Kate Rockland's 5 Loves and a Dud

Weight.  We're a country obsessed with it.  We have magazine cover devoted to it.  Some of us (Liz!) talk about it constantly. So when we saw that Kate Rockland's next novel was titled 150 Pounds, well, we knew we had to get our hands on it ASAP! We're thrilled that Kate's returning to the site today(we crowned her as our VERY FIRST Lit IT Girl last year!) to share her 5 Loves a Dud.  We think you'll find them as hilarious and insightful as her novels, even if now we're a bit scared to visit New Jersey. (um, total California girls over here!) Regardless, we think you'll love her latest, 150 Pounds.  It's fabulous and fun-it's a must read for all you weight obsessers (don't deny-we know you do it too!).

Here's the scoopage on 150 Pounds: In the fast paced life of blogging, two women stand out: Alexis Allbright, of Skinny Chick, and Shoshana Weiner, who writes Fat and Fabulous. Both have over five million loyal readers. Both are hungry for success. But the similarities stop there.

With over 100 pounds on the scale separating them, weight isn't their only difference. Alexis is a loner who is so bitchy the only person who can stand her company is her gay best friend Billy. She gives neurotic New Yorkers a run for their money with her strict daily workout routine, and weighing of food. Shoshana is Alexis’s opposite. Living in Jersey with rowdy roommates, she is someone who “collects friends,” as her mother puts it; and treasures a life of expanding circles...and waistlines.

When both appear as panelists on a popular talk show, their lives intersect in ways neither could have imagined. In turns comedic, heartwarming—and familiar to any woman who's ever stepped on a scale—Alexis and Shoshana realize they have far more in common than either could have possibly imagined, and more importantly, something to offer.

Sound fun? Then leave a comment and you'll be entered on of FIVE copies.  We'll choose the winner after 6pm PST on Sunday January 22nd.  Good Luck!


1. Other People’s Weddings I know everyone likes to complain about having to book hotel rooms, buy silver bridesmaid shoes, or stop eating their lobster to stand up when a couple gets announced as husband and wife for the first time. Me? I frickin’ love weddings. From the moment I get the invitation in the mail and affix it to my fridge, to stumbling back to my room buzzed off the free champagne, I have had a ball at every wedding I’ve ever been lucky enough to be invited to. I love noting which traditions the bride and groom included or discarded, love embarrassing speeches by fathers when they tear up, love the surprise of which appetizers and entrees a couple chose when they’re placed before me, and I especially love the moment the bride enters the room, chapel, church, synagogue, or beach to walk down the aisle and everyone sucks in their breath at how beautiful she looks. As you can imagine, I started planning my own wedding the minute I met my husband. My friend Marissa used to joke she was afraid to open my bedroom closet, lest six wedding dresses fall out.

2. Coffee Some people have a morning exercise routine. I have a morning coffee routine. From the minute I wake up, I start looking forward to my medium hazelnut, extra cream, and two sugars. I go to a local café four blocks from my apartment. I know the owner, and we usually chat for a few minutes each day. This gives me hope, that should I ever die and my husband doesn’t notice, this store owner will call the police and not let my cat eat my face off. I don’t mind standing in line, as I usually do a heaping dose of people-watching. I like imagining what profession everyone is in, where they’re running off to. I try and spy on people working on their laptops, to see what they’re typing. I like the sacks of beans that decorate the store, and the funny names of the beans like “Obama blend.” That first sip is heaven.

3. Cranky Northern New Jerseyans and New Yorkers  I lived in Colorado once and didn’t trust anyone I met. They were too earnest, too helpful, too laid-back. After two years I hastily packed my bags and moved home to the East Coast. I’m from Northern New Jersey, right across the river from Manhattan. People here tell it like it is. If you’re acting like an asshole, people will tell you. If you leave your car double-parked too long on the street, someone will smash in your window. That’s just the way it is. I don’t trust friendly people, and when I travel, I miss loud Jersey women who can make you laugh in five minutes. I like it that if someone falls on the sidewalk in Manhattan, no one helps them up. I mean really, get better walking shoes. I keep thinking my husband and I have to move to the suburbs, but I’m terrified of someone breaking into our house. My family thinks I’m crazy; aren’t I scared to live in a city? I’m not. I like that there’s always someone standing outside their building smoking, or walking down the street in front of me. No one’s ever bothered me in the city. I don’t trust the rest of the country. I feel like there’s never been a serial killer from New Jersey.

4. The Smell of My Son After a Bath Because one of my son’s favorite pastimes is smushing avocado into his ears, digging in the dirt with his fingers, or sticking banana up his nose, by the end of the day the kid needs a bath. I don’t so much enjoy the act of giving him a bath, as it’s physically draining to lift him in and out of the tub, fill it with fancy California Baby soap, stick in all his colorful bath toys, undress him, and lay out his bath towel. However, the end result is divine; the day gets washed away, and all the minor stresses I’ve had melt when I kneel down and make sure he has no toe lint between his toes from his socks. I love how his hair gets a tiny curl to it after a bath, and how his skin shines like pearls, the avocado gets removed from his ears, and his skin smells simply divine. I like that even though I don’t always get it right when it comes to mommyhood, I can give my son this small gift of a bath every night, and send him off to sleep clean and happy.

