Today, the bestselling authors of The Nanny Diaries are here for an interview! Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus have written several books for adults and recently a young adult book. Here is the interview!
We first caught sight of each other at the Gallatin School of NYU in the spring of 1995. We were taking a class called Gender in Performance and our classmates brought a whole bowl full of cockamamie to class discussions. We became mutually admiring of each other’s calm logic in the face of much hysteria, but we never got up the nerve to talk to each other until we met at an ATM 80 blocks off-campus after graduation. It was fate.
In the late 90s the internet bubble was peaking, money was falling from the sky for certain class of New Yorkers, and endless articles started appearing in publications about how hard it was for the newly rich to find good help. But, while much derided, the ‘help’ was never interviewed to give their side of the story, which we saw succinctly as, “Um, you suck to work for.”. Having been nannies for years ourselves we wanted to give the nanny the mike.
We are obsessed with heartbreak and how women overcome breakups and all the accompanying rejection and get on with their lives. At the time we started to think about it as a novel topic Usher’s album Confessions about the demise of his relationship with Chili as all over the airwaves with Maroon Fives’ Ten Songs About Jane. We became obsessed with the idea of what a day in the life for these two women must look like. How do you get over someone when their thoughts and feelings about you follow you through your day and for the rest of your life?
It’s funny—the people who find their way from our memories into our keyboards are always so random, like the girl at the grocery checkout who might speak in a certain interesting rhythm or the dental hygienist who holds her head a certain way--and we give those attributes to our characters, but we never lift whole people the way readers might think we do. That would take all the fun out of it :)
We like to say our heroines are all a little braver than we are--and a little more damaged. But I don’t think we could have written the story if we didn’t know the intoxication of the attention of a former rejecter. It’s hard not to go there again if that spark is still there. That pull can be really powerful. In the novel Kate is thirty, but when she gets around Jake a part of her feels sixteen again. I think we all have someone in our past who would do that to us if we got into the same room with them....
Are there any current projects you both are working on? A new YA novel?
Our next YA novel is called Over You and will be out in early 2011. And our next adult novel will be out in that fall. We are also working on adapting Dedication for the screen.
Finally, thanks for answering my questions! Is there anything else you would like to share on writing or anything else?
No, thank you for these great questions and for your interest!!!
Check out their website at: http://www.emmaandnicola.com/