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Funny You Should Ask
Cover of Funny You Should Ask
Funny You Should Ask
A Novel
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A restless young journalist with big dreams interviews a Hollywood heartthrob—and reunites with him ten years later to discover exactly how he feels about her in this sexy and engrossing novel
“You will absolutely devour this book. It’s filled with delightful banter, hot romance, and a love story that’s worthy of the big screen.”—Kate Spencer, author of In a New York Minute and host of Forever35
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Cosmopolitan, NPR, The Washington Post, Book Riot
Then. Twenty-something writer Chani Horowitz is stuck. While her former MFA classmates are nabbing high-profile book deals, all she does is churn out puff pieces. Then she’s hired to write a profile of movie star Gabe Parker: her number one celebrity crush and the latest James Bond. All Chani wants to do is keep her cool and nail the piece. But what comes next proves to be life changing in ways she never saw coming, as the interview turns into a whirlwind weekend that has the tabloids buzzing—and Chani getting closer to Gabe than she had planned. 
 
Now. Ten years later, after a brutal divorce and a healthy dose of therapy, Chani is back in Los Angeles as a successful writer with the career of her dreams. Except that no matter what new essay collection or online editorial she’s promoting, someone always asks about The Profile. It always comes back to Gabe. So when his PR team requests that they reunite for a second interview, she wants to say no. She wants to pretend that she’s forgotten about the time they spent together. But the truth is that Chani wants to know if those seventy-two hours were as memorable to Gabe as they were to her. And so . . . she says yes.
Alternating between their first meeting and their reunion a decade later, this deliciously irresistible novel will have you hanging on until the last word.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A restless young journalist with big dreams interviews a Hollywood heartthrob—and reunites with him ten years later to discover exactly how he feels about her in this sexy and engrossing novel
“You will absolutely devour this book. It’s filled with delightful banter, hot romance, and a love story that’s worthy of the big screen.”—Kate Spencer, author of In a New York Minute and host of Forever35
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Cosmopolitan, NPR, The Washington Post, Book Riot
Then. Twenty-something writer Chani Horowitz is stuck. While her former MFA classmates are nabbing high-profile book deals, all she does is churn out puff pieces. Then she’s hired to write a profile of movie star Gabe Parker: her number one celebrity crush and the latest James Bond. All Chani wants to do is keep her cool and nail the piece. But what comes next proves to be life changing in ways she never saw coming, as the interview turns into a whirlwind weekend that has the tabloids buzzing—and Chani getting closer to Gabe than she had planned. 
 
Now. Ten years later, after a brutal divorce and a healthy dose of therapy, Chani is back in Los Angeles as a successful writer with the career of her dreams. Except that no matter what new essay collection or online editorial she’s promoting, someone always asks about The Profile. It always comes back to Gabe. So when his PR team requests that they reunite for a second interview, she wants to say no. She wants to pretend that she’s forgotten about the time they spent together. But the truth is that Chani wants to know if those seventy-two hours were as memorable to Gabe as they were to her. And so . . . she says yes.
Alternating between their first meeting and their reunion a decade later, this deliciously irresistible novel will have you hanging on until the last word.
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  • From the cover

    Chapter 1

    I arrived early and damp. The blue cotton blouse that had looked professional and flattering in my apartment mirror was now stuck to my armpits in dark, wet half-moons. Lifting my arms, I blasted the AC in my car, hoping both to dry my shirt and shock the nervousness out of my system.

    I’d interviewed celebrities before.

    I’d even interviewed supernaturally beautiful celebrities before.

    This was different.

    Gabe Parker wasn’t just any celebrity. He was my number one, heart-fluttering, palm-sweating, thigh-clenching celebrity crush. I’d entertained multiple extensive, detailed fantasies about him. I’d done numerous searches for paparazzi pictures of him. Until this morning, a shirtless photo of him had been the lock screen of my phone.

    I had zero chill when it came to Gabe Parker.

    If Jeremy and I were still dating, there’d be a major possibility he would have tried to veto this interview. He knew how I felt about Gabe. When he’d insisted on us declaring our “free pass” celebrities, I’d chosen Gabe. Jeremy had pouted.

