Gigi Levangie Grazer’s 5 Do’s and a Do-Over

We first fell for Gigi Levangie Grazer after reading her delicious novel, The Starter Wife. And we were beyond thrilled when it was made into a miniseries starring the fabulous Debra Messing. So when we found out she’d written another book, Queen Takes King, we knew that not only did we want to read it (and we did and we devoured it in both the hardback and the paperback reprint edition) but that we wanted to have her as a guest here at Chick Lit Is Not Dead to be a part of our new series, 5 Do’s and a Do-Over. We knew she’d be just as funny and entertaining in her answers as she is in her writing (and of course she was! -More on that in a minute).

But first, if you haven’t already, you must read all of Levangie Granger’s books, but especially her sassy and hilarious novel, Queen Takes King about Jackson and Cynthia Powers, a high-powered Upper West Side couple feuding over their divorce. The premise: Jacks Power falls for another woman, Lara Sizemore, and wants a divorce so he can marry her, but his wife Cynthia isn’t ready to let him- or his real estate empire- off the hook that easily! Publisher’s Weekly calls it “The War of The Roses fought by The Desperate Housewives of New York” and we couldn’t agree more. Read an excerpt here.

And if you leave a comment here today, you’ll be entered to win one of five copies! We’ll randomly select the winners after 6:00 p.m. EST on Friday, March 4th.

We heart Gigi even more after reading her 5 Do’s and, instead of a Do-Over, her Do-not because they are LOL funny. (And you know we don’t LOL over just anything or anyone!) Check out what she says about having kids (Lisa- who just had a baby- may just all Auntie G to babysit), why you should laugh at everything- including testicular cancer- and why she quotes Kanye West!


Five Things You Most Definitely Should – no, HAVE TO Do:

1. Do follow your dream. Okay, fine. But what IS your dream? Start with this: What did you want to do with your life when you were eight years old? When I was eight, all I was good at, all I wanted to do, was read and make up stories (and act, but that’s a whole other traumatic phase)…it so happens that reading and making up stories still gives me a lift, still makes me excited about my day, still gives me hope. Following your dream is better than a lifetime supply of Xanax. Which is what you’ll need if you don’t stay true to yourself.

Ask your eight-year-old self; mine is a chubby little crybaby, but she had the answer.

2. Do have a baby. Have any baby. Have your own, adopt, become a stepmom. Babies are delicious, they smell good (about 75% of the time), they’re fun to bathe, they’re an excellent conversation starter, and a great excuse not to go places and see people you don’t want to see. You want to be in the “now”, in the “present”? Don’t read the book, have a baby.

If you have the love, have the means, have the good public school system, have a frikkin’ baby, already. (Unless you’re still in high school – in which case, have the baby, then send the baby to Auntie G – that’s me.)

But talk to me before you have three or four babies.

3. Do get married. After my first divorce, I swore I’d never get married again. What happened? I got married again. After my second divorce, I knew never to say never. Ever. Because I know myself. I love being single, but damn it, I love being married. I do divorce so well, that my wasband and I have a great relationship. But here’s the thing – I get more work done when I’m married. I’m more calm when I’m married. More organized. Being single is fun and interesting and you get to meet and flirt with all kinds of men, and basically, you become like a kid in a candy store – which means, you become annoying to everyone, including yourself. If I were married right now, I would be finished with the second draft of my next book, already.

Also, husbands are really nice to snuggle with. But stick to your own.

4. Do learn to cook. I remember coming home from school, and our apartment being filled with the aroma of my dad’s Italian sausage sauce, which had been simmering on the stove for hours. That is pure happiness, my friends. A good home cooked pasta dish can make up for a lot of family grievances.

There’s a lot of benefits to making your own dinner, too – it’s healthier, it’s a lot cheaper than take-out, and there’s nothing that makes a house a home like a home-cooked meal (or if Usher moved in, say.)

Get the best cut of meat you can afford, the best piece of salmon, the plumpest chicken, the freshest vegetables. Pop a few potatoes in the oven for an hour. Always keep olive oil and butter on hand, and that coarse sea salt.

Cooking is not a mystery, but let’s not make it drudgery, either. So, okay, don’t cook every night. Find a few good take-out places (with good coupons).

