About the Author
Jessica Brody graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts with degrees in economics and French. In 2005, she left her job at MGM Studios in Los Angeles to become a full-time freelance writer and producer. Jessica currently lives in Los Angeles, where she is working on her next novel. Visit Jessica’s website at: www.JessicaBrody.com
About LOVE UNDER COVER
In her job, she’s an expert on men. . .
In her own relationship, she doesn’t have a clue.
Boyfriend behaving badly? Suspect your husband of straying? Jennifer Hunter can supply the ultimate test. She runs a company which specializes in conducting fidelity inspections for those who suspect their loved ones are capable of infidelity.
An expert on men, Jennifer can usually tell if they’re single, married or lying. . . Unfortunately, her new boyfriend, Jamie, is one of the few men that she’s never been able to ‘read.’ Has she finally found the perfect man or is he too good to be true?
A captivating new novel from the bestselling author of The Fidelity Files.
Available November 10, wherever books are sold.
Currently in development as a TV series by the executive producer of Crash!
"With a complicated, sympathetic protagonist, worthy stakes and a clever twist on the standard chick lit narrative, Brody will pull readers in from the first page." – Publisher’s Weekly
"Those who enjoyed Brody’s debut will be eager to catch up with Jennifer, but newcomers will be intrigued, too…an honest, witty portrayal of modern love." – Booklist
"With her usual smart, deft, and witty prose, Brody delves deep into the psychology of a woman who tests the fidelity of strangers for a living but struggles with commitment in her own life." – Joanne Rendell, author of Crossing Washington Square and The Professors’ Wives’ Club
What was your inspiration behind Love Under Cover?
As soon as I finished writing my first novel, The Fidelity Files¸ I knew that Jennifer’s journey wasn’t over yet. Although she had seemed to find her happy ending there was so much more fun stuff I had in mind for another book. Setting Jennifer up with an entire agency of fidelity inspectors was definitely the first and foremost on my mind for the next instalment.
Plus, I really wanted to explore what a fidelity inspector would be like in a committed relationship. After everything she’s seen—all the cheating, dishonesty, and betrayal—would she really be capable of settling down herself? So that’s what I set out to focus on in this book.
What is the most memorable first line you’ve ever read in a novel?
There’s a very powerful young adult novel called The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams that I read last year. It’s about a fifteen year old girl who grew up on a polygamist compound and it opens with this: "If I was going to kill the Prophet," I say, not even keeping my voice low, "I’d do it in Africa." I read that line and didn’t put the book down until the end. I knew from that line that it was going to be a heart pounding read. And it was.
Which scene (or scenes) in your novel did you love writing? Why?
I love writing any of the scenes with Jennifer’s friends. They’re all fun in their own way. Zoë has a terrible road rage problem and she has a habit of talking on the phone while driving so those conversations with Jen and Zoë on the phone are always really entertaining for me. I get to channel my inner turrets patient. Sophie is totally neurotic. I love going over the top with her.
And John is the flamboyant gay boy from West Hollywood who is always quick with his sarcasm and wit. Sometimes I don’t know where his remarks come from. I must be channelling my inner gay man because I’ll write something that he says and think, "That’s really funny. Where the hell did that come from?"
Which ‘craft’ book has inspired or helped you the most throughout your writing career?
SAVE THE CAT, by Blake Snyder. It changed my life. People tell me my books read like movies. Well, that’s probably because SAVE THE CAT is actually a book for screenwriting. But I’ve found it translates exceptionally well to novels. A well-told story is a well-told story, regardless of the medium and a fast-moving story keeps the pages turning. Blake Snyder lays out a simple (yet effective) step-by-step beat sheet of how to tell any story and I’ll never write another book without it! He’s very well-respected in the industry and I know many writers (screenwriters and novelists alike) that utilize his books. Plus, the book is extremely funny and entertaining to read!
Since becoming a writer, what’s the most glamorous thing you’ve ever done?
When my first book, The Fidelity Files, came out in France last year, my French publisher actually flew me out to Paris to promote it! It was a dream come true! I speak French almost fluently so I was able to conduct all my interviews in French, which was both nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time. Paris has always held a special place in my heart. I was a French major in college and I lived in Paris my junior abroad. Plus, I spent a month in Paris in 2005 finishing the novel so it was all very magical and kismet to be back there to see it in French book stores!
If you could be a superhero, what would you superpower be?
Calorie Immunity. That would definitely be my super power. The ability to eat anything I want and be completely unaffected by the calories contained within. That would be really awesome. And I guess that would automatically make my nemesis cupcakes. Although, if this were a comic book, he would be called "Dr. Cupcake" and his side kick would be called "Sprinkles."
Do you have a sample chapter posted?
What’s the main thing you hope people take away from your book?
