Welcome to another Hachette Group Early Birds Tour for Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton.
What happens when a cautious, anxious New Yorker, Peggy Adams, spends time in Las Vegas for a friend’s last hoorah and sends caution to the wind, gets drunk, and meets a stranger? A quickie wedding and a huge hangover, followed by a deal of a lifetime for herself and her new husband, Luke Sedgwick.
“It took multiple tries to work through this last piece of information. Man. A man. A man in bed. In her bed. No, on her bed. He lay on his back on top of the coverlet, in a rumpled shirt and a diagonally striped tie, in slacks, socks, and burnished dress shoes that looked as if they’d been polished and repolished for the past twenty years.” (Page 5)
Luke is a WASP and the last of the old world Sedgwicks of Connecticut, and the last hope for an heir to the not-so-large family fortune. Luke is a writer. . . a struggling poet, with an on-again, off-again girlfriend, Nicole, that his great-aunt, Abigail, despises. Peggy is mistaken by Abigail for the relative of an old Connecticut family, though hers is from out west, and she scrambles to please her new family, while keeping her live-in boyfriend, Brock, who is afraid to commit, in the dark about her marriage.
“‘A promise ring?’ Bex yelled. The string of bells on the shop door jingled as it shut behind her. ‘Brock gave you a promise ring? What is this, seventh grade?'” (Page 17)
Lipton has a gift for chicklit/women’s fiction that is witty, fun, and vivacious. Both of these characters are anxious to break free from their current lives, but unable to make the move. Mating Rituals of the North American WASP will keep readers turning pages and will make the summer fly by. Lipton’s prose paints a clear picture of small-town Connecticut and its unique characters and sets the stage for a comedic plot steeped in romance, drama, and much more.
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Here’s my interview with Lauren Lipton:
1. How hard was it to transition from writing journalistic stories to writing novels? What has journalism taught you about writing novels?
Writing a news feature has more in common with writing a novel than I’d expected. For both, you need an arresting first sentence (or first paragraph, or first chapter). You need a structure that leads readers through the story, and you need strong characters (or sources in journalism). The plus of writing a novel is that you can invent all the facts!
Working as a journalist gave me research skills for which I’m deeply grateful, and got me used to writing every day, whether I feel like it or not, in any environment. I could write sitting on the floor of the Port Authority Bus Terminal if I had to. (Though, yuck.)
2. Some writers extensively research their charcters or settings, do you spend a lot of time researching or so you simply let your imagination flow?
I let my imagination flow. Unfortunately, it always flows into areas I know nothing about. I’ll think, “I simply must set a scene at the annual Yale-Harvard football game!” -despite never having been to a Yale-Harvard game. This happened over and over while I was writing Mating Rituals of the North American WASP. I researched everything from how to apply roofing tar to the medical treatment of a stroke to the way to decant old port. And I found a Yale alum friend who took me to The Game.
3. Do you have any obsessions you would like to share?
My only current obsession is with getting some sleep. The time just before a book’s publication is nerve-wracking. I keep waking up worrying, “What if it’s a flop?”
4. In terms of marketing, what have been the most successful modes of marketing for you and your books? How would you describe your relationship with the blogging community?
When my first novel, It’s About Your Husband, came out in 2006, I had no idea how important the Internet was in getting the word out. I quickly learned how influential sites such as Goodreads, in which readers recommend books by word-of-mouth, are. And even in the two years since then, the influence of book bloggers like you has grown geometrically. As far as my relationship with the blogging community:
I don’t know how you all feel about me, but I would like to give you ladies a big hug.
5. What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received and how did it help you?
An editor at the Wall Street Journal once told me I overwrote–that is, I used 10 words when one would do and tried too hard to be clever. He was right. After that, I toned myself down.
6. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what were your top 5 songs while writing Mating Rituals?
Oddly enough, I might be able to write in the middle of the Port Authority, but music and TV distract me.
7. Are you working anything currently and could you share some tidbits about your latest project?
I’m just starting a third novel that’s more ambitious (and hopefully more serious) than the first two. It’s a retelling of a century-old novel-of-manners set in modern-day New York. It’s daunting, but I’m looking forward to diving in.
I want to thank Lauren for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions, check out the giveaway below.
About the Author:
Lauren Lipton is the author of two novels, It’s About Your Husband (2006) and Mating Rituals of the North American WASP (2009). She is also a freelance journalist who specializes in style, business and trend stories.
She is currently fashion, beauty and lifestyle editor at ForbesWoman magazine. She has also contributed features on society and media to the New York Times Sunday Styles section. A former Wall Street Journal staff writer, she reported on copycat brides who steal their friends’ wedding ideas, pajama parties for grown women, and luxury homes with his-and-hers garages.
Born in Providence, R.I., Lauren grew up in the North County of San Diego and in Los Gatos, Calif., before moving to Los Angeles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and anthropology from Occidental College and a master’s degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California. Check out her Website, her blog and her Facebook Fan Page.
Hachette Group is offering 3 copies of Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton for U.S. and Canadian readers of Savvy Verse & Wit.
1. To enter leave a comment on this post about the review or the interview.
2. For a second entry, let me know if you follow the blog in Google Reader, Bloglines, Rss, etc.
3. For a third entry, blog or Twitter about this giveaway and leave me a link here.
Deadline is June 3, 2009 at 11:59 PM EST
2 copies of The Wonder Singer by George Rabasa, here; Deadline is May 30, 2009, 11:59 PM EST
GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW CLOSED!
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