The Biggest Loser

Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Kim Wright

We think finding a new author to love is the best thing, well, EVEH.  And when we crush on a book, we crush hard.  We think about it when it's not around, we talk about it incessantly to all of our friends and we try to spend as much time with it as possible. So when our publicist suggested we read Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright, we were ecstatic to discover how beautifully written her debut was.  We were in love!  In fact, Liz's husband begged her to stop talking about it on their trip to Cabo. (We think maybe he was just jealous that she wrote Kim a love note after she finished it?)  Liz also chose it as a  hot summer beach read over at!

In Love in Mid Air, Elyse Bearden’s marriage is already in trouble when she meets a handsome stranger on her flight home from Arizona. Her husband, a doting father to their young daughter but an inattentive husband, has been communicating with her via post-it note for far too long and seems content with having sex in the kiss-less "X" position once a week.

So it’s not surprising when she starts a torrid affair with the man she meets in row 29-somehow trying to recapture the excitement she feels is sorely missing from her marriage and her life in general. Love in Mid Air is honest and captivating-one of the best books we've read this year. Want to know more?  Check out the book trailer!

And we're lucky enough to have FIVE copies of Love in Mid Air to give to our fantastic readers!  Just leave a comment and we'll pick a winner by random drawing on Thursday night.

And we're so excited that Kim agreed to be a Lit IT Girl!  Because we discovered that, not only is she a genius author, she loves Grey Goose and trashy TV just like us!  And her journey to publishing should give every aspiring author hope.


How many agents did you query before you found “the one”?

I lost count.  Although several of my friends had published books, I had this nutty idea I was going to make it on my own and not ask anybody for favors.  You know, “If the book is good it will make it on its own merits”  - that sort of insanity.  After thirty something agents turned me down, I called my friend Alison Smith, who had written a highly successful memoir called Name All the Animals, and was like “Um, gee, um, would you introduce me to your agent?”  And he’s turned out to be the perfect fit.  It’s funny because he was on my radar screen all the time.  It’s like traveling the world in search of the perfect man and marrying the boy next door.

What was your rock bottom moment during the process?

During that long hunt for representation I got a lot of rejection, but one of them stands out.  I’d walked to the mailbox and the envelope was thin so I figured it wasn’t good news.  But the agent hadn’t just said no, she’d gone on for a whole page scolding me for writing a book that she thought glorified affairs and divorce.  It started out with “This shameful story….”  I literally sat down in the middle of my driveway.  For a minute I thought I was going to pass out.  My therapist still has a copy of that rejection letter in my file!

How long did it take to write your book?

I never know how to answer this because I wrote a very long, very bad first draft of the book and then put it down for two years.  When I picked it back up I did a brutal revision, slicing out big sections and pretty much building it back up from scratch.  That took a couple of years and then there was the aforementioned hunt for an agent and then, once my agent sold it, the publisher held it for two more years before it was released.  So if you count the fallow periods it took ten years;  I think I actually worked on it for five.

What did you do to celebrate your book deal?

Went to New York and met everyone from the publicity team to the foreign rights team to the receptionist down in the lobby.   Then after being this complete networking fool, I went off on my own and just sat there and let it sink in.   I remember sitting at the bar of the St. Moritz thinking “I have a book.  I actually have a book.”

Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently?

Honestly, nothing.  I made bunches of mistakes but looking back it all seems like a necessary part of the journey.  I might have swallowed my silly country pride and asked my friends for help sooner.

Who is your writer crush?

Tom Perotta!  His “Little Children” was a huge influence on “Love in Mid Air.”  I recently friended him on Facebook and am trying to decide how to stalk him without it being too obvious.

What’s your biggest distraction or vice while writing?

Sudoku.  It’s like crack cocaine for me.

GNO drink of choice?

Grey Goose vodka, very cold and straight up.  It was what I was drinking when I was sitting in the St. Moritz thinking “Holy Mother of God, my book is actually going to be published.”

Favorite trashy TV show?

I love reality TV.  Dancing With the Stars, Top Chef, Project Runway, The Biggest Loser. My latest guilty pleasure is this show called Chopped on the Food Channel.  They give chefs these mystery baskets with strange ingredients like gooseberries, chocolate, bell peppers, and calamari and they have to make an appetizer using them all.  Great stuff.

What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with?

Elisabeth Hasselbeck makes me nauseous.  So she might not be that fun to war with, because I’d be livid the whole time.  Love in Mid Air recently came out in Australia and I heard Germaine Greer is mad at me about some things I said about feminism in an interview and that’s sort of cool.  I think in the long run, I’d like to have a Twitter war with someone I respect.

Thanks so much Kim! xoxo, L&L

To learn more about Lit IT Girl Kim Wright, head on over to her website or find her on Facebook.

5k, 5k go away, come back another day.

