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Guest Post & Giveaway ~ Brenda Janowitz: From lawyer to author in just three easy steps. Well, sort of….

March 2, 2009
*** THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!! ***
drey's library has its very first author guest post! I'm absolutely delighted that Brenda Janowitz, author of Scot on the Rocks and Jack with a Twist, is gracing my lil' ol' blog with her wit and wisdom...

About the author:
A native New Yorker, Brenda Janowitz has had a flair for all things dramatic since she played the title role in her third grade production of Really Rosie. After graduating from Cornell, she attended Hofstra Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review and won the Law Review Writing Competition. Upon graduation, she worked for Kaye Scholer, LLP, then left to pursue a federal clerkship with the Honorable Marilyn Dolan Go, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York. She currently lives in New York with her husband and teaches creative writing at Mediabistro.


Read all the way to the end for giveaway details! And now, without further ado, presenting Brenda:

I’m often asked about how I made the transition from lawyer to published author, but the truth is, I’ve always been a writer. Even as a little girl, I’d make up stories and write them down. My childhood friends can confirm that I would make up plays and we’d all act them out in my basement. And these girls are still my friends, so the plays couldn’t have been that bad. (So far, Broadway has not come calling, but I’ll let you know if I hear anything.)

My love of writing is the reason I became a lawyer in the first place—trying to find a career where I could write full time. I practiced at a large law firm and also did a federal clerkship, but I just couldn’t find the perfect niche for myself in law. Even while I’d been practicing law, I’d find thinking about these fictional stories that I wanted to write.

When I was invited to my ex-boyfriend’s wedding, my life slowly but surely began to resemble some of my favorite chick lit novels, and I said to myself, ‘I’ve just gotta start writing this stuff down.…’

I began working on my manuscript while I was still working full time as a lawyer—it took me around 9 months to complete. Since I had the basic idea for the story in my head, it flowed well for me. I knew the way I wanted the scenes to play out, the character arcs, and then from there, I just let things grow on their own. Basically, I wrote whenever I could. Instead of renting a movie on a rainy night, I would just sit and write. If I was able to take a lunch break, I’d be there in the coffee shop, writing. If a friend was late in meeting me for dinner, I’d be at the bar, pen and pad in hand. And buses and subways? I’d always be there, head down, scribbling away furiously.

Once I had completed my manuscript and edited it to a polished gem, it was time to find an agent. There was a lot of rejection at first, but then I met Mollie Glick from the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency (she’s now with Foundry Literary + Media). It was an instant connection and I immediately knew that I wanted her to represent me. Mollie then took it from there and found the perfect home for my book with Selina McLemore at Red Dress Ink. Selina offered me a two book deal, and the rest, as they say, is history!

I’m now working on my third novel. I no longer force my friends to act out my plays. (That often.)

Thank you, Brenda! I can't wait to read book number three! Find Brenda at her website and blog.

And now, the giveaway details:

Brenda is very generously giving away a signed copy of Jack with a Twist, to one lucky lucky reader! Read my review of Jack with a Twist here.

To enter, comment before 5:00 pm on March 8th and share if you've ever written, or wanted to write, a book. If it's the former, what did you do with it? U.S. and Canada only, please.

Don't forget to come back & find out if you've won. Winners will have 3 days to get me their mailing info, after which I'll draw a replacement. Good luck!!

Bookroom ReviewsCheck out more giveaways at the Book Giveaway Carnival, March 2nd to March 8th!

97 comments:

Bridget said...

Hey there, we've posted this on Win A Book. Thanks! No need to enter us though

Janssen said...

I wish I'd written a book; alas, I have no good ideas.

Wendy aka Misswendiki said...

I've never written a book. I worked briefly as a book publicist, and loved being an advocate of an author.

Indigo said...

I've never written a book, I have entertained the possibility of writing one. Alas, that takes time and perseverence to actually accomplish. Thanks for the opportunity to enter! Indigo

mindy said...

i have never written a book but with all the ideas i have spinning in my head i would love to thanks for the giveaway

Kaye said...

No I have never written a book, I leave that to the talented people. Brenda is so funny, I really want to win this one as I have read and reviewed Scot on the Rocks. It was a riot!
florida982002[at]yahoo[dot]com

Victoria said...

I've never written a book, but have always dreamed of it. Some day. I wasn't familiar with this author so thanks for sharing! utgal2004[at]yahoo[dot]com

Erika Lynn said...

