Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Come and see about me

Put it down in pen: I'll be reading and signing books at Barnes and Noble in Carle Place on Thursday, October 3rd at 7pm!

I'd love to see you there!
Brenda Janowitz Author Photo
One of the most exciting things about writing a book is walking into your local bookstore and seeing your work, out there in the wild, for all the world to see!

I'm so excited to be reading at my local Barnes and Noble next week.  Come hear me read from RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE, and talk about writing and my inspiration for the novel. Here's the info:

Thursday, October 3rd at 7pm
Barnes and Noble
Country Glen Center
91 Old Country Road, Carle Place, New York

And if your book club is reading RECIPE, email me. I'd love to come to your book club meeting, or call in. 

See you soon!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Author Interview: Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Today, we've got a real treat!!  The talented Lorriane Zago Rosenthal is here to chat with us.  I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of her latest, NEW MONEY, and I loved it!  Here's what I said about it:

"Who doesn't dream of waking up one day to find out you're the sole heir to a billionaire's fortune? (That's not just me, right?!)  In Lorraine Zago Rosenthal's New Money, Savannah Morgan goes from a modest Southern upbringing to Manhattan high society in a New York minute. This delightful coming-of-age story will touch you, make you laugh, and keep you turning the pages long into the night."

Lorraine has already published a widely acclaimed YA novel, OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE.  And NEW MONEY is already poised to be just as successful as OWFL-- in fact, the television rights to the story have already been sold!

So, let's talk to Lorraine!

What was your inspiration to write your first novel, OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE?

I’m a character-driven writer, and the characters were what came to me first. Ari Mitchell (the main character in Other Words for Love) and her family were in my mind for quite a while before I fully understood Ari’s story and began to write it. When that story crystallized, I just wanted to tell it and to share it with readers. Ari was my inspiration all along. I was also inspired by the concept of “limerence,” which pertains to the intense emotional highs and lows a person can experience when involved in a romantic relationship. Limerence plays a crucial role in the story.

OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE is a YA novel. Your second book, NEW MONEY, is adult fiction. Was it difficult to transition from writing YA to adult?

It wasn’t! I think this is because when I wrote OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE, I wasn’t strictly targeting a teen audience. I believed that both YA and adult readers could relate to the story—and based on the feedback I have received from readers of many ages, this is true. The adult characters in that book—including the main character’s mother and twenty-three-year-old sister—play a major role in the novel and have their own back-stories. Some aspects of OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE are specific to the teen years, and others aren’t.

Because OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE is a mature YA novel, I didn’t find writing adult fiction to be particularly different; however, the major difference between the two novels is that OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE unfolds slowly and is quite introspective, while NEW MONEY is more of a commercial work that is rather fast-moving and—although it has serious aspects—is more lighthearted than OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE. So the biggest transition was writing in a different style—but I really enjoyed it. I think it’s important for an author to be versatile and to constantly challenge herself.

The main character in NEW MONEY—Savannah Morgan—is twenty-four years old, so she fits into the age range of the “New Adult” genre. Can this novel be classified as NA?

Not exactly! I see NEW MONEY as Women’s Fiction with a New Adult protagonist. The NA genre seems to be primarily focused on sex and romance, and NEW MONEY isn’t. Savannah is in that NA age range—and there definitely is romance in the novel—but this is only part of the story. Savannah also deals with the typical issues of being a twenty-something: finding a job/career, adjusting to the workplace, being away from home/family, dealing with evolving friendships, and figuring out who she wants to become.

What has been your biggest overall satisfaction as a writer?

The most satisfying aspect of being a writer is hearing from readers who truly understand my characters and their stories. It’s so rewarding when people pick up on subtle nuances and grasp their meanings.

Additionally, OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE was bought by foreign publishers (in Brazil and Russia), so it’s also rewarding that the book will be translated and sold in other countries. 

Are you currently working on another novel?

NEW MONEY is the first book in a two-part series, and I recently completed the second book. The next step will be finalizing it for publication in 2014!  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Good Morning, Texas!!

Well, this morning was a HUGE thrill for me.  My latest novel, RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE, was featured on Good Morning Texas!!

