Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Jillian Medoff shares the love and we're giving away her latest novel!
Today we welcome author Jillian Medoff and her new novel, "I Couldn't Love You More" (reviewed here), just published on May 15th. Jillian is the acclaimed author of "Hunger Point" and "Good Girls Gone Bad," both of which received great reviews. A huge seller in the US, "Hunger Point" was the basis for the Lifetime movie starring Barbara Hershey and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men). Although Jillian is proud of "Hunger Point," had anyone asked, she would not have selected such a bright pink (any pink, frankly) for the trade paperback edition. Her books have been translated into many different languages, including French, Spanish, Hebrew, Turkish, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, and German, but her big wish is for an edition in Tagalog. Jillian has a BA from Barnard and an MFA from NYU, and is grateful for having studied with such luminary writers as Mona Simpson, Jonathan Dee, Robert Coover, and Alice Walker. She also attended Master Classes with Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, and Grace Paley. A former fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, VCCA and Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain, Jillian taught at NYU and the University of Georgia, but for only, like, five minutes. Jillian lives in New York with her family.
Thanks to KMSPR and Penguin, we have THREE copies of I Couldn't Love You More to giveaway to some lucky readers anywhere in the US and/or Canada.
You can visit Jillian at her website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Which authors have inspired you?
Although it's difficult to choose, I'd have to say Philip Roth and Mona Simpson. Both are fearless writers whose mastery of the craft of fiction is awe-inspiring. They write brilliantly about complex family relationships, which is very difficult to do, and their voices are clear, indelible and true. Roth writes in a raw, often brutal way about flawed people, but he respects his characters, so they’re vulnerable, and that vulnerability can break your heart. Simpson's style isn't as aggressive, but she's just as honest. Her characters are complex and haunted, and her observations about the way we live are as powerful as a punch to the gut.
As far as chick lit authors that have inspired me, I’d have to say Jennifer Weiner. I think she is smart, talented, fearless, and very generous to other writers.
Chick lit character you’d be best friends with:
Probably Bridget Jones; although she’s kind of stuck in the 90’s, I think we’re a lot alike.
Describe your writing in three words:
Honest, perceptive, hilarious
Which music group gives off a chick lit feel for you?
Unlike 99.9% of humanity, I don’t listen to music unless I’m running—which is only three times a week for forty minutes. I know this is weird, and probably un-American, but I find music very distracting, particularly when I’m writing or reading. One reason may be because I have sensitive ears and can’t tolerate loud noises, but my husband is convinced that I’m just being difficult. So I don’t know many current groups, but of the ones I know, Katy Perry seems the most chick litty.
If "I Couldn’t Love You More" was made into a movie, who would you cast as the leading roles?
Hmmm, let’s see…
Eliot Gordon: Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Hilary Swank
Sylvia Gordon: Isla Fisher, Drew Barrymore
Maggie Gordon: Kate Hudson
Grant: Ben Affleck, Mark Ruffalo
Finn: Brad Pitt (why not? Live large, I say)
Eliot’s mother: Susan Sarandon
What is your favorite movie based on a chick lit novel?
Definitely Bridget Jones’s Diary, hands-down favorite.
Characters really make the story for us. What three words would best describe your heroine, and what about her called out to you to write her story?
Eliot Gordon is flawed, generous of spirit, and human. From the moment I started writing about her, I loved her desire to do the right thing, even if it was for the wrong reasons. She’s kind and good-natured, although too trusting and naïve. I knew she would be the perfect character to experience a huge lapse of judgment because her redemption would be that much more rewarding. You can’t help but love Eliot.
TV series that feels like chick lit:
Desperate Housewives? Or maybe Grey’s Anatomy before they did the sing-a-long episode.
What do you do when you get writer’s block?
I’ve actually been very lucky. I don’t get writer’s block, although I do have issues related to never having enough time to write. I work four days a week at a corporate job, so I try to write every day, but it’s very difficult when you’re also raising a family. My books take several years to complete, and I work with the same set of characters for very long periods of time. Some writers would hate that, I think.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Work without a net, and by that I mean trash your outlines. When I start a novel, I have a general idea of where I want to end up, but I never know how I'll get there. Part of what compels me to write day after day, chapter after chapter, is the discovery process, seeing the characters evolve as I get deeper and deeper into the story. It means many more revisions (I go forward and back, forward and back over a period of years for each book I write), but I think my novels are richer for it.
Special thanks to Jillian for chatting with us and to KMSPR and Penguin for sharing her book with our readers.
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)
Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What TV show gives off a chick lit feel for you?
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US/Canada only. Giveaway ends June 3rd at midnight EST.