Truth be told, I've never been much of a "runner".  While my friends were off running track in high school, I could usually be found up on the tennis court flirting with boys in my short skirt and favorite orange and green Nikes.  Even when it came to exercise, I demanded that there be some sort of social component. But part of me has always envied those joggers as I sat at the stoplight, sipping my Starbucks, watching them run in place while impatiently waiting to cross the intersection.  And each time we would cheer on my brother-in-law in his latest marathon, part of me would think, I could do this!  Even though I get winded after walking up three flights up stairs, I COULD complete 26.2 miles without any body parts breaking and/or falling off. And because I also tend to be a bit lazy, I also thought, And you know what? I probably wouldn't even have to train that much!

So when my Brother-in-law announced his intention to run the  Surf City half marathon, I jumped at the chance to do the 5k.  I mean, everyone's got to start somewhere, right?  I formulated my training plan, bought that thing that holds your iPod on your arm and the only flattering pair of runners shorts this side of the Mississippi. I even purchased a choke chain so my unsociable German Shepard could train at my side without traumatizing every cat and small dog in the neighborhood.  I. Was. Ready.

But then something strange happened.  It began to RAIN in Southern California.  And for those of you familiar with the weather patterns out here, you know how rare it is to get more than a few inches per year, let alone a few inches per storm.  And by the time it finally stopped, my 5k training schedule, much like that show, Conveyor Belt of Love, was just a distant memory.

So, on race day, I decided to do what I do best-fake my way through it.  I pushed away the memory of getting winded walking to the registration tent the day before and did my best impersonation of someone who knew how to stretch their muscles by lifting my leg repeatedly.  And with my iPod firmly secured on my arm and bib fastened on my shirt, I was pretty damn sure that no one knew my secret. That I was going to FAIL MISERABLY.

Well, except for my husband.  I didn't miss the small smirk on his face as we ran in place waiting for the race to start.  After all, I was the one who dragged him over to the "Twelve minute Mile and WALKERS"  section.  And at the time, I mistakenly thought they were referring to people WITH walkers, not people walking.

Although I literally did not jog ONE STEP before the day of the race, I did finish, thanks to my plan to WOG. (walk and jog, emphasis on WALK.)  And while I will admit to *thinking* about taking the kids 1 mile U turn because my lungs felt as if they would collapse, I didn't do it. Even though my end time was a completely shiteous 38 minutes, a part of me was really proud of myself.  Because as I heaved and gasped did that arm thing that people on  The Biggest Loser do when they're forced to run a mile on the first show, I knew that all my humiliation would provide excellent blog material!


1. An overweight guy wearing jorts and Converse passes you like you're standing still.

2. When you stop all conversation around you by shouting that your going to "kick all the people with walkers asses" at the start line. (Note to self: take headphones off before speaking!)

3.  When Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga just aren't providing the inspiration you've hoped they would.

4. When you realize that if you double the time it took you to run the 5k, it almost equals your brother-in-laws's HALF-MARATHON finish time.

5.  When you dramatically tell your husband to "save himself" at the two mile marker when you realize a nine-year old just lapped you.

6. When you are unable to bend your legs for THREE DAYS after completing a 3.2 mile wog.

See you in April at the Seach Beach 5k!  Hopefully this time I'll actually break in my running shoes before hitting the course!

xo, Liz

5 Things Liz & Lisa didn't know about... Kristin Hannah

How lucky are we?  First we kicked off February with our new look (woo hoo!).  And now, we're excited to discover 5 Things we didn't know about NYT bestselling author Kristin Hannah! Although lawyer turned writer Hannah has written a staggering EIGHTEEN novels, we just happened upon her work last year when Liz picked up a copy of FIREFLY LANE.  Blown away by the story of the journey of two lifelong friends, (sound like anyone you know?)  she broke her long standing rule to not read books that make her cry. FIREFLY LANE was so engaging that she couldn't help herself-she was bawling like a baby by page 150. (Damn you Kristin Hannah!)

Hannah's latest novel, WINTER GARDEN, focuses on Meredith and Nina Whitson, two adult sisters who were denied any real affection from their icy European mother while growing up. After their beloved father's death and mother's illness, they attempt to discover the truth about their mother's past through the Russian fairy tales she told them as children. (Click here for a sneak peek!) WINTER GARDEN is in bookstores TODAY and you can buy your copy here.

We LOVED learning more about the lovely Kristin.  Like us, she's addicted to The Biggest Loser and loves The Food Network.  But we were surprised to discover that she, well, how do we say this? SHE WRITES HER NOVELS ON A LEGAL PAD. WITH A PEN. You'll  have to read on to discover why...

Five things Liz & Lisa didn’t know about Kristin Hannah...

1. I'm a Food Network junkie.  I’ll admit it: I love everything about food.  I spend hours watching programs on the food network, as well as pouring over the recipes on their website.  Several times a week, I quit work early and make a recipe that challenges me.  Sometimes they work out beautifully, and sometimes, not so much, but I always enjoy the process.  While I was writing Winter Garden, I focused on Russian food for the first time, and I have to say it was delicious.  I wouldn’t be surprised if readers found that the book made them hungry!

