Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet Marilyn Brant and a book give away!

Every woman remembers her firsts: Her first kiss. Her first lover. And her first time contemplating an affair…

Publisher: Kensington Books (trade paperback)
Release Date: October 1, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0-7582-3462-9
**A Doubleday Book Club & Book-of-the-Month Club Featured Alternate Selection for October ‘10

“Marilyn Brant’s sophomore effort…is a brilliant character study of three very different women each asking the question we all wonder about sooner or later: did we make the right choices during our journey and if not, what steps do we need to take in order to live our best life?” ~Leah Eggleston Krygowski, Manchester Books Examiner & Chicklit Club review, 8/10 rating

“Friday Mornings at Nine is the perfect example of a book by an author whose writing just gets better and better. In her second book, Marilyn Brant's prose is superb…” ~Pamela Kramer, Chicago Books Examiner

My good buddy Marilyn Brant has a new book coming out this week and if it's half as good as her debut novel, According to Jane, then we're all in for a treat. Friday Mornings at Nine releases October 1. Leave a comment below and one lucky person will win a copy of this fab new book!

Marilyn was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book and about her writing process.

Q: What’s the premise/back-cover blurb of Friday Mornings at Nine?
A: Each Friday morning at the Indigo Moon CafĂ©, Jennifer, Bridget and Tamara meet to swap stories about marriage, kids and work. But one day, spurred by recent e-mails from her college ex, Jennifer poses questions they've never faced before. What if they all married the wrong man? What if they're living the wrong life? And what would happen if, just once, they gave in to temptation…?

Soon each woman is second-guessing the choices she's made -- and the ones she can unmake -- as she becomes aware of new opportunities around every corner, from attentive colleagues and sexy neighbors to flirtatious past lovers. And as fantasies blur with real life, Jennifer, Bridget and Tamara begin to realize how little they know about each other, their marriages and themselves, and how much there is to gain -- and lose -- when you step outside the rules.

Q: What is the inspiration behind this novel?
A: I’ve talked with a lot of women about their marriages -- and, in some cases, about their affairs. Sometimes these revelations came in the form of random comments thrown out unexpectedly. Other times they were part of well thought out discussions about whether the women in question should or shouldn’t stay married. I met my husband 20 years ago and we’ve been married for almost 18 of those years. I consider us to be happy, but I don’t know anyone who’s been married that long who hasn’t experienced some ups and downs. I think the fortunate couples are the ones who keep choosing to be together and work on their relationships despite all of those years and the inevitable changes.

Of course, it takes both people to do that, and it also takes a lot of time and effort. The individuals involved have to want to get to know now these people they married (who may be different creatures than the ones they met a decade or more before), and they need to really pay attention to their own needs and desires, too. Sometimes, in the process of that kind of deep analysis, it turns out there was a profound disconnect somewhere along the line. In some cases, it’s possible to reconnect. In others, not so much. So, essentially, I wanted to write a story about three women who have marital disconnects to some degree that makes them wonder what would have happened if they’d chosen differently. Then I wanted them to finally take the time to examine their lives so they could choose mindfully where to head next.

Q: If they made a movie of this book, who would you cast to portray the characters?

A: I'd love to see this onscreen! (And I’d try to find a way to get Johnny Depp in there somewhere…LOL.) For the main characters, though, I imagine someone like Kate Winslet for Bridget, Calista Flockhart for Jennifer and Kim Cattrall for Tamara. Definitely a cast I'd enjoy seeing together!

Q: What got you writing contemporary women's fiction?

A: I love reading contemporary women’s fiction stories -- both dramatic and humorous. They were not only what got me into the genre, but they were what inspired me to be a writer in the first place. Aside from a lifelong love of classic Jane Austen, I really enjoyed the domestic dramas of Sue Miller, Anne Tyler and Elizabeth Berg, as well as the lighter touch of Pamela Redmond Satran, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Susan Wiggs and Jane Porter. I wanted to find a way to merge the relationship themes explored in my favorite novels with my own humor and writing style and, hopefully, be able to write stories that would resonate with other women.

Q: Do you have any favorite books on the craft of writing that you often use?

A: Oh, yes! I’m a BIG fan of craft books! I used Blake Snyder’s SAVE THE CAT! almost religiously in the plotting of my past several books. I’m still very sad that he’s no longer with us. As far as a great reference guide, Robert McKee’s STORY is incredible. It has more information about writing craft than I can ever internalize. Also, whenever I need a more emotional pick-me-up, I grab the Ralph Keyes book THE COURAGE TO WRITE and Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD. I recommend these to everyone.

Q: What is your advice for those who looking to get their novel published?
A: Don’t follow trends just because you think it’ll be an easier sell. And write the books that fit your voice. If what you love writing happens to be a hot-selling genre, great. If your writing voice happens to be perfect for the genre you want to write in and love to read, that’s awesome, too. But -- if not -- write long and hard enough to find what DOES fit you and your style best. Because then, even if it takes longer to make that first sale than you expect, you’re writing the kinds of stories you most enjoy, and that passion has a way of working itself into the projects you’re creating.

