RCJR eZine Interview
Jamie, I’m so psyched you’ve stopped by. I know you’re in the thick of your richly intoxicating THE GIN LOVERS series. For those not familiar with the series would you explain a bit more about it.
Photo credit: Trevor Laurence
Thanks so much, Christine! I’ve been a fan of your blogs since I started visiting Saucy and Sinful a year or so ago. The Gin Lovers is a historical saga and romance set in the 1920s. At its heart, it’s is a story about three very different women and their choices in love. I chose to set it in the 1920s because I think that is the first era in American history in which women actually had choices. The heroine, Charlotte, is a married woman who falls in love for the first time in her life – with a man who is not her husband. Then, once her eyes are more open to the world around her, she discovers that her “safe” husband is not who he appears to be.
Do you remember where you were when you first thought up the The Gin Lovers series?
That’s such a great question and I’ve never been asked that before! Yes – I remember it exactly. A year ago, I was on a plane traveling to LA reading nonfiction book called Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and The Women Who Made
by Joshua Zeitz. It tells the story of
all the flapper era greats, like Zelda Fitzgerald and Coco Chanel. But the book
also shows how dramatic the cultural changes were for just ordinary women. I
had been trying to write a contemporary novel at the time, and it just wasn’t
clicking. I knew in that moment I had to try setting a story in that dramatic
era, and I knew it had to be about a woman who wants to change her life – and
who falls in love, of course. America
Is there one genre that you like writing more than the other? Which one? Why?
I write erotic novels under the name Logan Belle. Writing erotic is a very different mindset. I don’t like one more than the other, and I actually feel very fortunate that I’ve had the chance to do both. I hope I can switch back and forth for a while – we’ll see how it goes.
I know that you put your own blood, sweat and tears into ever page. So, I’m curious to know if your characters have any of your own traits. Is there one character you think is more like you than any other?
I would have to say
Like Charlotte ,
I made some “safe” choices in my twenties which, in the end, left me wondering
if I was being true to myself. And, like Charlotte ,
I eventually did things to shake up my life. I also identify with Charlotte ’s relationship
with her father. My father is a bit of a rogue, and in my toughest moments he
has told me – and shown me – it’s okay for life to be messy or full of
GIN LOVERS series did you have Charlotte Delacorte’s arc figured out? Did you know that by the fourth story how her story would end the way it did?
I did have
arc figured out from the very beginning. Small things changed along the way,
but I knew what her emotional journey would be. I’m an obsessive outliner when
I write any novel (the only area of my life that I’m completely organized!),
but this one raised the bar in terms of plotting. It’s being published as an
e-serial, 90 pages at a time, in six “episodes.” This is not just a marketing ploy: each episode
has its own arc while progressing the larger story. It took a lot of planning,
and my agent and my editor had a lot of input to make sure it stayed on track,
retained tension, and that each episode ended in an exciting way. I know that
if you’re asking readers to come back a few times, you have to give them a good
reason. I took that very seriously in plotting Charlotte ’s story. Charlotte
What about this era drew you to it?
The 1920s was truly the first era of “liberated” women in this country. People talk about the 60s and 70s women’s liberation movement, but really the 1920s was the most dramatic shift. Women got the vote. They started wearing short dresses. They smoked in public. They dated without chaperones. They cut their hair short and in a sense said, whatever men can do, we can do as well. This was a dramatic time for women. And of course – the clothes were gorgeous. I love the style of the era: the dresses, the art deco jewelry, the chic bobbed haircuts. To me, it’s glamorous and dramatic – for a novel setting, it’s the whole package!
For me, I wanted
to be every woman at first. In the earliest drafts, my editor found her to be
maybe too passive in the beginning – and maybe some readers will as well. But
to me, Charlotte
is a woman who begins the story as someone who makes choices out of fear. She
saw her father take great risks and get burned, and was determined to make
safer choices for herself. Unfortunately, in making these choices, she married
the wrong man. The first episode shows Charlotte coming out of
her shell when she is provoked by her brash, rebellious sister-in-law, Mae. In
the episodes to follow, she will find herself torn when she falls in love with
a dashing stranger who is the opposite of safe.
