Thursday, September 16, 2021

Jacqueline Friedland Interview - He Gets That From Me

Photo Content from Rebecca Weiss

Jacqueline Friedland graduated Magna Cum Laude from both the University of Pennsylvania and NYU Law School. She practiced as a commercial litigator at the New York law firms of Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP and Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP. After determining that office life did not suit her, Jacqueline began teaching Legal Writing and Lawyering Skills at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan and working on her first book in her limited spare time. Finally deciding to embrace her passion and pursue writing full time, Jacqueline returned to school to earn her Masters of Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, graduating from the program in 2016.

When not writing, Jacqueline is an avid reader of all things fiction. She loves to exercise, watch movies with her family, listen to music, make lists, and dream about exotic vacations. She lives in Westchester, New York with her husband, four children and two very bossy canines.


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I think storytelling is how we connect to each other and relate to the world around us. Sometimes it helps us process our own emotions when we create characters who have experienced moments or feelings that help us understand ourselves.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
My absolute favorite part of being an author is connecting with readers. My most rewarding experiences since being published would definitely involve feedback and notes I’ve received from people who have read my books and felt somehow uplifted, inspired, or comforted by them.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently knee-deep in another historical novel. I don’t want to share too much yet, but I’m very excited about it.

Can you tell us when you started HE GETS THAT FROM ME, how that came about?
I started He Gets That From Me in 2018 after I read a crazy news article about a woman who served as a surrogate and gave birth to “twin” babies who appeared to be different races. The appearances of the babies didn’t make sense with the fertility plan the couple had followed, and reading about the situation sent my mind racing with all sorts of crazy scenarios.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I actually hope my readers are mostly *feeling* rather than thinking when reading my books. I hope they’re so wrapped up in the plot and connected to the characters that they can feel similar emotions to the characters themselves.

What part of Maggie did you enjoy writing the most?
My favorite Maggie moments are when she is thinking about and/or connecting with her mother.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would love to introduce Nick from He Gets That From Me to Wesley from That’s Not a Thing. They are both professional chefs. They could connect over their passion for food, and then Wes could set Nick straight about a thing or two.

Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood.
I loved going out for ice cream with my parents and sister to our local neighborhood shop. When I was very little, I made too much of a mess with the ice cream, so my mom encouraged me to have cookies instead (twist my arm). I loved the special rolled praline cookies they sold. Then as I got older, I was allowed to order my favorite treat: mocha almond fudge with rainbow sprinkles.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Fall in love

Best date you've ever had?
My first date with my husband. We actually went to a charity event for a food allergy organization, but the experience was all about the company.

What was the first job you had?
I worked at an academic summer camp as an assistant teacher when I was 14 helping elementary-school-aged kids in writing classes!

What did you do for your last birthday?
We were still pretty locked down, so I hung out with my favorite people- my family.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Easy. The Maldives!

First Heartbreak?
It had to have been in middle school, but thankfully I don’t remember it too well!

  • 1. You’ll learn all about how gestational surrogacy works
  • 2. There are lots of interesting food references
  • 3. Grand Canyon trivia!
  • 4. A complicated moral conundrum to get you thinking
  • 5. Cute kids
  • 6. A visit to the Bronx Zoo
  • 7. A deep dive into questions about family relationships
  • 8. Legal drama
  • 9. Relatable characters
  • 10. Good people struggling when there are not enough right answers
Writing Behind the Scenes
My husband and I share a home office. On the days that he works from home, I put headphones on and listen to Scottish Classical music (think bagpipes) to drown out the noise of his constant phone calls. It’s completely random, but it gets me in the zone!

As a young mother with a toddler and a live-in boyfriend, Maggie Fisher’s job at a checkout counter in downtown Phoenix doesn’t afford her much financial flexibility. She dreams of going to college and becoming a teacher, options she squandered when she fled her family home as a teenager. When Maggie stumbles onto an ad offering thousands of dollars to women who are willing to gestate other people’s babies, she at first finds the concept laughable. Before long, however, she’s been seduced by all the ways the extra money could improve her life. Once she decides to go for it, it’s only a matter of months before she’s chosen as a gestational carrier by Chip and Donovan Rigsdale, a married couple from New York.

After delivering twin babies and proudly handing them off to the Rigsdales, Maggie finally gets her life on a positive trajectory: she earns her degree, lands a great job, and builds a family of her own. She can’t fathom why, ten years after the fact, the fertility clinic is calling to ask for a follow-up DNA test.

You can purchase He Gets That From Me at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JACQUELINE FRIEDLAND for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of He Gets That From Me by Jacqueline Friedland.