Q: What's next for you?
A: I’m in the process of beginning blog tours, library visits, book-club chats and other public events featuring my second novel, Friday Mornings at Nine, which is a Doubleday Book Club and Book-of-the-Month Club selection for October 2010, as well as still doing some fun Austen-related promo for my debut novel, According to Jane. I’ve just turned in my third novel, the title is still up for debate, but it’ll be out next fall, and it’s a modern “A Room with a View”-like travel adventure. It has characters that play chess, Sudoku and Mah-jongg, eat lots Italian gelato and linguini, and spontaneously sing Andrew Lloyd Webber songs and other musical-theater selections. Finally, I’m starting the writing process all over again for my next women’s fiction project, which I’m really excited about… I’ll, hopefully, be able to share more info on that story soon!

You can learn more about Marilyn and her books at her website right here.

Comments are open till Wednesday at midnight. Winner will be announced on Thursday morning. Good luck!


Lucy said...

I love this story concept. Oh, and I'm currently reading (and enjoying) Marilyn's book, According to Jane. :-)

Maria Geraci said...

L, I loved According to Jane! Marilyn has such a great voice for women's fiction:)

Marilyn Brant said...

Maria~thank you so much for hosting me today!! Your friendship has been a treasure amongst all the nuttiness ;).

Lucy~I'm so glad you're enjoying According to Jane and hope you'll like this one, too! Thanks for stopping by!

Kwana said...

This sounds wonderful. I loved According To Jane and can't wait to read this!

Edie Ramer said...

I read this book already, and loved it. Now I'm looking forward to the next one. I could prepare by eating gelato, but I don't have a gelato place near me.

Marilyn Brant said...

Kwana, thank you! I hope you'll like's a bit different stylistically from JANE and, sadly, there are no authorial ghosts anywhere either ;).

Edie, you have been so incredibly supportive! Thanks so, so much. I owe you a huge gelato cone!!!

jeff7salter said...

I posted a comment, or tried to. But all I got was a white screen with an error message.
What happened?
Did it go through?

Rain Maiden said...

I read Acording to Jane and fell in love with it. Friday Morning at Nine sounds like me an my best friend at Starbucks every Saturday. Marilyn what are you working on now?

Chelsea B. said...

This sounds like a really great book! I enjoyed reading the interview!

tonya kappes said...

Hi Marilyn. Thanks for the pub advice. I agree not to follow the trends. I agree with Maria. I love your women's ficiton voice.

Maria Geraci said...

Jeff, your message came through. At least the 2nd one did!

Anonymous said...

I like the story line a lot.
Would really like to read it.


Marilyn Brant said...

Hi, Jeff! Blogger may have gobbled your first message, but I thank you for it anyway...and for your second one! Glad you stopped by ;).

Rain~thanks, sweetie :). Right now, I'm in the beginning stages of writing the proposal for a 4th novel...which is still a lot of floating ideas at the moment, but I *just* turned in book 3. That's a story about a woman who gets a surprise trip to Europe for her 30th birthday from her eccentric aunt and has a very interesting (and kinda romantic :) summer adventure away. No title yet, but it'll be out next October!

Chelsea, thank you! So glad you enjoyed the interview. (Maria made it very easy on me. ;-)

Tonya, thanks so much!! {hug}

Carol~I'm thrilled to hear that the story interests you -- thank you!!

PoCoKat said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book! Thanks for the opportunity for a chance to win a copy.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Laura Rachel Fox said...

Thanks for sharing this interview and chance to win the novel. This one looks like it poses some interesting questions.

Marilyn Brant said...

Hi, PoCoKat -- thank you for taking time to stop by!

Thanks so much, Laura! And yes -- that's what I'd really hoped in writing the book...that women would have a chance to discuss and even debate some of the events in the story ;).

Anonymous said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Wanda said...

This book looks intriguing. I would love to win a copy! wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Marilyn Brant said...

Karen K and Wanda~thanks to you both for your interest in the story! (And more hugs to Maria for hosting this giveaway for me. xo :)

jeff7salter said...

Well, I see I'm late to return to the party. Good grief. Sorry my first set of comments didn't go through. Basically I was telling you I'm intrigued by this novel's concept and think it really hits home: many people can identify with such musings about their lives.
Also I mentioned something about the differences (and similarities) when MALES might ponder these same issues.
Thirdly, my original comment inquired whether there was any comedy interspersed in your novel ... since I also could see lots of room for humor (especially if/when the men were gnawing on these topics).
Wish the first post hadn't been lost --- it sounded better a few days ago. Ha.


Blog Design by Author Web Designs By Tara