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(This is an old post from 2009. Julie has published a young adult novel, What to Say Next, due on July 11. Below is an interview for her first book.)

Julie Buxbaum, the lawyer turned bestselling writer, is following the success of her critically acclaimed book The Opposite of Love with the highly anticipated title, After You. Her sophomore novel, due out August 25th is already getting high praises, and if her debut novel is any indication, you wont be disappointed.

Julie was sweet enough to grant me an interview, so not only does she have beauty, brains, and a kick ass law degree, she also has time to talk to talk to the little guy (yes, I’m gushing. Sue me.) You can find her answers after the jump.
 
You made a pretty big switch, from practicing law to writing. When did you realize you wanted to write?

I had always dreamed about one day writing a book, but it took me feeling unfulfilled as a lawyer to consider pursuing writing professionally. I think until then I had been too scared to even try it. But after I quit my job as a litigator, I sat down to start The Opposite of Love and became immediately hooked on the writing life. Now, I can’t ever imagine giving it up.

If you could, what kind of advice would you give aspiring writers? What was the hardest part of writing a book? The easiest?

I think it’s essential to read anything and everything you can get your hands on, and to read not only widely but critically. The most important thing though is to sit down every day and actually write. Writing a novel can be torture some days, and pure bliss the next. But I think the hardest part is when you think about the enormity of the project. I imagine it’s like running a marathon (which, for the record, is something I’ve never done.) You can’t think about the 26 miles you need to run, you just need to focus on the quarter mile in front of you. Eventually, the pages add up.

In The Opposite of Love, Emily is sinking a downward spiral, and does some major self-sabotage. But she’s still relateable and likeable. Was it difficult writing such a complex character? Is there a real life Emily?

There isn’t a real life Emily, though we do share enough biographical details in common that people often assume I’m her. But before I protest too much, I’m not Emily, I swear. I think the key to writing any character driven fiction is to fully know your character before you start writing, and let them lead the way. Once I knew and understood Emily–her thoughts, her motivations, her neurosis, etc–the writing was easy (or, at least, a lot easier!)

Your next book, After You, will be released on August 25th. What should readers expect to see?

After You is an exploration of the question of how well we really know the people we love. It’s about an American woman who moves to London to help take care of her best friend’s eight year old daughter after her best friend unexpectedly dies. Together, the woman and the young girl work through their grief by reading the children’s classic, The Secret Garden, and in so doing discover much about themselves and the person they have both lost. After You is a very different book to The Opposite of Love, so I’m really looking forward to hearing what readers think.
After You will be released on August 25th, and is now available for pre-order. You can order it here. If you can’t wait, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Opposite of Love, which you can find here.