I started writing back in the 60s with my first book, MY HUSBAND THE DOCTOR, chronicling the funny side of being married to an ob-gyn (I'll leave that up to your imagination). Next came THE BROADBELTERS, my racy novel about the soft porn book biz, which film critic Judith Crist called "the funny lady novelist's ultimate dirty book or the dirty lady novelist's ultimate funny book."
After my marriage broke up and I founded a hotline for women in similar circumstances called Wives Self Help, my book based on the first 2,000 calls to the hotline, YOUR MARRIAGE, was published. Excerpts of the book were printed in Woman's Day and I became a contributing editor with the magazine and the host of my own daily radio show on the CBS station in Philadelphia, my home town.
In 1982, Clarkson Potter published my book LIMITS: A SEARCH FOR NEW VALUES, a study of the cultural effects of the sexual revolution, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
When I found and married the man of my dreams after six years in the singles world, which I likened to a tour of duty in Viet Nam, I told other women how to do the same in my book, EVERY WOMAN CAN BE ADORED. My reputation as a relationship guru and self-help advocate for women led to six appearances on Oprah and on national and local TV and radio shows around the country.
In 1985, my younger daughter Rona, a beautiful, gifted, award-winning journalist, was seriously brain-injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Her courageous battle to reestablish her life after this tragedy and hundreds of stories of other people who came back from losses large and small inspired my book WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER, published by Perseus in 2002. That book was published abroad in the United Kingdom, Spain, Taiwan, Korea, and Lebanon, and is available on Amazon in paperback (Da Capo) and in Kindle.
After retiring to Fort Lauderdale (or so I thought) with my husband, I became bored and wanted to find a collaborator for a mystery book I had in mind. A friend suggested Craig's List, where I came across an ad by a New York screenwriter looking for an established woman writer to develop an idea for a romantic spy novel featuring the young Jackie Kennedy, then Jacqueline Bouvier, as an unofficial CIA agent in Paris in 1951. The idea was inspired by an authentic letter written by 21-year-old Jackie stating that the CIA had offered her a job and she was going to take it. Teaming up under the pen name Maxine Kenneth, we wrote PARIS TO DIE FOR, which Grand Central bought in a two-book deal for a continuing Jackie spy series, with publication in 2011 on July 28, Jackie's birthday. We're thrilled that a mystery writer of Rita Mae Brown's stature has called the book "great fun!" The pub date for the Havana-based sequel, SPY IN A LITTLE BLACK DRESS, is October 2, 2012.