Best debut novel of 2012

Lit IT Girl: Debut author Allie Kingsley

Today's guest: Allie Kingsley Why we love her: We love discovering fabulous new authors!

Her debut: The Liar, The Bitch and The Wardrobe

The scoop on it: If you’re going to step on people on your way to the top, you might as well do it in stilettos . . .

. . . Or so she’s been told. Lucy Butler, former wallflower, lands her dream job working for her idol, world-famous fashion photographer Stefano Lepres. But in a world where getting doused in coffee for not getting the order right is the new normal, she isn’t getting any closer to her ideal of being behind the camera herself.
Then a superstar actress generously takes Lucy under her wing and teaches her the ways of the rich and famous—treating her to racks of designer clothes and introducing her to a life of private planes and penthouse suites. Soon Lucy is dating a rock star, attending the hottest Hollywood parties, and dressing the part.
Lost in the luxury, she loses sight of the things that once mattered most. It’s going to take a hard blow from the high life to send Lucy back to the real life she always wanted.
Our thoughts on it: LOVED this book loosely based on Allie's own real-life experiences in Hollywood. So juicy! You will love it too!

Giveaway: FIVE COPIES. Leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll select the winners after 3PM PST on Monday, September 10th.

Fun fact: Allie's book is the first ever where the characters have been professionally styled.

Where you can read more about Allie: Twitter, Hello Giggles and Facebook.


1. How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? I was days away from signing with the second agent that I queried not because I felt he was 'the one' but because he was very good on paper and well known in publishing. Then, I happened to have met my agent by chance through an acquaintance. She is also very good at what she does but furthermore, we had a connection and our faith in each other was instinctive and mutual from the start. Things got a little dramatic when I made the (right) choice to go with my (awesome) agent. It was very much like The Notebook. Except it was all done sans pin curls. And via e-mail.

2. What's a line from your "favorite" rejection letter? I know that it's not the type of rejection letter that you're referring to, but my favorite line comes from my Mother. She begged of me last year, "Please don't count on this book-thing happening. Please get a real job..." When she said it, once the sting subsided, it was as if she threw a can of kerosene onto my little bonfire. It was the obvious choice to quote her on my dedication page.

3. What was the hardest part about writing your debut novel?  Being a starving artist at thirty is not a good look. In order to give the novel my full attention, I made it my full-time job which made me my own full-time unpaid intern. I made so many sacrifices to keep it moving, ie; sold my coveted black patent peep-toe Louboutins on ebay to cover bills (moment of silence), slept on my friends couches for weeks at a time - countless times - to sublet my apartment, at one point lived on a $5 a day budget in one of the most expensive cities in the world - all while watching my friends excel at their jobs and missing out while they got to do lavish, exciting things. The hardest part about it was not knowing for certain whether it would pay off in the end or not. Everyone in my life thought that I was insane taking the risk. And you know what? It was totally worth it.

4. What is the best/worst advice you received while you were trying to break into the book biz? The best advice came from my best friend. She said to me on a regular basis: "Keep your head down", meaning don't look behind you and don't look ten steps ahead either - focus on right where you are in that moment and address what needs to be done today to get you to tomorrow. To this day, I remind myself daily to 'keep my head down' because all of the excitement ahead can feel very overwhelming, daunting even and the best and only thing one can do is to remain present.

5. How did you celebrate your book deal? Lots of champagne. Jumped into a pool fully clothed. Got a Penguin tattoo on my forearm. In that order... I think.

6. Who is your writer crush? Hank Moody.

7. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one book, what would it be? How to Build A Sailboat Out of Desert Island Material For Dummies

8. What's on your iPod right now? The Doors, Britney Spears, Rolling Stones, Fiona Apple, White Stripes, Jay-Z.  I'm a fan of the random shuffle.

9. What's your #1 stress reliever? The best way I know how to quiet my mind chatter is to plug into a loud playlist and walk around aimlessly, whether along the beach or about the streets of NYC. Well that and black tar heroin.

