Interview with Julie Pennell, Author of The Young Wives Club

Julie Pennell chats with us about her new women’s fiction novel, The Young Wives Club, which just came out on February 14!

Please describe what the story is about.

The Young Wives Club is a book about four young brides who lean on each other through the trials and tribulations of their relationships. It’s a book about friendship, love, family, and self-discovery.

Share a teaser sentence or two from your novel:

From the prologue: “In my little corner of Louisiana, finding your one true love happens sometime around high school. If you’re lucky, he might just be the man you thought he was. But not every girl has luck on her side. . . .”

What do you want people to know about your book?

Even though it revolves around these young women’s relationships, it’s first and foremost a book about female friendship. 

What did you learn about yourself while writing this novel?

That I can go days without going outside when I’m on a deadline…Haha 

What was your timeline from drafting to publication?

I started developing it in spring 2014, writing it in summer 2014, and it’s being published in February 2017. A long three years, but I loved every second of the process!

What is your favorite part of writing (drafting characters, making up scenes, plotting, developing emotional turning points, etc). Why?

I loved developing my characters on paper – they turned into these real people with real emotions and histories, and I wish I could be friends with them in real life.

Briefly, where did the idea for your book come from?

I grew up in Louisiana and knew I wanted that as the setting – there’s no other place to live or love quite like it. I also wanted the story to be about strong female characters and feel like some of the strongest I know were ones who got married young. There’s this idea that you’re not a grownup until you get married but on the other hand if you get married at 19 or even 22, people might say you’re too young. I wanted to explore that idea.

When do you do your best thinking about your work in progress?

All the best ideas seem to happen as I’m falling asleep and then I have to get out of bed and write it down.

Share something people may be surprised to know about you?

I’m a born-and-raised Louisiana girl and the book is all about Louisiana, but I wrote it while living in Oxford, England, for a year while my husband was doing research. It was funny writing scenes about crawfish and pickup trucks while sipping tea and eating scones in a little British café. 

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?

Just do it! Just jump in and write. The first draft might be horrible but at least you’ve got something down.

What’s next?

Working on a draft for a new book – it’s totally different from The Young Wives Club except for the fact that it’s about a strong southern woman.


“In Toulouse, Louisiana, finding your one true love happens sometime around high school. If you’re lucky, he might be the man you thought he was. But as four friends are about to find out, not every girl has luck on her side in this charming debut novel perfect for fans of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Desperate Housewives.”

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