What a thrill to have author Jamie Brenner as today’s guest on The Debutante Ball! Jamie, the author of one of my favorite books THE WEDDING SISTERS, has a new book coming out this Tuesday, April 25th called THE FOREVER SUMMER. Booklist calls THE FOREVER SUMMER “An engaging and emotional read with characters who stay with you […] a good fit for fans of Elin Hilderbrand.” In THE FOREVER SUMMER, the discovery of long-buried secrets brings three generations of women together to Cape Cod for the summer homecoming of a lifetime.
I feel so fortunate to have gotten to know Jamie – she’s a lovely friend and a wonderful, engaging writer.
About THE FOREVER SUMMER:
Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it’s paid off: on the cusp of thirty she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and her father’s hard-won admiration. But with one careless mistake at work, Marin suddenly finds herself unemployed and alone. Before she can summon the courage to tell her parents, a young woman appears, claiming to be Marin’s half-sister. Seeking answers, Marin agrees to join her on a soul-searching journey to Cape Cod, to meet the family she didn’t even know she had. As the summer unfolds at her grandmother’s beachside B&B, it becomes clear that her half-sister’s existence is just the first in a series of truths that will shake Marin’s beliefs—in love, and in her own identity—to the core. THE FOREVER SUMMER is filled with shocking revelations, heartfelt romance, and resilient women banding together against the most unexpected twists of fate.
— The Debutante Ball (@DebutanteBall) April 22, 2017
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Welcome to The Debutante Ball, Jamie!
Talk about one book that made an impact on you.
When I was in middle school I discovered Scruples by Judith Krantz. I lived in suburban Philadelphia, had a very lovely but sheltered life, and my mind was basically blown by the world depicted in this book. The heroine goes from an ugly duckling to a swan in the most spectacular fashion, and the settings of LA and Paris let me feel like I had travelled. The book stayed with me my entire life, and the fact that Judith Krantz was fifty years old when it published inspired me. Scruples really set the stage for my dreams as a woman and as a writer.
Which talent do you wish you had?
I wish I had a creative visual sense. I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV, and the way some people can walk into a room and know exactly how to transform it seems like magic to me. I have zero interior design ability. When I’m writing a book one of the most difficult parts is describing a room. I look at someone like Jane Green who has the writing ability and the design talent and I’m just amazed.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
A few things. Write the type of book you like to read. And read a lot. When you love a book, really analyze what worked for you. And don’t be afraid to write badly. The adage that “writing is re-writing” is very true.
Have you ever met someone you idolized? What was it like?
When I first moved to New York I worked in book publishing and somehow ended up invited to a book party for Sydney Sheldon. I grew up reading his books — Master of the Game is an all-time favorite. Those sprawling, epic novels full of intrigue and sexuality…no one writes like that anymore. Anyway, I was at the party at Le Cirque — Barbara Walters was there and a lot of accomplished people — and I met Sydney Sheldon. I had this epiphany that I didn’t want to spend my life in New York just meeting authors; I needed to be one. I didn’t have a good time that night because the distance between where I was in life and where I wanted to be seemed so vast. I’ll never forget it.
Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
I had a rough start to the year diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m happy the surgery is behind me and that they caught it early. I really am looking at life a little differently at the moment. I’m just happy to be cancer-free.
More about Jamie:
Jamie Brenner is the author of The Wedding Sisters and her latest The Forever Summer. She worked in book publishing for twenty years before writing her own novels. She lives in New York with her husband and two teenage daughters.
To learn more about Jamie, please visit her website: http://www.jamiebrenner.com/
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photo credit: Laura Boyd