Kim Izzo's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Our guest today: Kim Izzo

Why we love her: Her latest novel is about the original chick lit IT Girl, Jane Austen!

Her latest: The Jane Austen Marriage Manual

The scoop on it: Katherine Shaw—Kate— is happy with her life. She has supportive friends, a glamorous magazine career, and a love of all things Jane Austen. But when she loses her job, her beloved grandmother falls ill and a financial disaster forces a sale on the family home, Kate finds herself facing a crisis that would test even the most stalwart of Austen heroines.

Friends rally round, connecting her to freelance gigs, and presenting her with a birthday gift— title to land in Scotland—that’s about to come in very handy. Turns out that Kate’s first freelance assignment is to test an Austen-inspired theory: in the toughest economic times is a wealthy man the only must-have accessory? What begins as an article turns into an opportunity as Kate—now Lady Kate—jet-sets to Palm Beach, St Moritz and London where, in keeping company with the elite, she meets prospects who make Mr. Darcy look like an amateur. But will rubbing shoulders with men of good fortune ever actually lead her to love? And will Kate be able to choose between Mr. Rich and Mr. Right?

Our thoughts: Whether or not you love Jane Austen, we think you'll dig this book!

Giveaway: FIVE copies! Leave a comment and we'll choose them on Monday May 28th after 6pm PST.

Fun Fact: Kim also co-authored a bestselling etiquette book called The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum.


I loved this idea from the moment it arrived in my inbox. Thank you Lisa and Liz for thinking of me. I really appreciate what you're doing for Chick Lit and women's fiction in general. Read on! 1. Step away from the boy in the rock band! He may be cool, cooler than you (which isn't hard btw), but he's kind of a self-absorbed ass. Instead take a closer look at the geek squad. Not only are they tomorrow's tall, dark and handsome success stories but you actually have something in common with them. And no, not just acne, these boys read and watch real films, not just blockbusters. And they have manners, they want you to like them back so will try harder to be a good boyfriend and they are probably better kissers because they've spent way more time reading about it.

2. Who gives a fig what other people think? So what if you still prefer horses to boys? Boys aren't everything and you'll have a whole lifetime of trying to understand them, so go ahead and spend all weekend and summer holidays mucking out the barn with the other barn girls. Same for wearing your grandmother's perfect 1970s suede and faux fur coat, or her little black dress. Looking quirky or different is actually a good thing and is an expression of who you are. This should have been my mantra as a teenager but  it took years to develop into a life philosophy I can be confident in. Wish I'd believed in it sooner.

3. Do your homework! I coasted through high school, barely studying and giving my homework only a cursory glance. What this taught me was I didn't have to work that hard to achieve things (I got good grades) and I didn't need discipline. Well there's a reason it took my decades to publish a novel! When you want to do anything creative that hasn't a "job" attached to it then you have to make yourself work hard. No one cares if you finish a manuscript or a screenplay or write that song, only you. So it took my a long time to train myself self-discipline.

4. Friends come and go but family is forever. Many times, too many, I would skip family functions or even just quality family time with my mother, grandmother and sisters to hang with friends. This is natural for teens I realize but how many friends from high school are still in my life? Very few! But now that some of my closest family members have passed away I wish I'd spent more time with them.

5. Embrace the six month rule! Kind of like "don't sweat the small stuff" this is a rule my best friend and I came up with and it's in our etiquette book The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum. Basically it means when you're worried or anxious about something that's going on in your life ask yourself how important will the outcome be in six months? A small error at school that means a failed test or trouble with a teacher? It can be made up and will be forgotten in six months! But not studying for your SATs can mean you won't get into the college of your dreams and that affects you long term! This is a useful life philosophy for any age but it's good to get started on it when you're young!

Thanks Kim! xoxo, L&L

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