Author, lawyer and adventurer, Jenn Bregman, stopped off in Wales whilst visiting the UK. She stayed in the Brecon Beacons Mountain Range, so I drove out there, from Cardiff, to meet up with her. The year before, Jenn had just completed a reverse summit of the Grand Canyon, after having trekked up the 14,265 foot Quandary Peak in Colorado; she was on a roll to tackle even more hiking. We agreed to walk the summit of Pen y Fan and to chat at the same time. I packed a picnic so that we could stop on route to chat.
The clouds over head looked ominous but we did not let that deter us from ascending the mountain. The refreshing temperature was ideal for the climb over the rocky footpath. As a lawyer, Jenn wears lots of formal suits, so she loves to really mix it up her outfits outside work. She was wearing a red and white handkerchief shirt with her work-horse khaki hiking pants. Her brilliant green jacket matched her multi -pocketed rucksack. There was a copy of her book peeping out of one of the pockets of her rucksack.
Jessie: I haven’t read your book so can you tell me more about it?
Jenn removed a, well worn, copy of her book, ‘The TimeKeepers’. The dramatic cover of a clock set against a background of the City of Los Angeles in muted blues and stark black, couldn’t have screamed “thriller” better.
Jenn: When attorney Sarah Brockman witnesses a random horrific car crash, she is thrust into the darkest shadows of Big Law greed and murder where she must not only confront a cunning and deranged adversary, but her own secret fears, if she is going to win.
Jessie: The book sounds thrilling and complex. Where did you get the ideas for the narrative? Did your research it or do you have experience in this area of life?
Jenn: It is all pulled from my experiences as a lawyer. I worked in Big Law and I wanted to do work that made a difference. Fortunately, I have always worked in firms that had the highest standards of ethics and personal responsibility, but in my practice, I came in contact with others that I could imagine could do things like some of the cunning and deranged antagonists in the book.
Jessie: This kind of suspense legal thriller is very popular. What do the reviewers say?
Jenn removed her mobile phone to search for the reviews.
Publishers Weekly: “Bregman’s legal thriller featuring a plucky solo practitioner fighting for the little guy should appeal to John Grisham fans.”
Ridgely’s Radar: “OMG! Do you want a fast moving, edge of your seat, twisting and turning book that you can’t put down? Well, I have a book for you and . . .this is a MUST READ! I was so scared to turn the page and find out what happened, it was heart pounding suspenseful and I didn’t want it to end. I really hope the author brings back a sequel . . . loved the characters and want to know what happens next!”
White Rhino Report: “The author dials in more than the average ratio of plot twists and surprises. The pace of the action is break-neck, and the characters are colourful enough to be interesting and amusing. I could not wait to find out what would happen next, and found myself rooting strongly for Sarah, and for Sam.”
Jessie: I get the impression that the style of writing is controlled and the tone is edgy. Am I right?
Jenn: The story is character and dialogue driven and the action is break-neck. You don’t catch your breath until the very end when all the pieces come together in a powerful conclusion that makes you wonder what the characters are going to do next.
Jenn: “But that was all it was — a small detail. Neither she nor her lawyer would ever find the money. It was too well hidden. He made a note to transfer last month’s draw to his accounts at Obelisk Holdings. Some details he did care about.”
Jessie: How did you feel when you finished writing your book?
Jenn: Utterly exhausted. I couldn’t even look at it for about two weeks!
Jessie: I think that it is normal to want a break from the book when it’s finished. Who would you like to read your book?
Jenn: I would like young women to read this book and know that they ARE good enough, that they can fight, and that they can WIN!
Jessie: Why should I keep your book in my bag?
Jenn: Once you start, it’s like Lays potato chips – you can’t put it down! I’ve had people tell me they were reading it at stoplights. Not the best idea, to my mind. But if you have it with you, you can read a couple quick pages while waiting in line at the bank, or at the car wash, or on the train!
Jessie: What is the last sentence written in your writer’s notebook?
Jenn: “Move it, now!”
Jessie: What’s the biggest challenge as a writer?
Jenn: Finding, not only enough time, but enough emotional and mental space to write.
Jessie: Do you dedicate your time to writing or do you have to juggle it with another career?
Jenn: I have twin 5 year old boys . . . ’bout sums it up!
Jessie: What is the best advice that you have been given as a writer?
Jenn: Finish the darn book already!
More about Jenn…
I am an explorer and adventurer who does, at least, one scary thing a day. My scariest to date is probably worming my way up to meet John Grisham at Book Expo/Book Con after my book signing in June and giving him a signed copy of my book!
I love animals to a fault, if there is such a thing. I have nurtured lizards, newts, turtles, cats, rescue animals of every persuasion growing up, but then had two rescue pug dogs that I still consider my first set of twins.
I am a horrible cook. My favourite story is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for 20 where I bought most of the side dishes from a local food store. Somehow, I couldn’t get even the side dishes warmed up satisfactorily in time so people were eating mashed potatoes that were cold at one end of the fork and warm at the other! People were so kind, no one said a word until I sat down, started eating and started laughing at myself. It turned into one of our best Thanksgivings ever! I guess the take-away is “be thankful for your gifts and be thankful for the gifts of others!”
Best of luck to Jenn with her debut novel – ‘The TimeKeepers. It is a fast-paced thriller: so, tighten your seatbelt, check your brakes and try not to skip a red light. Prepare to plunge headlong into the depraved underbelly of Big Law and big money where greed is king, murder incidental, and winning is the only thing that matter.