"A heartwarming and funny story about friendship, romance, and the heart-wrenching reality of breakups"--Liz Tuccillo, exec. story ed. of Sex and the City/coauthor of He's Just Not That Into You
"Fox doesn’t just know how to write clearly and powerfully...she has real insight into relationships...a laugh-out-loud read. Fox has a real winner here."—Scene magazine
"Sharp, snarky, funny, and fast-paced."--Fresh Fiction
"A warm, witty, light and hugely enjoyable read.”—Bookaholic Confessions
“As heartwarming as they are humorous—Fox’s books offer more than the usual chick lit fare.”—Sarah Bird, author of The Boyfriend School and Gap Year
“Phoebe Fox has given us characters that are lovably fallible, funny, and frazzled.”—Elisa Lorello, bestselling author of Faking It and Why I Love Singlehood
Brook Ogden has never encountered a broken heart she couldn’t
patch together. Her counseling practice as the Breakup Doctor—on call to help you shape up after a breakup—is so busy she’s expanded to offer group sessions. (Turns out there are far more than fifty ways to leave your lover.) Her radio show and advice column have made her a local celebrity, and even her personal life, after some gruesome breakups of her own, is in recovery: Ben Garrett started out as a revenge date against an ex, but has turned into so much more.
But when sizzling-hot Chip Santana, an old client she once shared a rather unprofessional midnight roll in the sand with, comes back into her life asking for her help, Brook can’t say no. Yet while she’s busy stitching up his relationship troubles, Chip reveals much more than a therapeutic interest in her.
In the standoff between her heart and her hormones, Brook’s cool, collected Wise Therapist persona begins to crack like thrown wedding china. She’s yelling at recalcitrant cheating husbands. Offering crazy advice to radio callers. She’s even hugging her clients.
When the situation goes critical, Brook’s forced into a decision she isn’t ready to make—and the Breakup Doctor has to decide what kind of casualties she’s willing to accept.
Phoebe Fox has been a contributor and regular columnist for a number of national, regional, and local publications, and is currently a regular guest blogger on relationships for the Huffington Post. She's been a movie, theater, and book reviewer; a screenwriter; an actress; and a game show host; and has even been known to help with homework revisions for nieces and nephews. She lives in
, with her husband and two
excellent dogs. Austin,
Q. What inspires your writing?
A. I think writers are like little bugs—not of the cockroach variety, but the James Bond type—meaning I feel as if I’m always sort of “recording” what’s happening around me. None of it ever makes it into my stories verbatim from life, but I’ll find snippets of conversations eking in there, or situations I witnessed or heard about or lived through. Then I play my favorite game (and most writers’ favorite game): “What if?” What if that pregnant lady over there is actually carrying that child for her best friend, who can’t bear children of her own—but has fallen in love with her friend’s husband and wants to keep the baby that’s genetically theirs? What if that guy coughing down the hall is actually choking on a Cheeto, and trying to call out for a Heimliching, but no one realizes what’s happening and he dies? You wouldn’t believe the stories we can knit up in our heads from the most innocuous of happenings. Writers are our own entertainment most of the time.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. I frequently tell people that being a writer is basically being able to play “make-believe” whenever you want to, like you did when you were a kid. Only now other people want to play it with you—and if you’re really lucky, you get paid to play!
Q. What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Mainly the not-writing parts. Most of us who write are right-brain types, which is great—but actually running your career requires substantial left-brain skills. I enjoy a lot of the business side of the business, but the busier my actual writing becomes, the harder it feels to balance the creative side with the career side that a successful writer has to manage to keep reaching readers. It’s like having two full-time jobs—on top of my actual full-time job. But as I always say, these are good problems to have!
Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. Go crazy/be insane. I’ve asked myself before, in the Pit of Despair moments every writer faces, “If someone told me right this minute that I’d never publish, never have a career, would I keep writing?” The answer is always yes, so if I couldn’t be a writer, I’d write anyway. Even if no one saw it but me. Anyone who writes or loves a writer knows that we are not pleasant to be around when we aren’t able to get all the voices out of our heads and onto the page.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. How about Here’s What the Fox Says? Seems like everyone wants to know… ;)
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. This is like asking someone to pick her favorite child. Books have been my escape, my salvation, and fuel for my imagination my whole life, and various ones become dearest to me at various times. I find that I can get obsessed with some of them for quite a while, and then put them away and forget all about them for years, until I need them again. Again, like children. (KIDDING, parents!)
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Curious George. I often find myself fascinated by things, both momentous and arcane, and ask lots of questions, and eventually get myself in some sort of trouble by sticking my nose out a bit more than perhaps I should have…but then it all seems to work out well in the end, and I get to keep the bugle.
Q. What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. I am most like Brook, the Breakup Doctor, I think—a bit tightly held, wanting to be in control at all times, liking having answers to life’s questions—but I would like to have a bit more Sasha in me, Brook’s best friend. She’s so emotionally unfettered, and comfortable with herself, and unconcerned about what anyone thinks. She’s a hot mess half the time, but she’s my hero in many ways; all id, so Zen.
Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. Did you ever read The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim? I can’t tell you how often I go to that sun-soaked, seaside, wisteria-draped Italian castle in my mind when I need a mental break.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. Most of them except winter. I don’t do well in the cold, and actually own typing gloves and sleeping gloves. Yes, these are a thing.
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. My brilliant editor at Henery Press, Kendel Lynn, designed all the Breakup Doctor covers, and I couldn’t love them more. She had actually designed a very cute cover at first, and we were ready to go to press with it. Then at the eleventh hour she called and told me, “This cover doesn’t do the book justice. Let me send you some more mockups.” She sent four more and, without indicating her favorite, asked me mine. It was, no contest, the cover we have now—Sassy Girl, as I call her, with the medical bag on the EKG line, which was also Kendal’s secret front-runner. I can’t tell you how often I hear what a great cover we have, and Kendel has extended the idea for the whole series—we get Sassy Girl with various bags depending on the story of each book (it’s an overnight bag for Bedside Manners)—which really brands the series so well. Even my agent was stunned at the level of care and commitment that Henery Press gave to the cover, and to me and my books. I always say I’m a lucky Fox in the Hen House.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. I will tell you the story of how I cracked the code of getting men to a book launch party for a book with a pastel cover: lingerie models. No kidding—for the book launch for my first title, The Breakup Doctor, downtown Austin boutique Langford Market hosted, and it was a huge blowout event: giveaways, custom cocktails inspired by the novel mixed up by our sponsor Tito’s vodka for the packed house of attendees, media coverage, a “Breakup Bar” featuring treats from a lot of local sponsors—Tiff’s Treats cookies, Lick ice cream, Delysia chocolatier—and fashion shows featuring Langford’s styles, as well as a host of flimsy little numbers from another of our sponsors, the Underwear lingerie boutique in Austin. It was craziness, with the models prancing throughout the crowd during the evening. The pics of the event are great, because you see all the women chatting in the background as these ladies strut their stuff in lingerie, while every male head in the house is riveted on the models’ gorgeous, scantily clad bodies. You’d better believe that we’ve got lingerie models again for the big launch party this time around! I never saw so many guys at a chick-lit event.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. Yes! Currently working on the third in the Breakup Doctor series, Heart Conditions, due out late this year, I believe. After that, I’m toying with one more title in the series, and also working on a new series, about a very unconventional matchmaker.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. Don’t underestimate the importance of flossing. Seriously, you will miss your teeth if they fall out.