Momtrends recently chatted with Aimee Agresti about her new release, Campaign Widows, available now wherever books are sold.
1. What inspired you to write Campaign Widows: A Novel?
The idea was first sparked by my own experiences as a campaign widow, even though the book really is fiction! My husband is a communications director in the U.S. Senate and through the years he’s shipped out to different cities to work on senatorial campaigns. I didn’t know ANYTHING about campaigns the first time he joined one and I was surprised to find that this was just business as usual in DC. So many folks are always leaving loved ones behind to work in far-flung cities. I thought it would make a great novel to follow wild ups and downs of characters back in DC during an especially zany election. Luckily none of the drama in the book happened to us in real life though—thank goodness!
2. How does Cady react when she learns about her fiancé’s plan to hit the road for the upcoming presidential election?
She’s actually 100% supportive and proud of him, she has the exact response you would hope a loved one would have to a great opportunity. It was important for me to show this couple as a real team in the beginning of this book. Emphasis on “beginning of this book”! Cady knows this will be important for her fiance’s career and she’s his biggest cheerleader. Even though she’s just moved to Washington, started a new job and is still settling in, she’s thrilled for him.
3. What are Cady’s initial thoughts of the campaign widows?
She knows from the start that they are influential, that this is a group of people she’s been incredibly lucky to have crossed paths with. Her radar goes off that she’s stumbled into the epicenter of the Washington social scene and that they can shepherd her through this new world, that she can learn from them, she just has to hang on for the ride! That kind of serendipity can happen in real life and it is so special when you find yourself in the orbit of someone at just the right time for a great friendship to bloom.
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4. How does Cady’s relationship with the women change?
I love this question because the book really is all about the power of friendship! Cady may be new to Washington, but she quickly becomes the glue binding the widows together. All of the widows are at crossroads in their relationships and the campaign shakes them all up even more, so they lean on each other.
At first it seems that Cady, as the rookie widow, is going to do the most leaning, but actually she comes to the aid of the others just as much as they guide her. She has turning points with each of the characters that help cement those bonds and she becomes an integral part of this unit.
5. As women, what life lessons are we able to learn from Cady’s experiences?
Cady has the right instincts here: from the start, her reflex is to reach out and hold on to this new group of friends. And sure enough, they end up helping her through the tumultuous ups and downs in her relationship and help her get her feet under her in this new city with this new job. No matter what we’re going through, I tend to think it’s always a lot easier if we have friends we can trust to listen and to comfort us. I mean, there’s nothing better than having that ride-or-die group of pals you can count on, am I right?!
6. Are you currently at work on your next novel? If so, what are able to share with us?
I am indeed! It’s about a down-on-her-luck actress: a former Hollywood ingénue, who burned out and ends up back at the summer theater where she got her start as a teen. And, of course, she encounters old flames—and rivals—there while trying to get her groove back. It’s basically about first loves, second chances, and third acts. It’s about following your dreams—or reassessing them and establishing new ones—no matter what stage you are in your life. It’s a lot of fun! Now I just have to finish it!
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