Occupation: Emily Liebert, Author of You Knew Me When & Mom to Hugo (3) and Jaxsyn (4)
Current Residence: Summers in East Hampton
KDHamptons: How long have you been coming to the Hamptons?
Emily: I’ve been coming to the Hamptons on and off throughout my life—I grew up in NYC so it was part of the fabric of my upbringing. Most recently, my family has been renting a house in East Hampton during the summer, for just about a decade. For me, it’s an escape—a place where I can go to unwind, recharge, and spend quality time with my husband, kids, and immediate family. It’s rare we’re all in the same place at one time.
KDHamptons: How would you describe your perfect Hamptons day in detail?
Emily: Eat, beach, eat, beach, eat. For whatever reason it seems like we plan all activities around our meals! We all love to cook, so it’s a breakfast time discussion who’s preparing what for lunch and dinner and how we’re going to organize that around trips to the beach!
KDHamptons: Please tell us about your recently published debut novel, You Knew Me When…
Emily: You Knew Me When is about best friends who were like sisters to each other. Katherine Hill left her small New England hometown in pursuit of a dream. Now, twelve years later, she’s a high-powered cosmetics executive in Manhattan and a much glossier version of her former self, unrecognizable to her family and old friends. Laney Marten always swore she’d never get “stuck” in Manchester, VT. Instead, she wound up a young wife and a mother. When Katherine receives word of an inheritance from former neighbor Luella Hancock, she reluctantly returns home to the people and places she left behind. Hoping for a second chance, she’s met by an unforgiving Laney, her former best friend. And there’s someone else who’s moved on without her. Someone she once loved. Tethered to their shared inheritance of Luella’s sprawling Victorian mansion, Katherine and Laney are forced to address their longstanding grudges. Through this, they will come to understand that, while life took them in different directions, ultimately the bonds of friendship and sisterhood still bind them together.
KDHamptons: What inspired you to write this book?
Emily: I’ve always been interested in the bonds of female friendship. When I was younger, I had a best friend who dumped me when I met my first serious boyfriend. And I’ve had other friends who’ve either been disappointing or quite the opposite—who’ve stuck by me through the best and worst of times. I wanted to explore this. I also wanted to present two women—one with a husband and child, who was unhappy with her job and the other with a big career, but no family to speak of. It raises the age old question—can women really “have it all”?
KDHamptons: Who is your favorite author and why?
Emily: Judy Blume. Her writing is timeless and there’s no one, in my opinion, who can create such real and poignant characters as she can.
KDHamptons: What is your favorite Hamptons restaurant, got a favorite dish you get every time?
Emily: When we’re in the Hamptons, we rarely ever go out to dinner actually. So I’d have to say my favorite “restaurant” is Citarella, because that’s where we buy all of our food and produce to cook up elaborate meals for family and friends.
KDHamptons: Let’s talk personal style ~ do you have a Hamptons “uniform”? How do you usually dress out East?
Emily: I definitely have a summer uniform. You will always find me in bikinis and sarongs, flip flops, maxi dresses, white t-shirts and shorts.
KDHamptons: Do you have any fall purchases you are already obsessed with?
Emily: Yes. I’m obsessed with the designer Meskita. I’m wearing her dresses to almost all of my events. I also recently purchased a few DVF dresses that I can’t live without!
KDHamptons: Tell us about the fashion & beauty collaborations you curated for the characters in your book?
Emily: There’s a limited edition “You Knew Me When” nail polish collection which was created by Zoya specifically for my novel, with three polishes named after the three main female characters—Katherine Hill, Laney Marten, and Luella Hancock. The red, green, and purple hues are gorgeous for Fall! There’s also a “You Knew Me When” dress collection by Meskita with three dresses named for the women.
And, finally, the jewelry brand Dodo by Pomellato has spectacular 18kt gold charms, each with a special message. I had the unique opportunity to select the charms that best reflect the personalities of my novel’s characters: the butterfly with the message “I love my freedom” for high powered cosmetics executive Katherine Hill; the starfish “Handle with care” for the spirited and ever loyal Laney Marten; and the angelfish whose message “You work miracles” echoes the relentlessly generous but also painstakingly private personality of Luella Hancock.
More about Emily Liebert: In 2009, Emily edited Kerry Kennedy’s New York Times bestseller Being Catholic Now: Prominent Americans Talk About Change in the Church and the Quest for Meaning. The following year, Emily published her first book, Facebook Fairytales. Emily is featured often in the press, by outlets such as: NBC’s Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Anderson, FOX News, NBC’s LXTV, Oprah Radio, Martha Stewart Radio, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, and Celebrity Parents Magazine.