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Laura Hunt

Interview with Joyce Scardina Becker

Johanna Kaestner talks to the author of Countdown To Your Perfect Wedding
During lunch in the Becker's elegant dining room, author Joyce Scardina Becker, her husband Dana, and I talked about her first book: Countdown To Your Perfect Wedding.

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Joyce, you are a successful event coordinator, the founding director and instructor of the Wedding Consultant Certificate Program at California University Program East Bay, and you just returned from a speaking engagement in Dallas. When did you have time to write this book?

JSB: I am a person who works 12- to 14-hour days. I always loved to write. You know, I wrote articles for Today's Bride, Modern Bride Northern California, and regularly contributed a column to The Knot.

JK: How many years have you been writing articles?

JSB: In 1995, shortly after I started Events of Distinction, I wrote an article about wedding invitations. An invitation trade magazine read my press release announcing the opening of my company and asked me to write an article for them. From then on I received more inquiries. In September 2004 I received a phone call from a book developer representing St. Martin's Griffin Press in New York, who asked me to submit a trial chapter for a possible book offer. First I thought, OK; then reality set in. I had been asked to write a book! I know how hard it is to land a book with a publisher. You need a good agent and lots of luck. And here I was asked to write a book! It was a dream come true.

JK: How long did it actually take you to write the guide?

JSB: I signed the contract in December but couldn't really get started with the writing until January. While the book was supposed to be done by April 15, we got an extension until the beginning of May (and we had to file for an extension with the IRS, too).

JK: How could you write such an extensive book (about 300 pages) in such a short time?

JSB: I could not have done it without Dana. But, you know, when you are as passionate about something as I am about wedding coordination and writing, it just flows. I had taught, written, and spoken about different wedding topics so often -- I included some of my teaching in the book. And then, you have to discipline yourself. I knew I needed to write five chapters a week. I knew if I could not produce them, I would need to write more the next week.

Joyce talking to clients in her elegant office

JK: How did you choose the title?

JSB: The title was actually suggested by the publisher's book developer. We arranged the content to follow the wedding planning process week by week during the course of a year. If you read one chapter a week and follow its instructions, you won't be overwhelmed. Of course you can plan a wedding in half a year, too; just double up on your weekly reading and execution.

JK: What was the most difficult part of the book to write?

JSB: The acknowledgments were the most difficult part. To thank Dana, my parents, and siblings for everyone to read was hard. It was like sharing one's most secret thoughts.

JK: Do you have any amusing stories to tell about your experience?

JSB: Yes. For our first book signing, we brought a few cartons of the pre-delivered books. To make it easy, we sold them for $17.00. But never having done this before, we were a little nervous and didn't think about some things. Dana was so busy collecting the money that he forgot to hand out the books as well. We also forgot to bring receipts, and I did not have a pen when the first customer asked me to sign a copy.

P.S. Don't worry. Joyce learned how to sign her books. She wrote me the sweetest inscription.
Thank you, Joyce, for this wonderful book.

Countdown To Your Perfect Wedding
Joyce Scardina Becker
St. Martin's Griffin Press, New York
February 2006


At Amazon

Scheduled Author Events

Join Joyce for an informative presentation, Q & A session and book signing:

Monday, February 13th 7:00 pm
- Books Inc. -
3515 California Street, San Francisco, 415-221-3666


Wednesday, February 15th 7:00 pm
- Copperfield’s Books -
140 Kentucky Street, Petaluma, 707-762-0563


Saturday, February 18th 2:00 pm
- Barnes & Noble -
2550 Taylor Street, San Francisco, 415-292-6762


Wednesday, Feburary 22nd 7:00 pm
- Barnes & Noble -
1149 S. Main Street, Walnut Creek, 925-947-0373


Saturday, February 25th 2:00 pm
- Book Passage -
51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, 415-835-1020


Wednesday, March 1st 7:00 pm
- Books Inc. -
1375 Burlingame Avenue, Burlingame, 650-685-4911


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