Saturday, April 30, 2022

Interview With Novelist Ellen Meister


TAKE MY HUSBAND (Harper Collins/Mira, August 2022) is a witty, insightful domestic comedy about one woman's unexpected, thought-provoking journey out of her marriage as she realizes how much better off she would be if her husband had not survived a serious car crash. Below is an interview with the author on her upcoming book.  

1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book? I’m not often nudged by a muse—most of my ideas come from hard work, which includes conscious scrutiny of the tiniest fleck of a notion, as well as pages of notes and buckets of frustration. But in this case, I was working on a different book—in the zone of concentration—when my husband barged in to ask me a question.  As I blinked at him, my muse flew into the room and dropped an idea in my lap: A happily married woman wants to throttle the person she loves most. Who was I to resist?   

2. What is it about and who is it for? Take My Husband is about a woman who becomes obsessed with an unconventional way to end her very conventional marriage. I think it will appeal to anyone who lived through the pandemic with a significant other and sometimes thought: one of us has got to go.  

3. What takeaways might the reader will be left with after reading it? I never want my books to be didactic, but I hope the reader will recognize the message that a good relationship cannot be based on the subjugation of one person’s needs for another’s.  

4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? I had originally submitted the book with the title Dear Husband. I wasn’t entirely, uh… married to it, so when my publisher said I had to change it because they had a book coming out with a similar name, I wasn’t dismayed. Then, when I hit upon Take My Husband, I was grateful the original title got turned down! I had no idea what kind of cover might work for a subversive dark comedy with a jokey title, so I crossed my fingers that the art department would work some magic. When they showed me the concept, I was delighted. I thought it was so smart to make the title do the heavy lifting, and leave the rest subtle. I especially like the broken picket fence. 

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Don’t beat yourself up for having doubts and insecurities about your writing. It’s the very fuel that drives us to work harder, to always do better.  

6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? I believe there will be more hybrid publishers, and I think that’s a healthy thing for an industry with such never-ending conglomeration of the big players.  

7. What challenges did you overcome to write this book? The toughest challenge of Take My Husband was creating a sympathetic main character. I needed to make sure the reader would go along with her emotional journey and understand her decisions, even as they knew she was traveling the wrong path. And I had to make it funny!  

8. How would you describe your writing style? I work very hard to make my writing look effortless. My aim is to engage the reader and make myself invisible.  

9. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? I need the cash? (insert rim-shot) Seriously, I like to think Take My Husband will appeal to anyone who wants to laugh, and is eager to enjoy a journey through the darkly funny side of marriage.  

About The Author: Ellen Meister's newest novel, TAKE MY HUSBAND (Mira/August 2022), is a darkly comic take on a modern suburban marriage. It follows her other critically acclaimed books, including THE ROOFTOP PARTY, which was called  "wickedly entertaining" by BookReporter and was selected by Long Island Woman Magazine as Summer Pick of the year, as well as LOVE SOLD SEPARATELY (Mira 2020), DOROTHY PARKER DRANK HERE (Putnam 2015), FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER (Putnam 2013), THE OTHER LIFE (Putnam 2011), and more. Ellen lives in Long Island, New York, where she teaches creative writing. She is also an editor, screenwriter, book coach, and ghostwriter. For more information visit


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Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: 


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