We're back on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit with Johanna Edwards, author of the new romantic comedy Your Big Break. Some of you may remember Johanna from last year, when I interviewed her about her bestseller, The Next Big Thing.
Danielle “Dani” Myers has become an expert at romantic breakups ever since she was hired to "facilitate" them for clients of Your Big Break, Inc. In other words, she dumps people for money. But company rule #5 (do not get personally involved) is getting harder to obey. One of her dumpees is turning out to be the kind of guy she might just want to pick up on the rebound. and a new client has just walked in, begging for Dani's help breaking up with The Big Jackass, who's been leading her on all this time-and now turns out to be married. It would be a routine job except for one problem: the so-called Big Jackass is married to none other than Dani's mother….
And yes, I do appreciate the irony of the last book being about revenge gifts, then following up with a book about a breakup service. Maybe they could go into business together!
Now, the interview:
What inspired you to write this book?
Like most people, I've been through some truly hellish breakups. I think breakups are something everyone can relate to, and it was really amazing to get all of that down on paper.
How much, if anything, do you have in common with this heroine?
Like Dani, I tend to get personally involved in situations I should stay out of. It's one of my biggest flaws.
Do you have any creative breakup ideas?
I think it would be funny to breakup with someone via a singing telegram. But I'd never, ever do something that nutty.
(It sure beats the way most of my exes have broken up with me, which is to just disappear. I then have to figure out whether they're in a coma, abducted by aliens, or breaking up with me.)
How have things changed for you as a writer since your first book?
They haven't changed a lot. I try to be really involved in all aspects of the book process (promotion, etc.) I probably do struggle a little more with writing. It's a mental block, I guess. When I was working on my first novel I never worried about how it would be received -- mainly because I doubted it would ever be published! But now I find this inner voice nags at me as I write, saying things like "Oh, the Amazon reviewers will rip you for that!" or "What will your grandparents thing when they read this paragraph?"
Was it a deliberate strategy to have two "Big" books, or did it just work out that way?
It was my publisher's strategy, I think. I actually didn't choose the title for this book. I pitched several things but my editor didn't like any of them -- she came up with YOUR BIG BREAK.
What are you working on now (or, what's your next "Big" thing?)?
I'm working on my first hardcover title, HOW TO BE COOL, which will be published in Spring 2007! It's about a girl who works as a professional "cool instructor" (she transforms the socially inept from geek to chic) who is forced to move back in with her parents on the eve of her 30th birthday. Then she goes to great lengths to hide her dorky lifestyle from her clients and new boyfriend.
Is there anything else you'd like to say about this book or the process of writing it?
It was the easiest thing I've ever written. It just flowed straight out of me, which was awesome.
For more info, visit Johanna's Web site.