I've always wanted to write a book but I just don't think I have it in me. I will stick to being a journalist an writing tons of shorter articles. Maybe someday I will put them all together as a book.

photoquest said...

I have been thinking of writting of sometime now, recently got a couple of books i think can get me off to the start i need. I would love to win this book i've read some reviews on it and it sounds great!
photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Erin said...

I myself really have not written, I'm the artist. My husband writes though and participates in NanoWrimo. :)

Belladonna1975 said...

I would be scared to write a book. I would be afraid I would inadvertently plagiarize since I have read so many books.

Thanks for entering me!

Belladonna1975(at)pobox(dot)com

AmandaSue said...

I've never written a book and honestly I wouldn't want to since I dont think I'm creative enough and have a hard time writing just a couple of pages. I totally admire writers though since I think it takes ALOT of creativity and patience to write a book. Thanks for entering me!

Steph said...

I'm actually taking a creative writing class right now. I've never written a book, although that is something I would love to do in the future.

I would love to be entered!

smilkovits AT gamil DOT com

My Blog 2.0 said...

I've started an attempt on a book, I don't know how authors do it, it's so time consuming and such a brain drain, I feel like I've worked eight hours, and I've only written for two. I try not to, but I find myself editing, have any ideas for me?

Dottie

My Blog 2.0 said...

Oh, I forgot, enter me too. It sounds like a great book.

Dottie

livingmyhappilyeverafter said...

I have alwas wanted to write children's books. With 5 kids I just can't find the time.

donnas said...

Great post. I would love to read this. I have often thought about writing a book but sadly I have not been able to do more than come up with a couple base ideas and stalled out if I tried to add details. So I decided I was meant to read and enjoy other peoples work.

Deborah said...

I've never written a book - creative writing is very difficult for me, so I leave it to those who have the talent for it. asthenight at gmail dot com

scottsgal said...

I've never written a book, wrote on the college paper and have journalism degree but never wanted careerwise to be a writer. I respect those that do though with my degree I know how difficult writing can be.

carolsnotebook said...

I've never written a book. I think I'm a reader, not a writer.

Melissa said...

I have never written a book, nor do I plan too. I much prefer to read what others have written.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
thanks for the giveaways.
I have no plans to write a book - I don't even I myself would read it. But when I see a lawyer turned writer I have to read the book. so hope I win.Elisabet
liveleisurely@yahoo.com

Dar said...

Congrats on your first guest post Drey-it's a good one! I have always wanted to write a book and I still want to but I just never seem to get started on anything. I'd love to win this book though Drey.
bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

kalea_kane said...

Great guest post, Drey! I have always wanted to write a book and would love to one day. The only books I have written so far was a comic book with my son (it was something we made together for me dad for kicks). Dad has it now. I also wrote a children's book for a Children's Lit class I took in college. I have it in one of my boxes. I would just love to win this!

Thanks!

Kelly

enroutetolife(at)gmail(dot)com

Bingo said...

I have tried to get this book and even missed out on ARCs somehow...would really like to win it. I have written a book of poetry but not published but am working on a novel right now AND am going to be a contributor on a book that is being published so that is very exciting to me! Thanks for the giveaway!

liane66 said...

Yes, I would like to write, but I don't think I have the talent for it.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

no no no ..I journal and when I die the kids can profit

Brenda Janowitz said...

hey everyone! thanks so much for stopping by! most people tell me that theyve got a book in them, but you guys have it right: the hard part is actually sitting down and writing the darn thing!

myblog: if you find that all you do is edit, id suggest free-writing for you. its when you just write and write, you dont even think really, you just write. dont take pen up from paper (or fingers up from laptop, as the case may be!), and just write. when im blocked, i free-write a lot and i find that some surprising things always come out. sure, youll have to edit a lot of it down the line, but its a great way of unleashing that unconscious.

im so glad you all stopped by-- thank you again for the support!

xoxo
brenda

Annie said...

I started to write a book about my life and then I had an experience that changed my perspective on life and I deleted the whole thing!

I do want to write a book; but this time I would write a book regarding forgiveness and the power it brings you.

Thanks, this is a great giveaway

nancyrobster@gmail.com

Amy B. said...

I still hope to write a book someday. Brenda's story is inspiring. Thanks for sharing it. Maybe someday I'll sit down in the coffee shop and just start writing what's in my mind. I keep thinking I need to take a class to really know how to write scenes and develop characters, but maybe I should just try telling a story first.

