Out of The Shadows

What’s on Joanne Rendell’s Bucket List?

*Taps Megaphone* *Clears throat* *Shouts*


Today Out of the Shadows hits stores. It's the third novel by one of our favorite authors and people, Joanne Rendell. And because Joanne has been such a great help to us during our search for an agent, we'd like to take a moment to get our booties up on the highest surface and shout, THANK YOU, JOANNE!

Before Out of The Shadows, Joanne wrote the brilliant Crossing Washington Square and the fantastic The Professors' Wives' Club. And now, she's outdone herself with Out of The Shadows. Who wouldn't be grabbed by this description on the back of the book?  "A long-lost journal will open the door to the past. For one woman, its secrets will hold the key to her future."

We loved the story of Clara Fitzgerald who's struggling with the recent loss of her mother and a career that seems to be going nowhere fast. Meanwhile, her fiance's scientific research is taking off in an exciting new direction and although she's happy for him, Clara can no longer deny that their relationship isn't exactly headed in an exciting new direction. So Clara throws herself into a research project that will end up changing her life. Before she passed, Clara's mother was convinced that there was a link between their family and Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. With the help of her reluctant sister, Maxie, and a retired scholar, Kay, Clara begins to search for answers. And as the three women search through long- lost journals and letters, Clara gets more answers than she bargained for.

And five of you will win a copy of Out of The Shadows! Just leave a comment and we'll randomly select the winners this Thursday! Good luck!

So we read the book. We loved the book. And then we read Joanne's bucket list and were amazed to discover that Joanne has other talents, including being an artist! (Where does she find the time?) Wait until you check out the hilarious video made with her son (with a stuffed dog as the star!) and the comic book cover she designed. Um, Joanne, if you didn't already know this, we are in AWE.

And now here's Joanne's Bucket List...

1. Drink a margarita in Mexico. I adore Mexican food. I eat black beans and rice almost every day. My husband and I named our son Benny after a fabulous Tex-Mex place in New York City called Benny’s Burritos (which has especially great margaritas). But I have never been to Mexico.

2. Become a happy, bouncy runner. I try and run every other day and have been doing so for the last seven years. The thing is I never seem to improve. I still plod along, not really enjoying myself (unless I have a great chick lit/women’s fiction audiobook on my ipod). I would love to be one of those sweat-free, bounding runners who overtake me all the time of the Brooklyn Bridge.

3. Become a major motion picture director. Okay, maybe this is a slightly overblown bucket-list aspiration, especially as I have absolutely no connections in Hollywood and zero experience in proper film-making. However, I do love making movies with my seven year old son using a bottom-of-the-range digital camera and stuffed dog who is happy to be our star. Here’s our biggest production so far entitled, "Rume's Grand Day Out." If you want to waste more of your precious time, you can check out more of our movies at my son's blog.

4. Become a bestselling comic book artist. Yep, another rather overblown dream! Realistically, though, I would settle for just finishing my own comic book one day. I’ve always liked drawing and illustrating, although I’m definitely an amateur with no training. This summer I signed up for a week long comic drawing class and “Fiona Feminista” was the result. One day I’ll do more than just the cover!

5. Meet Mary Shelley. Hmm. There is a slight technical difficulty here because Mary Shelley is dead, of course. Maybe I can make do with meeting her ghost. I always loved Mary Shelley’s most famous book, FRANKENSTEIN. It’s a wonderful gothic novel, but it is also very thoughtful, touching, daring, and extremely prescient too – even now, two hundred years after it was written. As I started doing research for my new novel, OUT OF THE SHADOWS – a story about a woman who thinks she may be related to Shelley - I discovered so much more about the intriguing author. She was fiery and smart, outspoken and thoughtful, a non-conformist and a caring mother. She faced many tragedies in her life, including the early death of her husband, the famous romantic poet Percy Shelley. But she was strong too. She survived and she wrote many books and she learned to live a full life as a widow. Most people know the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster, but fewer people know much about the amazing woman who wrote the original novel. In OUT OF THE SHADOWS, I wanted to bring Mary Shelley out of the shadows of the monster she created.

To learn more about the lovely and talented Joanne Rendell, head over to her website, follow her on Twitter and check out the page for her book on Facebook.

Thanks, Joanne!

xoxo, L&L