Weisberger will talk about Andy's highly anticipated return during an appearance Thursday at the Festival of Arts, Books and Culture at the Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill. The festival, now in its 24th year, will be moderated by Ellie Krupnick, a Cherry Hill native and senior style editor of the Huffington Post.
Though Weisberger set out to be a writer, she didn't set out to be a novelist. When she was younger, she thought that writing books took "a really long time," and she didn't think she had enough talent. She thought that newspapers and their daily, immediate mentality seemed too stressful. Magazines, published monthly, seemed "just about right."
"I had this very sweet, naive, 22-year-old view of writing opportunities," recalls Weisberger, now 36.
So, Weisberger decided that magazines would be her medium. But first, there was a world to see, and she wanted to get away before she started applying for jobs. The Scranton native, who moved to Allentown when she was in the sixth grade, worked the summer after graduation waiting tables at a restaurant in Allentown, saved her money, and was off to see the world: Europe, Israel, Egypt, India, Nepal, Hong Kong.
Back on American soil, Weisberger applied to a slew of publishing companies, including Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue. She was looking for any kind of editorial assistant position. Vogue just happened to have an opening for a position that she didn't even know was available - as personal assistant to editor Anna Wintour.
Readers and critics alike have speculated about parallels between Weisberger's characters and her life. Andrea "Andy" Sachs is a recent Northwestern University graduate who lands a job as a personal assistant to Miranda Priestly, the intimidating editor-in-chief of Runway fashion magazine. Weisberger's former boss Wintour has a reputation similar to the fictitious Priestly's.
Both Andy and Miranda are fictional characters not directly based on anyone, but are "definitely inspired by my own experiences, no doubt," Weisberger says.
"I did work for a year at Vogue," she says. "It was a crazy place to work."
Weisberger explains that though their careers are different, she drew on her own life for lots of details in the things that Andy says, sees, and experiences.
Writing a sequel was a different experience for her, Weisberger says, because both she, and her readers, already knew the characters - she just needed to help them evolve.
"That was really fun for me, getting to really fill in the blanks for the past 10 years," she says. A lot has happened for Andy, and Weisberger found it exciting to continue the story. She says she thinks Andy has grown up a lot, "in a good way."
"It's been 10 years, and she's just not this wide-eyed, naive, 22-year-old anymore. She's found some career success, she's about to marry the guy of her dreams, and she's so much more aware of herself, which is not to say that Miranda doesn't make the occasional appearance every now and then and torture her," Weisberger says.
Though many readers and critics might be perplexed that Weisberger - after 10 years and three other New York Times best sellers - is finally writing a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, it's all in due course for Weisberger.
"I thought about writing a sequel for a long time now," she says. "I just kind of realized: it's been a decade."
Not only have her characters moved on, but Weisberger has had a lot going on in her own life as well.
"I met a great guy, got married, have two kids now - a lot has happened in 10 years," Weisberger says. "So much happens in your 20s and 30s - it's almost mind-blowing when you think about it."
Rather than go into detail about the last 10 years of her characters' lives in Revenge Wears Prada, Weisberger says she thought it would be interesting to fast-forward over that decade and sum it up in one chapter.
Hesitant to give too much away, Weisberger says that readers can expect a few curveballs throughout the book. "I do think some people will be surprised by the ending in more ways than one," she says.
Weisberger isn't sure whether or not there will be a third novel. "Never say never," she says.
Contact Allie Caren at 215-854-2301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Weisberger: “Revenge Wears Prada”
7:30 p.m. Thursday at Katz JCC, 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill. Admission: Patron $40 (includes VIP reception and autographed book); General $10 (admission credited toward purchase of book). Information: www.katzjcc.org, 856-424-4444, Ext. 1226.