Thanks for the giveaway!
Amy B.
adennispac@yahoo.com

Lady Roxi said...

I have never written formally and have the utmost respect for those who have the courage to.

Thanks

Angela C said...

I have never written a book as a teenager I wrote short stories. I don't know what ever happened to them.

Boo Bear's Place said...

i have never written a book and don't proclaim to be a great writer but,would love to write a book if I had the talent but i use to write poems had a whole stash back in my early 20s but,have no idea what happened to them

MJ said...

I know there are tons of children books in me but sigh....I wonder if I'll ever get them out!

Lori said...

I have never written a book, I am just not that creative.

sweetsue said...

I used to want to write a book, til I saw how hard it really is!
smchester at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

When I was younger, I was always writing silly little stories. But now, I don't think that I could do it. I would much rather stick to reading the books than writing them. Even though my friends and family tell me I am too creative not to.

~Meredith
rosesaremyfavorite at hotmail dot com

Margay said...

I have written a book; it was published in November of 2008.
Margay

ellie said...

I would love to write a book. To be a writer has always been my dream. However I seem to be too busy reading to write my own. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.

Bev said...

I have wanted to write a book for a long time but don't think it would turn out - but then you never know. Plese enter me in the giveaway - I love signed books and this one sounds like fun. Thanks for the chance to win.

BevE
merryweatherbookblog@gmail.com

Mia J. said...

I have thought about trying to write a book but up to this point have not.

Qwill said...

I have always wanted to write the great american novel.

Meg89 said...

I've thought about writing a novel, but I would rather work on the other side of the process--as an editor. Thanks for the giveaway!

meh471 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Ginny said...

I've never written a book & never wanted to. I enjoy reading every one elses creativity too much!

drey said...

Bridget ~ Thank you, you're a dear! =)

For all of you who've never written & don't intend to, that's alright. We all know what our strengths are - READING! =P

For those of you who've published - congrats! I know it's a difficult process, and you did it. =)

For those of you trying to get the words out, I wish I knew how to inspire or encourage. =) I am immensely proud of the effort all writers put into their work, whether it's finished or in-progress. & it's purely selfish on my part. After all, if writers didn't write, I'd have to find another hobby!

Have a happy day, everyone...

Katy said...

I am way too lazy to write a whole book. Thanks for the giveaway!

Estela said...

I don't think I've ever considered writing. I'm not quite that creative! LOL

Please count me in on this draw!

Angela said...

This sounds like such a fun book!

I completely admire people who can create stories or do anything creative for that matter. While I would love to write something, I wouldn't have the first clue about how to go about it!

Melanie said...

I went through a phase where I wanted to write a historical romance novel. I finally realized I was more interested in doing the historical research than I was in writing the thing. It's the librarian in me I guess. Now I just read books.

shopannies said...

never wrote a book many short stories but never a book

shopannies@Yahoo.com

YZgirl4 said...

Yes, I want to write and illustrate a children's book. I would also like to write a book for my children with all the family history that I know of, so that it is not lost.


yzgirl4[at]verizon[dot]net

Literary Feline said...

Great guest post! Brenda's story makes me feel like I might be able to write a book one day! Like her, I have always enjoyed writing and am so full of ideas . . . It's not so easy to get them all out in a coherent manner though. Maybe someday. I have a lot of admiration for published authors. I would love to be entered in the drawing for Brenda Janowitz's book.

Literary Feline said...

I forgot to leave my e-mail address. Sorry!
literaryfeline(at)gmail(dot)com

Debbie said...

Oh how I would love to win this. I've read great reviews! I haven't written anything and I'm not sure I am talented enough to.

bridget3420 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bridget3420 said...

I've always wanted to be a writer. Not sure if I'd make it though.

deltay said...

I'm actually in the process of writing a short YA novel at the moment. It's pretty exciting & quite fun, actually. Not too sure yet what I'll do with it when I'm done though...

Diane said...

I am a published author in my dreams... now it's time to make this year the start of the book.

a real librarian said...

Thanks for the chance to win!! I've never thought about writing a book - i dont' think I have the imagination for it!

areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

Valerie said...

I've never written a book, not that talented
But would love to illustrate some haha
KawaiiNeko2008 (at) aol (dot) com

Stacie said...

