Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Interview with Josie Brown and book giveaway

By Melissa Patafio


**Giveaway is now closed**

Josie Brown, author of “Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives” dishes up a heaping portion of sex, secrets, and scandals in her third novel. Not only is she the author of three successful novels, she also interviews celebrities and writes relationship articles which have appeared in Redbook and Complete Woman magazines as well as a number of websites.
Josie, a self-proclaimed lover of foreign films and linguini and clams in white sauce, graciously took the time to answer some of my questions. She is witty, warm, and generous and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her better. I am sure all of you will too! She is even giving away three signed copies of her book to some lucky readers in the US and Canada.

What is your usual writing routine?
I'm the ultimate plotter. Besides knowing a basic premise for my story, and figure out a middle and an end for it, Ithen plot out the core turning points that get me from the beginning to the end. Some of the middle is always the fuzziest, since characters have a way of taking things into their own hands (LOL!) but channeling their voices always keeps the plot churning...and that's the joy of writing novels.

If your book were being made into a movie, who would you like to see cast as the main characters?
Ideally, for Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, Julia Roberts would be Lyssa. An imperfect Ted would be Robert Downey Jr. Clive Owen would make a great Harry. And I could see Gwyneth Paltrow as DeeDee.

Do you ever suffer from writers block? If so, what are your personal remedies?
Ha! No, I have the opposite issue: too many plots, so little time! I'm always running into great book premises when I'm out and about, or when I read a juicy news item. And then it's a matter of thinking through the "what if's". You know, "What if this character did/said this? What if then the plot twists this way?" And always:" Is the ending satisfying?
Most of the mail I get from readers says "I didn't want your book to end..." That makes my day.


What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I'm hiking. In fact, when I'm walking, I'm usually plotting out my next chapter, or my next book. We live in a county that has the most national forest land near a metropolis (Marin, in California). The trails here are spectacular. There are several points where you can stand and see the city (San Francisco) and the bay, and the Pacific Ocean in a panoramic vista before you. Makes it hard to go on vacation when you feel you live somewhere so pretty.

How long did it take to get your first book published?
I started writing fiction the day I brought my first born, my son, home from the hospital. I was in the advertising industry (much later than Mad Men, but many of those stories ring SO TRUE), and I felt that now that I was someone's wife and someone's mom, I also wanted to be someone who let her creative side be her prime identity..

But with a new baby and all, that book was put in a drawer. It took several years (and a switch from advertising to freelance feature writing ) for me to get up the guts again to write a novel--but only after I'd written two non-fiction books (MARRIAGE CONFIDENTIAL: 102 HONEST ANSWERS EVERY WIFE WANTS TO KNOW, AND EVERY HUSBAND IS AFRAID TO ASK; and LAST NIGHT I DREAMT OF COSMOPOLITANS: A MODERN GIRL'S DREAM DICTIONARY). Then I asked my agent, "Would you look at some fiction I'm writing?" He said yes, and that book (TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES--a story that came to me while I was interviewing celebrities and writing feature profiles) had three editors bidding on it. It was pitched on the first 50 pages (to demonstrate my fiction writing voice) and a 10-page synopsis.

How did you celebrate when your first book was published?
We went to my favorite sushi restaurant (Sushi Ran) with friends. I wanted to go to Paris, but hey, if you have to settle for less, at least the food was sublime.In fact, I'm going to London and Paris in October--three novels later! I'm finally making the time between my books. I've just turned in the next one (THE BABY PLANNER, out April 5, 2011), and I start another the minute I get back.

I read that aside from writing, you interview celebrities. Who has been your favorite celebrity to interview so far? Why?
I loved interviewing Kenneth Branagh. He was hella lotta fun! It was for a movie he both directed and starred in (HAMLET) and I wanted to ask him stuff no one else had thought of. Some questions centered on his directing process. Another was about the look he had cultivated for the movie. He had pumped up for the movie (the Danish prince did more than mope around Elsinore Castle) so I asked him if he'd be doing any Hollywood hardbody movies. That actually made him laugh. His answer: "If I get to wear a white leather breastplate all the time, I'd be happy....I do get asked to do action pictures--usually as the director, not to be the sweaty pectoral boy." That's may favorite soundbite of all time.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?
I love both the beach and the mountains. And I love warmth. Hana, Hawaii is a great combination of all three. For that matter, so is most of Hawaii. But ask me again in an month. Once I hit Paris and the French countryside, my opinion may be different...

