Author Interview: Jamie Brenner – Gilt by Jamie Brenner is the perfect mix of romance, family drama, style, and intrigue. It’s a must-read! This post may contain links to purchase books & you can read our affiliate disclosure here.
Jamie Brenner writes beach reads with a twist, including the national bestseller THE FOREVER SUMMER and her latest GILT. People Magazine call her books, “a delightful escape wherever you are.” Publishers Weekly says of her new novel, GILT, “This beach read sparkles like a diamond.”
Jamie grew up in suburban Philadelphia on a steady diet of Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz novels. After studying literature at The George Washington University, She moved to New York City to work at HarperCollins Publishers, Barnes&Noble.com and Vogue.com before becoming an author.
Today, she spends her summers visiting the beach towns that inspire her novels.
Synopsis for Gilt by Jamie Brenner
One perfect diamond is all it takes to divide a family. Could one summer be enough to fix it?
The Pavlin family built an empire on love. As the first jewelers to sell diamond rings exclusively for proposals, they started a tradition that has defined engagements ever since. But when an ill-fated publicity stunt pits the three Pavlin sisters against one another for a famous family jewel, their bond is broken. No ordinary diamond ring, the Electric Rose splinters the sisters, leaving one unlucky in love, one escaping to the shores of Cape Cod, and the other, ultimately, dead.
Now, over a decade later, Gemma Maybrook is still reconciling the reality of her mother’s death. Left orphaned and cast out by her family after the tragic accident, Gemma is ready to reclaim what should have been hers: the Electric Rose. And, as a budding jewelry designer in her own right, Gemma isn’t just planning on recovering her mother’s lost memento, she’s coming back for everything.
From Manhattan’s tony Fifth Avenue to the vibrant sands of Provincetown, Gilt follows the Pavlin women as they are forced to confront the mistakes of the past if they have any hope of finding love and happiness of their own.
Author Interview: Jamie Brenner
Jamie, I’m so excited to talk to you today about Gilt. Thank you for joining me for this Q & A!
Thank you for having me! This is fun.
You write such wonderfully rich characters and you do familial relationships better than anyone! Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind Gilt?
Sisters have always fascinated me – the unique bond, the competition, the shared life journey. I revisit the sister relationship is many of my books, starting with my first novel The Wedding Sisters. For GILT, I added to this dynamic the idea of a family empire. I’m fascinated by families where one generation builds a great company or fortune with hard work and innovation, and then each successive generation works a little less hard and gets a little too comfortable. The lure of greatness, and the compromises and battles large and small that have to be waged even among family members is the stuff of great drama. Look at the Gucci family, or the Vanderbilts. In GILT, we have the Pavlins family – think Tiffany or Cartier – and generations ago they invented the idea of the diamond engagement ring, built their fortune on selling love, and yet all three sisters in the family are unlucky in romance.
Gilt features the Pavlin family empire. Can you tell us a bit more about each of the Pavlin women?
The Pavlin women in GILT span three generations. We have the matriarch, Constance, who is married to the family heir, Alan. Constance defers to her husband and is happy to reap the rewards of his fortune – until he decides to use their three daughters in a marketing ploy. Their three daughters are Celeste, Elodie, and Paulina – each very different and interesting women. Celeste wants nothing to do with the Pavlin dynasty and moves to remote Cape Cod. Elodie has fought her whole life to be next in line for the throne and is now the head of Pavlin and Co. Paulina, once the poster girl for the brand, has been dead for ten years at the opening of the book. Her daughter, Gemma, is estranged from the family and comes back to reclaim what should have been hers.
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Do you have any favorite scenes in Gilt?
I like scenes that bring characters out of their comfort zone. When Elodie, the ultimate New Yorker, finds herself in the midst of a dolphin rescue on the beach in Provincetown – that’s fun for me. Also, I really did witness a dolphin rescue when I was living in Provincetown writing this book. So that scene is special to me.
Author Interview: Jamie Brenner: Let’s Chat About Writing
I love when you give sneak peeks of what you’re working on next on your social media. What seems to work best for you when you’re working on a new manuscript? Ex: outline, traveling to the setting, etc.
Traveling to the location where my next book will be set is important for me. I take lots of photos and print them out and place them around my desk. Then, during the winter when I’m deep into writing the story, the setting is very vivid to me and I can “go there” any time. Just like I hope my beach reads can bring readers to a summer state of mind all year long.
Do you have any favorite snacks, music or rituals for your writing?
I drink a lot of coffee. Too much coffee. I also put my phone in another room for at least a few hours of the day.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
I don’t know if I have any advice – I certainly don’t feel like I’ve figured everything out. I’ve just come to know what works best for me. I have a daily word count goal and stick to it as much as possible. I outline from the beginning. I accept that the first draft is going to be terrible even though it will seem good at the time that I’m writing it. And I’ve accepted, however painfully, that writing is re-writing.
Reading Recs, TV Casting & More
Who are some of your must read authors?
Elin Hilderbrand, Mary Kay Andrews, Adriana Trigiani, and Emily Giffin.
Gilt is a must read this summer! What are some books on your TBR?
I just finished a lot of travel for book tour so I’m a little behind on my reading. Top of my list is A Shoe Story by Jane L. Rosen, and Summer Love by Nancy Thayer. I just finished The Edge of Summer by Viola Shipman and it was the perfect summer escape novel.
I always love talking about TV and movies. If you were to cast an adaptation for Gilt, do you have anyone in mind for your characters?
Most of my favorite actors have aged out of the roles I would cast them in. For example, I’d love Jack Nicholson as Tito. I’d love Meryl Street as Celeste. I could see Jean Smart as Elodie. All too old but you get the idea. For Gemma, maybe Anya Taylor-Joy and for Alvie, Zendaya would be a dream.
Who is the ideal reader for Gilt?
Anyone who likes family dramas in beautiful settings with a splash of romance.
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me! How can readers best connect with you?
Thank you! I’m on Instagram a lot – @jamiebrennerwrites. My newsletter sign-up and contact info are on my website www.jamiebrenner.com
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