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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NYU chapter.

With a shifting timeline covering two decades, Alison Rose Greenberg’s second novel “Maybe Once, Maybe Twice” is a heart-wrenching novel about the beauty of second chances when it comes to love and life. 

You know that old saying, “if we are still single when we’re 35, we should get married?” Well, Maggie Vine, a 35-year old struggling singer/song-writer, made that vow with two different people at two very different stages of her life–and they both showed up when she turned 35.

She’s pursuing her dreams of being a singer and a mother—though neither is successfully panning out. So when Garrett Scholl (one of the men that she made a marriage pact to)—stifled hedge fund manager by day but electrifying aspiring rock singer by night—comes to her 35th birthday party with the intention to kiss Maggie senseless, it feels like one piece might click into place. Except he’s engaged to someone else, and Maggie knows she won’t fit into the cookie-cutter life he’s building for himself.

Enter Asher Reyes (the second man she made the marriage promise to). Her first boyfriend from summer camp who turned into a heartthrob actor, he’s lived a successful yet private life ever since he got famous. When a career-changing opportunity is presented to Maggie after her reconnection with Asher, it feels like everything will fall into place. But her past won’t let her move on without a fight.

 Alison Rose Greenberg is a screenwriter and the author of “Bad Luck Bridesmaid.” She lives in Atlanta but is quick to say she was born in New York City. While attending the University of Southern California, Alison took her first screenwriting class and fell head over heels with writing. She speaks fluent rom-com, lives for 90’s WB dramas, cries to Taylor Swift and is a proud single mom to her two incredible kids, two cats and one poorly-trained dog.

For this interview, I decided to focus on the genre of romantic comedies and how her experience as a screenwriter has helped her write her novels. 

“Maybe Once, Maybe Twice” has a layer about the cruel truths of the music industry, since that is the career Maggie wants to go in. Could you elaborate a bit as to why you wanted to include this in your new novel? 

Years ago, I read an explosive New York Times article about singer/songwriter Ryan Adams. I was devastated and enraged to learn how he abused his power over women in the music industry—stifling or ending many women’s careers. I was inspired by those brave women, and I didn’t want to shy away from the dark underbelly of the music industry when telling Maggie’s story.

How do you think your experience as a screenwriter helps your identity as an author? What about your writing sets you apart from other rom com authors?

Because of my background as a screenwriter, I write cinematically. When I read a book, I think about how I would adapt the pages for the screen. It’s not too different when I’m writing. I can picture the chapters coming alive on a screen as I write. It’s simply how my brain has always worked.

What Taylor Swift album would you pick to describe “Maybe Once, Maybe Twice?” If you had to pick an era for Maggie, Garrett, and Asher, what would they be and why?

Oh… this is the hardest question ever. Midnights might describe “Maybe Once, Maybe Twice” the best. It digs deep into the highs and lows of having a solo singing career, the heartache that comes with falling in love, the peace found when you’re in love, and the heartbreak that life hands a woman. 

Garrett is always in his 1989 era. He’s a glittery pop song, even when he’s heartbroken. Asher is in his folklore era. He’s a sad, thoughtful, beautiful indie folk song. Maggie is in her Speak Now era—reflexive about the highest highs and lowest lows of falling in love.

 What were some of the best scenes to write? Were there any scenes that fans enjoyed that in another draft weren’t included?

I really enjoyed writing the engagement party scene—the sexy stable moment followed by the hilarious runaway pony. It was so much fun to go from big heartbreak, to spice, to hilarity, all within a handful of pages. 

My first draft didn’t include the three separate timelines in the book (Maggie’s teenage years, her 20’s and early 30’s, and her present day at 35). Maggie’s past was originally told in smaller flashbacks within her present-day. I’m so glad I revised the book to expand her backstories with both Asher and Garret and make these timelines separate chapters.

Each genre of book has the ability to teach readers something valuable. What do you think romcoms teach us?

In most cases (and there are exceptions), rom-coms teach us that falling in love is complicated, but ultimately worth the fight.

As a romcom lover, this was such a delight to read and think of questions for! Thanks so much for answering my questions, Alison, about “Maybe Once, Maybe Twice!” It was such an adorable book about second chances (plus all the cute rom-com scenes). I also want to thank Stephanie Eliott from MB Communications for sending me this interview opportunity along with an advanced reader copy of “Maybe Once, Maybe Twice.” Excited for the upcoming books! 

Sabrina Blandon is an English major at NYU with a minor in creative writing. She has interviewed over 40 authors from New York Times bestselling ones to debut authors for Her Author Spotlight blog series for Her Campus NYU and Her Campus Hofstra. She loves exploring the city, is a major foodie, and hopes to visit every district in NYC before she graduates.