And by the way, I’ve yet to meet the man who doesn’t appreciate a woman who can cook. If you can roast a chicken, or bake an apple pie, and you have ESPN in HD, you can have your pick of the litter. Wrinkles? Thunder thighs? Who cares? Bake it, and he will come.

5. Do laugh your ass off. Funny people are the best medicine. Surround yourself with them. Feed them, encourage them, berate them, if you must. It may take some cajoling, a little cash, or a couple margaritas. Find people who laugh at your jokes – there’s no one quite as fascinating as the person who finds you fascinating.

Find the funny, even in the most dire of circumstances. When my nephew went in for surgery after we learned he had testicular cancer, it took about ten minutes to start calling him “the Uniballer.” I bought him a new, improved ball for Christmas that year. And of course, we joked about that, too.

Life is too tough not to laugh at it.


“Let’s have a toast to the jerkoffs, that’ll never take work off…” Kanye West, Runaway.

1. Like Kanye says, Do Not pay attention to the assholes. This is what my father, whom I call ‘Gran Torino’ always said: “What people think of you is none of your business.” Live by this rule, and you will be a happier, more productive person.

Don’t waste time, energy, ideas, money, tears, words or lawyers bills on negative people. Even if you are in the right. Men, women, strangers, even close friends – some people just don’t want to see you be happy or succeed. There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like you, who doesn’t approve of your looks, your personality, your sexuality, your very being. Well, this isn’t junior high (unless you live in L.A., where it’s always junior high), so get over it. Let them hate you. And let it make you stronger.

Your continued happiness will befuddle and amaze them.

To read more about the fabulous and talented Gigi Levangie Grazer, check out her website, follow her on Twitter (a recent tweet that made us laugh: I want Charlie Sheen to be my life coach) and become a fan on Facebook.

Thanks, Gigi!


Liz & Lisa





54 Responses to “Gigi Levangie Grazer’s 5 Do’s and a Do-Over”

  1. Alison Fees

    WOW! That is such great advice. I think I can take away a few tips from this and start to use them in my everyday life. Thank you for the good laughs girls. I need them :) <3

  2. Kimmi

    I love her and have read all of her books. She’s sassy and smart.

  3. Jerriann Graff

    This is a new author for me and she sounds awesome. I am going to look for all the books she has written to this date and devour them. She is just to funny so she probably writes fun books.. Looking forward to reading her and sure would love to start my collection of her books by winning one of them..

  4. Melissa Kats

    Unfortunately I have not read any of GiGi Granger’s books! After reading a glimpse of GiGi’s Queen takes King and her 5 do’s and do not’s I have already fallen in love with this Author! As a soon to be college graduate I can use all the advice I can get. thank you GiGi Granger and thank you Chick Lit!

  5. elaura rene

    Gigi just reminded all over again why I adore her novels. Bring on the Queen…and King.

  6. Emilee

    LOVE HER. Loved the Starter Wife- the miniseries AND the book…. she writes great “summer reading books”, perfect for the poolside/beach!

  7. Denise Olshefski

    Count me as another who’d love to win a book! Love this page!

  8. Jeannette P

    Good advice! Would LOVE to win a copy of your book!

  9. Kristin

    Gigi reminds me of those people i would love to surround myself with! Those that can laugh with you, but still be yourself! :) looking foward to reading her new book!

  10. CLP

    I love her!!! I loved The Starter Wife and I can’t wait to read this one. And what a great list of do’s and a don’t!!

  11. Lisa Johnican

    Wow! I think I found a new author to read. If her books are half as good as her “5 Do’s and a Do-Over” then I know they are great. Oh and I beleive I will be borrowing the quote by the ‘Gran Torino’, I love it.

  12. Susan

    OMG! That was awesome!! :) I loved Starter Wife. (the book,the mini series and the show.) Would love to read “Queen Takes King”. Thanks for the contest. :)

  13. Michelle

    How fabulous is Gigi!! I can’t wait to read this book!

  14. Nina

    “The War of The Roses fought by The Desperate Housewives of New York” , wow could there be a book description more up my alley?! It sounds great! And today was a day I definitely needed to be reminded not to pay attention to the assholes, as she suggests in her one Don’t. :) Thanks for cheering me up!!

