Friday, February 5, 2010

Author Love-a-Thon #4: Rona Jaffe

Author Love-a-Thon #4- February 2010

Rona Jaffe

Why I Love Rona Jaffe by Red Headed Book Child

So some of you may be asking "Who the heck is Rona Jaffe?" Well, good thing you stopped by because she just happens to be my dirtiest little book secret from my teen years. Move over Jackie Collins, move over Danielle Steele, move over Judith Krantz, let me introduce Rona Jaffe.

I discovered Rona Jaffe during my teens after I had exhausted all of the V.C Andrews and Danielle Steele books of my moms. I stumbled across Class Reunion, one her earlier novels from the 70s and just ate it up!

A little background story on me. In my early teen years, say 11-14, I wanted to be a writer. By the time I was 14, I had written 3 novels, many short stories and had a large trunk full of ideas. I was FULL of stories and characters and plot lines. I used to create the covers of my books and write family trees of the characters and would clip out pictures from magazines of what I wanted the characters to look like. Oh yeah, I was thorough, people.
I also grew up in the sticks and had no friends. But aside from that I was the IDEA man. I had lots of them. I was a huge Soap Opera fan and used to watch them with my Grandma so I always had lots of inspiration for drama in my stories. You know...Who's the daddy now? Hey, wasn't she dead? and my favorite- I'm pretty sure you were 3 years old last episode and now you're 25?!

Anyway, I was very fanciful and adventurous in my mind with all the places I wanted to go and all the people I wanted to be. So naturally I picked authors that were over the top in romance, travel, drama, heartache, etc etc.

Rona Jaffe fit into my life perfectly. I went on to reading many of her early novels in my teens and continued into my 20s. I kind of lost track of her for a bit but then discovered her again in my late 20s when they republished her first novel, The Best of Everything. This novel was all about the secretary pool in NYC in the 60s. VERY Mad Men and I loved it! Funny story= the main male character Donald Draper on Mad Men was actually reading this book in an episode. Hilarious!
I was actually in NYC when it was republished and Rona Jaffe was touring for it. Unfortunately I missed the book signing by a day or so but my lovely friend Cheryl who was living in New Jersey at the time, went into the city and bought the last autographed copy and mailed it to me !!!! How sweet was that!
Good thing too, because Rona died a few years after that. :(

There are a handful of her newer titles I have not read but I pretty sure I will eventually. I have such a warm spot in my heart for her. Is she unique or the best writer out there? No, but the fun of reading is discovering. Sometimes you discover certain things at times in your life and they stick. You may change but the memory is still there.

Why you should love Rona Jaffe:

Because I said so.

No, seriously, her books are full of romance, drama, strong women, exotic locations (to a 14 year old who grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota, ANYTHING is exotic), and humor.

I would suggest reading Class Reunion first as a fun early novel and then reading The Best of Everything next.


Julie@My5monkeys said...

I'll have to check out her books. Thanks for the recommendation.

Tales of Whimsy said...

How very cool! I've never heard of her. I need to check her out.

Tales of Whimsy said...

PS I like the Cowboy Trouble cover ;)

Tales of Whimsy said...

PPS You're going to the Book Blogger Con? Wow. I'm jealous. Maybe I'll try next year :)

Jenny said...

You're right, I haven't heard of her, lol! But that's always good to find authors who have written great books/stories... where in MN did you grow up? That's where my dad is from. We've only been to visit a few times, but my relatives all still live there.

Cheryl said...

thanks for the mention! always happy to feed your Rona Jaffe addiction, just as you feed mine. :)

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

You are so funny Michelle! My sister and I were also very creative because we lived out in the sticks as well. Although we probably weren't as thorough as you! LOL! I was a big reader from day one, more so than my sister although now she is as big a reader as I am. I have never read Rona Jaffe, but I used to read a lot of Danielle Steele. I may just pick one up some time...we'll see =O)

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

THanks for the comments everyone! I hope you pick one of hers up in the future!

you should see my trunk full of art work and family trees. And this was the mid 80s so all of my magazine cut outs were people with really BIG hair. lol!