Emily Liebert, debut author of You Knew Me When, has stopped by to talk today about her book- and to make someone very happy: She’s graciously offered to give away a book and the Zoya nail polish that was created especially for this book! A great book AND pretty nail polish- oh be still my heart!
Interview with Emily Liebert, author of You Knew Me When
What was the inspiration for You Knew Me When?
I’ve always been interested in female friendships and how bonds can be severed and mended over time. When I was younger, I had a best friend who promptly dumped me as soon as I started dating my first serious boyfriend. We reconnected years later, but it was never the same.
Emily- the role of an author is changing. At one point, before social media, an author did not have Facebook or Twitter. Now, most authors have, at the minimum, those 2 services. In your opinion, why is social media so important for authors? Is it more or less important for debut authors?
Social media plays a major role in publicity for most authors and especially for debut authors. It’s the fastest and most efficient way of targeting a large group of people all at the same time. And, if you’re posting information via a fan page, even better—you know you already have a captive audience. For obvious reasons, Facebook was integral in promoting my first book—Facebook Fairytales. Now, with my debut novel, I regularly use Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I’m also getting into Instragram. Social media is also an excellent tool in the way of networking. I’ve met so many professionals through these various outlets who’ve helped me along the way and vice-versa. I’ve long maintained that there seems to be a generosity of the human spirit via social media that doesn’t necessarily exist in the “real world.”
How long did it take to write You Knew Me When?
I’m fast! So it took me about five months. I just finished writing my second novel in about four months. Of course, that’s only for a first draft. After that, there’s an editing process which takes a couple of months.
How involved were you in the choosing of the cover for You Knew Me When?
I’ve been so fortunate that my fabulous publisher, Penguin, has allowed me to be a part of the process every step of the way. When it came time to design the cover, my editor and I brainstormed and came up with two directions we thought would work. Then she took our ideas to Penguin’s talented designers and they ran with one of our concepts. When I first saw the cover, I was blown away by how they transformed our nugget of an idea into something so vibrant and eye-catching. Right now, we’re in the process of discussing ideas for the cover of my second novel—so fun!
Do you have a writing space? Or a writing routine?
Oh yes! I have a routine for everything and writing is no exception. I work out of a home office which is far removed from the main area of the house—I have two little boys (ages 3 and 4), so it would be difficult to concentrate if my office was right near, say, their playroom. It’s really the best of both worlds. Working from home allows me the time to write in privacy and—at the same time—take lots of breaks to have meals with my kids, play with them, and pick them up at school and camp. I like to think of myself as a full time author and a full time mom, even though I have help in place! When I’m in working mode, I usually write for about four hours/day—in the morning and early afternoon. The rest of my working time is spent on publicity, partnerships, conference calls and all the other things (outside of writing) that go with publishing a book! If I get a lot of writing done Monday-Thursday, sometimes I’ll give myself Friday off from writing to give my brain time to “think.”
You Knew Me When is a debut novel. Do you have advice for other writers who have debut novels releasing soon? Did someone give you advice that really helped during this time?
My advice is to be your own best publicist and to hire one, if you have the means. I have an excellent in-house publicist at Penguin, but one person can’t do everything, especially when they have other books to concentrate on. So I hired an independent publicist for five months surrounding the launch. And I pound the pavement every day devising ways to get the book in front of as many eyes as possible. You can write a masterpiece, but if no one knows it exists, you’re in trouble! I also tell debut authors that you have to stay passionate and believe in yourself. This is not the time to be modest! I’ve had so much great advice from friends and colleagues—including my dear friend Kerry Kennedy whom I worked with on her book, Being Catholic Now. She gave me a wonderful quote for the cover of You Knew Me When. My literary agent, Alyssa Reuben, has offered invaluable advice along the way, as has my editor, Kerry Donovan. My author friend Jill Kargman has been a huge supporter as well.
When writing You Knew Me When– did you, Emily, ever think about the book potentially being made into a movie? Do you have a dream cast in mind?
I always think big! So, yes, I have thought about it in great detail. Not only that, but there are producers/production companies currently reading the book. As it happens, I do have a dream cast in mind! I’d love to see Emily Blunt in the role of Katherine, Kate Hudson in the role of Laney, Helen Mirren in the role of Luella, and Jake Gyllenhaal in the role of Grant. Don’t worry, if they’re not available, I have plenty of other names!
How did you create the characters in You Knew Me When? Do you have a favorite character?
I based them on people I know. (So watch out!) It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’d have to say Katherine. I see a lot of myself in her and also a lot of things I’d like to change about myself in her!
If you were asked to inscribe You Knew Me When at a book signing with your favorite line from the book- what would it be?
“Every woman needs a best friend or a sister.”
Will you be going on a book signing tour with You Knew Me When?
Yes! I already have 10 appearances lined up—from multiple stops in New York to Vermont to Connecticut to California for the launch at Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles! And there will be many more to come. They can all be found on the events page of my website: http://www.emilyliebert.com/events/
Emily- what are you working on next? Can you reveal any hints about your next book?
I have a second novel coming out in September 2014! I just finished writing the first draft and sent it to my editor. This book is also about friendship and about finding happiness. The characters and plot are very different, but the themes of love and relationships remain the same.
*Special thanks to Emily Liebert for agreeing to be interviewed!
Emily Liebert is an award-winning author, New York Times bestselling editor, and TV personality.
Liebert’s debut novel, You Knew Me When, will publish on September 3, 2013 and a second novel to follow will publish in September 2014, both with Penguin Group USA.
Her first book, Facebook Fairytales, is available across the globe.
Liebert has been featured by: NBC’s Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Anderson, FOX News, NBC’s LXTV, Oprah Radio, Martha Stewart Radio, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, and Celebrity Parents Magazine, among many others.
She has also served as a spokesperson for Microsoft, appearing on TV and radio stations nationwide.
If you liked my interview- be sure and come back on Wednesday for an Author Spotlight! If you’ve read You Knew Me When– drop by and tell Emily you LOVED it! Here’s the info: website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Instagram and Pinterest.
Giveaway information: Simply comment on this post- make sure to include your email address- you may use the AT and DOT. Giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry!) Giveaway begins September 2nd and ends September 9th at 11:59pmEST. Winner will be announced September 10th.
Look for my review of You Knew Me When to be posted this week!