Choosing to go to grad school can be a daunting decision. Even scarier? Making the choice to throw away a career you spent three years of your life (and who knows how much money) to do what you really love. The risk paid off for Emily Giffin: Since leaving her job as a lawyer, she’s become an author of several best-selling books, one of which was turned into a major motion picture.
Now Giffin is vying for another hit with her new novel, “All We Ever Wanted.”
The “chick lit” author opted out of the usual bookstore meet-and-greet to promote her new book, instead throwing a swanky bash on the rooftop of 880P apartments Wednesday night. Not many book events have rainbow-haired DJs spinning tunes.
“D.C. has become synonymous with the most chill, most fun book party, which you wouldn’t necessarily think on paper,” Giffin said.
To keep the positive vibes flowing, Giffin refused to delve too much into Washington’s favorite topic — politics — but did acknowledge how writing her book during the 2016 election cycle influenced aspects of her story line.
“It was the first time I addressed classism, racism, sexism,” she said. “This fascinating subject of how privilege can morph into entitlement if we’re not careful.”
Inspiration is everywhere, Giffin said, from headlines on the news to what’s happening in her personal life. After the first book she wrote was rejected, Giffin started working on what would become her debut novel, “Something Borrowed.”
“I wanted to write about a woman being at a crossroads and really following your heart and taking these risks,” she said. For her character, that meant pursuing a relationship. For Giffin, it was choosing to move to London and leave behind a career that made her miserable.
The fear of failure often keeps us from going after what we want, Giffin said, but the downside is never as bad as we envision it being.
“And [success] might actually happen,” she said, smiling. “So there’s that.”