Welcome to International Chick Lit Month as well as a sneak peek into the secret lives of chick lit authors. They are a cool group of people and today we have author Josie Brown on The Lovebug Blog! Welcome Josie!
Oddly enough, I first ‘met’ Josie Brown’s books when I published my own. There was this DAZZLING cover sitting on the women’s fiction lists that totally hooked me in. It was the cover of Totlandia: The Onsies. I mean, what isn’t there to love about a sparkly baby bottle on a light blue cover? I picked it up (it’s FREE) and promptly set the other book I was reading aside so I could finish her hilarious look at momhood and what we’ll do for our kids. In other words, I was an INSTANT FAN!!!
Josie was available to chat here on the blog for International Chick Lit Month as well as SHARE THE COVER OF HER UPCOMING BOOK, The Candidate, AND tell us how we can win $100 gift card! Wow!
Interview with Author Josie Brown
Jean/The Lovebug Blog: When were you first introduced to chick lit or romance? Who was your first chick lit or romance love?
Josie Brown: I guess my very first “chick lit” book was BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY, which I adore to this day. It had all the elements: a quirky heroine who learns to believe in herself, a cad, the good guy, and the best friends in the world, and a story arc where she finally proves to herself that she’s worth having all the wonderful things she deserved.
Then again, if we can call Jane Austen chick lit, I’d have to say PRIDE AND PREJUDICE was my first chick lit reading. Funny how little we women (and readers) have changed through the ages!
Jean: What do you enjoy most about writing humourous chick lit? (Do you ever make yourself laugh?– ‘Cause you totally make your readers laugh, chortle, giggle and snort.)
Josie: HA HA! Well, that just made my day! I’ve had interesting conversations with my editors as to how much — and how little humor a good novel should have. Really, I should rephrase that: our discussions have been based on the amount of pathos in my books, which I leaven with humor. I love it when readers comment on how “real” my heroines are; that they can feel for them, cry for them, as well as laugh with them (and at them). My goal is that you’ll miss them when the book ends. So, from the bottom of my heart, thanks for letting me know that I’m doing so.
Jean: The Totlandia series reads like Desperate Housewives hits the playgroup circuit and you completely hit the nail on the head with the competition between mothers as well as their insecurities and motivations for wanting the best for their tots. Did you have to do any undercover work and infiltrate top-notch playgroups as research? In other words, how did you end up totally capturing the best and worst of motherhood?
Josie: My research was playground-based (LOL!) Living as I do in San Francisco and Marin County, California, I’ve witnessed a lot of mama drama from the posh set. Some things that should be mundane are blown out of proportion. Keeping up with the Joneses is always top-of-mind, as is ensuring that your child has all the advantages of those in the same zip code. It’s why they’re raising their children here in the first place. But when all is said and done, is pray that the experiences and advice you’ve shared with your child puts them on the path of being healthy and happy adults. You won’t be around to micromanage their lives forever. And you can’t measure it by “stuff”.
Jean: You’ve written several series in the chick lit genre. What are the highlights and frustrations of writing a series? (And do you ever find your readers begging for more after you’re done?)
Josie: HAHAHA! I’m always honored when I get a message from a reader begging for the next book to come out. That proves I’ve touched them in some way, and so have my characters.
As for the highlights: I enjoy plotting out my character’s story arcs. And of course, I enjoy writing about characters we all enjoy hating, which in the Totlandia series is Bettina Connaught Cross, of course. She’s a joy to write, because we’ve all come across a mean mommy, just like her. And since we don’t want to be mean mommies ourselves, I’m glad she’s become my outlet for the outlandish stuff I can only dream of inflicting on a fellow mom.
As for the frustrations: Sometimes to move the story forward, one character needs more “page time” than another. If she isn’t the readers’ favorite, I’ll hear back that they wish I would have focused on their fave instead. In truth, I plot out each character’s story thread in different color fonts, then count up the colors to make sure I’m giving them an equal number of scenes. Of course, they are also sharing their scenes with others, so there is some overlap. Hey, it’s a problem I love having, because I enjoy my TOTLANDIA moms (Lorna, Jade, Jillian, Ally) equally. They all bring a different perspective to motherhood, parenting and relationships. My hope is to do them justice.
Jean: Chick lit is best known for to-die-for shoes, career traumas & drama, handsome heroes, and best friends. In what ways does your own life resemble chick lit?
Josie: Okay, I just spewed my coffee on this one! Seriously, NONE WHATSOEVER.
Except for the “handsome hero” part. I truly feel that I manifested my husband from a wishlist that asked for humor, good looks, and smarts that would keep me on my toes–
In second thought, once I was explaining to the editor of my book, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES, how Martin and I met, and she commented, “You know you put him in this book, don’t you?”
Didn’t see THAT one coming.
So yes, I guess we all draw from real life. (Except in my case, being flat-footed and pigeon-toed means I can’t wear high heels…sigh!)
Jean: Tell us a bit about your latest project. I hear there is something in the works which your readers–new and old–will love. As well, tell us how readers can win a $100 gift card on your website.
Josie: Oh yes! Readers MUST enter my contest, which is tied to my latest release: THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S RELATIONSHIP SURIVIVAL GUIDE, for a $100 gift card to the bookstore of their choice! All they have to do is read the excerpt and send in their answer to the question.
I’ve also got a new political thriller breaking in a couple of weeks, called THE CANDIDATE. Because I love your site, and in honor of International Chick Lit Month, you and your readers will be the first to see the cover, which I’ve enclosed for you, here.
It’s a dark, sexy political thriller, something that’s been knocking around in my head for some time. Anyone who loves my Housewife Assassin series will certainly enjoy it. Of course, it’s more serious than Donna’s machinations, but just as fun.
The Candidate is: SCANDAL meets HOMELAND as a presidential campaign manager stumbles onto a terrorist plot involving his candidate, the halls of power, and the woman he loves.
Of course, Book 5 of the series, THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S VACATION TO DIE FOR, will be out in August, so that we all end our summer with a bang!
Where to Find Author Josie Brown as well as Josie Brown’s Books
Josie: I welcome readers to look me up at:
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This is the end of the International Chick Lit, chick lit author interview series. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as well as discovering–like I have–that Bridget Jones’s Diary has inspired a LOT of chick lit authors as well as the idea of their lives resembling chick lit makes them spit out their beverages. Who knew?
If you’ve missed them, check out these other four great interviews with authors Talli Roland, Dina Silver, Lindsey Kelk, Tonya Kappes. I hope you’ve found some great books to read. Now… run off to Josie’s site and read her except and put yourself down to win the $100 gift card from Amazon!
If you had just one word to describe Josie Brown’s upcoming release, The Candidate, what word would you use? (Can be in reference to the cover or her blurb!)
Click to Tweet this post: Check out Josie Brown spitting out coffee as well as a COVER REVEAL of her upcoming book.