The fabulous Gwen Reyes from Fresh Fiction picked her top "Carpool Reads"-- books to read while you're waiting in the carpool line at your child's school-- and RECIPE topped the list!  It was a fabulous segment of "Buy the Book."  It even took place in a mini-van!

Watch and enjoy.  I'll be over here in the corner totally freaking out.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mark your calendar: Tuesday, August 13th at 7pm!

By far, the best part of writing a novel is having the chance to meet readers-- people who love books as much as I do.

I'm thrilled to be appearing at my favorite local indie bookstore.  Come hear me read from RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE, and talk about writing and my inspiration for the novel. Here's the info:

Tuesday, August 13th at 7pm
313 New York Avenue
Huntington, New York

And if your book club is reading RECIPE, email me. I'd love to come to your book club meeting, or call in. 

Happy summer!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Author interview: Jess Riley

Wow, am I excited today!  I've got one of my favorite authors (and fellow Girlfriends Book Club blogger), Jess Riley, here to chat.  She's funny and an amazing writer, and a total sweetheart to boot.

It's extra special, too, because today her third novel comes out!  I'm not going to tell you what MANDATORY RELEASE is about-- I'll leave her to do that, but I will tell you how much I LURVED her first two novels, DRIVING SIDEWAYS and ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE.  Ditto for her short story, CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.  Okay, I'll give you some time to go over and order those books.  Done yet?  Great, let's get back to the interview, then!

Here's Jess!

Tell us about your latest novel in 25 words or less.

Lad lit meets chick lit in this dark comedy about broken people who work in a dangerous place, finding hope where they least expect it.

What was the inspiration for this novel?

I worked in a medium-security men’s prison for a few years to help put myself through college; this seems strange enough for any young woman, but at the time, I was so shy I could barely make a phone call without a script. But I needed the money, and more than that, the writer in me couldn’t pass on the opportunity. For nine months, I served as sidekick to a phenomenal special education teacher, and when that ended, I took another short-term gig as a clerk for the department tasked with deciding which inmates to ship from our overcrowded prison to private contract facilities out of state. 

My experiences were a material gold mine, but they alone didn’t inspire this story. Some of the credit is also due my parents, who fell in love at the same prison twenty years earlier (Dad was a unit sergeant, Mom a secretary).

I’ve been working on this sucker for 14 years. It’s starting to feel like an adult child living in my basement again. Time to push it from the nest and hope that instead of plummeting to its death, it soars, baby.

How is the indie publishing process different from the traditional publishing process?

Indie publishing does have its drawbacks, but I love the flexibility, independence, and control it gives me. I can release a book on my own schedule, and much more quickly than via traditional publishing (a few months vs. a few years).  If I want to fix a typo or add an excerpt from my latest novel, I can do so immediately; I can also change the cover whenever I want. The accounting is incredibly transparent and timely.

What are the drawbacks, you ask? Well, no advance—so you cover the upfront costs related to editing, formatting, cover art, etc. There are so many indie books being released every month that it’s also difficult to be noticed. But I believe that a good story will find an audience. In the indie model, readers are the gatekeepers, and word of mouth still prevails. It’s the ultimate in democratic capitalism. J

Your third novel.  Wow!  How has the writing process changed for you over the course of your writing career?  Has it changed at all?

I outline everything now, and drink more. Just kidding about the drinking. Mostly. But really, the process is the same: lots of butt-in-chair, word-by-word slogging it out. Copious 24/7 note-taking and brainstorming. Now with the additional challenge of tuning out the “past book “ noise (e.g., people who tell you they liked your first book better, people who liked your second book better, people who think you are writing about them.)

In the (inevitable) movie adaptation of your book, who would play all of the main characters?

Well, the only ones we’re really here to see are Joe and Graham, am I right, ladies? Joe would be the hottest “bad boy” type under 30 working in Hollywood today, which we could pour some wine and debate all night. Alex Pettyfer? Tyler Hoechlin? Max Thierot? I love Tom Hiddleston for Graham (although he’s pretty British), or maybe James McAvoy. Okay, this is turning into my list of guys with clipped accents who are devastatingly handsome.

[Ed note: Jess, we are totally okay with that.]

If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

Crazy. Or maybe a dentist.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading a book I was asked to blurb: Grant Jarrett’s Ways of Leaving. It’s pretty hilarious.