  15. nina priddy

    Oh, I would love to win this book!! sounds like a winner!!

  16. nina priddy

    ps I love #5 , and I love to laugh, too, doesn’t feel right when I’m not in the mood to laugh out loud!!!!

  17. Elisa Abner-Taschwer

    I love “The Starter Wife” with Debra Messing. Now I need to read her books.

  18. Kimberly

    OMG I LOVED ‘The Starter Wife’ and the show was wonderful, hated to see it go!! Bring on the queen Gigi!!! Thanks for the chance to win, look forward to another great read :)

  19. Jennifer C

    I’ve never read her books, but I want to now! I love the Starter Wife on tv and Maneater on Lifetime! So I know I would love the books! Please include me in the drawing! Thanks so much!

  20. Colleen Turner

    I haven’t read any of her books, but I LOVED the Starter Wife on TV! I was wishing it would become a series but I haven’t seen anymore of it :(. Can’t wait to read the book version of Starter Wife, or this book, as well!

  21. Heidi Milton

    Gosh, darn it, isn’t she the funnest gal EVER!! Is funnest a word? Don’t care– love her. Bet this read is even better than The Starter Wife and I loved that one. Thanks, L & L, for making my day with this one! Hope I win. :)

  22. Pauline Tilbe

    I’m so busy adding to my wish list with these new finds that I’m losing time with my books!

  23. Kat Stover

    Well…now this one sounds GREAT!! (not that all the books ya’ll post here don’t sound great). Hope I win!

  24. Melissa

    Loooove her do’s and do over! Gigi is HYSTERICAL!!! Geeze my list of books for this summer is getting longer and longer… =] Oh well thank god for Kindle!!!

  25. Tiffany S

    Hot dress! I really want it! What man would divorce a woman wearing that dress?? lol. Honestly #5 the laughter one is my life code! I love laughing and it is so good for you. Some of my best memories involve laughter that brings tears… I wouldn’t trade them for anything! Can’t wait to read this book! Loved the starter wife!

  26. Kirsten

    OMG….Gigi Levangie sounds hysterical! I’d love to win a copy of her book!

  27. Nancy Roessner

    There’s a lot of awfully good advice in this interview! Laugh a lot but don’t waste time or energy on negative people are excellent. That last bit I should have learned a long time ago. It’s all good stuff! Ms. Mansell’s father had the right idea, too.

  28. KMcElroy

    I absolutely love her father’s saying, “What people think about you is none of your business.” LOL. Definite words to live by!

  29. Jessica

    love her! She is really funny, definitely going to pick up the book. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  30. Mona Garg

    I really enjoyed her list. She is hilarious and I’m sure her books are a lot of fun. I have never heard the term “wasband.” thanks for introducing me to a new-to-me author. I would love to win her book.

  31. Marianne

    Definitely sounds like a book to add to my TBR pile!! Please enter my name to win a copy!?! Thanks!!

  32. Laura

    I was really sad and frankly surprised when The Starter Wife was cancelled. I had been downloading he episodes I liked it so much. Once my finals are over I’ll be finding a copy of the new book-LOVE the cover. Maybe this time the show will be given a chance to be a a hit! The one was with me!

  33. Laura

    I was really sad and frankly surprised when The Starter Wife was cancelled. I had been downloading he episodes I liked it so much. Once my finals are over I’ll be finding a copy of the new book-LOVE the cover. Maybe this time the show will be given a chance to be a a hit! The last one was with me!

  34. Laura

    I WAS SO BUMMED and frankly a bit surprised when The Starter Wife was canceled. Every week I was downloading the episode and really enjoyed the interplay between the characters. Once my finals are over (Sunday YEAH!) I will be finding an open bookstore (my Border’s closed!) to get a copy of the new book. Maybe this time the networks will give this story a chance to become a hit! I know the last one was with me.

    Looking forward to a great, relaxing, non school read! I only get the luxury of a few each year!

  35. Melissa Kats

    Oh my gosh this just started off my spring break on a GREAT note! I can’t wait to read Queen takes King! Thank you L&L <3

  36. Jane Cook

    I think my baby missed that 75% smells-good mark! Hilarious!

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