Friday, February 15, 2008

Interview with Jerramy Fine - Part Two

In Part Two of my interview with Jerramy Fine, author of Someday My Prince Will Come, she shares her thoughts on Gordon Brown's sex appeal, what she would have done differently, the lesson she's learned about herself, and her next book.

One thing I noticed about your story is that you don't shy away from people's opinions of your goal. You face it head on. It was necessary but do you think that you were taking a certain risk in doing that? That it would add more to the readers’ skepticism? That you would have more work in getting the reader to relate to you?

My editor and I debated at length over the start of the book – where I my friend Max tells me I’m delusional in the very first sentence. My editor had your very same fears – that perhaps it would alienate readers and they would think I was nuts from the get go. But I felt strongly about keeping that section in. I wanted to show that despite my fairytale-sounding goal, that I was completely self-aware and used to the constant criticism. I wanted to show that I knew my ambition sounded crazy – but that I wasn’t living in la-la land. And that when it came to visions of princesshood, I was dead serious.

When you refer to Tony Blair as the sexiest world leader, I thought that was the best line in the book. What do you think of Gordon Brown?

I have to say that Tony has become significantly less dreamy since he first came to power in 1997. But ten years ago, before he developed gray hair and bags under his eyes from making all kinds of insane foreign policy decisions, Tony was my poster boy! I loved him. Gordon Brown, while perhaps more grounded, doesn’t begin to compare. However, London mayoral candidate Boris Johnson (who roomed with Earl Spencer at Eton) has precisely the kind of devilish wit and old-school English charm that drives me to distraction.

With the benefit of hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently?

In hindsight, I would have chosen to do my masters at a British university outside of London (i.e. someplace like Oxford, Cambridge or Bristol) – LSE was great academically but because it was a city campus, rather than one enclosed by ivy-covered walls – it was very hard to meet people (especially English people!) – much less make friends. I also should have researched how hard it was to get a work permit – and perhaps should have studied a subject that would be more conducive to Home Office quotas.

If you could have a conversation with the person you were then vs. the person you are now, what would you say, what advice would you give?

I think I was very na├»ve about a lot of things. For a long time, I honestly thought the world was one giant Disney movie (very much like the heroine did in the wonderful film Enchanted) – and I was shocked to my very core when I discovered that some people could actually be very and quite intentionally evil. Still, I don’t think telling my old self this would have made a difference as I was pretty headstrong back then. I would also tell my old self that life is about the journey – not the destination. Quite a simple concept, I know – but I was so focused on getting to my goal that I often forgot this.

What did you learn about yourself?

That true royalty comes from within.

What do you think would have happened if Peter Philips had called you? Where do you think you'd be today?
Getting ready for a Windsor wedding in May? Just kidding! Another thing I’ve learned is “what if’s” can drive a girl crazy. I’m at genuinely peace with where I am today and very happy with the wonderful Englishman I am with today. (Besides, it’s not like marrying Peter would have made me a princess!)

Any plans for other books?

I’m hoping to write a guide for Americans living in London – dating etiquette, table manners, which neighborhood to live in, etc. I want it to be a cross between Daily Candy and Debrett’s!

© Marilyn Braun 2008

Related Posts:
Interview with Jerramy Fine - Part One
Royal Review: Someday My Prince Will Come by Jerramy Fine

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