We are in for such a treat! I am so happy to welcome Julie Pennell as our special guest on The Debutante Ball today. Originally from the south, Julie is a fellow New Yorker, a wonderful writer, and the author of one of my favorite books THE YOUNG WIVES CLUB. I devoured Julie’s book over a weekend and loved every page. Listed in Southern Living’s “Best New Summer Books,” this novel is a fun, fast-paced, humorous yet touching story of four young women in Louisiana. According to Kirkus, “Pennell’s debut novel shimmers with lively banter and the glitter of these young women’s dreams.”
In Toulouse, Louisiana, finding your one true love happens sometime around high school. If you’re lucky, he might be the man you thought he was. But as four friends are about to find out, not every girl has luck on her side in this charming debut novel perfect for fans of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Desperate Housewives.
— The Debutante Ball (@DebutanteBall) August 5, 2017
You can also enter by sharing this post on Facebook. We will select and contact the very lucky winner on Friday, August 11th at noon (US Only).
Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
I’m pregnant for the first time, and the bigger my bump grows, the more I feel like I have a little buddy with me 24/7. The baby seems to be so chill, which is the complete opposite of me. Ever since I got pregnant I’ve been so relaxed and calm, and very little bothers me anymore. And weirdly enough, I feel like my writing has gotten easier too. Maybe the next great American novelist is in my belly right now? Either way, I can’t wait to meet him or her in real life!
Where do you love to be?
I’m the biggest homebody ever, so I’m gonna say my apartment in Brooklyn. I work from home so I’m in it all the time, but I never get tired of it. Usually, I’m writing on my couch or at the kitchen bar. My husband works late a lot of nights, and sometimes I’ll look up at the clock and realize I’ve been staring at my computer for too long to even admit. I get sucked into my writing, but I guess that’s a good thing when it comes to deadlines.
Have you ever met someone you idolized? What was it like?
When I was 14, I was basically obsessed with the founding editor of CosmoGIRL! Magazine, Atoosa Rubenstein. Her editor’s letters felt like they were speaking directly to me, and I wanted to be just like her. One day I was at the Miss Teen USA Pageant in my hometown of Shreveport, LA, and saw her on the Jumbotron because she was a judge. It was the weirdest thing but at that moment I felt like my life was about to change. After the show, I made my friend run with me to try to meet her but as I yelled her name, security whisked her away (maybe they were afraid of me? Ha!) Long story short, I bared my soul to her in a letter, and she actually wrote me back asking if she could be my mentor. We kept in touch over snail mail, and I finally met her one day on a trip to NYC when I was a senior in high school. It was one of the best days of my life. I really do think my life changed because of her. She gave me so much confidence to write and follow my dreams.
Has anyone ever thought a character you wrote was based on them?
It’s funny, people are always asking if any of the characters in The Young Wives Club are based on anyone in particular, and I can honestly say no. There are some little things here and there, like quirks and personality traits, that come from mixtures of people I’ve met through my life, but I don’t think anyone I know will be able to find themselves in the book.
Do you have a regular first reader? If so, who is it and why that person?
Yes, my mom reads everything before I send it off. I judge whether it’s good or not by the number of exclamation marks she uses in her feedback email. For example, “I like it!” means I need to redo the entire thing. “This is the best thing I’ve ever read!!!” means it’s pretty good. And, “I’ve got chills!!!!!!!!!!!” means it’s a home run.
Julie Pennell’s debut novel THE YOUNG WIVES CLUB was named one of the best new books of the summer by Southern Living, and Real Simple listed it as one of the best reads for spring break. Formerly an editor at Seventeen magazine and Alloy Entertainment, her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Teen Vogue, InStyle, and Redbook. She currently lives with her husband in Brooklyn and is a regular contributor to TODAY.com.
Want to learn more about Julie? Go to her website: http://juliepennell.com
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