How to Be a Grown Up

Liz & Lisa's Book Club: How to be a Grown-Up by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

HowtobeagrownupWe LOVE Emma and Nicola. They are not only great people who blurbed our debut novel and have been kind enough to give us advice along the way, but they are fabulous authors. And we couldn't love How to Be a Grown-Up more! And we have a copy for #giveaway! To be entered to #win, leave a comment on this post or on the status on our FB page. Contest closes Thursday, September 17th at 6:00 p.m. PST.  The scoop: From bestselling authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus comes a timely novel about a forty-something wife and mother thrust back into the workforce, where she finds herself at the mercy of a boss half her age.

Rory McGovern is entering the ostensible prime of her life when her husband, Blake, loses his dream job and announces he feels like “taking a break” from being a husband and father. Rory was already spread thin and now, without warning, she is single-parenting two kids, juggling their science projects, flu season, and pajama days, while coming to terms with her disintegrating marriage. And without Blake, her only hope is to accept a full-time position working for two full-time twenty-somethings.

A day out of b-school, these girls think they know it all and have been given the millions from venture capitalists to back up their delusion—that the future of digital media is a high-end “lifestyle” site—for kids! (Not that anyone who works there has any, or knows the first thing about actual children.) Can Rory learn to decipher her bosses’ lingo, texts that read like license plates, and arbitrary mandates? And is there any hope of saving her marriage? With her family hanging by a thread, Rory must adapt to this hyper-digitized, over-glamorized, narcissistic world of millennials…whatever it takes.

Our thoughts: So damn witty and smart! As forty-something self-proclaimed technological dinosaurs, we related to Rory and her roller coaster life. This is a LOL funny novel we could not put down.

Liz & Lisa's Book Club: How to Be a Grown-Up by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

EmmaandNicolaWhat inspired the idea for HOW TO BE A GROWN-UP?

When we graduated from college we looked up to the women we worked for who were in their 40s.  They were in the corner office.  They had great husbands, great kids, and seemed to have figured it out.  Fast forward twenty years and there is no corner office—only a bullpen.  In New York our friends in their 40s are being eliminated and replaced with kids in their 20s at half the price.  The whole idea of job security seems a thing of the past.  Add to that our culture’s idea of beauty skews ever you nger and it can leave a women with a serious case of the blues.  We wanted to create a character who’s up against all of that—and vanquishes it.

As 41 year old women, we really related to your main character. How much of that character comes from your own experiences?

Emma kept saying to me as she was writing, “Is this actually funny—or just my morning?”  Rory is so close to us we kept losing perspective.  BUT we are luckier than Rory in two regards—we have not had a 23 year-old boss—YET.  And thankfully we are both married to men who are very much grown-ups.

How has your writing changed over the years as you've both gotten older?

You know, for a few discombobulated years after our kids were born we tried to “write to the marketplace”—I think out of fear that we wouldn't be able to support our new families.  The results were uneven.  We knew this was our last book and we wrote it for the sheer pleasure of it.  The lesson being follow the love—write for yourself first and foremost becasue if you write what someone in the industry tells you is “hot” or “on-brand” and it doesn’t sell, you’ll kick yourself.

What are you reading right now?

I (Nicola) just finished The Girl On The Train, which I loved. And Paper Towns.  John Greene, man.  He sticks the landing every f’ing time.  Now I’m reading Anne Lamott’s Imperfect Birds.  It was in the cabin we rented and I couldn’t leave it behind!

You've said this book will be your final book together. (Cue tears!) What's up next for both of you?

Emma has returned to organizational development—which is what she was getting her Masters in when I seduced her away to the very not-grown-uo world of entertainment.  She has a thriving transition coaching practice.  I have a comic book series called The 29ers coming out next year about a group of teens who survive when the world suddenly stops.  And I’m writing a self-help book called How To MANifest Your Husband.  We are still each other’s kidney donors.  Nothing could ever change that.  We grew up together!

Thanks, Emma & Nicola!