December 2007


Jo Barrett quit her job as a lawyer to write a novel - the very successful The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom. Born in Okinawa, Japan, raised in Texas and now living in New York, Jo's latest novel about revenge is out in January.

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  1. Tell us about your new book, This is How it Happened.

    I wanted to write a story about a bright and successful woman who 'gets taken' by a bad boyfriend. I think most women can relate to having a bad ex in their past. And besides, who said that a little revenge-therapy was a bad thing? This is How it Happened is the story of a woman who hires a hitman and then educates him in the fine art of female subtle revenge. As women, we don't need broken bones and bloody noses. We prefer our revenge to be more 'mental' rather than physical. There's no need to harm a man physically when you can play with his mind, right? This is How it Happened is really a novel for every woman who moans at the thought of Valentine's Day approaching. And for every woman who wanted to take revenge but didn't know quite how.

  2. 2. What is it about your character Maddy that will appeal to readers?

    Maddy is a bright, successful woman - not a pushover. And yet, she falls in love with a man who is sexy, attractive, and good in bed. I think many women can relate to being blinded by a beautiful man's sun. And it not resulting in the fairy-tale ending that they expected.

  3. How did you get into writing?

    I love to write down exactly what I see, hear and witness. It's so easy to write about women when you surround yourself with colourful female friends. The stories tend to write themselves, actually.

  4. What was the inspiration behind The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom?

    The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom, which I'm proud to say was optioned by CBS/Paramount Pictures with Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman's production company attached, was inspired by all of those late-night women's bathroom conversations which I've had where women treat the bathroom as a sanctuary and secret confessional. Think about it: our women's bathroom experience is unique! Men don't have this. We should be proud of our female bathroom culture.

  5. What is the funniest bathroom story you heard while doing your research?

    Two women talking about the man they were both dating - and it turned out to be the same guy! They were both in shock to say the least!

  6. Did the success of the book surprise you?

    I'm excited for this next novel: This is How It Happened. It's a better book.

  7. What's your third book about?

    This is How It Happened is making me think I should write a novel of female revenge stories. There are a lot of good ones out there. If anyone has a particularly funny story, please email me at:

  8. What are you working on now?

    Losing excess holiday weight!

  9. What's your favourite chick lit book?

    Impossible question. Too many good books in the genre. I think the original chick lit book is Pride and Prejudice, of course!

  10. What does chick lit mean to you?

    This word has become a bad word in the book business. I prefer "female contemporary fiction".

  11. What book do you wish you had written?

    The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter, of course!

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