Thursday, January 1, 2009

On The Outside: Aimee Friedman

Happy New Year! I hope everybody had an awesome one and today we have an awesome author doing an On The Outside post today!

For the On The Outside post today, we have the amazing author Aimee Friedman! Aimee Friedman is the author of several books: A Novel Idea, South Beach, The Year My Sister Got Lucky and the forthcoming Sea Change. Aimee lives, works, and writes in Manhattan. Today I was honored to host this blog about how the title came to be for her latest novel, that I hear is just fabulous, The Year My Sister Got Lucky. You can visit Aimee at So, please, welcome Aimee!


It's fun to think back on the process of titling a book, because often a title--like a novel--will go through several stages before it feels just right. This was definitely the case with THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY.

My idea for the novel grew out of a short story I had written in college, about two sisters in ballet school (based very much on my own experiences as a younger sister and an aspiring dancer). The title of the short story was PAS DE DEUX--the ballet term for a dance performed by two people--and, for a long time, I thought about calling the novel the same thing. After all, the novel is about two sisters, Katie and Michaela Wilder, who study ballet in New York City until they have to move upstate to a small mountain town, where one of them starts to lose interest in dance...and gain interest in boys.

But the more I worked on the novel, the more I realized that a) its title should probably be in English and b) it was about so much more than ballet. It was about friendship and change. It was about first crushes and first kisses. And it was about secrets.

So when I handed in my first draft manuscript to my editor, the title I put on the first page was THE SECRETS OF THE WILDER SISTERS. I felt that the title captured the spirit of the book, and was just juicy enough. But my very wise and clever editor thought the title could be even juicier, more eye-catching, --and funnier. We had a brainstorming session, during which she suggested THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY.

At first, I balked. "Getting lucky" has some interesting, perhaps too-mature connotations. But as I mulled it over, and began revising the book, I understood how fully the theme of luck--of fortune, and destiny-- played into the story. I liked how the title posed a kind of question, a mystery, an intrigue for the reader to puzzle over--who was this sister? In what way was she lucky? And, like a catchy pop song that sticks with you, the title took hold of my imagination. And, as I handed in my final revision, I told my editor I was on board.

THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY came out about a year ago, in January 2008--the paperback will be in bookstores this summer, right alongside my newest novel, SEA CHANGE (a title story for another post!) --and countless readers have told me how much they like the title, and the cover. I'm thrilled to know that the title leads people to pick up the book, to enter into the world of the Wilder sisters and laugh and cry and cheer them on. When I hear from my readers, there's no other word to describe how I feel except, well...lucky.


Thank you so much for coming by Aimee, I can't wait to have a chance to read The Year My Sister Got Lucky!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!


  1. I love the title. I mean, it makes me want to go read it now at this very second. The cover is great too!

  2. Oooooh, I want Sea Change sooooooooooooo badly! It looks sooooo good!
    (Why am I using so many o's today? lol)

  3. I love the cover. The cover looks cute. Even her nails too. I love it!! And i can do nails too, im so good at all the designs.. :)If u want, i can do urs too !!


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