5. Reading a Murder Mystery Some of my favorite mystery writers, P.D. James, Elizabeth George, and Ngaio Marsh my mom got me into from high school on. I love nothing more then settling down into bed and scaring the bejezus out of myself. I know it’s a genre I could never write, and that fascinates me. To be a mystery writer one has to know not only how to solve puzzles, but how to come up with the original puzzle in the first place, one that hasn’t been penned already by another author. Figuring out plot extends to other pop culture loves I have, like watching The Closer or seeing a really good film with a winding plot. I like characters that might not be who they seem. When I was younger, there were times I needed to know who the murderer was so badly I’d cut class and sit on the toilet in the ladies’ room, hastily speed-reading through the pages. My husband teases me because I sometimes will scan the last page of a mystery novel to make sure I’m on the right track as to who the killer is, and then I’m bummed out when I’m right. I’m getting better at resisting this urge.


Couples Buying Homes on HGTV’s “House Hunters” I’m addicted to HGTV’s show “House Hunters.” Mainly, because I can’t afford to buy a house. It’s also why I read fashion magazines, and consider whether the $1200 Marc Jacobs sweater would look good with my skin tone: It’s a fantasy. However, the couples who agree to be filmed as they buy their dream home really piss me off. They seem to have no concept what “small” is, to start. I have been living in a 650 square foot-apartment with two other people and a shy cat for six years. We have closets narrower then my body if I stand with my back to them, which are so jam packed there is one in the living room that no longer opens. Nothing makes me angrier then when I watch a couple stroll into a four-bedroom house in Texas and state that the walk-in closet off the master bedroom is “too small.” Girl, that closet is the size of my entire apartment. How much space do Americans think they need? Someday I’ll move into a house and it’s going to feel like a castle, no matter what size it is. And I won’t complain about the size of my walk-in closet. At least the door will open.

Thanks Kate! xoxo, L&L

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

Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Kate Rockland

We've discovered all kinds of things about our favorite bestselling authors here at CLIND.  But we'd also like to introduce you to some fabulous debut authors too.  Because who doesn't love to find a wonderful new writer? So we're rolling out a brand spankin' new feature called Lit IT Girl: Debut Author that will showcase the very best and the brightest of the class of 2010 and beyond. And because we're also obsessed interested in finding a home for our manuscript, we thought it would be fun to find out how these authors got their foot in the door of the publishing world.  But don't worry, we'll still be asking all the hard-hitting questions our readers want answered (like their GNO drink of choice and who they'd choose to have a celeb Twitter war with).

We're kicking off with fabulous Lit IT Girl Kate Rockland, whose debut novel, Falling is Like This is a rock and roll love story. (Proof: she even got a shout out from Courtney Love!)  It's a comedic and touching account of an affair with a rock star that every girl dreams about. Emily Giffin is a fan too, calling her a "new rock star in women's fiction"!  With credentials like these, we have a feeling Kate is going to have no problem living up to her Lit IT Girl title.

Check out Kate's sassy answers to our Qs and leave a comment for a chance to win one of FIVE copies of Falling is Like This!


How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? I had Ryan in mind from the get-go. I mean, the guy loves New Jersey punk bands, how could I go wrong? I used to work at Rolling Stone books, and he would come in and pitch us books. I was a lowly Editorial Assistant (basically a glorified secretary) and he would always be really nice to me when he came in the office. I have a big mouth, and I'd tell him I was planning on writing this chick lit book about a girl who falls in love with a guy in a band, and he'd say as soon as I wrote it I should contact him, so I did. After I'd written about one page. And Ryan said, "Um... it has to be a little longer."

What was your rock bottom moment during the process? I really never felt overwhelmed. It was really hard work, all those edits, but I actually felt really lucky. I mean, come on! I was getting my book published! It was a lifelong dream. Any author who complains about having to work on their book is spoiled.

How long did it take to write your book? It took me six months to type one version which was way too short. I remember tying into Google, "how long is a novel?" A short novel is about 60,000 words, if your readers are curious. My editor and I went back and forth, she had edits about every 3 months for a year or so, and I'd totally give the manuscript a makeover each time. She was always right. Damn it.

What did you do to celebrate your book deal? I used the money to pay for part if my wedding. I married Joe a year ago. I feel that was money well spent!

Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently? I would have started doing PR a long time ago. I waited until the last minute. Good thing you girls are having me on Chick Lit is Not Dead! Other then that, I really don't think I would have done anything differently. Getting a book published is such a crazy thing, that its almost like concocting a wicked witch brew in a cauldron. If you change one ingredient, you might make a potion that turns your hair blue!

Who is your writer crush? I have a huge crush on John Irving. I named my rescue cat Garp. I don't care that he writes about bears and wrestling constantly. He can dress up in a bear suit and wrestle me anytime he wants.

What's your biggest distraction or vice while writing? My cats Elizabeth and Garp bring me their balls, they play fetch like dogs. They constantly want me to throw the ball to them and then chase it. I keep telling them I am a very important and distinguished writer who could be working on the next Pulitzer but they don't care.

GNO drink of choice? I love Chardonnays from California. It makes me imagine I am sitting in a vineyard, the breeze whistling through my hair, the smell of grapes and earth in the air. When really, I am sitting in the same old dusty Irish bar I always sit in, down the street from my house.

Favorite trashy TV show? I LOVE TLC. Anything on TLC. My husband makes fun of me because I love shows about 800 pound people who have to be carried out of their houses on whale stretchers, or children born with two faces, or shows about dwarf families. I love medical abnormalities. I feel like if I have watched those shows so many times that if I ran into a woman on the street with an elephant trunk for a nose I'd be totally cordial to her. That was totally not PC, but there you are.

What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with? I would like to tell Heidi she is crazy for getting all that plastic surgery. She is a shit role model and should be locked to a stretcher and sent to another country, the way Thailand did with Billy Idol in the 1980's when he was doing too many drugs. I liked Heidi's previous long Jay Leno chin just fine. It gave her face character. Now she looks like a barbie doll on crack.

So read more about the lovely Kate Rockland, head on over to her website!

xoxo, Liz and Lisa