Where’d you get the idea for this book?
To say it was a combination of shared experience and pure imagination is probably the closest thing to the truth, but not a very specific answer. We’ve both known young women like Rachel—smart, fun, as frequently cool as frazzled, and a bit uncertain about her “ultimate” career path—and we not only empathize, we, too, have found ourselves in similar situations. As we repeatedly tried to kick-start various careers and repeatedly got kicked in the head by various boyfriends, at a certain point (in fact it was at a Christmas party in 2002) we said, “let’s get it on paper,” and that started the process.

How do you write a book together?
Trust us when we tell you we did it with a lot of typos. First, we brainstormed the general idea for the story, created a group of characters, and then wrote a really detailed outline together. Really detailed. The outline was without question the most time-consuming part of the process, taking place after-hours and weekend afternoons at various coffee shops all over Manhattan, since we both work full-time jobs. We then divided up the outline’s dozens of chapters, wrote the chapters individually, and then exchanged them. Each of us edited the other’s chapter—wildly revising, cutting, pasting and praising—and then sent it back for discussion and approval. Dozens of chapters later, the novel got done and published, and amazingly we’re still talking to each other.

Are you guys just like the Nanny Diaries girls?

How long did it take you?
From the time we conceived the idea to the time we finished our first draft it was almost exactly one year. The re-writing, however—which felt like it passed in dog years—took about another seven months.

How’d you two meet?
It was Freshman year of college at Princeton University, at a “bagel nosh” mixer for first year students. Robin recalls harboring an instant distrust for the young Miss Kaplan. “What type of person goes to a stupid event like this?” she thought to herself as she stewed in the corner chewing on her salt bagel. Renée recalls harboring an instant distrust for the young Miss Epstein: “What type of person goes to a stupid event like this?” she thought as she stewed in the other corner chewing on her sesame bagel. In truth we really became tight our senior year and have remained the closest of friends ever since, thanks—in part—to our radically different taste in men.

How’d you find your editor?
She was delivered unto us like a gift from the gods. (One of us was very good in a past life, but we’re not telling which one.) But she is wonderful, and we are thankful.

Have you ever started a business yourselves?
Once upon a time ago, there was a period of rather unsettling transition in our lives. Robin was evolving from a Hollywood television writer of network sitcoms into a New York freelancer at the same time as Renee was evolving from a lapsed lawyer and legal writer into a television producer. We discovered that times of transition breed delusional speculation about ways to make a fun buck real quick. And this briefly led us down a path of budding entrepreneurialism to starting up our own consulting service. We fondly remember the time when we dressed very properly, talked very soberly, and successfully snookered one sweet believer into actually investing in our services. We will remain forever grateful to him and hope that, despite us, he prospers.

How did you find the time to write along with your full-time jobs?
It took a lot of job juggling, huge amounts of e-mailing, and a lot of optimizing all of our down time. We learned to write in planes, airports, cafes, hotel rooms, and dark, volume-challenged New York apartments. Renée recalls writing chapters in a nasty hotel room in Pueblo, Colorado, while investigating a story, in the Admiral’s lounge at Charles de Gaulle on a shoot for another story, and in the pre-dawn quiet of her New York apartment. Robin recalls being so exhausted one summer night she accidentally started typing a sex scene meant for Shaking Her Assets into one of her children’s books. Fortunately the mistake was caught before any children were harmed and Robin was given the Pee Wee Herman Suite in the federal pen.

Are you going to quit your jobs and write full-time if this hits it big?
When this hits it big, we’re gonna giggle giddily, crack the champagne and celebrate. We’ll write a long Oscar-worthy acceptance speech—because why not?—deliver it to each other between gulps of hooch, maybe high-five some more, and then get back to work. We’ll do this until our agent is done negotiating the film and foreign rights and the high eight-figure second book deal. And then we’re gonna quit our jobs.

This would make a great screenplay—you should totally sell it to Hollywood!
Wow, are you in the industry or something? Because that’s a genius idea!
*And if you are in the industry, please note: operators are standing by.


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