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Jericho scribe captures HBO’s eye

Jericho's Ellen Meister is waiting to see if

Jericho's Ellen Meister is waiting to see if her third novel, "The Other Life," will become an HBO series. (March 3, 2011) Credit: Handout

A Jericho author has taken her third swing at fame, and she may have hit a home run.

Ellen Meister’s “The Other Life” hit shelves on Feb. 17, and HBO has already optioned the book for possible TV series development. It’s her third book, and she said it was a change in style for her.

“It’s definitely darker, definitely deeper,” she said, noting the differences after penning 2006’s “Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA” and  “The Smart One” in 2008.  “The other two were much more humorous.”

The book’s main character, Quinn Braverman, is a Long Islander living in the suburbs with her husband and son. Braverman’s basement is a portal to a world in which she has made opposite decisions from the life she lives. Her other life is much more glamorous, as she is still seeing her shock-jock ex-boyfriend -- and her mother never committed suicide -- but her husband and son don’t exist. Braverman enjoys spending time in both worlds, but every time she jumps through the portal it gets a little bit smaller. Eventually she has to decide which life she wants to live in.

“It’s pretty exciting from the get-go,” Meister said.

Her latest book came to her one day when she was thinking about her life as a novelist.

“I was thinking about how I get to escape into this world of fiction every day when I’m alone in the house,” she said. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a mother really could escape?’”

The option for the HBO series will be in effect for the next year. Even if a TV adaptation does “make her career,” as she hopes it will, Meister said she has no interest in leaving Long Island.

‘The Other Life’ is available on in both print and digital formats. To learn more about Meister, visit her website at

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