Susi Q’s second “Evening with an Author” will feature best-selling novelist Janelle Brown 

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Novelist Janelle Brown will be the next speaker at Susi Q’s “Evening with an Author” series on June 6. Photo courtesy of Janelle Brown

Following the sold-out success of Susi Q’s inaugural “Evening with an Author,” the nonprofit has announced that Janelle Brown, New York Times bestselling author of “Pretty Things, Watch Me Disappear”, “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything,” and most recently “I’ll Be You,” will headline another fun event at the Susi Q Center on Tuesday, June 6.  

A Los Angeles-based writer of both literary fiction and thrillers, Brown is known for her twisty plots, insights into contemporary life, and willingness to plumb the depths of family dysfunction. In other words, book clubs love to discuss her novels.

In her latest, “I’ll Be You,” two identical twin sisters and former child actors have grown apart—until one disappears, and the other is forced to confront the secrets they’ve kept from each other. 

Brown will chat with “Writers on Writing” podcaster and well-known arts columnist Marrie Stone about her latest book and the writing life – along with offering some delicious insider information about life in Hollywood.  

For just $35, the evening includes refreshments, wine, the pleasant company of fellow book lovers and a copy of “I’ll Be You.”  

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with the program beginning at 5:15 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m. with book signings.  

Location: The Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street, Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-715-8105 or visit www.thesusiq.org. 

Susi Q caught up with Janelle to find out more about the book and her life as a writer. 

SQ: I’ll Be You is a fascinating look at the relationship between identical twins whose dreams are anything but identical. Sam and Elli are great characters and their relationship is very believable. How did you approach the challenge of portraying twins? 

JB: I know a few twins and also have friends who have twin children. To understand twin psychology, I did a lot of reading and research – Entwined Lives by Nancy Segal, also documentaries like Three Identical Strangers.  

SQ: You write so authentically about the world of Hollywood. How much research did you do to ensure that your book had the ring of truth? 

JB: I live in Los Angeles and have a husband who directed several independent films, as well as countless friends who work in the industry. So I have a lot of first-hand and second-hand expertise and have spent plenty of time on sets. When I had questions about logistics, I would pick up the phone and call friends who are producers or studio executives to ask how things work! 

SQ: Is there a message that you’d like your readers to pick up on – for example, about the danger of cults – or do you write mostly to entertain? 

JB: I always want my books to be entertaining *and* thought-provoking, and full of ideas that might change the way readers look at the world. This book was less about the danger of cults, per se, than the danger of believing that all the answers to life can be found in an ideology or a person. I wanted the book to be an exploration of belief systems, and how they can go wrong. When does “wellness” and “self-care” and “personal growth” turn into something that’s actually dangerous? How do we use drugs or religion to anesthetize us to the things we don’t want to feel? 

SQ: What single most important tip would you offer new writers? 

JB: Don’t be afraid to write badly. Write, and throw away, and write again. You have to dispose of a lot of words before you find the right ones – so letting yourself write “garbage” is also the best way to help get to the words you will need. 

SQ: Anything else you’d like to share about the challenges and joys of being an author? 

JB: My favorite part of being an author is connecting with readers. It’s a true pleasure to be able to talk to readers and learn what they loved about my books and characters. Social media has made that even easier in recent years, and I feel very fortunate to have such passionate followers! 

The Susi Q offers a wide range of educational and fun programs, classes and clubs for older adults – though all ages are welcome. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safe, informed, and independent. For more information on The Susi Q, the portal to access the best of Laguna’s community resources, visitwww.thesusiq.org. 

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