Entertainment. That’s all I seek to do. Entertain people. The reason I started writing was because of Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding. I read that book in college whenever I would go to the gym and I remember looking down at the elliptical and thinking, "Seriously? I’ve already been exercising for thirty minutes!?" The time would FLY by. I was so inspired and awed by the fact that a book could take me away from my life like that. I knew from that day on that I wanted to be a writer so I could attempt to do the same. So if my book can help pass the time of a long flight or a boring workout then I’ve accomplished my goal. And if some of the issues about relationships and love and trust that I’ve delved into get people thinking, than that’s just icing on the cupcake.
If you could only own and read 5 books for the rest of your life, (excluding your own) what five books would you choose?
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella to make me laugh.
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult to make me cry.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger to make me believe in fantastical love.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer to give me a hot vampire to fantasize about daily.
Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding to remind me of why I write.
What’s next for you?
Although I strive to live in the moment, I can’t help but be excited about the future! I’ve got three young adult books scheduled to come out in the next three years from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. The first, THE KARMA CLUB, releases on April 27 and I simply can’t wait! It’s about three teen girls who are tired of waiting for Karma to get off its butt and do its job, so they decide to give Karma a helping hand by getting revenge on their evil ex-boyfriends. But they soon discover that when you mess with Karma, Karma messes back. It’s a story I wanted to tell for years and I’m so glad it’s finally going to be put out to the world. The teen voice feels very natural to me (not sure what that says about my inherent maturity level, but whatever!) and the YA novels are such a blast to write. I think the teenage years resonate with everyone in some way. For me, my teen years were very painful so it’s somewhat therapeutic to be able to "go back" and relive them with all the knowledge and wisdom that I have now!
I’ve never been able to choose just one favorite food, but do you have a clear preference?
People tell me I have an obsessive personality. Meaning, I get hooked on one thing and stick with it for weeks, months, sometimes years and do nothing else. It’s very much apparent when it comes to my food. When I find something I like, I’ll eat it every day for months until I get sick of it and eventually replace it with something else. Right now, it’s Sushi Sunday and Nacho Monday. My boyfriend and I order sushi delivery every Sunday night and we go out to our favorite Mexican restaurant for Nachos every Monday. And now I actually look forward to Mondays!
What’s one piece of writing advice you’ve found valuable on your journey to publication?
Jump and the net will appear. Although I think this applies to any career you’re trying to get into. You have to jump in with both feet. Right into the deep end. You can’t wait for the perfect opportunity to come along, you just have to go for it. When I decided I would be a published author, I made the decision and I leapt off the cliff…without a parachute. I quit my high-paying, corporate job at a move studio, started taking odd jobs off of Craigslist to make ends meet, downgraded my car, my apartment and my lifestyle to save money and just went for it. I never looked back. I turned down three job offers from other studios, all which paid even more than I was making when I left my previous one. I sold my first novel a year and a half after I quit. Now I write full time and this year, for the first time since I quit my corporate job in 2005, I’m making more as a writer than I was making as a "suit." Do what you love and the money will eventually come. I’m a big believer in this. And I am living proof that it works!
What do you think readers might be surprised to know about you?
I’m a total techno junkie. I love technology and gadgets. iPods, digital cameras, computers, Tivos, Sling Boxes. . . those are my weaknesses. My toys. I would die without my blackberry and my Kindle. Unlike most women, I hate shopping for clothes and shoes. To me it feels like a huge waste of time. In a perfect world, I would just wear my sweat pants and Ugg knock-offs all day, every day (okay, maybe I already do that), but set me loose in a Fry’s Electronics or a Best Buy and you probably won’t see me for a week.
Which fictional character would you most like to have dinner with?
Um, Edward Cullen, of course! Although after dinner, I’d probably ask him to stick around for a drink, a movie, coffee, and then who knows where it might lead. I’m not to be held responsible (or accountable) for fictional dinner dates with hot vampires.
What is your favorite word?
Hmm. . . that’s a tough one. I don’t know if I have just one favorite word, I like so very many of them, but I definitely have a least favorite word and that’s "panties." God, I hate that word! I cringe just writing it here!
Why do you write?
I once heard someone say, "Dancers dance because they have to." I really loved that and I think it’s the same for writers. I definitely have to write. Like I have to breathe. If I don’t, I get very stir crazy. All of that energy has to come out somehow and for me, it comes out in words. Lots and lots of words. Some of them are actually worth publishing.
You could win a copy of Jessica’s Love Under Cover. Here’s how. Leave a comment by Friday November 13 in which you mention the superstition you just can’t get over. Or say something about Friday the 13th. Do you love it or not? If you don’t leave me a way to email you if you win, then commit to checking back here over the weekend to see if you’re the winner.
Go forth and comment.