Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lisette Brodey, Molly Hacker is Too Picky!

AUTHOR: Lisette Brodey
BOOK TITLE: Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!
PUBLISHER: Saberlee Books

Please tell us about yourself.
Hi Penny, thanks for inviting me here today. I’m originally from the Philadelphia suburbs. I lived in New York for ten years, Los Angeles for four, back to PA for too many more years, and I am happily relocated in Los Angeles. I am the author of three novels, Crooked Moon; Squalor, New Mexico; and Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!

Tell us your latest news.
My latest news is that I’ve recently published my third novel, a romantic comedy, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! This book is the most lighthearted of the three books I have written. Currently, I’m working on two new novels. Why I am working on two at the same time is a long story. I don’t usually do that. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
We must all take responsibility for our own lives and make our own mistakes. While we often appreciate the opinions of those close to us (most of the time!), we have to live with the decisions we make. And when we’re making decisions that will affect the rest of our lives, we have every right to be picky!

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! had special challenges for me that my first two books didn’t have. For one, I started it in 2006 but then stopped writing to publish my other two. When I went back to the novel in 2009, I really had to immerse myself in it and figure out exactly what I had set in motion, how to execute it, and always, how to enhance it. Because there are several characters in the book, I had to make sure that everyone had a purpose and a place. It took me a while to get my head back into it, but when I did, it worked out better than I had anticipated.

What inspired you to write your first book? My first book, Squalor, New Mexico, which takes place in East Coast suburbia during the 1970s (having nothing to do with New Mexico) was inspired by one word: “squalor.” As a child, when I heard someone say, “X person lives in Squalor,” it sounded like the name of a town or city to me. I wanted to write a novel with an opening line that read, “My aunt lived in Squalor,” and write an entire novel around it. And that’s what I did. I just gave the aunt a name: Rebecca.

Of course, at this point, much, much more than the word “squalor” inspired me.  This novel, which is a coming-of-age story shrouded in family mystery, gave me an opportunity to show how easily events (both spoken and unspoken) can fracture a family.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
A great deal of what I write is based on my own life but often indirectly. What does happen occasionally is that readers who know me will tell me they’ve figured out that such-and-such characters must definitely be persons X and Y. Every single time, those guesses have been way off base but quite amusing to me nonetheless.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Well-written ones with colorful, identifiable characters. Some of my favorites are David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, Pére Goriot and Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner, Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham and several by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love mentioning these favorites, though part of me hates leaving out so many more exquisite works.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t make any major changes in any of my novels, but I know that no matter how many times I edit my books, given the chance, there will always be something that I want to change. For that very reason, I try not to look very closely at my novels once they are published. I might be driven insane! 

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it? This has been an issue for me in the past, and sometimes it can rear its ugly head. However, I’ve learned how to combat it. For example, if something isn’t working and I feel blocked, I ask myself what I’m trying to say. Is it necessary to what I’m trying to write? Sounds simple, but the answers can be very insightful. By not overthinking things, I can often direct myself to change direction, cut the scene entirely, or rewrite from a different focus. The important thing is not to focus on the block.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
You can’t edit a blank page. Write, write, write. Often, writer’s block comes from a writer’s being afraid of writing something that isn’t up to his or her standards. When fears like that begin to fester, they can take on a life of their own, and it’s not pretty. Don’t be afraid to write stuff you wouldn’t want anyone to read. Writing bad prose is writing and it will likely segue into good prose. Just write.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, I do. I want to thank each and every person who takes the time to read my novels. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! (as well as my first two novels, Crooked Moon & Squalor, New Mexico) can be found here on Amazon in both editions: http://amzn.to/pcIexE

E-book editions of all of my novels can also be found on Barnes & Noble (BN.com), KoboBooks.com, Apple, and all major e-tailers.

For those of you who don't know, for most of 2011, I blogged as Molly at www.mollyhacker.com. And, if you'd like to see Molly rap about her crazy life, here's the video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIGYIsSQ4Zo

At thirty-two, newspaper reporter Molly Hacker vows to never attend another wedding until she has had her own. And that’s a problem because Molly’s younger sister, Hannah, is going to be married in one year. Armed with snark, wit, and fabulous good looks, “Picky Molly” embarks on a quest to find Mr. Right in her hometown.

Things get complicated fast. In no time at all, Molly has four “men of interest” and the memories of a lost love to send her overanalytic, befuddled mind into serious overdrive. Determined not to let her “helpful” girlfriends help her right out of another relationship, Molly tries to keep mum on the state of her love life. Her BFF male coworker, Randy, becomes her closest confidant as he stumbles over romantic issues with his new Mr. Right, Kyle. Meanwhile, Molly’s BFF gal pals aren’t too happy about being left out of the loop. 

Tweaking Molly’s last nerve is the town’s most visible socialite, Naomi Hall-Benchley, who, for self-serving reasons, is hell-bent on setting up “Picky Molly Hacker” and she doesn’t care who she has to manipulate or hurt to do it. Just how far will she go? 

“Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!” takes the reader on a yearlong romp through Molly’s mind and a joyride through her life. Her dating life, town secrets, a group of quirky, crazy characters, and Naomi’s machinations collide head-on at a holiday gala that will change the social landscape of Swansea forever. As the New Year rolls in, Molly gets earth-shattering news. Can she go on? Will life ever return to abnormal again? 


  1. Hello,
    Thank you for this delightful interview with the very lovely Lisette Brodey. I've had the privilege of actually meeting Ms Brodey in person and she is more adorable than I ever imagined. I also have my very special copy of Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! which has been read twice I might add. Exceptionally funny but also her characters are so real and they became my friends as well. Loved it!

    Crooked Moon and Squalor, New Mexico also sit proudly on my "favourites" shelf.

    A very talented author who I cannot recommend more highly.
    Thanks again. :)

  2. I have to agree with Lisa about Lisette's talent as a writer. I very much enjoyed reading "Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!" as well. A really good interview, with some nice insights into Lisette's writing process and thinking.
    Like Lisa, I've read Lisette's other two books as well, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one...or two, in this case. Thanks, Penny, I truly enjoyed your interview, and good luck with your writing as well.