Are you originally from California? If not, what brought you there?
I'm from Atlanta Georgia. I grew up in Decatur (they have a great book festival, fyi) and Kennesaw (where it's now the law that you have to carry a gun. Go figure. Well, at least the mountain is gorgeous!) My husband brought me out to San Francisco right before our honeymoon, and gave me my engagement ring on the Sausalito Ferry. We loved the area so much that it became our get-away place, whenever we could go. Then finally before our children were old enough for elementary school, we decided if ever we were to move, the timing couldn't be better. And we've never looked back.

How was the story of “Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives” inspired?
I thought of the premise a year or so prior to the recent recession, which happened to have downsized many "masters of the universe" business-type alpha guys. I wondered would would happen if in fact one such guy had made the decision to be a work-at-home dad, if only to hold onto his family and his home after his wife walked out on him. The idea was to have his story narrated through a female neighbor--and of course, she gets caught up in the story as well. Lots of sex, scandal, gossip, and adults behaving badly. In other words, a fun read!

Special thanks to Josie for this interview and for offering the books to give away.


How to win "Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted.)

For additional entries (each as a separate comment including your e-mail address, as well):
1. Click here to read one of the many reviews for "Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives." Leave a comment on this blog regarding the one you like the best.
2. Please tell us: If you could choose a celebrity to interview, who would you pick and what's one question you would ask them?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)


US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Thursday, September 16th at midnight EST.

64 comments:

Tiffany said...

First? Wow! Looks like a great book... The odds of number 1 winning is not good haha. Schlarmette(at)gmail(dot)com

Tiffany said...

I would interview Jennifer Aniston because I adore her. I guess I would ask what her favorite moment of working on the friends set was. Or her best heartwarming memory.
Schlarmette AT gmail DOT com

Sarah said...

Thank you for the great interview...as always:)

foxchick0323@live.com

Tiffany said...

I am a follower! Schlarmette AT gmail DOT com

Sarah said...

I loved the Tetheredmommy review:) the comment about sunsrcreen made me laugh!

foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

I am a loyal follower!

foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

I am a facebook friend to Chick Lit Central.

foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

I would like to interview author Debbie Macomber and ask her where she gets all of her great book ideas from.

foxchick0323@live.com

Tiffany said...

I liked the goodhousekeeping review! It was intriguing.
Schlarmette AT gmail DOT com

Sarah said...

I tweeted @happymama82

foxchick0323@live.com

Tiffany said...

FB fan ( : schlarmetteATgmailDOTcom

BRN2SHOP9 said...

Sounds like a great book!

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow the blog!

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow on fb

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow on twitter

Colleen Turner said...

This book sounds so good! Living in Suburbia, I think I would get a kick out of it!
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

If I could interview anyone it would by Henry Cavill (Charles Brandon on The Tudors)! He is SO sexy and speaks so eloquently. I read that he also speaks like six languages, so he is smart too! This is a totally selfish pick, but I would love to just pick his brain :).
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a GFC follower.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a facebook fan.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I liked the My, Myself and the Couch review!
candc320@gmail.com

Laura Rachel Fox said...

This sounds like a fun read. The "don't want the book to end" comments makes me really want to read this one.

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

The TetheredMommy.com review had me with the warning that "you will lose all track of time while reading." I just love a book that you can't put down.

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Rachel Fox said...

The celebrity interview question is a toughie. I think I would be a total spaz around any celebrity. I guess I would pick Jensen Ackles from "Supernatural" and ask him if he really is having as much fun as it appears.

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I'm a follower

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I'm a follower of Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

Posted a link on Twitter

Lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Heather said...