2. The Biggest Loser inspired me to take up spinning.  I know I’m not alone in watching the Biggest Loser.  Honestly, I find the show inspiring, week after week.  Well, after years of watching the contestants sweat on their spinning bikes, I finally decided to give it a try myself.  I was really nervous about it.  The first time I walked into the gym’s “spinning room,” I moved pretty slowly.  I was afraid I’d fall off the bike or sweat so hard, I wouldn’t be able see.  And it was hard; I won’t lie to you.  But when the speakers blared out with Heartbreaker, I was in heaven.  I love it!

3. I write my novels longhand.  I know it seems impossible in these computer-driven days, but I’m an old school girl.  Years ago, I used a computer, but I simply found that my body couldn’t handle sitting in a chair for the hours required to write an entire novel.  Now, I write on yellow legal pads, and I can write anywhere.  On the beach, on my deck, on a boat.  Anywhere.  How great is that?

4. If I wasn't a writer, I'd want to be a Supreme Court Justice. Why not dream big, I say?  Obviously, there’s nothing I’d rather be than a writer.  I absolutely adore my chosen profession.  In fact, it’s almost an obsession.  But if, for some reason, I had to do something else, I’d love to sit on the Big Bench.  I adore the entire idea of searching for justice, untangling facts, and determining how our laws should be written to best protect us and preserve our rights.  Although I’m an attorney, I have rarely gone there in my fiction.  True Colors is the one real exception.  I was spurred to write that novel by a perceived injustice in the current legal system.

5. I'm funny.  Really. I’m still not entirely sure how I became known as a writer of tearjerkers.  I never  set out to write “sad” novels.  Rather, I intend to write emotional fiction with real-to-life characters who face intensely difficult situations; that goal often takes me into dark and complex landscapes, and thus…the sadness.  But I also try to have uplifting, life affirming endings.  Occasionally that kind of ending doesn’t fit the novel, but I try to end my books in a way that makes the reader smile.  Even if she's blinking back tears at the same time.

To read more about the fabulous and talented Kristin Hannah, head on over to her website.

xoxo, Liz & Lisa

State of the Union by Liz

I'm not a super political person so my friends might find the fact that I'm giving a State of the Union pretty damn funny.  However, I think it was almost impossible not to feel passionate about the electoral process this past year!  But don't worry, I'm not going to bore you with the State of that Union.  Rather, I'm going to be talking about the State of my union! And like Lisa, I struggled with what to write in my first entry on this blog.  I feel like I'm being introduced to the world and anyone who knows me would agree that the people pleaser part of me really, really wants your approval...

So in an effort to help you get to know me better and in the spirit of politics,  I've compiled a list of what I'm "For" and what I'm "Against".

Liz is for:  Teeny bopper movies, cute scarves on cold, rainy days, The Biggest Loser, hot sourdough bread with butter, Facebook, Perez Hilton, tall men (I married one), sushi, the environment, inner beauty, Reese Witherspoon, Angelina Jolie, Dogs, Macs, Angels, forgiveness, family, H&M, ANTM, The Haitan guy from Heroes, Josh Duhamel(broke my heart when he married Fergie!), Access Hollywood, self-awareness, American Idol and using the F word when appropriate.

Liz is against:  Evites (Sorry if you've recently sent me one...), MySpace, TMZ, Tyra Banks, Elizabeth Hasselback, short men with Napoleon complexes, (sorry about that too!) reptiles, motorcycles, passive-aggressive behavior, tardiness, PCs, The Wiggles, Spongebob Squarepants, bickering, laziness, grudges and hypocrisy.(Or is it hypocritical to be against hypocrisy?)

As Lisa mentioned previously, we started this site because we want the publishing world to know that Chick Lit is alive and well!  Let's face it ladies-we are supposed to be everything to everyone-supermom, superwife, super-employee and do it all while looking super-hot.  So when I'm done being trying to be all those things, the last thing I want to do is sit down and read some depressing Oprah's Book Club shit! Sorry Ms. O, I love you, but I gave up on the book club after The Poisonwood Bible many years ago. If  I want to cry I'll turn on the eleven o'clock news or Dateline!

The women I know and love want to escape and be lost in a story about people they can relate to!  That is why we decided to write I'll Have Who She's Having.  We wanted to read about characters that we would want to be friends with.  Most people can relate to Kate and Kelly, the two sisters depicted in our novel.  Kelly is a new mom who decides to quit her job and stay home and struggles to fit in to her new life and snobby neighbors.  Kate is single, recently dumped and struggling to figure out why all the men in her life are afraid to commit, not realizing that she's looking in all the wrong places. Like many of us, both Kate and Kelly are struggling to find their happy ending!

So let's say it loud and proud! Give women QUALITY movies and books to choose from! Make 2009 is the year of Chick lit!  Happy endings and hot men for everyone! All self-proclaimed "bad-boys" will be tamed by the women who want to change them!  All men will leave the beautiful, mean girl for the mousy underdog!  I mean, come on, with everything going on in the world these days, don't we all deserve a happy ending now and then?

Yes, damnit, you do!  And we're going to give it to you!