Q&A With Lauren Mechling & Rachel Dodes Wortman

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Q&A With Lauren Mechling & Rachel Dodes Wortman

This week I have the opportunity & honor of doing this Q&A with authors Lauren Mechling & Rachel Dodes Wortman. These two lovely ladies wrote the novel The Memo. Lauren is also senior editor at the Gaurdian. Rachel is a regular contributor to Vanity Fair, & her work has appeared in Buzzfeed, Town & Country, Elle, Esquire, The New York Times, & The Wallstreet Journal.

Q: Lauren & Rachel, would you both please give a brief description of The Memo? 


A: Lauren: The Memo is a Sliding Doors-esque story that details the intricacies of two best friends navigating the ups and downs of their careers and personal lives. It’s got humor, heart, and a touch of mystery–and feminism folded in.


Rachel: At its core, The Memo is about the power of female friendship and how it can be a source of strength and resilience. It’s also about the modern world and how women struggle to maneuver through it with grace and grit.


Q: How did the two of you come up with the idea for The Memo? 


A: Lauren: The initial spark came when I was dreading showing up for my college reunion. I felt like I didn’t get the memo, and I had little to show for myself. I told Rachel and we started building a world around the concept. 


Rachel: We both had so many stories from our personal experiences and from friends that we felt were untold. We wanted to bring those narratives to life in a way that felt real and relatable.


Q: Lauren & Rachel, how long did it take the two of you to write The Memo and what was the writing process like? Did Rachel write one chapter & Lauren write another one? 


A: Lauren: Our writing process was very collaborative; we brainstormed and outlined the entire book together, then took daily turns on a Google doc. 


Rachel: We also had many early-morning and late-night chats to go over the novel in progress, and we edited each other’s revisions to ensure that the narrative flowed seamlessly. Our complementary writing styles and mutual respect for each other’s ideas really made it a smooth collaboration.


Q: How did the two of you meet? 

A: Lauren: We initially met when we were both young reporters at The Wall Street Journal.


Rachel: We reconnected when Lauren’s novel How Could She came out, and I had her on my podcast. We both made each other laugh a lot.


Q: What lessons do you hope readers learn after reading The Memo? 

A: Lauren: I hope readers come away with an appreciation for the strength and complexity of female friendships. 


Rachel: It’s also a reminder that navigating the modern world as a woman comes with unique challenges, but it’s possible to overcome them with integrity, authenticity and support. 


Q: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to write another book with someone else, whether it’s a family member, friend, or a spouse? 

A: Lauren: Communication is key. Make sure you’re both on the same page in terms of vision and sensibility. It’s important to respect each other’s creative strengths and find a balance in your writing styles. 


Rachel: There will be disagreements and different viewpoints, but if you approach the process with an open mind and a collaborative spirit, it can be incredibly rewarding.