10. Who/what would you place in the center of the Entertainment Weekly bullseye? My book. And Jesus.

Thanks, Allie! xoxo,

Liz & Lisa

Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Mia March

Today's IT girl: Mia March Why we love her:  Beyond the fabulous writing, she quotes Bridget Jones and curses (see her interview below).

Her debut: The Meryl Streep Movie Club

The scoop: Two sisters and the cousin they grew up with after a tragedy are summoned home to their family matriarch's inn on the coast of Maine for a shocking announcement. Suddenly, Isabel, June, and Kat are sharing the attic bedroom--and barely speaking. But when innkeeper Lolly asks them to join her and the guests in the parlor for weekly Movie Night--it's Meryl Streep month--they find themselves sharing secrets, talking long into the night--and questioning everything they thought they knew about life, love, and one another.

Each woman sees her complicated life reflected through the magic of cinema: Isabel's husband is having an affair, and an old pact may keep her from what she wants most . . . June has promised her seven-year-old son that she'll somehow find his father, who he's never known . . . and Kat is ambivalent about accepting her lifelong best friend's marriage proposal. Through everything, Lolly has always been there for them, and now Isabel, June, Kat--and Meryl--must be there for her. Finding themselves. Finding each other. Finding a happy ending.

Our thoughts: For the record, we bone out on Meryl too. Plus, we love the title, the cover and the story. The perfect book trifecta!

Fun fact: Mia's working on her next novel is about Brit hottie Colin Firth! Yummee. (Finding Colin Firth will be published in 2013)

Giveaway: 5 copies! Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win one of five copies. We'll randomly select the winners on  Sunday, June 24 after 6pm PST.

Where you can read more about Mia: Facebook, Twitter and her website.


1.    How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? I queried four, but I had my heart set on one in particular. Her comments about my work, her response time, her approach, her manner, her sense of humor—I knew instinctively that she was The One.

2.    What's a line from your "favorite" rejection letter? “I like Meryl Streep. I just don’t love her this much.” Say what?

3.    What was the hardest part about writing your debut novel? I was overly conscious of some “rules” I’d read about in different craft-of-writing books. Don’t info-dump! No prologue! Lose the backstory! Kill those darlings! Adverb alert! Every time I broke one of these rules, I second-guessed myself. What helped was re-reading some favorite novels that broke these rules wide open. You can do whatever you want in fiction—as long as it works. And what works is very, very, very subjective.

4.    What is the best/worst advice you received while you were trying to break into the book biz? Best advice: Thicken up that skin. Worst advice: You know, I’m happy to report I don’t think I’ve gotten any truly bad advice. Everything I’ve heard or read or been told has provided the ole food for thought and helped me focus on what I think.

5.    How did you celebrate your book deal? Ooh boy, that was a particularly happy day. I drove up to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where the book is set, about an hour and a half away from where I live, and ate a lobster roll on the very pier where a year earlier I’d stood staring out at the water and the boats, soaking up the setting back when I was working on revisions, dreaming of one day getting that call: We have an offer . . . .  That was the best lobster roll I’ve ever had.

6.    Who is your writer crush? I have a girl crush on Jennifer Weiner, who I think deserves some kind of medal for the way she speaks out loud and proud. I also just love her books and her live Bachelor tweets. My boy writer crush is Neil Gaiman. Watch his recent commencement speech and you’ll know why. Rock star.   7.    If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one book, what would it be? Such a tough question. Probably the collected works of Shakespeare. But I’d hope to find a tattered copy of Bridget Jones’ Diary under a coconut. I re-read that novel every year and love it all the more. I like you. Very much. Just as you are.   8.    What's on your iPod right now? You’d think I’d be sick of Adele’s 21 by now, but I’m not. I love the whole album, but every few months I have a different favorite song. Right now, I can listen to Turning Tables over and over.

9.    What's your #1 stress reliever? A very long walk, no iPod.   10.    Who/what would you place in the center of the Entertainment Weekly bullseye? Meryl Streep because when a reporter recently asked her if she’d do the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, she said, “Sure. I’d have to lose the fucking weight, but sure. I’d do it.” LOVE her. (Can I repeat curses on Chick Lit Is Not Dead?)

Um, yeah, Mia, you can fucking curse here!


Liz & Lisa