I liked the Readaholic review comparing it to Desperate Housewives!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a follower.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit Central.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I posted to facebook.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Sounds good!

misseway@aol.com

Bonnie said...

Great interview and would love to read this book! Sounds like my type of read for sure! I would interview Al Pacino as I think there is more to him than meets the eye! I know he talked about the woman he let "get away" he was remorseful about, and I would try to find out who that was. I am a follower!
intrepid9923@yahoo.com

piabernardino@bermillion.com said...

This looks like such a wonderful story!
I would like to interview Chris Nolan and ask him his though process when directing such unique films.
This is posted in twitter.
piabernardino@bermillion.com

Josie Brown, said...

All these fabulous comments! Tiffany, if I interview Jennifer Aniston, I'll drop your name to her.

Sarah, I've heard that Debbie Macomber is the epitome of graciousness, so good choice.

Colleen, you and I are SO MUCH ALIKE! I FLIPPED over THE TUDORS, and he was my favorite male character. (The actress who played Anne Boleyn was my favorite queen.)

Laura, thanks for pointing out the TetheredMommy.com review. It's one of my faves too, for obvious reasons!

Bonnie, I think I'd faint if I got in front of Al Pacino. Talk about a living legend!

Pia, I have to say that directors make wonderful interviews. I had a chance to interview directors John Woo and Costas Gavras, both insightful and open.

I'm in Seattle for a few days, (http://www.betweenthepagesevents.org) but will check Chick Lit Central to comment more throughout the day(s)!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, babe. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

scottsgal said...

I like Bookhounds review
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

I'd interview Kenney Chesney - I'd ask him to take me on a ride on his yacht
msboatgal at aol.com

Audrey said...

Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!
twigerina[at]hotmail[dot]com

Brittany Roshelle said...

Count me in!!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

I like the Good Housekeeping review!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

I would interview Tina Fey and ask her what its like becoming a star!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

I'm a follower!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

I'm a FB member!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

I posted it on Twitter!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

MaMa said...

I really enjoyed the review by Me, Myself and the Couch. This looks like a great 'take me away' read...just what I need.
Lisa
mistyfuji *at* yahoo *dot* com

MaMa said...

I'd interview Adrian Brody and ask him why his roles since The Pianst haven't been that great or noteworthy.
Lisa
mistyfuji *at* yahoo *dot* com

MaMa said...

I'm a follower now... :-)
Lisa
mistyfuji *at* yahoo *dot* com

MaMa said...

I'd love to read this book. I've heard of Ms. Brown but have not read any of her books. Thanks for hosting.
Lisa
mistyfuji *at* yahoo *dot* com

kakihara said...

Thanks for a great interview--I would love to win a copy of Josie Brown's new book!
kakihararocks@gmail.com

Mary said...

I have this on my list of must-reads. Great giveaway!

mryward(at)yahoo)dot)com

Mary said...

I follow on GFC. (mamie316)

mryward(at)yahoo(dot)com

Catharine said...

Sounds like a great read!
ceriehl[at]gmail[dot]com

Catharine said...

Liked the review from Readaholic

Nicole C. said...

I would love to read this book.

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book! Looks like a great read!

walker03@telus.net

Wanda said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

My favourite review is the one by CrazyForBooks.com . They said it was a fast read and the shenanigans in the book were downright hysterical. That's what I like in a book.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

The celebrity I would choose to interview would be Jan-Michael Vincent. He was always my favourite actor years ago and I would ask him how he managed to mess up his career so badly. I really miss him as an actor and would love to meet him some day.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

I follow your blog via Google Friend Connect and also via Google Reader RSS Feed.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

I posted this on Twitter.
http://twitter.com/lemonslippers/status/24714379104
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Wanda said...

I joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Mia J. said...

This book sounds good. I would like to read it.

mia at jacobsracing dot com

Mia J. said...

I would interview Johnny Depp. I would ask about his choices to do more kid friendly roles and what type of roles he prefers to do.

mia at jacobsracing dot com