Brenda is the author of JACK WITH A TWIST and SCOT ON THE ROCKS. Her third novel, RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE, was recently published by St. Martin’s. Her work has also also appeared in the New York Post and Publisher’s Weekly. You can find Brenda on Facebook or on Twitter at @BrendaJanowitz.
WHO? Who are you besides a writer?
I’m a mom, a wife, a former lawyer, and lover of books and movies. I’m a little bit of a lot of things, just like everyone.
I wrote my first novel when I was still practicing law in Manhattan. I’d write at night, on weekends, on the subway… anywhere and anytime I had a free second. A few weeks before my first novel debuted, I met the man who would become my husband. His name is Douglas, which is really funny if you’ve read SCOT ON THE ROCKS—the cad in that story is named Douglas! (See, so all Douglases aren’t necessarily bad boys.)
It’s been 5 years from the time my second novel was published until my third, RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE. In that time, I got married, moved out to the burbs, bought a house, bought a car, and had two children. So you could say I’ve been busy.
Now, writing time is when the kiddies are in camp or napping. How times have changed!
WHAT? What do you enjoy doing other than writing in your spare time?
This summer, I’m particularly obsessed with going to the beach and taking care of my hydrangea bush (I am failing in this regard—the sun has completely burned it up!). I love to cook, hang out with friends, and laugh a lot. People who know me know that I laugh all the time. I’m very big on finding happiness in little places, whenever you can.
WHEN? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. That was always something I did—telling stories and creating narratives.
When I was younger, I’d make up plays and have my friends act them out. Now that I’m older, I don’t make my friends act my stories out. I do, however, have them read the first drafts of all my books!
WHERE? Where do you write?
Mostly, I write in my office. My husband got me a humongous computer and it sits on my desk, surrounded by books. But I always carry a pad with me, and I’m a big fan of the voice memo app on my iPhone. I’ve dictated whole chapters of books while driving my kiddies to school!
WHY? Why do you write?
It’s not a question of ‘why’ for me. Writing for me isn’t something I like to do—it’s something I need to do. It’s who I am.
About a year ago, I was talking about some personal problems I was having to an old friend of mine (you know that sort of friend you’ve known since you were 18 years old?) and she listened and then asked: have you been writing? And I had to admit it to myself and to her—I had not. I told her so, and she looked back at me, no judgments, and simply nodded her head.
Writers need to write.
Thank-you so much for joining us here at A Novel Review, Brenda! I had to laugh because I used to write plays and have the neighborhood kids put on performances in our backyard growing up (sheets and a swing-set made for a good stage ;).
Recipe for a Happy Life by Brenda Janowitz
There’s more than one recipe for a happy life.
Hannah Goodman doesn't grow up like most kids on the Upper East side. Her mother, Gray, is an award-winning photojournalist with little time for the banalities of child-rearing, and when she's not jetting off to follow the latest scoop, she's camped out at the Hotel Chelsea. The closest thing Hannah's got to a traditional matriarch is her grandmother—a glamorous widow six times over with a sprawling Hampton’s estate. But Gray is determined that her daughter resist the siren song of the trust fund set, and make her own way in the world. So Hannah does just that—becoming a successful lawyer in New York City, and dating a handsome musician. Hannah has it all, or so it seems, until one hot June day the carefully constructed pieces of her life break apart. When she throws it all in and seeks solace at her grandmother's estate, she discovers that where happiness is concerned, you don’t have to stick to the recipe.
From the author of Jack with a Twist and Scot on the Rocks comes a charming, clever, and romantic novel about three generations of women with a culture all their own.
“Brenda Janowitz has found the recipe for a great summer read: a dash of Hampton's glamour, a sprinkle of romance, and a cup of a feisty heroine you won't soon forget. RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE will keep you charmed from beginning to end.”
-Julie Buxbaum, author of After You
Excerpt of the book: http://us.macmillan.com/recipeforahappylife/BrendaJanowitz#book-excerpts
Buy your copy of RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE
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