Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jack With A Twist

Brenda Janowitz is the author of JACK WITH A TWIST (Engaging your adversary and other things they don’t teach you in law school) and SCOT ON THE ROCKS (How I survived my ex-boyfriend's wedding with my dignity ever so slightly intact), as well as the short story BASED ON A TRUE STORY. You can learn more about Brenda at and check out her blog at

M: Which came first, the title or the novel?

B: The book idea always comes first for me.

When I wrote SCOT ON THE ROCKS, I had a general idea of where it was going, but by no means a real outline. I just let the story take me where it wanted and I did a lot of editing and re-writing to keep it tight and make it work the way I thought it should.

For JACK WITH A TWIST, I created an outline first to show to my editor so that she’d have a sense of the type of story I wanted to tell. It was really great to work off of an outline since it gives you the opportunity to layer on the things like themes and symbols that I added to second and third drafts of SCOT ON THE ROCKS. I feel that it made for a much richer first draft.

What other art form inspires you as much as writing?

Music. I just love how music can make you feel a certain way—cheer you up when you are sad, get you on your feet dancing when you have something to celebrate.

I wish I had some musical talent, because I think that to be musically inclined is such a gift!

Which comes easier for you - beginnings or endings?

I love beginnings! It’s always so much fun to get started with a new project and set the stage.

The hardest part for me is always the end. (Isn’t it for every writer?) You’ve taken the reader on a journey, and it’s so important to deliver on everything you’ve built up, and to give them something memorable and satisfying.

What are you reading right now?

I recently finished TIME OF MY LIFE by Allison Winn Scotch, which I loved, as well as THE DIVORCE PARTY by Laura Dave, which was heartbreakingly beautiful. Right now, I’m reading PRACTICAL MAGIC by Alice Hoffman. Every time I pick up an Alice Hoffman novel, I know I’m in for a huge treat and this book is no exception!

What's next for you?

I’m working on a commercial women’s fiction novel, and I’ve also got a Young Adult proposal brewing. I always have lots of ideas going at the same time! We’ll have to see which one shapes up to become novel # 3.

Thanks, Brenda!!

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