Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Author Interview and Giveaway: Irene Zutell

Back in March, I posted a review of Pieces of Happily Ever After by Irene Zutell. If you missed the review of this book, you can find it here. Today, Irene has agreed to answer a few questions.

About the author: Irene Zutell began her career as a journalist. She has written for People, Us Weekly, The New York Times, the New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, and others. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. 
Thanks to Irene for agreeing to this interview.

What inspired you to write this book?
Lots of things. My neighbor left his wife for Julia Roberts. I wanted to do a book with the jilted wife, but she never got back to me. I thought about that premise a lot--a woman who is thrust into a spotlight because her husband leaves her for one of the most famous people in the world. She has to deal with the tabloids as well as watching her husband's romance unfold in public. How do you deal with that? So that idea simmered for a while. I thought it would be the perfect starting off point for a book about a lot of other things--a woman in the sandwich generation, a woman living in the bizarre world of the San Fernando Valley, a woman struggling with friendships, a woman trying to figure out who she is and what's next.

What gets you started on a new book? A character or story idea or ...?
I come up with a story idea first. But it's really the character that gets it started for me. I obsess about her and what she'd do in various situations. When I sit down to write out the plot, it's as if I've become this person.

As a child, did you ever dream that you would be a published author? As a child did you like to read and write and if so, what were your favorite books?
Okay, this will make me sound really old. But I remember watching The Waltons, and thinking wow, how cool that John Boy just sits at his typewriter all day and writes. I thought that would be a really great job. I wrote stories for as long as I can remember. I used to love rainy summer afternoons where we'd stay in and I'd write these elaborate stories. I read all the time--I loved the Ramona series, Harriet the Spy, The Great Brain books, Alice in Wonderland, to name a few.

What's your writing routine? Do you write every day or just when the mood strikes?
When I'm writing, I write every day--even if I'm not in the mood. I force myself. Lately, I've been so busy promoting my book and taking other assignments that I haven't been able to be creative. Although I have a bunch of ideas that I'd love to get started on!

What are you reading right now?
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. Every sentence he writes takes your breath away. And I just finished The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen which I adored.

Are you currently working on another book? 
Yes. My daughter is making me write a young adult novel.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 
Yes, don't take advice from other writers!:) And most important, don't listen to the critics--because they'll always be critics. Just keep writing.


Crystal at BookSparks PR  has provided one copy of Pieces of Happily Ever After for readers of this blog! All you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment. Be sure to include your email address in your comment.

  • US only
  • No PO Boxes please
  • Must be a follower to enter (new followers welcome!)
  • Must include email address to enter
  • Book will be mailed out by the publicist

Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
AT 6 PM, EST, JULY 2nd


  1. This sounds like a great read!!

  2. I absolutly loved that book...Thanks for posting this!

  3. Sounds like a great book!

  4. This book looks so good.

    I am a GFC follower.


  5. Thanks for the contest, this book sounds great!

    Email address:

  6. I'm a new follower! Found you through the hop.

    thewindowseatreader (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

    Happy reading!

  7. I'm visiting from the Book Blogger Hop. I have had my sights on Pieces of Happily Ever After for some time. I love that Irene Zutell mentions John Boy from the Waltons!

    I'm a new follower.

    peetswea01 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  8. Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!


    And I am a follower!

  9. I started reading this book last year and didn't finish it as I wasn't able to renew it from the library. I've been meaning to check it out again, but haven't yet. I would like to be entered in this giveaway too. Thanks for hosting.

  10. I am a new follower. Found you through the Book Blogger Hop. I love to read and am working on my Masters in Library Science! Thanks for this opportunity! emilyjoymitchell at gmail dot com.

  11. I am a new follower. Found you through the Book Blogger Hop. I love to read and am working on my Masters in Library Science! Thanks for this opportunity! emilyjoymitchell at gmail dot com.


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