Hooray! Today I get to tour Jessica Brody, who is one of my favourite people in the world! Not only is she super talented (read her books and look at her book trailers in case you’re feeling doubty) but she is also a card carrying Spice Girl lover like myself. She is also celebrating the release of her latest book, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father.
And by the way, I wasn’t joking about her book trailers. They are insanely wonderful (and all done by her) so make sure you check it out below. Also, because she is a giver, she also has a super cute heiress competition going on over at her website, so don’t forget to enter!
Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.
Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.
In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.
1) How did you come up with the idea for this book?
Actually it’s kind of a funny story. I was sitting in my car, watching a meter maid write someone a parking ticket and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to be a meter maid? But only for like a week. Just to see what it was like.” Then I start to brainstorm all these other jobs I’d like to do for one week. And I decided, “Well, I’m too busy writing novels to actually do all these jobs, so I guess I’ll just have to write a book about someone else who does them.” And then I tried to think of the funniest character to put in that kind of situation and the answer was instant: a spoiled heiress who has never had to work a day in her life. And alas, Lexington Larrabee was born. But really the joke’s on me, because in researching the story, I actually did take on some of the jobs that are in the book! My favorite was working the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant. Those head-sets you have to wear are like something out of Star Trek!
2) What’s been your favorite author moment so far in your career?
Well, I’m pretty sure I answered this same question on your blog last year, so I’ll try to come up with a new moment! I really really enjoyed going on tour last year for My Life Undecided. I got to be one of the four members of the “Pen Fatale Tour” along with Alyson Noël, Mary Pearson and Gabrielle Zevin. It was a total blast! We were on tour together for 17 days. Alyson and I were already great friends and I was HUGE fans of Mary’s and Gabrielle’s books so it was quite an honor to tour with such talented ladies!
3) It’s Oscar speech time! Who are the three people that you would most like to thank for helping you write this book?
1) My editor. I don’t know how she continues to put up with me book after book. Hats off to her!
2) My husband. I don’t know how he continues to put up with me book after book. Hats off to him. Wait a minute…I’m seeing an unsettling trend here.
3) My sister. She’s a costumer for film and television so she helped me “dress” my main character in all of her scenes. With this book clothing was important because after all, Lexi is an “heiress” and she can’t just be running around wearing anything! She has to dress the part as much as act the part. So Terra, my sister, helped me describe what Lexi would be wearing in all of her scenes (well, apart from the scenes where she’s working one of her 52 jobs and wearing her work uniforms. I came up with all of those. And they’re pretty humiliating! Because I’m evil and I love to torture my main characters!)
4) Describe a typical writing day
Get up. Get dressed. Drive to coffee shop (because I can’t write at home!). Order same pastry and coffee as I do every single morning. Write 1500 words (usually takes me about 2-3 hours). Drive home. Gripe to husband about latest story crisis. Listen to husband suggest ideas about how to solve latest story crisis. Shoot down everything husband has to say because it’s stupid and he doesn’t understand anything! Wait two hours. Realize husband is actually quite brilliant and his solution fixes everything. Apologize to husband for being a difficult, moody writer (and praise him for his brilliance). Eat dinner. Watch TV. Sleep. Repeat.
For some reason my own husband seems to think that this scenario sounds familiar. I stormed off and told him that he didn’t know what he was talking about!!
5) Tell me one strange random fact about this book.
When I first got the idea to write a book about an heiress who was forced by her father to take on 52 low-wage jobs, I thought that the father was going to be dead. And that this “decree” about the jobs would be written in his will. She wouldn’t be able to get her inheritance until she completely all 52 jobs. And it was called 52 REASONS TO HATE MY DEAD FATHER. But something about that kind of felt all wrong. I think it was the word “hate” and “dead” in the same title. So I brought the dad back to life and made the story about a girl trying to get her trust fund, instead of inheritance. It’s amazing what a big difference life and death can make in a story!