Emily Liebert’s new book is a perfect fit
In her newest book, “Perfectly Famous,” Emily Liebert of Westport set out to challenge herself. While the book delves into familiar ground for the author, like strong female relationships and what life is like as an author, Liebert upped the ante.
Officially dropping June 2, this psychological thriller, which is set in Connecticut, weaves the lives of best-selling true crime novelist Ward DeFleur and journalist Bree Bennett, who is just getting back into the workforce after a divorce. Their lives intersect when the novelist disappears after her daughter is attacked and the journalist is obsessed with finding her, putting herself in danger.
Writers are told to write what they know and while that is often sage advice, sometimes you have to write about life experiences you have not undergone. Liebert took on the challenge of accurately depicting the strained relationship between one of the main characters, divorced journalist Bree and her teenage daughter, Chloe. “I think it was really interesting for me to write about Bree and Chloe. For one, I have two sons and they are 9 and 10 years old so they are not teenagers; it really challenged me to figure out how to write a mother-daughter relationship and then to take that a step further: a mother with a daughter who is 16 years old, which is not at all my experience and also a divorced mother with a child.”
Liebert said she found this mother-daughter relationship an interesting one to write but even more so was the relationship between Bree and her mother, which Liebert said she just loved writing because the mother was so over the top. Readers of the book will eat up a funeral scene where Bree’s mother is to give a eulogy yet predictably and hilariously shifts the focus onto herself instead.
Strong female bonds are at the core of her books and this one is no exception. “I always like to write about strong women who are grappling with something in their lives that they have to figure out a way to navigate,” she said. “I always start with that premise. I know I want to have two women and obviously there needs to be a connection between the two. I am an author so that is the world I live in so for me oftentimes I write about things that I know well, which is the world of being an author and book signings. I also know the world of being a mother and a journalist like Bree was.”
With all of her books, she has done a brand partnership. For this book launch, she is partnering with Wacoal, to share the “perfect fit” in books and bras. Liebert has long been a fan of the lingerie brand for its comfort and fit and has recorded some social media vignettes for Wacoal.
Liebert usually does a rough outline before writing her books but after skipping this process for her last book, “Pretty Revenge,” she went in the other direction, creating a 35-page highly detailed outline for “Perfectly Famous.”
“I outlined every single thing that happened in the whole book and part of the reason I did that was this book had a much faster, heavier and more intricate plot. I needed to make sure that the surprises actually were surprises and they were delivered at the right time at arc moments in the book,” she said. “That actually worked extremely well for me and while it was harder in the beginning to get that outline down, it was the easiest book that I have actually written. The only thing that I didn’t plan was the twist at the very end and I wrote that as I was writing the last line of the book.”
No spoilers here but we can tell readers the book ends with a major cliffhanger and many readers who got their hands on an advance copy have been clamoring for a sequel. “As of right now there is no plan for a sequel but the answer is I definitely left that book open-ended and I would love to revisit it at some point,” she said. “I think you want to wait till the book comes out until enough people have read it ... you want to give it a little time.”
In the meantime, Liebert is keeping busy. Hard at work on her eighth book, she is also now involved in a new project. “‘Pretty Revenge’ was just optioned for a television series so I have my hand in that as well.”
For more information about Liebert and her books, visit emilyliebert.com.