1) Can you tell us something about your debut novel, ‘You Knew Me When’?
It’s about best friends who were like sisters to each other. Katherine Hill left her small New England hometown in pursuit of a dream. Now, twelve years later, she’s a high-powered cosmetics executive in Manhattan and a much glossier version of her former self, unrecognizable to her family and old friends. Laney Marten always swore she’d never get “stuck” in Manchester, VT. Instead, she wound up a young wife and a mother. When Katherine receives word of an inheritance from former neighbor Luella Hancock, she reluctantly returns home to the people and places she left behind. Hoping for a second chance, she’s met by an unforgiving Laney, her former best friend. And there’s someone else who’s moved on without her. Someone she once loved. Tethered to their shared inheritance of Luella’s sprawling Victorian mansion, Katherine and Laney are forced to address their longstanding grudges. Through this, they will come to understand that, while life took them in different directions, ultimately the bonds of friendship and sisterhood still bind them together.
2) Where did you find the inspiration for the plotline of ‘You Knew Me When’? Did you incorporate any of your own life experiences in the book?
Which character in the novel did you most enjoy writing about and why?
Yes! I most certainly found inspiration in my own life and the lives of my friends/family. I believe it’s important to write about what you know, at least it is for me. I think that’s the most organic method of bringing the characters to life. I definitely loved writing about Luella Hancock. In so many ways, she was inspired by my maternal grandmother, who’s a very important person in my life. I love that Luella is glamorous and stoic, while mysterious at the same time. I wanted readers to be intrigued by Luella and wonder what else there is to know about her.
3) This is your debut novel. How and why did you decide to start writing fiction?
While my first book, Facebook Fairytales, was narrative non-fiction, I’ve always wanted to write fiction. I’ve long been an elaborate story teller. For example, I’d come home from summer camp and regale my parents with every last detail. I’m sure I “enhanced” the stories a bit even then!
4) I’ve read a second novel will be published in 2014. Can you already give us a tiny hint of what this next novel will be about?
Yes! My second novel, The Love That Lies Ahead, is scheduled to publish in September 2014. It’s about a woman who lost her husband eleven years ago and found out she was pregnant with their son a week after he died. Now, over a decade later, she and her son are moving back to her hometown for a fresh start. Unbeknownst to her, her husband’s former best friend and his wife live there now…and that leads to lots of interesting plot twists!
5) Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Write about what you know. Write about what you’re passionate about. Even if you’re not “feeling it,” always at least try to sit down at the computer and write something. And, finally, develop a thick skin. You will have doors slammed in your face. All you have to do is kick them down!
6) And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘You Knew Me When’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
Poignant, Wistful, Bestseller(!)
Thanks so much to Emily for taking the time to answer these questions! :)
Follow Emily on Twitter via @EmilyLiebert // Get 'You Knew Me When' on Amazon by clicking here!