    It was ridiculous, of course.

    Gabe would probably be charming and kind and amiable. It wouldn’t be because he liked me, or thought I was interesting, or because we had any sort of deep emotional connection. It would be because it was his job to charm me. And it was my job to be charmed. 

    His management had been very, very clear about the kind of profile they were expecting me to turn in. What they wanted in exchange for the access Broad Sheets was getting to Gabe before he started shooting.

    They wanted a story that would counter the bad press his casting had caused. They wanted a story that would convince the naysayers that he was the best choice for Bond. They wanted me to sell him to America. To the world. 

    I wanted a story that would keep getting me work.

    I blogged and sent short stories to literary magazines like I was tossing rocks into the ocean.

    I’d only gotten one published, and then, just when I was considering that maybe I should give up trying to be a writer, I’d gotten the gig at Broad Sheets. 

    I’d been recommended by a former professor who had once called my writing “mainstream”—as much of an insult as one could get in an esteemed MFA program but apparently exactly what Broad Sheets was looking for. 

    Jeremy called the stuff I was doing “puff pieces,” but we’d still celebrated when I got the job—
    spending a good chunk of my first paycheck on bottomless fries and happy hour beers.

    The editors at Broad Sheets seemed to like my writing—at least, they kept giving me work—and every month I could pay my bills with the money I made off my writing felt like an accomplishment.

    I knew that this interview was an opportunity to show that I could take on more high-profile, better-paying articles. It needed to go well. 

    Even though I’d just checked it five minutes ago, I scanned my bag again to make sure that I had a pen, my notebook with the questions I’d written out last night, and my tape recorder, which had a new set of batteries. I was as prepared as I was going to be.

    My armpits were now cold and wet. I realized, with horror, that I wasn’t one hundred percent sure I’d put deodorant on. I gave myself a sniff, but couldn’t tell.

    It was too late now.

    I glanced in the rearview mirror one last time, grateful that at least my bangs had chosen to be obedient.

    Gabe was staying in a rental house in Laurel Canyon....

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 21, 2022
    Sussman’s thoughtful adult debut (after the YA novel Drawn That Way) explores the connection forged between an insecure Los Angeles writer and a charming movie star. A decade after Chani Horowitz’s profile of Gabe Parker went viral, the two are reunited for another interview. Ten years earlier, Gabe had surprised her by talking about his appreciation of her blog. As Gabe opened up about his insecurities and drinking problem, Chani felt a spark between them, though she wondered if a handsome actor would want to be with her. And, indeed, he then eloped with his model costar, leaving Chani feeling foolish and her fellow MFA grads deriding her “puff piece.” The story flits between past and present, as Chani, now a divorcée, worries her recent success with literary essays is due to attention from that old piece on Gabe and other celebrity profiles rather than the quality of her writing. When she meets a post-rehab, post-scandal Gabe for the interview, they try to sort out their history of mixed messages and complicated feelings. Sussman’s musings about fame, success, and the bonds between people elevate this fun and charming narrative. This has all the makings of a hit. Agent: Elizabeth Bewley, Sterling Lord Literistic.

  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2022

    Sussman's adult debut presents Chani Horowitz, who writes celebrity puff pieces and blogs about her personal life. Chani is most remembered online for a blog psot about her whirlwind weekend with Hollywood hunk Gabe Parker; everyone still wonders what really happened between them. Ten years later, newly divorced Chani is commissioned to interview Gabe. She's never been able to shake her feelings for him, so she hesitantly accepts the job, hoping to find out if there's something more. The story bounces back and forth in time, interspersed with article clippings sharing gossip about the protagonists. Listeners will appreciate this modern look at celebrity life under the public eye, with easy-to-love characters who have ordinary flaws. Narrator Kristen Sieh delivers incredible wit and chemistry between Chani and Gabe, which keeps the story upbeat. VERDICT Any suckers for second-chance romances will enjoy.--Lacey Webster

    Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Funny You Should Ask
Funny You Should Ask
A Novel
Elissa Sussman
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