How lucky are we on the Miss Demeanors blog to have Hallie Ephron join us to talk about her new book, “Careful What You Wish For.” Hallie was my first writing teacher and I still take her classes whenever I can. Look how she comes up with inspiration and runs with it. No wonder she is my inspiration!
HALLIE EPHRON: As I type this, it’s Saturday morning and my husband is revving up to go yard sale-ing. He’s scoured the Internet for anything local, printed out the sales, and prioritized them. At the top: any sale with old books. Any estate sales that look as if they’re not using professional sellers. He carries around a wish list that our daughters have given him, and he almost always scores whatever they want within a few outings.
Yard sales are just the tip of the iceberg. He’s a saver. Twist ties (we might run out.) Uncancelled stamps that he’s soaked off envelopes (free postage!) Old electric fans (so handsome.)
He was my inspiration for writing CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR (a professional organizer who’s married to a man who can’t pass a yard sale without stopping.) I admit, I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In no time she had me folding my socks. That’s how my book opens, with my protagonist folding her socks. The opening line: “Emily Harlow wasn’t convinced thatcher sock drawer spared joy.”
As I wrote the book, which is about three ‘mixed marriages’ (one spouse is a collector, the other not), I researched the range of dynamics between people and their STUFF. Here are some of the reasons people feel compelled to save:
– I might need it
– It’s beautiful
– It’s unique
– It completes my collection
– I can always sell it
– It reminds me of someone I’ve loved and lost
– It reminds me of a ME I’ve loved and lost
What I learned is that you cannot Konmarie your spouse. You can try to “fold” him but he won’t stay folded… and it’s disrespectful to try. I love Marie Kondo’s question: Does he spark joy? My answer: He does. So I’m keeping him.
Do you live with someone who has different priorities from your own about what sparks joy?
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
Starred review in Publisher’s Weekly: ““This outstanding standalone from bestseller Ephron (You’ll Never Know, Dear) may be the first domestic thriller to weave in Marie Kondo’s decluttering theory about discarding things that don’t spark joy.”
Jamie Lee Curtis review in TIME magazine: “Careful What You Wish For is not scary–it’s thrilling and suspenseful. … And I found a compelling companion to Emily, a modern-day grown-up Nancy Drew in a sh-tty car and a ponytail, as she searches for her own purpose while hunting down the perpetrator of the emerging crime. She is a friend we would all want to keep–messes included.”
HALLIE EPHRON (https://hallieephron.com)
New York Times bestselling author Hallie Ephron, Edgar Award finalist and five-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, writes books she hopes readers can’t put down. She can be found every day blogging on Jungle Red Writers (https://www.jungleredwriters.com)