Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Molly Shapiro

It's rare, but occasionally we experience love at first word.  When we pop open a book and fall madly in love with the very first sentence, the narrative so addicting that we're turning the pages as quickly as possible.  We don't quite know how to put our finger why certain books make us swoon, we're just freakin' happy that we found another one that does! The book we're salivating over?  Point, Click, Love by Molly Shapiro.  We LOVED it.  We want you to grab a copy of your own RIGHT NOW.  It's fun and crass yet also thoughtful and insightful. If we actually posted reviews here, we'd give it a gazillion stars!

So OF COURSE we had to crown Molly as our next Lit IT Girl!  Who better to carry on our tradition of wearing the debut author tiara?

Here's the breakdown on Point, Click, Love: Best friends and fellow midwesterners Katie, Annie, Maxine, and Claudia are no strangers to dealing with love and relationships, but with online dating and social networking now in the mix, they all have the feeling they’re not in Kansas anymore. Katie, a divorced mother of two, secretly seeks companionship through the Internet only to discover that the rules of the dating game have drastically changed. Annie, a high-powered East Coast transplant, longs for a baby, yet her online search for a sperm donor is not as easy—or anonymous—as she anticipates. Maxine, a successful artist with a seemingly perfect husband, turns to celebrity gossip sites to distract herself from her less-than-ideal marriage. And Claudia, tired of her husband’s obsession with Facebook, finds herself irresistibly drawn to a handsome co-worker. As these women navigate the new highs and lows of the digital age, they each find that their wrong turns lead surprisingly to the right click and, ultimately, the connection they were seeking.

Sounds great, right?  So leave a damn comment so you can have a chance to have a copy of your own!  We'll choose FIVE winners on Sunday February 26th after 6pm PST. We're crossing our fingers for you!


1. How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? I had been through the whole agent search process before with my first two unpublished novels. (I didn’t have an agent for my book of short stories, Eternal City.) So with Point, Click, Love, I really knew what I was doing and had a good idea about who would be right to represent this book. I drew up a list of my 10 top choices and queried them first. Luckily, one of them decided to take me on.

2. What's a line from your "favorite" rejection letter? My rejections were all fairly cordial and kind. For me, the worst was getting no response at all. The silence was deafening.

3. What was the hardest part about writing your debut novel? Not knowing if anyone was ever going to read it. Because I had written two unpublished novels previously, I knew that the chances that this book would ultimately share the same fate were pretty good. But even though I was realistic about the difficulties of getting published, I had this completely irrational feeling that this time would be different. Writing Point, Click, Love was more fun and I felt more connected to the characters. Deep down, I thought others would feel the same way—and they did!

4. What is the best/worst advice you received while you were trying to break into the book biz? When I was studying creative writing at Columbia, Charles Baxter came to talk to us. He told us that he wrote three novels before getting his first published, and that made a real impression on me. I thought about that when I was unable to get my first two novels published, and it made me realize that sometimes it’s better if everything we write doesn’t make it into print. It also gave me the strength and confidence to keep on trying.

Another guest speaker at Columbia, an editor at a much-celebrated literary magazine, said something that really bothered me. She said that she believed that a really great piece of writing would always be found and published, even if it was sitting at the bottom of a huge slush pile. I know she was trying to be encouraging, but she ended up making me feel like if I didn’t get published, it was simply because I just wasn’t good enough. Personally, I believe that there are tons of great stories and novels out there that will never see the light of day.

5. How did you celebrate your book deal? I was in Seattle with my two kids visiting our very close friends when I found out. So that evening we all hopped into their little speed boat and rode from Lake Washington to Lake Union. We docked at our favorite Japanese restaurant and ate sushi and drank wine overlooking a gorgeous marina, the sun setting in the background. Pretty much perfect.

6. Who is your writer crush? I have lots of favorite writers, but in the chick lit genre, I’d have to say Helen Fielding. I think Bridget Jones’s Diary is the most well-written, funniest, and most entertaining piece of women’s fiction I’ve ever read. I also give her credit for writing a fabulous film adaption. I’ve watched that movie more times than I care to admit.

7. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one book, what would it be? The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. My absolute all-time favorite. Reading it at age 17 was life-changing.

8. What's on your iPod right now? I’ve got a wide variety of stuff on my iPod, from Ella Fitzgerald to Ciara to Glen Hansard to Justin Timberlake. But the best is when my 12-year-old son, Harry, surprises me by putting a new song on there. The other day I was working out and all of a sudden MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” started blaring in my ears. I couldn’t stop smiling as I imagined Harry dancing around the kitchen to it.

9. What's your #1 stress reliever? Definitely going to the gym!

10. Who/what would you place in the center of the Entertainment Weekly bullseye? Jon Stewart. He never fails to crack me up and always manages to stay relevant. As far as I’m concerned, he can be in there every week.

Thanks Molly! xoxo, L&L

To read more about Molly, head on over to her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.