Friday, August 21, 2020

Laura Jamison Interview - All the Right Mistakes

Photo Content from Laura Jamison 

Laura Jamison is an attorney from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four children. When she is not practicing law or writing, she is driving her kids to one of their many activities in her minivan. Laura is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School. This is her first book.


Tell us your latest news.
As I write this, I’m a couple weeks away from publication of my very first novel. The word I keep coming back to is surreal. And what a strange time to be publishing, in the middle of a pandemic and an election cycle.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Reading! I never set out to be an author, but I’ve always been a big reader. I read across many genres—fiction, and especially women’s fiction—but also young adult, thriller, biographies and even the occasional non-fiction. I tried to write the book I wanted to read—something relatable and fun and that would make readers like me feel seen and less alone.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I have a friend who relocated from where I live in Wisconsin down to Florida. She was excited about the book and wanted to recommend it to her new book club friends. I sent down a box of advanced reader copies to her and we planned a Zoom book club. I was at the point in the publishing process where I had gotten kind of disconnected from why I wrote the book in the first place—telling my story and connecting with readers. Talking with those ladies was exhilarating and got me right back on track.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I want readers to be uplifted and to think “I’ve got this.”

Your debut novel is ALL THE RIGHT MISTAKES - can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
My book is about female friendship and second changes. In the book, five college friends are turning forty and their bond is rocked when one of them writes a women's advice book detailing the key life "mistakes" made by the other four friends, writing not what she knows but who she knows.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
That’s an easy one—motherhood and my full time job as an attorney. My four children are older now (ranging from 11-16) but it’s still a challenge to balance it all, even with an immensely supportive spouse. 

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d love to introduce Heather Hall to Amy March. They are both characters that on the surface are rather hateable, but, going deeper, there is so much I admire about both of them. Read my book to see what I mean!

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
As a writer, I found it challenging to be sure each of the characters had a unique voice. With five main characters, this was a significant challenge. Developing a unique voice for each character is something I will continue to work on as a writer.

Normally I hate to pick just ten of anything, especially books! And the word “ever” is such a big one! All that aside, here are ten covers that I just can’t stop thinking about, with a focus on women’s fiction. When I was planning my own cover, I went to bookstore and took pictures of the covers I loved. Some of them are here too:

· I’d like to start by highlighting three great covers from the very talented Julie Metz at my publisher She Writes Press:
Copy Boy by Shelley Blanton-Stroud
Adult Conversation by Brandy Ferner 
Queen of the Owls by Barbara Lynn Probst
  • The Farm by Joanne Ramos
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • The Interestings by Meg Wolizer
  • Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan
  • Such a Fun Age by Keily Reid
  • The Royal We by Heather Cocks
  • American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
Hmmm, that’s a hard one! Probably a fun fact about Milwaukee or cheese?

Best date you've ever had?
My husband would probably want me to say a Michigan hockey game followed by Pizza House in Ann Arbor. And that’s mostly true. I also love taking my kids to a museum. Let’s be real, though. Some days the best date is being alone with a good book and a glass of wine.

If you wrote a journal entry today, what would it say?
Well, as I write this, we are still struggling with the pandemic and there is an enormous amount of uncertainty about the future. And yet my dream to be a published author is coming true. So, perhaps, I would borrow that perfect line of Dickens—“it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

What event in your life would make a good movie?
Well, my kids would tell you that my life is pretty boring (and they’re right). But I might watch a movie about the first year after my twin girls were born. I had four children who were five and under and I was working full time. I feel like it would make a decent comedy.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Motherhood fundamentally changed my worldview. I was an ambitious girl growing up. Motherhood didn’t change that quality, but it certainly broadened my focus, and in a really positive way. 

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
I’m not sure it’s unique, but I worry a lot about my children not finding lasting happiness. I also really dislike snakes (also not unique).

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
The day I received the note from my now-publisher that my work had been accepted. I floated for days.

Five college friends have arrived at forty in very different circumstances, but with at least one thing in common: they are among the more privileged in society. Elizabeth and Sara are lawyers, Martha is a doctor, Carmen is a wealthy and well-educated homemaker, and Heather, the most successful, is a famous tech executive―and after more than two decades of friendship, they know one another better than anyone.

Then Heather writes a women’s advice book detailing the key life “mistakes” of her four friends―opting out, ramping off, giving half effort, and forgetting your fertility―that becomes wildly popular, and Elizabeth, Sara, Martha, and Carmen all feel the sting of Heather’s cruel words. Despite their status, these women face everyday obstacles, including work problems, parenting challenges, secondary infertility, racism, sexism, financial stress, and marital woes―and as they weather their fortieth year, each one can’t help but wonder if their life might have been different if they had followed Heather’s advice.
But as these friends are continually reminded, life is complex, messy, disappointing, and joyful, often all at once―and no one can plan her way out of that reality. In the end, all five women must embrace the idea that their lives are shaped not just by their choices but also by how they handle the obstacles life inevitably throws at us all.

You can purchase All the Right Mistakes at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you LAURA JAMISON for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive a Copy of All the Right Mistakes by Laura Jamison.


  1. My mother-in-law has about a million baskets in her home. I don't know why she decorates with them but I think it's a bit funny :)

  2. A box of meat left accidentally on a couch that had thawed. It looked like a murder scene. I wish I was kidding.

  3. Exposed fiberglass insulation in someone's bathroom.