June 2013


Jo Piazza is the executive news director of In Touch Weekly and Life & Style Weekly. Her journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Glamour, New York magazine, and the Huffington Post. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia School of Journalism, she is also the author of Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money. Love Rehab is her first novel. She lives in Manhattan with her giant dog. (Interview by Angela Smith)

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  1. 1. Tell us about your debut novel Love Rehab.

    It's a novel in twelve steps. Seriously. I think it might be the best beach read out this summer, but I am biased. It tells the story of Sophie, who isn't dealing with her break-up well. She is Facebook stalking, sending drunken text messages and just behaving badly. We've all been there. But after her best friend drags her to a court-ordered Alcoholics Anonymous meeting something clicks in Sophie's brain. She realizes if she starts a Love Addicts Anonymous group for women then they might just have a chance at healing their collective crazy. She starts it, the ladies come and hilarity and romance inevitably ensue.

  2. 2. What was your inspiration for the story?

    It is just so universal. I was a neurotic dater in my twenties. All of my friends were neurotic daters in their twenties. I just had so many laugh-out-loud stories about all of our collective crazy behavior I had to put it all in one place.

  3. 3. Did you have any personal experiences that influenced the story?

    Someone I know did indeed put their ex-boyfriend's penis on Facebook after they broke up, but I am not going to name names. I personally once cut my own bangs for no good reason, but I blame a bottle of tequila and watching Sweet Home Alabama while intoxicated.

  4. 4. Have you always wanted to write a novel?

    No I haven't! I have been a reporter for about half my life now (I obviously started very, very young) and I never thought I would dabble in fiction. The thing with this story is that I started writing it and then it just kind of kept writing itself. I fell in love with the characters and they took on a life of their own.

  5. 5. What was the hardest part of the writing process?

    The hardest part about writing was actually stopping writing. I wanted to do it all the time but with my day job I couldn't.

  6. 6. So how did you juggle your day job with writing?

    Since working on my first book, I have made myself write 1000 words a day, every single day. Sometimes they are crap and sometimes I get a stroke of brilliance. At the end of the day it is all about making it a habit.

  7. 7. As the news director of Life and Style and In Touch you're always around celebrity news. What was your favourite story to cover? Your least favourite?

    I like any story that involves intensely good reporting and my team is amazing. Our reporter Jessica Finn has been killing it on the Amanda Bynes story recently. With celebrity news I think it is important for the consumer of celebrity to see who celebrities really are and it is our job to show them the good, the bad and the ugly.

  8. 8. Who is your favorite celebrity?

    Meryl Streep. I'm obsessed with every movie she has ever done and she once signed a note for my mom.

  9. 9. If you could choose a cast of characters for the movie version of your novel, who would they be?

    I don't know if I can talk about it because we are actually talking to some folks about turning the book into a television series right now and I don't want to jinx it!

  10. 10. What did you do to deal with writer’s block?

    I read. I find that reading other fiction helps jar me out of writer's block. I also get the hell away from my computer. Nothing makes you want to write less than staring at a blank screen. I get my best ideas when I am driving in my car, windows down, listening to country music.

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