The Fast Five with … Julie Buxbaum
By Christine Duval
Julie Buxbaum, one of my all-time favorite authors and a true inspiration in my writing journey, recently stopped in to answer The Fast Five. An internationally renowned novelist, and the author of The Opposite of Love and After You (both Dial Press), Julie’s work has been translated into twenty-five languages, and is available in over fifty countries. The Opposite of Love has been optioned by Twentieth Century Fox with Anne Hathaway attached to star! Julie currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young children. You can find out more about her and her wonderful books at www.juliebuxbaum.com. Well, it’s fair to say I am absolutely gushing right now. Without further ado, welcome Julie!♥
1. What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever written?
I have a book that currently lives in a drawer. I’m not sure writing it was any more or less difficult than writing anything else – let’s be honest, ALL writing is difficult – but putting all those pages away was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done as a writer.
2. If you could collaborate with another author on a project, who would it be and why?
Zadie Smith. But then again, I wouldn’t actually want to collaborate. I would like to just sit in a room with her, peek over her shoulder, and watch how her sausage (her beautiful, amazing sausage) is made.
3. What do you like most about being an author?
I get to make stuff up for a living. It’s truly a privilege to get to do professionally what you would do anyway.
4. How do you motivate yourself to write?
I motivate by giving myself permission each day to take time away from all of my other commitments to do this one thing that I NEED to do: write. And I define “need” pretty broadly – it’s my work, but I also need to write for my own sanity. I feel lost when I’m not working on my next project.
5. What do you feel are the top three qualities one must possess to make it as an author today?
1. Focus – you need to be able to tune out all of the millions of voices clamoring for your attention. I use the app Freedom often to block the internet because I struggle with this daily. This is one of those things that I’ve found has gotten harder not easier with time.
2. Commitment. It’s one thing to call yourself a writer, but it’s a whole other thing to actually do it. Every writer has one thing in common – we all sit our butts down in a chair most days and write.
3. Lastly, and I think this may be the most important element to being a writer: you need to be a critical and varied and constant reader. I don’t think I’ve ever met another author who wasn’t a true lifelong book lover.
Julie Buxbaum attended Harvard Law School before moving to New York where she worked as a litigator. Realising she wasn’t cut out to be a lawyer, as a New Year’s resolution she quit her job and wrote her first novel The Opposite of Love.