Q&A with Brenda Bowen, author of "Enchanted August"

Brenda Bowen's new novel, Enchanted Augustis on our shelves now! Check out this Q&A with the author before stopping in to pick up your copy.

1) How did you come to write Enchanted August?

In 1991, I saw the movie Enchanted April, which transported me to Italy, a place I love, and made me feel as if life could be very magical indeed, if only for a short while. It wasn’t till the credits rolled on the movie that I realized it had been based on a book, The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim. I read the book, fell in love with it; saw the movie again (and again), and loved it more each time. And every time I saw the film or read the story, I felt: “This could be happening now.”

For many years as an editor and publisher and agent, I’ve given authors and artists ideas for books. Usually the ideas are very vague, and the author then takes the idea and makes it into a bona fide story. I was thinking about giving the idea of an updated Enchanted April to an author, so I started roughing out a story to see if it could work. Then I kept going. And going. And now…it’s a book under my own name, which is thrilling indeed.

2) What are you currently reading? 

I'm a sucker for a new book showcased at an independent bookstore, so I just bought two books, An Abbreviated Life, by Ariel Leve, and The Girls, by Emma Cline (at House of Books in Kent, CT), which I'm reading now. Next on my list is Helen Simonson's The Summer Before the War, proudly purchased here at Book Culture. 

3) Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why? 

I have to say my favorite of all time is so many people's favorite: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. I read it in one day when I was twelve years old and I've never recovered. I love it not only for the indelible characters, and the perfect sentences, but -- now that I'm writing myself -- for the brilliance of the story. Miss Austen was a genius plotter and I so admire her for mastering that terribly difficult skill. 

4) Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to the publication of? 

Yes! Maria Semple's Today Will Be Different. I adored her Where'd You Go, Bernadette? and am dying to get my hands on this new one.


5) What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about? 

I'm hard at work at a new novel that's about a group of friends who get through emotional emergencies by sharing what's most important to them: books. With a love story thrown in. Set on the Upper West Side!

Pick up Brenda Bowen's new novel, Enchanted Augustin our stores now!