Liz & Lisa's Book Club: The Best of Enemies by Jen Lancaster

indexYou guy know how we feel about Jen Lancaster, right? That we have a big fat ol' girlcrush? Then it should be no surprise that her latest release, The Best of Enemies, is our book club pick. And we have a copy for giveaway! Just leave a comment here or on the post on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win. The contest will close on Sunday, August 16th at 6pm PST. The Scoop: Jacqueline Jordan knows conflict. A fearless journalist, she’s spent the past decade embedded in the world’s hot spots, writing about the fall of nations and the rise of despots. But if you were to inquire about who topped Jack’s enemy list, she’d not hesitate to answer: Kitty Carricoe.

Kitty reigns supreme over the world of carpools and minivans. A SAHM, she spends her days caring for her dentist husband and three towheaded children, running the PTA, and hiding vegetables in deceptively delicious packed lunches.

Kitty and Jack haven’t a single thing in common—except for Sarabeth Chandler, their mutual bestie. Sarabeth and Jack can be tomboys with the best of them, while Sarabeth can get her girly-girl on with Kitty. In fact, the three of them were college friends until the notorious incident when Jack accidentally hooked up with Kitty’s boyfriend…

Yet both women drop everything and rush to Sarabeth’s side when they get the call that her fabulously wealthy husband has perished in a suspicious plane crash. To solve the mystery surrounding his death, Jack and Kitty must bury the hatchet and hit the road for a trip that just may bring them together—if it doesn’t kill them first.

Our thoughts: Jen at her best--a clever, insightful story you don't want to miss!

Liz & Lisa's Book Club: The Best of Enemies by Jen Lancaster

thBest title ever. What's the story behind it?

Thanks!  I love a good play on words so I wanted something that would look funny on one of those split-heart friendship necklaces we used to have when we were kids.  Remember those – you’d get one half and your BFF would wear the other?  (I can’t imagine you two in particular didn’t have them.)  I’d actually hoped to have the Best of Enemies quote engraved into little hearts for a giveaway (people could be all, “We hate each other!  Wear this!”) but I am not that organized.

After I came up with this title, an unrelated, and ultimately more cerebral, entity claimed this title.  Now people looking for this book will find a film about the rivalry between William F. Buckely, Jr. and Gore Vidal.  This is similar to when Orange is the New Black came out after Bitter.  But instead of people wondering when I become a lesbian and go to jail, now they’ll be puzzled as to when the mommyblogger starts dissing Nixon.  Argh.

The plot of THE BEST OF ENEMIES is so funny and creative. How did you think of this idea? How do you generally think of your book ideas?

Kitty’s character came to me as I explored the topic of stepping back from social media in my memoir I Regret Nothing.  I used her as an example of what I think is wrong with the advent of lifestyle blogging.  I actually feel sorry for those women so obsessed with presenting a Pinterest-perfect reality that their real lives are going by the wayside.

I needed a foil for Kitty and thought the polar opposite would be a foreign war correspondent who I called Jack.  Then I tied their lives together via a mutual best friend so they couldn’t avoid each other.

My last two novels included magical realism, so I wanted to try something a little more mainstream, with an element of mystery and a good twist.  I’d also never written from two opposing points of view, and I was looking to challenge myself.  Honestly, sometimes the ideas come not from the characters or the plot itself, but from the parameters I’ve set.

Also, I’m far more apt to write a story where the conflict is interpersonal rather than romantic because I would rather invite a camera crew to my next GYN exam than write a sex scene.  Hence, girl fights.  Thus far, friends/family/frenemies have been my wheelhouse.

Fill in the blank with the name of a character from any of your novels: 

I'd most like to have a drink with LISSY RYDER.  (From Here I Go Again; you know that bitch would be hilarious.)

I'd want to set a girlfriend up with BOBBY JORDAN.  (From Best of Enemies.  Cute as a button and smarter than you think.)

I'd most like to be best friends with KITTY CARRICOE.  (I’d like to say Jack Jordan, but she’s just a little too noble for my tastes.)

I'd run the other way if I saw DEVA coming.  (From Here I Go Again and Twisted Sisters.  Her intentions are good.  Her execution, not so much.)

You are a multi-tasker, writing both fiction and non-fiction. How does the writing process differ for each?

Both kinds of writing require the same kind of sit-at-the-desk discipline, but the fiction requires me to spend a lot more time inside my head dreaming up other worlds.  I much prefer writing novels because with the memoirs, I have to spend all my time in my head thinking about my damn self.  Sometimes it’s like a never-ending bar conversation with the most myopic person in the entire universe, so the fiction is always a welcome break.

What's up next for you? 

I have a few other projects in the works that will become more of a priority once summer is over and Poolyball season comes to an end.  Poolyball is a volleyball/water polo hybrid game my husband and I created.  It’s played in the water on a fun noodle, with cocktails and an elaborate scoring system, while listening to 70s yacht rock.  Now, if Poolyball becomes a thing, then I’m just going to turn pro and will likely have to retire from writing.

But just in case the Poolyball thing doesn’t work out, I’m writing a new novel called By the Numbers, working on a travel memoir proposal, and adapting Here I Go Again as a screenplay with my friend Gina.

Thanks, Jen!