This is a busy release month for the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit and several of my GCC sisters have new books coming out--I'm excited about all of them! Today, Jessica Brody is back with LOVE UNDER COVER (St. Martin's Press), the follow up to her wonderful women's fiction debut THE FIDELITY FILES. This series is currently in development with the the executive producer of "Crash" for a possible TV series--wow! But Jessica is no stranger to the film world. She graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts with degrees in economics and French. In 2005, she left her job at MGM Studios in Los Angeles to become a full-time freelance writer and producer. She also writes young-adult novels, and her first--THE KARMA CLUB--will be coming out in April 2010.
In LOVE UNDER COVER, Jennifer Hunter runs a company that specializes in conducting fidelity inspections for those who suspect their loved ones are capable cheating. An expert on men, Jennifer can usually tell if they're single, married or lying... Unfortunately, her new boyfriend, Jamie, is one of the few men that she's never been able to 'read.' Has she finally found the perfect man or is he too good to be true?
What was your inspiration behind Love Under Cover? As soon as I finished writing my first novel, The Fidelity Files¸ I knew that Jennifer’s journey wasn’t over yet. Although she had seemed to find her happy ending there was so much more fun stuff I had in mind for another book. Setting Jennifer up with an entire agency of fidelity inspectors was definitely the first and foremost on my mind for the next installment. Plus, I really wanted to explore what a fidelity inspector would be like in a committed relationship. After everything she’s seen—all the cheating, dishonesty, and betrayal—would she really be capable of settling down herself? So that’s what I set out to focus on in this book.
Which 'craft' book has inspired or helped you the most throughout your writing career? SAVE THE CAT, by Blake Snyder. It changed my life. People tell me my books read like movies. Well, that's probably because SAVE THE CAT is actually a book for screenwriting. But I've found it translates exceptionally well to novels. A well-told story is a well-told story, regardless of the medium and a fast-moving story keeps the pages turning. Blake Snyder lays out a simple (yet effective) step-by-step beat sheet of how to tell any story and I'll never write another book without it! He was very well-respected in the industry and I know many writers (screenwriters and novelists alike) that utilize his books. Plus, the book is extremely funny and entertaining to read! (I'm a HUGE fan of Blake's work, and I use it for everything, too. It's still very sad to me that we lost him so young...)
Since becoming a writer, what’s the most glamorous thing you’ve ever done? When my first book, The Fidelity Files, came out in France last year, my French publisher actually flew me out to Paris to promote it! It was a dream come true! I speak French almost fluently so I was able to conduct all my interviews in French, which was both nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. Paris has always held a special place in my heart. I was a French major in college and I lived in Paris my junior abroad. Plus, I spent a month in Paris in 2005 finishing the novel so it was all very magical and kismet to be back there to see it in French book stores!
If you could be a superhero, what would you superpower be? Calorie Immunity. That would definitely be my super power. The ability to eat anything I want and be completely unaffected by the calories contained within. That would be really awesome. And I guess that would automatically make my nemesis cupcakes. Although, if this were a comic book, he would be called “Dr. Cupcake” and his side kick would be called “Sprinkles.” (LOL!!!)
What's the main thing you hope people take away from your book? Entertainment. That’s all I seek to do. Entertain people. The reason I started writing was because of Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. I read that book in college whenever I would go to the gym and I remember looking down at the elliptical and thinking, “Seriously? I’ve already been exercising for thirty minutes!?” The time would FLY by. I was so inspired and awed by the fact that a book could take me away from my life like that. I knew from that day on that I wanted to be a writer so I could attempt to do the same. So if my book can help pass the time of a long flight or a boring workout then I’ve accomplished my goal. And if some of the issues about relationships and love and trust that I’ve delved into get people thinking, than that’s just icing on the cupcake.
What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication? Jump and the net will appear. Although I think this applies to any career you’re trying to get into. You have to jump in with both feet. Right into the deep end. You can’t wait for the perfect opportunity to come along, you just have to go for it. When I decided I would be a published author, I made the decision and I leapt off the cliff…without a parachute. I quit my high-paying, corporate job at a movie studio, started taking odd jobs off of Craigslist to make ends meet, downgraded my car, my apartment and my lifestyle to save money and just went for it. I never looked back. I turned down three job offers from other studios, all which paid even more than I was making when I left my previous one. I sold my first novel a year and a half after I quit. Now I write full time and this year, for the first time since I quit my corporate job in 2005, I’m making more as a writer than I was making as a “suit.” Do what you love and the money will eventually come. I’m a big believer in this. And I am living proof that it works!
Which fictional character would you most like to have dinner with? Um, Edward Cullen, of course! Although after dinner, I’d probably ask him to stick around for a drink, a movie, coffee, and then who knows where it might lead. I’m not to be held responsible (or accountable) for fictional dinner dates with hot vampires.
Thanks so much, Jessica! It was great having you visit :). And, everyone, please don't forget that we'll be drawing a winner for one of Maria Geraci's books (!!!) tomorrow afternoon--so if you haven't left a comment on her November 9th guest post, please stop by before then!