Friday, July 20, 2012

Chick Lit According to Jersey

Have you ever seen the show Jerseylicious? It is like watching Snooki X 10. Just think: All Snooki, all the time. What really struck me on the show was how difficult it was to tell each character apart from one another. Really, they all looked so similar. The brunettes all looked like little Snooki’s or tall J-Wows and the blondes looked like little mini-Barbie dolls (of course with extra teased up hair dos and stuck in the 90s style; I think I even saw a scrunchie on one of the girls’ wrists!) Full of drama, cat fighting, glammed up hair and makeup, photo shoots complete with hair pulling (I mean extension pulling) and bad clothes proved to be just enough to keep me glued to my seat for 3 and a half episodes (If I hadn’t fallen asleep on the couch, I’d probably have made it to through to 4 full episode). My favorite characters were Michelle and Tracy.  Michelle, although not given that much air time in the episodes I saw, seemed like a character straight from a chick lit novel, full of all the perky optimism, beautiful looks and a hint of ditz; but don’t let that ditz fool you, she’s actually a pretty smart cookie. Who doesn’t like a good giggle? Tracy, a brunette with a fierce ‘tude, made it known to ‘Licious rival, Olivia, not to be tardy to her “party”. The two had a major blowout (and I’m not talking a teased up-do) on the front lawn of a few clients who they’d just left the home of after styling before a birthday party in Atlantic City. I was in awe not so much at the verbal beat down that took place, but shocked by the fact that this was all done 20 feet away from their clients! I’m sure I’ll be tuning in again, soon…
After watching my own little marathon of the salon styling girls on Jerseylicious, it got me thinking about Snooki and her own adventures in chick lit. Remember her book released in 2011, It’s a Shore Thing? I’m curious – has anyone read Snooki’s (aka Nicole Polozzi’s) book? I won’t be surprised to see a re-release or a sequel on the horizon now that there’s a mini-Snooki on the way.
It may  not have been a NY Times Bestseller, but one thing I admire about Snooki, though is she’s always true to herself. Love her or hate her, she hasn’t changed (or apologized for that matter for) who she is. Take it or leave it. Nicole “Snooki” Pollozzi is a Jersey girl through and through. To give you a taste of what I mean, here is a quote I found on the Huffington Post from her cult-novel, It’s a Shore Thing: "Gia danced around a little, shaking her peaches for show. She shook it hard. Too hard. In the middle of a shimmy, her stomach cramped. A fart slipped out. A loud one. And stinky."
There you have it. Chick Lit by Snooki. What’s your take on Jersey’s version of chick lit? Are you going to read it or have you? I want to hear all yoru thoughts?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Star Guest Post: Wendy Wax, Author of Ocean Beach

I am so delighted to share with everyone a Guest Post from one of my favorite chick lit authors, Wendy Wax. The first novel I read by her was Ten Beach Road, which turned out to be more than just a fun beach read for me. It delved into the lives of threewomen and eventually intertwined their stories after being brought together by the same financial destruction that led them to a shared ownership in a Florida mansion hat proved to be more than just a fixer-upper. I am more than excited to read her follow up to this fabulous novel of friendship and triumph in the sequel Ocean Beach. I have always felt like Wendy Wax has a way with characters and making the reader feel like a part of their lives. The second novel I read by Wendy Wax was The Accidental Bestseller, and she once again, proved to have me tied up in the lives of another group of intriguing women, turning page by page, anxiously awaiting to read how their lives unfold.

When I was approached to post an article about Wendy Wax and how she delves into the writing process to bring her characters and stories to life, I of course, jumped at the opportunity and am thrilled to share it with all of you! Happy reading (and writing!)

Why I Write What I Write
by Wendy Wax

Last week, my new book OCEAN BEACH hit the shelves in bookstores across the country and of course in all the usual online spots.  As always, when a new book comes out, I spent the week doing launch parties and signings at some really great bookstores.

Celebrating a new release is always a fun part of the process for me, because I get to step away from my computer and meet all kinds of people who have one thing in common.  They love to read and they love books.   So right off the bat, we have something in common!  But these readers (most of whom are women) often challenge me.  They ask me what kind of books I write and why I write them.  They ask me what inspires me and where my ideas come from.  And the answer in many ways is them. 

I write books for and about women.  I do this because I’m fascinated by women’s strength. By how much we can handle and how long we can carry incredibly heavy loads. My female friends and family members lift me up and keep me going when the going gets rough, and I try to do the same for them.

In my experience, women are almost always stronger than they know and more needed and more loved than they will ever realize.  The women who come to the bookstores to chat with me certainly are. They come in with their book clubs, or with a girlfriend or two, or with their mothers or their sisters and they often share their stories with me.  I think women are the glue that holds even the most fragile things together.

Whether a group of women are related or longtime friends or meet in a time of crisis like Maddie, Nicole and Avery (who first meet when their lives are torn apart by a Bernie Madoff style Ponzi scheme in TEN BEACH ROAD), they strive to be there for each other, and they rise to the occasion.  In OCEAN BEACH, Maddie and her daughter Kyra, Avery and her mother Deirdre, and former matchmaker Nicole head to Miami’s South Beach ready to shoot the first episode of what’s supposed to be a home renovation show called Do Over.  But when they arrive at the historic Art Deco Streamline home they’re supposed to work on, they discover that the network has shifted its focus. Do Over is now a reality show and the cameras are aimed at them.  

Most reality stars seem to want nothing more than to be in the spotlight 24/7, but I found myself wondering what it would feel like to be under that kind of scrutiny if it was the last thing you wanted. The spotlight can expose all kinds of chinks in your armor and cracks in your foundation. In OCEAN BEACH the spotlight’s glare forces Maddie, Nicole, Avery, Deirdre and Kyra to stick together as a group and to support each other fiercely even as each woman deals with current and former loves, career struggles, and figuring out who they are and what they’re made of while they’re lives are shaken, stirred and served up over ice to a thirsty public.

While I know most of us won’t end up on a reality show—I certainly hope I don’t-- I do know that we often find ourselves getting by with a little help from our friends.  That’s why I write about women and their struggles and triumphs again and again.  And it’s why I knew that I had to come back to the women of TEN BEACH ROAD and continue their journey in OCEAN BEACH.  

I hope you all get a chance to go to the beach this summer with a couple of your girlfriends and a book or two of mine in your beach bag. But sand and surf aren’t required. Just put your feet up, mix yourself a cocktail and break open a bag of Cheez Doodles (Avery’s snack of choice) and settle in for a ‘virtual’ beach break as the women of TEN BEACH ROAD and OCEAN BEACH discover the women they were meant to be.


**Thank you to JOAN SCHULHAFER PUBLISHING & MEDIA CONSULTING for providing me with this Guest Post from Wendy Wax.**