Nita Brooks on Writing & "Redesigning Happiness"

Author photo of Nita Brooks

We’ve all read the book or seen the movie: boy meets girl, they fall in love, his family doesn’t approve and offers to pay the girl an absurd amount of money to disappear, girl rejects offer and leaves empty-handed and broken-hearted.

But what if she said yes, took the money and left—still broken-hearted but with the financial resources to start over?

Nita Brooks’ debut novel, Redesigning Happiness, explores this possibility; why, she said, should a woman in this situation have to walk away and suffer or struggle?

Writing about rich and glamorous lives, however, was a little tricky, said Brooks. She said she had some hesitation about fully developing the characters without true firsthand knowledge.

“Wouldn’t it be fun,” she laughed, “if my life was that interesting!”

Fortunately, she said, the characters showed her exactly where to go. And she said sometimes that’s the best way—you can only hold onto an idea for so long before you just have to write the manuscript.

It’s excellent advice from the first-time novelist. Brooks said she always loved reading and writing, and she hoped maybe one day it would lead to something. She’s also an avid lover of interior design, which led her to question how, if given the opportunity, would someone redefine/redesign their life and their happiness.

“I knew I had this idea of a story,” she said. “But you can’t do anything about it unless you write it down. You’ll have plenty of time to agonize over it later!”

And she has more stories to tell; she’s already working on her next novel. Life as a new author is exciting, she said, and she’s ready to embrace it.