How I wrote
Worn Out Wife Seeks New Life
So… I must have been re-watching the Nancy Myers movie The Holiday… you know, the one with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. When the English girl goes to LA and gets her mojo back and the LA girl comes to snowy Eng-er-land and meets drop-dead gorgeous Jude Law… though personally, like Kate, I’d choose Jack Black and having a hilarious laugh every time.
Here’s everything you need to know about that film, including Jack Black improv-ed the Blockbusters scene (very funny) and Jude Law improv-ed Mr Napkin-head (not funny at all).
Anyway… it’s 15 years since they made that film and I just started to wonder about an English woman in her 40s, a bit bogged down, stuck in a rut maybe, house-swapping with a woman from LA.
Why would they do it? What would it be like? What adventures would they have? And how could it change them?
So that’s how Tess and River walked into my head. Tess, all serious and grown-up with an accounting career, student children and a marriage that is starting to fade. But her historical house in deepest Shakespeare country is gorgeous.
And then River, a screenwriter, Latina, from New York originally, angry! Impatient! So funny, so mean! And her flat in Studio City is creative chaos.
So… they swap for the summer of adventures… dance teachers, furry dogs, CPR, film stars, art, gardens, temptations… revelations.
It is truly a life-changing holiday for them both. But that’s all I’m going to say because you’ll have to read the book to find out more.
I loved writing it, loved hanging out with these people who are all my new best buddies. I really did laugh and cry over it, quite a lot.