10 QUESTIONS FOR…Chick-lit authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

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Author(s) #3:

About Liz and Lisa    

Liz & Lisa - Chick lit is alive and well!

Liz & Lisa - Chick lit is alive and well!

I'll Have Who She's Having

I'll Have Who She's Having

 

 

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been friends for twenty years since the day Lisa walked into Freshman English class wearing red eyeglasses that made her look like Sally Jessie Rafael’s younger, more stylish sister.  They both attended Cal Poly Pomona University and each graduated with a degree in Communication. Lisa is single and a supervising producer and writer in television. Liz is married with two children and works in pharmaceutical sales.  They both reside in Long Beach, California.

 

1. Tell us about your latest book.

I’ll Have Who She’s Having

What happens when a man comes between one desperately single and one very married sister?

Kate’s been depressed ever since yet another long-term boyfriend unceremoniously dumped her.  When her younger and married sister Kelly convinces her the way to meet a quality man is for the two of them to sign up for a volleyball class, she’s just desperate enough to agree. But Kate becomes so fixated on their coach that she fails to see an unlikely but perfect match right in front of her.

Kelly’s been less than happy for longer than she wants to admit. She’s the one who appears to have it all: the perfect husband, the big house and the beautiful daughter. Despite it all, she feels an emptiness she can’t explain and is conflicted when it’s her volleyball coach who offers an answer.

I’ll Have Who She’s Having follows Kate and Kelly as they battle themselves and each other in their search for a happy ending.  Through a series of hardships and self-doubt, they both realize they were looking for happiness in the wrong places. It’s a novel for anyone who ever secretly let their insecurities get the best of them.

2. How did you get started as writers?

Lisa– I wrote my first book, “There’s a Jungle in My Closet” when I was 8 years old. My mom submitted the ten-page book—handwritten in pencil, illustrated with crayons and bound by staples, to agents. But back then, they all said, “Who would want to read a children’s book that was written by a child?” What? Thirty-five years later, it’s obviously a much different world as 9 year olds are writing books on courting women.

Liz- For me, it was writing in slam books. At least I was eloquent when I trashed the prom queen!

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Liz & Lisa–We both have full-time jobs so the balancing act that goes on rivals Cirque De Soleil. And on top of all the hours we put into our careers, Liz is the mother of two kids under 5 and Lisa constantly travels to Chicago to see her “manfriend” (boyfriend is just too sophmorish) and his two children often.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

Lisa—I’m proud to say that my desk is organized and even fung shu’d. I have that workspace that confuses people. How can I be so neat and tidy while working in a frenetic environment like television production? The fountain, the cool blue walls, the pictures of my family and friends and the tropical vacation spots I long to travel to, surround me.  My workspace keeps me sane–just don’t look too closely at the food stains on the calendar that sits below my keyboard.  The desk that I use for my writing is the tray table on an airplane.  I’d like to say I’ve come up with some of my best ideas at 30,000 feet!

Liz- My desk situation is less than desirable. It’s located in the Grand Central Station section of my home, perfectly positioned between the front door and the French doors that open to the backyard where my two dogs spend most of their time barking at me to let them in. I also share my desk with my husband. So when we’re not fighting over the laptop (For some reason, he doesn’t understand why I don’t find checking fantasy football stats important), it becomes my territory. I put the kids to bed, turn on my IPOD (Nick Lachey is very inspirational these days) and type, hoping to get at least 100 words down before I fall asleep sitting up.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

Lisa—

1. Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir by Stephanie Klein

2. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

3. Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch

4. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

5. Beginner’s Greek by James Collins

Liz—

1. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

2. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells

3. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

4. Me Vs. Me by Sarah Mlynowski

5. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

 

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

Lisa—

1. I’m a Facebook whore. 202 friends strong and growing…

2. I’ve had stitches in my head three times

3.  I’ve had acupuncture two times and think it works.

 

Liz—

1. I really, really wish I could sing. I have secret karaoke dreams.

2. I used to like cats until I had a cat named Merlin who used to pee on my bed. Now I’m a dog person.

3. Turning 35 was way more traumatic than I thought it would be.

 

7. Favorite quotation

Lisa-

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Albert Schweitzer

Liz-

“Play for more than you can afford to
lose and you will learn the game”
–Winston Churchill

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Lisa & Liz–Putting ourselves out there and putting myself out there

9. Advice for other writers?

Put on your boxing gloves and be prepared to fight for what you believe in. You’re going to get knocked down and maybe even knocked out, more than once. But you’ll survive the match if you stay strong and learn how to use criticism (all forms) to your advantage.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.

We have a “slush pile” of our own. Only our stack, several phonebooks thick, is comprised of rejection emails and letters. Some we felt were worthy of our attention because they offered constructive criticism and valuable advice but others, like the one addressed simply to “Mr. Fenton” weren’t worth a second of our precious little time. Obviously, we weren’t about to listen to an agent that couldn’t follow his/her own submission guidelines and at least get the name right! But there was one rejection in particular that we loved to hate. The agent slaughtered our characters, said they reminded her of people she hated in high school and then proceeded to gloat about her rejection of us on her blog. She then went on to write about how excited she was about a new writer she’d agreed to represent that had written a book about a psychic dog.  No joke.

 Where can people buy your book?

 

Our book is available at Amazon.com and through our publisher, www.makdanpublishing.com

www.chicklitisnotdead.com is a blog we started because nothing makes us want to hop up on that soapbox like arguing against the sentiment that chick lit is dead.  As far as we’re concerned, it’s still very much alive and kicking. Like we say on our site, we’re “two girls who believe books with high fashion and happy endings never go out of style!”

We know that there are women, even men, out there that want an new and sassy perspective on a very old but classic story of boy meets single girl and sweeps her off her feet. Everyone loves a story with a happy ending.  

2 responses »

  1. I’m so excited to read this interview, I love chick-lit and I get tired of hearing it’s a dead genre. Right after this comment I’ll be visiting your blog. Really looking forward to reading your book.

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