Abby Jimenez on THE HAPPY EVER AFTER PLAYLIST and What's Next
One of the things we miss most about business-as-usual is bringing great authors to the shop and connecting them with you, our extended family of Houston readers. One of the authors we were looking forward to hosting was Food Network champion-turned-novelist Abby Jimenez, whose latest book, The Happy Ever After Playlist, hits that lovely sweet spot between humor and heartstrings. It's witty and warm, and is a great read for fans of Casey McQuiston, Beth O'Leary, or Jasmine Guillory. (If you don't know those authors yet, don't worry—The Happy Ever After Playlist also picked up a trio of starred reviews!) We've got copies on hand, so give us a call to reserve one. And be sure to enter the $50 Blue Willow gift certificate giveaway sponsored by Forever, Abby's publisher! In the meantime, enjoy a conversation between the author and our very own indefatigable events coordinator, Cathy. And stay tuned for more ways you can connect with us—and with other great authors—during these strange times.
Cathy Berner: Congratulations on The Happy Ever After Playlist! Could you tell us a bit about the book?
Abby Jimenez: The Happy Ever After Playlist is about a young woman dealing with complicated grief after the death of her fiance two years earlier. She meets a mysterious man after finding his lost dog and it turns out he's a famous musician! It's a deep and beautiful romcom about finding yourself again.
CB: We love that your book really does include a chapter-by-chapter playlist. How did you choose those songs? And is it your intent that readers listen along as the story progresses?
AJ: My 15-year-old musician daughter helped me! The playlist for the book is available on Spotify and Apple Music if you want to check it out. It’s currently my favorite thing to listen to. I just wish Jason’s songs were real!
CB: Both of your books balance grief and humor so well. We know you have a personal connection to the stories you write. Was that challenging? And did it inspire your mix of pathos and playfulness?
AJ: I tend to write my character’s response to the challenges in their lives the way I'd experience it myself. And I usually take things with a touch of humor!
CB: Before you were a bestselling author, you were a very successful baker! Those seem like two very different types of creativity. Do you feel that way as well, or is there more overlap than we realize?
AJ: I guess both things are creative outlets. I'm just very lucky that the things I like to do for fun are the things other people like to buy!
CB: What's next for you? Will we see another story set in L.A. with cameos from Kristen, Josh, Sloan, and Jason?
AJ: I just turned in the first draft of my third book. It’s called Life’s Too Short and it’s about prestigious St. Paul attorney Adrian Copeland and the woman from next door, Vanessa Price. Vanessa is a famous inspirational YouTuber with a family history of ALS and the early onset symptoms of the fatal disease. It’s hilarious, and beautiful, and sad and I think it’s my best work yet. And yes, we get cameos from Sloan, Jason, Kristen and Josh! It comes out next spring.
CB: Finally, as a native Minnesotan, I have to say: Thanks for your love letter to Northern Minnesota. Do you get a chance to spend much time up there?
AJ: I go whenever I can! I've been on camping trips into the Boundary Waters and I go to Duluth often. I love Minnesota!
One trouble-making dog brings together two perfect strangers in this USA Today bestselling romantic comedy full of "fierce humor and fiercer heart." (Casey McQuiston, NYT bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue)