Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus: Having an affair with the President of the United States is something we've been wanting to write about for as long as we've been friends. But we weren't sure of the way into the story until we saw Mimi Alford, JFK's teenage mistress, interviewed on 20/20. It really freed our imaginations and our heroine, Jamie McAlister, was born. She's Class of 2012, from a working-class Irish family in Chicago, who gets this extraordinary opportunity to intern at the White House, but one man's sexual obsession upends her whole life.
EM & NK: We've learned writing sex scenes is as hard as writing fight scenes! It's so logistical — beyond being erotic, the logic has to hold up. The reader has to be able to put themselves fully inside those scenes — that's the fun! If you have the character do something that makes no sense it scratches the record and kills it. So kissing can't jump from the neck to the toes. You have to fill it all in!
EM & NK: Ha! Show us a mother who thinks she’s 'gotten into the groove' and we’ll show you someone helping her kid fill out college applications. Certainly now that they're 3 we know how to structure our days better, but 5 p.m. comes faster than we expect every day. The blessing of having been nannies to kids who now have jobs is that we really know how fast it goes so we try not to sweat if some weeks the laundry is a little behind, the chapter is a little late, our roots are showing. Someday very soon we'll look at our husbands and ask, "Hey, do you think our kid might want to have dinner with us this weekend?"
EM & NK: Toddlers are in heaven with a pail and a shovel. We both love taking our kids to the beach at Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways. They play — we chase them with sunscreen.
EM & NK: We are a book club of two. We both just finished Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, which we were head-over-heels in love with. It's set in New York in the 1930s and it's sumptuous and feminist and funny. Now we're both reading Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, which has blown our tiny minds.
EM & NK: We're already finishing our Aug. 14 novel, which we're so excited about. Watch this space! And we're adapting our third bestseller, Dedication, into a musical for the Araca Group, the team behind Wicked. We are huge musical theater nerds so this is the dream of a lifetime.
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