Sunday, July 15, 2007

Henri Does Jane Green

Henri couldn't wait to post that title!

Camp SoYouWannaSeeAGhost was postponed, so I took tour coordinator up on her offer to interview what 21st century Americans call a NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. I hear that's a good thing to be. Last I heard, she was #12 on THE LIST and that's supposed to be a good thing, too.

I told tour coordinator that it made Henri a wee bit nervous to be interviewing someone of that greatness and she said, "Henri, Jane Green is just like anyone else. Be yourself and everything will go fine."

What tour coordinator doesn't understand and this is what I understand, too, that Jane Green is NOT like anyone else I know of. She is tres beau in Henri's book. Ohh. La. La.

Anyway, Jane is coming any minute and Henri has to gulp down a few Coors Light to steady nerves. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp.

Better. There she is!!!! Do I look all right? Do I look suave et sophistiqué? Is my head on straight? Okay...wish me luck!!!!

Henri: Thank you for coming to visit Henri, Mademoiselle Jane! Henri has been looking forward to your visit all month and finally I get a chance to ask you questions! Are you ready?

Jane: I think so...

Henri: First, I want to tell you how much I admire your work and I’m very impressed that you made this NY Times Bestseller list. Can I ask what the bestseller list is all about and how did you get your book there?

Jane: Sales, sales and sales. Whilst I haven't done as much PR this year as in previous years, I think I have an incredibly loyal bunch of readers who go out and buy my book as soon as it comes out. I also try and stay in touch with them via my website - and, so I can let them know when things are happening and when books are coming out.

Henri: Mademoiselle Jane, you make Henri’s heart flutter. I am new at interviews, so if I ask something that is off the wall, please excuse me, but since I’m dying to ask, are you married?

Jane: Happily co-habiting with my beloved.

Henri: Oh. Well, then Henri doesn’t have a snowball chance in Egypt?

Jane: 'Fraid not.

Henri: Do you have any 21st century daughters that do not have marriage partner?

Jane: I have one, but she's currently five years old, which I think may be a little young...

Henri: Okay, okay. I’ve just been smacked on head by tour coordinator. I must get to Second Chances now. This is something they are calling a chick lit book? What exactly is a chick lit book and why do they call it that?

Jane: Originally chick lit started with Bridget Jones's Diary, but it came to mean a fluffy commercial novel about a single-twenty-something who was looking for Mr Right. Now I would argue it encompasses women's fiction of all ages, and it's defining characteristics are realism
and emotional honesty - good chick lit will reflect the lives real women are living today, whether they are twenty, or in my case, thirty, forty and fifty somethings.

Henri: I do not know if you know this, Mademoiselle Jane, but I am a ghost. Do you write about ghosts?

Jane: I haven't thus far, but I once wanted to.

Henri: Are you afraid of ghosts?

Jane: Only poltergeists.

Henri: You make Henri chuckle. Okay, back to book. Can you tell 21st century mortals what book is about?

Jane: Second Chance is the story of a group of people who were best friends in high school, and have drifted apart in the years since.

Now, approaching their forties, one of them, Tom, boards the train for New York City as he has done many times before, for a run-of-the-mill business trip. When the train is destroyed in a terrorism attack, he leaves behind him a wife and children, and, scattered across the globe,
four friends whose lives he has touched forever.

In this new book, I explore how loss and grief can make way for a new start in life, and new possibilities. My four heroes have barely spoken to each other since college, but come together one night to remember and celebrate their lost common pal, Tom. And in the weeks and months that follow, Tom himself seems to be setting life-changing events into action.

For Paul, it means a second chance at a family, even though he and his wife are beyond hope. For Saffron, it means a chance to conquer her addictions and really learn how to love. For Olivia, it means a one-night stand with a friend of Tom’s that leaves her pregnant—with a big
decision to make. And for Holly it means another chance to escape her unhappy marriage and meet the dashing man who might be the key to changing it.

From midlife crises, adultery, divorce, infertility and pregnancy, Tom binds them all together, encouraging them to make difficult decisions about living their lives every day. The result is a second chance at happiness for all of the characters, if they are brave enough to take the next step.

Henri: This book sounds like something Henri would love to read! Can you tell us who your publisher is and how has your experiences with them been? How have they helped you promote your book?

Jane: I was with Random House for years, and the last three books have been published by Penguin. They take on an indepent PR - Goldberg McDuffie, who organise all the publicity and events/readings etc.

Henri: That last question was for tour coordinator. She’s into this pump up thing. Can I level with you, Jane?

Jane: Absolutely.

Henri: She’s a slave driver. Always making Henri promote book. What kind of advice would you give someone who is new at promoting books? How can I get my book on this NY Times bestseller list like you?

Jane: Sadly there is no magic formula, but online marketing is become more and more important - blogs are now vital for getting the word out.

Henri: And don’t you have to go from city to city promoting books if you have big NY publisher who published book?

Jane: You do. The more they pay for the book via an advance, the more likely they are to put money into marketing and expect you to put the work in to the promoting, which usually involves events around the country.

Henri: It sounds like a lot of work!

Jane: Exhausting and exhilerating in equal measure, but the best part, for me, is getting to actually meet my readers - twelve years on the thrill is just as great.

Henri: Well, Mademoiselle Jane, it’s been real fun. I do wish you’d stop by Henri’s place again. Where can my 21st century readers find you on the Internet if they want to buy your book?


Henri: Thank you for coming and I hope you sell lots of books!

Jane: Thank you so much, and good luck to you too...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Entertaining as always, Henri. And Jane is an amazingly good sport. There seems to be no end to her talents.

July 16, 2007 at 8:41 AM  

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