drey: You have quite the impressive law background (to me, at least!!). Why did you give it up to write? & if you were meant to write in the first place, was law just a jaunt in the park? Ok, so maybe not quite a jaunt, I know law school's not all fun & games... Inquiring minds want to know. (ok, ok, I'm nosy!)
Brenda: I’ve always been a writer. In fact, that’s the reason why I became a lawyer in the first place—trying to find a career where I could write full time. But I’ve always had a real love for fiction, and I’d find myself practicing law and 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…’
When I finished SCOT ON THE ROCKS, I just knew that Brooke’s story had to continue! Since both she and Jack are lawyers, I thought it would be so much fun to pit them against each other in the courtroom… all while planning their fairy-tale wedding. Thus the idea for JACK WITH A TWIST was born!
I wouldn’t say that practicing law was exactly a jaunt in the park! I was at a large Manhattan law firm and then clerked for a federal judge, both of which are incredibly demanding jobs. It’s a completely different mindset from writing novels, and it’s a very different type of writing that you do when you’re working as a lawyer. Some people love the practice of law, but I was not one of those people!
d: How has living in NYC influenced your characters? Or not? Is the relationship between girlfriends navigating through the concrete jungle very different from the relationship between girlfriends everywhere else?
B: Living in NYC has definitely influenced my characters, and my writing style in general. Part of what’s fun about the books, I think, is that they reflect a lot of the New York City lifestyle—going out all the time, trying to balance work and life, looking for true love. I don’t know if the relationship between women is different in NYC versus other areas, mainly because I’ve lived in New York for my entire adult life. What I would say is that in the city, it’s really important to have friends you can rely on and relate to. They call it your “urban family,” and the friendships you form tend to really last, since you’ve all been through so many shared experiences together.
d: So what's next for Brooke & Jack? Can we look forward to the continuation of the saga? =) Or are you working on a new story with new characters? Do dish! =D (Yes, this is more nosiness...)
B: Right now, I’m not working on another Brooke and Jack book. But I’d never say never, so you’ll be the first to know when I get back to writing about my favorite lawyers again!
d: muahahahahaha! does that count as a scoop? =P
d: Will you eventually branch out from chick-lit? What genres are your favorites to read? What other genres would you want to write?
B: Funny you should ask that! I’m now working on a commercial women’s fiction novel, which is very different in tone to what I’d been doing previously. I’ve also got a Young Adult proposal brewing. I have an idea for a children’s fantasy novel, too, but that’s just in the note-taking stage. I always have lots of ideas going at the same time! We’ll have to see which one shapes up to become novel # 3.
d: Share some of your favorite reads with us - a book (or two) for each season?
B: I love to read. It’s so hard for me to narrow down my favorite books, so let me tell you about what I’ve been reading lately. I recently finished TIME OF MY LIFE by Allison Winn Scotch, which I loved, as well as THE DIVORCE PARTY by Laura Dave, which was heartbreakingly beautiful.
As for authors whose work never fails to disappoint, in my own genre, I love Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Kristin Harmel, Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin. For literary fiction, I love Dani Shapiro, Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman, Scott Spencer, Alix Ohlin, and Isabel Allende. As for classics, I'm a huge fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, and Jane Austen.
d: Brenda, thank you so much for indulging my curiosity! Come back, anytime!! =)
Brenda is the author of JACK WITH A TWIST (Engaging your adversary and other things they don’t teach you in law school) and SCOT ON THE ROCKS (How I survived my ex-boyfriend's wedding with my dignity ever so slightly intact), as well as the short story BASED ON A TRUE STORY. You can learn more about Brenda at www.brendajanowitz.com and check out her blog at www.brendajanowitz.blogspot.com.Giveaway!
How much does Brenda love y'all? Lots, apparently. =) She has one copy of Jack with a Twist (click on the title for my review) for you, provided you live in the United States. Contest ends 6:00pm CST June 18th.
To enter, comment and 'fess up: Have you ever been, wanted to be, are on the way to being, a lawyer? =P The Mr. (poor thing--he married me!) did it all--went to law school, passed the bar, etc. Found that he couldn't find a job in law that he wanted, that would pay enough to live on AND pay his student loans. Which were considerable, as he went to a private little law school in the Pacific NorthWest (and no, he's not from thereabouts)... As always, +1 for following, +2 for sharing (tell me what/where)...