When Sara Harrington of The Wedding Thief arrives at her childhood home in Connecticut one July day, she’s greeted by this picturesque driveway, complete with a horse barn and day lilies bowing over the stone wall. I would love to have grown up in a home that had this driveway and barn – which is probably why I was attracted to this photo and used it as inspiration for where the Harrington sisters grew up and where their mother still lives. This property is located in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
This beautiful home is where Sara, the main character in my novel, The Wedding Thief, grew up. Well, not really. This house, located in an idyllic area of northwestern Connecticut, was owned for many years by the actor Denis Leary and his wife, Ann. I used it as inspiration for the Harrington family home. I re-imagined the inside to suit my needs for the story, but stuck pretty closely to the look of the house’s facade and surrounding grounds when describing the place where Sara grew up. It’s to this home where Sara returns in the opening chapter of the novel.
Costco’s book buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello, has chosen The Wedding Thief as her “Pennie’s Pick” for July. Look for an article about me and the book in July’s Coscto Connection newsletter. If you don’t receive the paper version, you can view the magazine on line here. And remember to go to Costco and pick up a copy of the book – or two two or three or . . . .
I’m very excited about the cover of my new novel, The Wedding Thief, and the lovely blurb written by James Patterson. The book is being published by Little, Brown and will be out in July of 2020. The story is about two sisters in love with the same man. One is about to marry him; the other is about to sabotage the wedding. Imagine the possibilities …. It’s not the book I originally planned to write, though. In fact, I was several months into working on a completely different novel when I decided it wasn’t coming together the way I wanted it to. So I shelved it and began something new, which turned out to be The Wedding Thief.
A friend once asked if I had trouble letting go of a book when I knew I was getting to the end of writing it. I’ve only written three books (I’m now tying up some loose ends on my third), but I didn’t hesitate for a second before saying, “No!” When I’m getting to the end I can’t wait to be done and move on to the next project. Getting to the end means I’ve already gone through several rewrites, so by that time I’m tired of the manuscript. More than tired of it. And that’s before my editor even sees it. She’ll have comments and suggestions which will strengthen the story, but it means more revisions. It’s all worth it in the end when the book becomes something I really think my readers will enjoy. But I never have trouble letting go of it.
Interview with a Writer’s Assistant
We recently sat down for a candid interview with Cinnamon, a Tonkinese cat who is the assistant to author Mary Simses.
Why don’t you tell us about your job?
I’m underpaid, unglorified, and underappreciated. What else do you want to know?
There’s nothing that makes me feel more like a kid in a candy store than being in a bookstore or in any store that sells books. I love having a stockpile of books on my night table, and even when I’m knee-deep in writing my own book, as I am now, I need to have a book to read. And yes, I did buy a couple of books the day this picture was taken.
Full disclosure: I’m not that big of a fan of Ernest Hemingway’s writing, but I find him a fascinating person. Everyone Behaves Badly is an intriguing and well written book about Hemingway in Paris in the 1920’s, and the lead-up to the writing and publication of The Sun Also Rises, his first novel. It’s a look into how ambitious Hemingway was in his desire to become a successful published author and how his style – spare, lean, direct, and the opposite of what was being published at the time – took the literary world by storm.
I’ve read other books about Hemingway, including The Paris Wife, which I also enjoyed, so I had an idea of what the Paris years were like. Everyone Behaves Badly filled in more of the details, especially about the friends and mentors (and other men’s wives, of course) Hemingway used in order to become successful. In addition to betraying his first wife (Hadley), by having a relationship with the woman who would become his second wife (Pauline), Hemingway betrayed his closest friends. He used their personalities and backgrounds to create the characters in The Sun Also Rises. And he was not kind when he created them.
Lesley Blume has done an excellent job distilling what must be mountains of information about this period in Hemingway’s life and presenting a portrait of a talented man who wanted to change the literary landscape with his new style. And did.
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” So begins Daphne duMaurier’s classic novel of romantic suspense, Rebecca. I’ve read the book three times now – once as a teenager, once about twenty years ago, and again just recently. My daughter, who is nineteen, was sick and asked me to come into her room while she tried to go to sleep. I asked if she wanted me to read to her and she said yes. It’s a thrill to be able to read to a grown girl. She doesn’t ask for that often. I found Rebecca on her bookshelf. I knew she hadn’t read it, so I opened the book and began. She fell asleep within five pages, but I took the book back into my bedroom and continued reading by flashlight, so I wouldn’t wake my husband. [Read more…]
I had a great time at the 2017 Miami Book Fair, talking about my latest novel, The Rules of Love & Grammar, and sharing a panel with Elin Hilderbrand (left), whose latest novel is The Identicals, and Alisyn Camerota (middle), co-anchor of CNN’s New Day and author of the debut novel, Amanda Wakes Up. The panel, called “Finding Yourself,” was aptly named, as the main characters in all of the novels are trying to find their place in the world. I felt it especially relevant to me, as it took many years for me to find my way to the career I really love, which is being an author.