When she loses some of her naiveté, she starts to realize her marriage
is not what she believed. And then her really
tough choices begin. Charlotte
I started thinking that when contemporary women think of the 1920s, we always assume we’d be flappers. We never think of ourselves as the women who were afraid to embrace the changes. But really, the women who fought for the vote and started smoking in public and cut their hair like boys – it wasn’t easy for them. And I wondered what if would be like for a woman on the sidelines – who saw this revolution taking place around her, but didn’t know how to get in on the party. From that, Charlotte Delacorte was born.
Jamie, when you wrapped up and typed THE END of THE GINLOVERS’s transcript, what did you to celebrated?
Honestly, I didn’t have time to celebrate. As soon as I typed the last word of The Gin Lovers, I immediately started writing the next book I had due, an erotic romance called Bettie Page Presents: The Librarian. It’s my next Logan Belle book, and I’m really excited about it because it’s in partnership with the Bettie Page estate. Talk about liberated women! Pocket Books is publishing it next month. Now that The Gin Lovers is publishing this week, I will celebrate by having drinks with my wonderful editor, Vicki Lame. I hope that when we are sipping our gin (we are going to a bar called The Gin Palace), some reader out there is beginning
’s journey with
THE GIN LOVERS what do you hope they take away from it?
I hope, first of all, that while they were in
world they were able to really leave their own behind, at least for the moment.
And I hope readers are reminded that when it comes to love, the greater the
risk, the greater the reward. I know it
sounds hokey, but I’m a true romantic, and I believe that. Charlotte
When that fleeting free time comes your way what do you like to do? Are there any authors you would recommend to readers until we have the next Logan Belle/Jamie Brenner release in our hands?
Only other book lovers can understand this: My favorite thing to do when I’m not writing is to read. I have family members who think that is crazy – “arent’ you sick of it?” No!
I just re-read Jackie Collin’s Chances. I forgot how outrageous it is – all that scandalous sex. I love it. Now I’m reading a nonfiction book about
The one book I would recommend – the book I think is a truly perfect novel – is the book The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch. It’s an incredible, brilliant, riveting family saga. I love it so much I named my first daughter after the heroine, Bronwen. For erotica, I’m reading some Alison Tyler and really digging her.
Where can we connect with you on the great wide web?
I’m at www.jamiebrenner.com. Or twitter @jamielbrenner. I love hearing from readers!
Jamie it was a blast having you stop by. Thank you for taking the time to drop by and shoot the breeze about your latest historical romance THE GIN CLUB released by
St. Martin's Press . It was so exciting getting to know
more about Charlotte Delacorte and her fabulous world.
Coming October 2012 from St. Martin’s Press
Set against the turbulent and glamorous backdrop of Prohibition and the rise of the jazz age, The Gin Lovers is a sensual and romantic story of how one high society woman’s passion and courage lead her to love.
It’s 1925, and the Victorian era with its confining morals is all but dead. Unfortunately, for New York socialite Charlotte Delacorte, the scandalous flapper revolution is little more than a headline in the tabloids. Living with her rigid and controlling husband William, her Fifth Avenue townhouse is a gilded cage. But when William’s rebellious younger sister, the beautiful and brash Mae, comes to live with them after the death of their mother, Charlotte finds entrée to a world beyond her wildest dreams – and a handsome and mysterious stranger whom she imagines is as confident in the bedroom as he is behind the bar of his forbidden speakeasy.
Soon, Charlotte realizes that nothing is as it seems. Secrets are kept and discovered, loves are lost and found, and Charlotte is finds herself on the brink of losing everything — or having it all.
” This book will definitely be on the top of our “to buy” list when it hits shelves this fall! ” — Romantic Times
About the Author:
Jamie Brenner grew up in Main Line Philadelphia on a steady diet of Judith Krantz, Jackie Collins, and Aaron Spelling.
In October, her novel The Gin Lovers will publish as an original e-book serial with St. Martin’s Press. The Gin Lovers is a romantic drama set against the backdrop of prohibition and the rise of the modern woman. Jamie is the author of the erotic romance trilogy Blue Angel, published under the pseudonym Logan Belle. Also writing as Logan Belle, her upcoming erotic romance Bettie Page Presents: The Librarian will be published by Pocket Star/Simon & Schuster. Her short fiction has been published in the anthology Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women and the upcoming Twice the Pleasure: Bisexual Erotic (Cleis Press).
Jamie has worked in book publishing for over a decade as a scout, publicist, and agent. She lives in New York City. For updates and obsessions, follow her on Twitter.
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HAPPY READING! =)