book jacket: William Morrow
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing novelist, screenwriter, and producer – Amy Ephron. Her work includes the New York Times bestselling novels A Cup of Tea and One Sunday Morning. Her newest book, Loose Diamonds … and other things I’ve lost (and found) along the way, is a memoir and her first piece of nonfiction. Amy Ephron is exceptionally meticulous when it comes to writing. For her, a first draft doesn’t exist. “I write about one hundred drafts of every page before moving to the next,” she said, “My writing is almost minimalist, very short clean sentences.” She is sure that each page is exactly the way she wants it before she moves to the next. This type of beautiful, clean, and meaningful language is the very core and spirit of Loose Diamonds. Each short story is straightforward, touching, and honest.
The idea of the book first came after Amy’s short story, “I Love Saks” was published in Vogue magazine. Amy has been going to Saks since she was very young and much of her life can be chronicled through her relationship with the store. On her first trip to New York City, her mother brought her to Saks for the very first time. Years later, there were times when Amy couldn’t afford to shop there, but found a way to step inside and enjoy the comfort the space brought her– even if it was to just sip a lemonade. “I flew to New York once to sell a book and needed an advance,” said Amy, “I went into Saks to buy a new cashmere sweater. I used what I like to call ‘girl logic’ and thought if I looked as if I didn’t need the money, I’d get the book deal. It worked.” Loose Diamonds includes Amy’s personal experiences and stories from a young age to those that are very recent. She shares personal accounts that provide insight into a variety of aspects of a woman’s life and how to overcome and rebuild from a seemingly insurmountable level of loss.
And, Amy believes every loose diamond in life is simply searching for a setting– for a secure place in that particular point in time. “There are moments of different decades that are not all happy and I wasn’t as good natured about it then as I am now,” she said. When it comes to the end of a relationship or marriage, she recommends getting new pajamas and keeping your heart open to something new. “Loose Diamonds is about finding permanence in an often unstable city (like Los Angeles), where marriages, everything seems momentary,” she said, “It’s hoping to find a sense of stability amidst the chaos.” What truly shines in Amy’s new book is her support for women through almost every one of life’s difficult trials. For Amy, even dating the second time around after her first marriage, was oddly similar to dating in her twenties. “I made the very same stupid mistakes,” she said, “But, then you meet someone and it’s the right thing. And, there you are.”
photograph by: Jonathan Becker
From feeling the loss of Amy’s jewelry in a burglary (when it’s the memories behind the pieces that matter) to the recent loss of her entire home in a fire, Amy’s honesty, strength, and manner of placing things in perspective is beyond admirable. “There has been so much material loss in my life,” she said, “I have to be good-natured about it.” Right now, the writer seems to have a solid setting with her husband, Alan Rader, and their family. She is also a contributing writer to The Daily Beast (where she recently covered the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray), The Huffington Post, and is the founder of One for the Table – an educational and inspiring website on “food, politics & love.” Amy was recently interviewed on “The Talk” and you can find an excerpt of Loose Diamonds in T Magazine and on the Saks Fifth Avenue POV blog.
So, what is some of the greatest advice Amy shares after trying to fit in so many different settings on her own? “You have to be able to say next,” she said, “It’s about licking your wounds and getting up again. There aren’t rules- it’s always changing, but as women we need to mentor each other.”
Purchase your copy of Loose Diamonds by Amy Ephron on Amazon. Follow Amy on Facebook and Twitter.