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Amy Ephron

AbeBooks Exclusive Interview With Amy Ephron

Amy Ephron combines the wild contradictions of the 1920s jazz era and the difficulties of discretion in her latest book, One Sunday Morning – an ideal 224-page summer reading title.

The Los Angeles-based novelist, screenwriter, and movie producer is the author of White Rose, Cool Shades, Bruised Fruit, Biodegradable Soap, and the acclaimed best-seller A Cup of Tea.

"One Sunday Morning is set in New York in the 1920s and concerns secrets, love, jealousy and longing," said Amy. "I love the 1920s, because on one hand you had prohibition and then on the other you had speakeasys open until the small hours. It's a lovely contradiction.

"The book is about four women who see another woman they know leaving a hotel with a man who is not her husband. They see her hitch up her skirts and see that she is still wearing her satin dancing shoes from the night before. They all promise to tell no one and the book examines how that promise affects them all. I guess it's about how a single moment in time can define so much for a group of people.

"I don't think we've changed much since the 1920s – the same issues are still important. Love and jealousy will always matter. My own personal taboo is probably being too honest about leaving someone – it should always be done gently."

Amy hails from the Ephron literary family. Her parents, Phoebe and Henry Ephron, were successful playwrights and Hollywood screenwriters. She and her three sisters - Delia, Hallie and Nora - were the inspiration for some of their parents' work. The play Take Her, She's Mine, was a comedy based on Nora's letters home from college.

Nora Ephron is the author of Crazy Salad, Heartburn, Wallflower at the Orgy, and Scribble Scribble. She has received Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally, Silkwood, and Sleepless in Seattle, which she also directed. Delia is also an accomplished author.

"I'm not really a people-watcher," said Amy. "I find many people tell me their stories. I'll be sitting there at a dinner party and suddenly people are telling me random things that catch my attention. Just recently, an old lady started telling me about the Holocaust and escaping a death camp, and I know she had never told that to anyone before."

Amy admits having a sweet spot for the classics and her previous novel, A Cup of Tea, was based on a Katherine Mansfield short story of the same name. Like One Sunday Morning, it revolves around a single defining moment that alters the lives of three people in the countdown to World War I.

"I love Edith Wharton and Katherine Mansfield," she said. "I actually bought the rights to Katherine Mansfield's story – it's only eight pages long but I wanted to be up front about my intentions with the book. People ask about plagiarism but I say I'm just being honest.

"I don't have a hard time writing. I don't have any patterns to the way I write but I do have five children to consider – three of my own and my fiance has two. It's hard to say which book I'm most proud of – perhaps One Sunday Morning, I think it is a sweet book. It concerns discretion and I like that."

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