Jennifer Hayward is celebrating the release of The Divorce Party this morning. She dropped by the virtual offices for a chat, and brought along a copy of her book for one of you to win!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Jennifer Hayward] Writer/PR person who lives to travel, drink great wine and hang with friends and family – preferably in combination
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Divorce Party?
[Jennifer Hayward] The Divorce Party is the story of a billionaire wine magnate whose only failure has been the dissolution of his marriage to his wife. The story of two people who love each other beyond reason, but who perhaps cannot be together because of who they are and the pressure that puts on their relationship. I wanted to explore the issue of infidelity in this book. The reader doesn’t just think Riccardo did something wrong, he did cross the line. I truly believe you can never fully cast judgment on such a complex subject until you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and I hope, in the end, the reader will understand what it’s like to be in Riccardo and Lilly’s shoes.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Jennifer Hayward] The story was inspired by a million-dollar divorce party a Manhattan billionaire threw to celebrate the end of his three-year marriage. Embossed invitations, the society event of the year. When I saw the newspaper article I couldn’t believe anyone would want to end their marriage this way and it made me wonder why? Why would anyone do this? Perhaps my hero didn’t actually want a divorce and it was the only way he could get his wife into a room with him. Thus appeared Riccardo and Lilly’s story.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Lilly?
[Jennifer Hayward] Vulnerable, steely and goodhearted
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Riccardo had a theme song, what would it be?
[Jennifer Hayward] Eye of The Tiger
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Lilly is never without.
[Jennifer Hayward] Her phone
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find on Riccardo’s bathroom?
[Jennifer Hayward] A robe, smelly soap, a hair dryer
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Lilly’s greatest regret?
[Jennifer Hayward] Her fractured family life
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Jennifer Hayward] The news, television/movies, travelling, backstory from my PR career (it’s amazing what actually happens)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Jennifer Hayward] Concentration/quiet (sometimes music is good, especially for love scenes :)), coffee and a storyline that inspires me. A beach house with the waves lapping at the base of the steps is preferable!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on The Divorce Party?
[Jennifer Hayward] So You Think You Can Write! I had entered the manuscript into Harlequin’s global competition to find a new author. It was the most exciting, distracting roller coaster ride of my life! Amazingly enough – I won! And got the chance to write all three of the De Campo brother’s books! The second book of the trilogy comes out in Feb with Presents – Alex & Gabe’s story is called An Exquisite Affair.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Jennifer Hayward] Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – utterly compelling can’t put it down genius
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Jennifer Hayward] Early on I would say the Nancy Drew mysteries, then Judy Blume
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Jennifer Hayward] Hang with my husband and little boy, with my amazing ten-year-strong book club, travel and hike
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
About the author:
JENNIFER HAYWARD has been a fan of romance and adventure since filching her sister’s Harlequin Presents novels to escape her teenaged angst.
Jennifer penned her first romance at nineteen. When it was rejected, she went on to complete a journalism degree and intern as a sports broadcaster before settling into a career in public relations. Years of working alongside powerful, charismatic CEOs and traveling the world provided perfect fodder for the arrogant alpha males she loves to write, and free research on the some of the world’s most glamorous locales.
Her debut novel, The Divorce Party, was the winner of Harlequin’s 2012 So You Think You Can Write contest. Jennifer writes for Harlequin’s Presents/Mills & Boon Modern line.
A native of Canada’s gorgeous East coast, Jennifer now lives in Toronto with her Viking husband and their young Viking-in-training.
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