s possible. As Phil Connors sums it up:

Phil: Something is... different.
Rita: Good or bad?
Phil: Anything different is good.

What about you? Have you ever felt so trapped—or so bored—that you’d try pretty much anything to break free? What did you do? How did it work out for you?

Or, alternatively, if you could step into someone else’s shoes for the day, whose would you choose? What would you do?

EXCERPT from Going Native:

She unlocked the front door of the loft, wondering if there was a seduction protocol she should be following. This was new territory and Giselle wasn’t here to ask. But that was the point, wasn’t it? Not consulting, planning or thinking things to death. She’d wanted to be spontaneous. Carefree.

Bing dragged her inside in spite of weighing in at all of twelve pounds. The dog had a special magic that allowed him traction on a wood floor. He barked and strained at the end of his leash. “Come in and close the door,” she said over her shoulder. She unclipped the lead and Bing took off, barking as he ran the perimeter of the loft while her ├ęclair watched.

“He likes a victory lap,” Violet explained. She had another chance to watch those marvelous laugh lines.

You don’t know him, Dishwasher Violet reminded her. She’d invited a stranger into the loft. If this were a movie, he’d have a chainsaw and she’d be the stupid blonde who had it coming. But even Dishwasher Violet couldn’t deny her every instinct insisting he wasn’t that kind of stranger and that feeling comfortable with him last night wasn’t just the champagne. She wasn’t a blonde. This wasn’t that kind of movie.

Besides, Party Girl Violet thought he had nice teeth.

BUY LINK (also available from Amazon, B&N) :

Her first name is a verb. Her last name is a verb. Words are central to Sally’s life, along with chocolate. And red wine. Decades of life as an advertising copywriter taught her to deal with deadlines and criticism (through liberal use of chocolate and wine). Then she found her voice and began telling her own stories. Some of them are funny. Visit Sally online at or give her some Facebook love.


Barb Han said...

Love the excerpt!! I can't wait to read the whole book!! If I could walk in anyone's shoes for a day, I might just choose Sally's. If I could pick the day, it'd be the day she wore those super high heels to the DARA meeting!! Can you say 7 ft tall? I'd nab a contract in the NBA while I was up there. :-)

Liese said...

Love the excerpt! Best of luck on the new release!


Congratulations, Sally, on the book. The whole premise is so cool. Have tons of fun, kiddo.

Kathy Ivan said...

Hey, Barb I remember Sally in those shoes. She definitely towered over me that day at DARA!

Sally, congratulations on your debut release. I know this is just the first of many sales for you. Wishing you all kinds of luck with Going Native! (I thinik more celebrating is in order, don't you. We'll have to get together and do dinner again soon.)

Barb Han said...

Weren't those great, Kathy!!

Sally Felt said...

NBA? Barb, as one who has left a trail of disappointed coaches in my wake, I can assure you that height in no way guarantees skill. Thank goodness writing requires only the most minimal physical coordination!

Thank you for the enthusiasm. You make me laugh.

Sally Felt said...

Liese, Vicki, Kathy... you Princesses are SWELL! Thank you for having me here today.

Yes, Kathy. More celebrating = great idea!

(Going to try commenting with my Google identity this time. Perhaps my Gravitar will appear.)

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Sally,
Love the excerpt! Congrats on your new release! I loved Groundhog Day. Funny movie! Congrats again on Going Native!!!!

Sally Felt said...

Karilyn! Thank you for the exclamation points!!! You're adorable.

What's your favorite Groundhog Day moment? Aside, of course, from the memorable banter of the radio announcers that poor Phil heard over and over and over...

ANNCR: Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Hiya Sally of the multiple verbs!
Nice writing, girl!
Congratulations on the launch of your book!!!

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Wow!! Lots of exclamation marks in that last post.
Look here, I will use a nice sedate comma, and now a semicolon; as I also add that I loved Ground Hog Day. Interesting movie - certainly doesn't fit the typical three act screenwriting rules. but the character arcs so satisfyingly.

Sally Felt said...

Kathleen! What's your favorite punctuation mark? In practice, I'm partial to the dash. But you gotta love the interrobang. It's got umph.

Two comments. I'm so flattered. Thank you, dear lady.

Sally Felt said...

Did you hear the news? NO SHADOW for Punxsutawney Phil today. That means early spring. Whee-hah!