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Emma of 83rd Street 20 Questions

Emma of 83rd Street
Audrey Bellezza, Emily Harding




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June 2023
On Sale: May 23, 2023
Featuring: George Knightley; Emma Woodhouse
384 pages
ISBN: 1668008394
EAN: 9781668008393
Kindle: B0BHTLZX14
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Also by Audrey Bellezza:
Elizabeth of East Hampton, August 2024
Emma of 83rd Street, June 2023

Also by Emily Harding:
Elizabeth of East Hampton, August 2024
Emma of 83rd Street, June 2023

1--What is the title of your latest release?

Emma of 83rd Street

2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

What if you gave Jane Austen’s Emma the ultimate makeover in modern-day Manhattan?

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

We both lived and worked in New York City for years and years. It’s where we met! So, once we decided to write a modern take on Emma, New York seemed like an obvious choice.  

4--Would you hang out with Emma in real life?

Oh, absolutely! The bigger question is whether she’d let us raid her wardrobe…

5--What are three words that describe Emma?

We think Miss Jane Austen said it best when she first described her: ‘... handsome, clever, and rich…’

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

Audrey: That we could write a book together! 
Emily: We worked together in television development for years, so that helped a lot, but there’s no way we could have anticipated just how different this process would be.  
Audrey: Also, writing is hard work.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

We did very little editing as we wrote Emma of 83rd Street, but so much when we were done. Just…so much. Now, as we start working on other projects, we’re trying to stay ahead of the edits (as much as possible, anyway).

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence? 

Emily: Oh, Audrey is the foodie! I’m happy with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon.
Audrey: Ha! Pressure… Momofuku’s pork buns.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

Audrey: I live with two boys and my husband, so this is the only room that’s all me. There’s pink flower wallpaper, a turquoise vanity, and a gallery art wall that Emily helped me arrange which makes sense because with all our zoom calls, she’s the one that sees it every day. And I’ve got a view of our backyard to see what’s going on outside–fox sightings, kids on the trampoline, my garden, and beautiful sunsets. And at my feet, a space heater is on full blast because I am always cold.
Emily: We had so much fun with that gallery wall! As for me, I have an office upstairs with a big, lovely desk. Unfortunately for my posture, there’s a big, lovely sofa in there too, so that’s usually where I’m curled up with my laptop and my dog. 

10--Who is an author you admire?

Emily: Miss Jane Austen of course. She’s at the top of the list. As for contemporary authors, I absolutely adore Tia Williams (Seven Days In June is one of my favorite books of the last few years) and Charlie Jane Anders (she is one of those brilliant writers who makes working in multiple genres look easy). 
Audrey: Besides Jane Austen…. so many… Sally Rooney, Sarah J. Maas, T.J. Klune, Olivie Blake. I could go on and on! 

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

Audrey: I would have to say Judy Blume’s books. I vividly remember hunting for her young adult books at the library when I was in grammar school. In high school, my girlfriends and I, like so many 80s girls, devoured her novel Forever and eventually I graduated to her adult novels. I grew up with her books. Plus, she’s from New Jersey and used to live just a few miles away from my hometown!
Emily: Definitely Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary. The entire Ramona series really impacted me when I was young, and this was the first one I read. I remember so clearly because I think it was the first time I had ever seen a girl like myself as the lead. Ramona wasn’t perfect, in fact she was probably the first “unlikeable” female character I encountered, and that was incredibly profound (in the best possible way). 

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

Audrey: This entire process has been a lot of “Are you freaking kidding me?!” moments. The best part – we get to share it! I think the one I remember the most though was our first call with our agent, when she told us she was 100% on board and said our book was “absolutely delicious.” My face hurt from smiling that week. 
Emily: I still think that’s the best compliment we’ve ever received! 

13--What’s your favorite genre to read? 

Emily: I love a good rom-com, but I’m also a huge fan of biographies and science fiction. I also love comics and graphic novels. 
Audrey: I can really get lost in fantasy fiction, but also love rom-coms, historical fiction, and any and all cookbooks. 

14--What’s your favorite movie?

Audrey: Can’t pick one! Shakespeare in Love and A Room with A View are two of my absolute favorites–and most movies from the 80s.
Emily: It’s a tie between It Happened One Night and Rear Window. 

15--What is your favorite season?

Emily: Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I have to go with autumn for this one.
Audrey: Summer… because I’m always cold!

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

Audrey: Sushi dinner with friends in NYC. 
Emily: Hey, you stole my answer!
Audrey: Well, I assume you are with me so… win/win. 

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

Audrey: I just finished The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I’m screaming from the rooftops how much I adore this book. My favorite podcast is The Office Ladies. I’ve been an obsessed loyal fan since the very first episode premiered! And I love Sex Lives of College Girls on HBO Max–basically anything by Mindy Kaling should be required viewing.
Emily: I know I’m late to the party on this one, but I just finished The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, and it was even better than everyone promised it would be. I’m so mad at myself that I didn’t grab it from my TBR pile sooner.  I’m also in the middle of rewatching Starstruck on HBO Max. The entire series is rom-com perfection and I want Rose Matafeo to write and star in all the things. 

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Audrey: Japanese or anything my mom makes.
Emily: Honestly, I am the world’s worst cook, so anything that doesn’t require me to do that.

19--What do you do when you have free time?

Emily: Is it lame if I say write? I love to write and if I’m not writing, I’m usually thinking about it, working out scenarios in my head. But when I’m really not writing, I’m usually reading or hanging out with my kids, who are just the coolest people. 
Audrey: That’s not lame! And our kids are the coolest. When I have free time, I’m listening to audio books, creating some questionable art projects, heading to Vermont to relax with my family, and playing Super Mario Brothers or any game cartridge we can still get to work on my original NES console with my kids.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

That’s a good question! We’d love to keep exploring the world of Jane Austen for as long as we can, and we’re working on a couple of ideas…stay tuned.




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