I've never written a book.

purplg8r said...

I've never written a book. But I have thought about becoming an editor! I would love the chance to win this book. Thanks!

Cheryl said...

I wrote a book when I was about 8 years old. It was a mystery. It had pictures and everything. I didn't do anything with it. I think it is still on my mom's computer.

Thanks

clbstitch at yahoo dot com

drey said...

Y'know, I used to write little bits here & there... That was a LONG time ago. Now I just make up songs for my little man. He thinks it's funny (he's just about to turn 6), & I don't have to stress out over it. =)

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like a good book. I have always wanted to be able to write books. But lets face it, I can't write. Oh well, I can at least read books. I would love to read this one. Please enter me. Thanks.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

windycindy said...

Greetings, I would love to read this book. A quick, fun read sounds great to me! Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

windycindy said...

Sorry that I forgot to answer your question.
I have wanted to be a free lance writer for magazines like Country Home and Country Living.
Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

bohemiangypsy said...

I am in the process of writing about 100 books, mostly in my head. Perhaps, someday, I will try to get one published. Thanks for the giveaway.

Sherrylinn said...

I have a hard time just putting a sentence together. I'll leave the writing to the talented and read what they've written. : )

slcremer at gmail dot com

Michelle Kuo said...

I would love to write a book myself, but it's way too hard for me to come up with a story. I'm creative when it comes to art, but totally suck at writing stories.

the epic rat said...

Deep down, my secret goal is to be a writer, and I know that I am not very good and lack many ideas at the moment (I used to be full of them in high school), I should keep on practicing...but I am not at that point yet. I read during those times where Brenda stated that she wrote.

Becky said...

I am a closet writer LOL. I have started several times and then it seems life gets in the way. I keep wanting to revisit it. Maybe this year.

Thanks so much!

Kelly said...

I absolutely love to write short stories, but can't seem to commit myself to any set of characters long enough to take them past 10 or 12 pages!

Thank you for the giveaway!

krtrumpet [at] aol [dot] com

rottawa said...

Actually I am a confirmed reader...writers need us right.

rhondastruthers at yahoo dot ca

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway. I would love to write just no time.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9@verizon.net

The Book Resort said...

I am a writer deep inside & always a reader.

Bcteagirl said...

I have not written a book. If I did it would likely have to be something with less of a plot, like a cookbook perhaps :P

jolt! said...

I would love to write a book, but it's not so easy! I can do a scene or two really well (if I do say so myself!) but haven't really worked out any full novel-length plots yet. Maybe someday!

JamericanSpice said...

I have always wanted to write a book and have tried but it got overwhelming. I haven't tried since but have entertained the idea.

Rebecca Graham said...

I have never written a book but I have a lot of good ideas for a book.

Nickolay said...

I have always wanted to write. I actually do a lot of small writing in notebooks. Some day maybe I will put it all together.

jason@allworldautomotive.com

masonsgranny59 said...

no i've never wrote a book but i've thought about it some:) ty 4 the awesome giveaway and 4 the entry:)masonsgranny59@yahoo.com

Janel said...

I see a culinary mystery in my future. I just haven't taken the plunge yet.

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Nicole said...

I've always thought about writing a book.

Nicole said...

I'm a follower.

Heather said...

never a book only poetry

Pam said...

The only book I ever wrote was in elementary school where we wrote our own books, illustrated them and made our own covers too!!!

Cheryl S. said...

I've never written a book - writing just isn't one of my talents!

Please count me in - Thanks!
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I'd like to read this book. I've never written a book but I sure like to read 'em.
-Terra H.
partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

Molly C. said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

Sheri S. said...

I've always wanted to write a book - maybe someday I will! I'd love to be entered to win :)

yadgirl said...

I've wanted to write a book, but so far, I've just written journals.

nhertel85 said...

I've never wanted to be a writer...

nhertel85 AT yahoo DOT com

Homemaker said...

I've never wanted to write a book, but I so admire people that can. I love to read other people's works.

sallylynnsara@hotmail.com

Betty C said...

I tried my hand at writing once but I discovered I'm very boring. I am much better at reading stories written by someone else.

Donna M. Clark said...

I have wanted to write abook. But I found I do not have enough talent. Tank you for having this giveaway. litefoot873 (@) hotmail dot com

barbara said...

After people read my annual Christmas letter, I get lots of people telling me I should write a book, but I really don't have any desire to do that.

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