The ultimate man's man, Johnny loves the Mets, the Jets, his weekly poker game, and the hula girl lamp that hangs over his basement pool table. Johnny has the instant affection of nearly every man he meets, but one thing he doesn't have is a woman to share his life with, and he wants that desperately.
When Johnny meets District Attorney Helen Troy, he decides to renounce his bro-magnet ways in order to impress her. With the aid and advice of his friends and family, soon he's transforming his wardrobe, buying throw pillows, ditching the hula girl lamp, getting a cat and even changing his name to the more mature-sounding John.
And through it all, he's pretending to have no interest in sports, which Helen claims to abhor. As things heat up with Helen, the questions arise: Will Johnny finally get the girl? And, if he's successful in that pursuit, who will he be now that he's no longer really himself?
THE BRO-MAGNET is a rollicking comedic novel about what one man is willing to give up for the sake of love.
GET TO KNOW LAUREN
What’s your favorite holiday?
New Year’s Eve! I almost always throw a party and I’m a big fan of making resolutions. One year, finally recognizing the futility of resolving to lose 10 pounds, I instead resolved to read 365 books in the coming year. Can you say “lunacy”? And yet, somehow, December 31 the following year saw me finishing book 365 at around 10pm.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
I wouldn’t have said this before my daughter became obsessed with it, but I’m going to go with Titanic. As an adult, I can’t usually re-watch things like I did when I was younger – life is so short! with so little time! – but it surprises me how well Titanic holds up on repeated viewings.
Where do you most like to read and how often?
On the little bench outside my condo. I take several 10-minute breaks during the writing day and go out there. It gives me some fresh air and exposure to sunlight, keeping me from looking like a mole who spends her life underground which is essentially what I am.
What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
A well-written one! Or even a junky one, if the premise is fresh. Really, I’m an eclectic reader just like I’m an eclectic writer. There’s almost nothing I can’t enjoy if it’s well done.
What’s the first book you remember reading?
On my own? Probably a Nancy Drew. I used to pretend to read those quickly because my older brother and parents were both such strong and speedy readers, I wanted to be competitive. As a result, for a long time I thought George was a boy.
What’s next for you as an author?
In 2012, the 9th and, as far as I know, final book in The Sisters 8 series for young readers will be released. It’s called The Final Battle...For Now. I’m also working on a middle-grade book about gender issues, just got an idea for a YA book about the loss of a sibling...and...and..and... Lots of ideas!
Do shapeshifters exist?
No. Diets don’t typically work long-term.
Ha! It's true, I can never shift shape for long. What’s your favorite hobby?
Besides reading? Shooting pool.
What’s your favorite fairy tale?
“Beauty and the Beast.” I like it so much, I even wrote a novel that’s inspired by it, Crazy Beautiful, about a boy with hooks for hands and a gorgeous girl who meet on their first day at a new school.
Cats or dogs?
Hiking boots or high heels?
What’s your favorite cartoon character?
Daffy Duck. He’s all id. I think it would be liberating to be so purely selfish.
What hidden talents do you have?
If I have any, they are hidden from me.
What was your favorite book when you were twelve?
A Separate Peace by John Knowles.
Would you rather sky dive or scuba dive?
Neither! Can we go back to talking about cats?
What sound or noise do you love?
My daughter’s voice.
What book would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
The Collected Works of William Shakespeare. It’s very long.
Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
The only book I wrote while listening to music was the dark Victorian suspense novel, Vertigo. I wrote it while listening to the soundtrack from The Piano.
Vanilla or chocolate?
What was your first boyfriend’s name? Would you want to meet him again?
Kevin. As for meeting him again, that depends. At this hypothetical meeting, am I having a good hair day or a bad one? And does the outfit I have on make me look fat? Yes, I can be shallow.
What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
That if something in one of my books fails to please on some level, I did not do it to personally annoy you. Like most writers I know, I work very hard to make each book as good as I can and I very much care about you, my reader.
If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Mayor of Danbury!
Is Elvis really dead?
Well, if he’s not, he’s certainly got some explaining to do!
What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Be happy for about five minutes, and then I start thinking about how I can make it better.
If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and why?
Victorian England. I’ve set more than one novel there, so clearly that place and time appeals to me. But I only want to go if I can take indoor plumbing with me.
What question are you never asked in interviews, but wish you were?
“Why are you so wonderful?” Although I suspect there’s a good reason I’m never asked that.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
TV, TV, and more TV!
Strawberry daiquiri or a beer?
Wine. Pinot Noir when it’s cold, Prosecco when it’s hot.
Vampires or werewolves?
Vampires. Werewolves just aren’t happening for me.
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
English! I’ll leave you to guess why.
Did you belong to a clique in high school? Which one of the standard high school stereotypes did you best fit in to?
I was cliqueless. Instead, I had eclectic friendships, hanging out with whomever I liked.
Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
Most: Johnny from The Bro-Magnet because he’s such a fun guy. Least: Chance Wood from Vertigo because while he’s a charming devil, it’s possible he might murder somebody.
Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
I do read reviews! It’s good to hear nice things and when reviews are bad, if there’s a common thread, I can learn for future books. That said, I live by The Five-Minute Rule: rave or pan, I only give each review no more than five minutes’ attention before returning to the most important thing, the writing.
Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Lime Diet Pepsi.
You’ve written books for early readers through adults. Do you have a favorite age group to write for and why?
That’s like asking someone to pick favorites among their children – I love them all! I love writing The Sisters 8 for young readers because I get to do it with my family – how cool is that? I really love writing YA – it’s such a vibrant place to be these days because ideas are still new to the audience, which keeps things fresh on all sides. And for adults, well, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that writing The Bro-Magnet, my first comedic novel for adults in over three years, wasn’t a ton of fun for me.
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