Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been bff’s for over twenty years. They combined their love for reading, writing, and chick lit fiction to co-write their first novel, I’ll Have Who She’s Having. After debuting their writing chops to the world, they created their blog, Chick Lit Isn’t Dead to bring fashionista’s and chick lit lovers alike together. They’re here today to with their second novel, The D Word. Check out our interview below for an exclusive peek into how they became authors:
1) How on earth did you two decide to come together and write a novel as adults…and actually go through with it?
We’re still asking ourselves the same question! We started talking about writing a book together when we were in college. Cut to ten plus years later. Lisa was sitting poolside in Hawaii and wrote a chapter about a girl named Kate. About all that ended up in our first book, I’ll Have Who She’s Having was the name Kate. But it was the kick start we needed. The D Word was a much faster process. We wrote the first draft in six months flat!
2)Wow. That takes dedication! So what did you love about writing a novel together as opposed to doing it solo?
It was less work and a lot more fun! And it’s also nice to have someone that can help you fill in the blanks when you just can’t make something work. It’s weird, but when one of us is “off” and having a writing block the other is always “on” and vice-versa.
Although many agents told us we were talented writers and they liked the book, they said that chick lit was dead and would be impossible to sell. So it’s an understatement to say we hit some roadblocks. But we kept at it and found an indie publisher who helped us get IHWSH out there.
4) No way! So that’s why you started your fabulous blog, Chick Lit Isn’t Dead?
We’re so happy you like Chick Lit is not Dead! It was after our first novel was written that we started it. We wanted a place where we could continue writing and were also shocked by how often we were told that line “Chick Lit was dead” during our query process. We were determined to prove that women still wanted to read interesting books about other women and their trials and tribulations.
5) Did you write The D Word the same way you wrote your 1st novel? Together?
Yep, we wrote both The D Word and IHWSH the same way-with a double narrative, each of us writing one character. The only difference between this novel and our first was Lisa was living in Chicago for most of it so we didn’t get together in person to collaborate on it as often. So we had to be more efficient in our editing process-painstaking even when you are sitting across the table from each other, let alone the across the country!
6) How did you come up for the idea for The D Word?
Our parents are divorced. And we have a lot of friends who’ve experienced divorce. And because we write dual narratives we wanted to explore one of the most challenging relationships- that between the ex-wife and the new girlfriend.
7) Why did you decide to go the electronic route with your second novel, The D Word?
It’s all about the e-book right now! Ebooks are growing faster than ever and we wanted to jump on that par-tay train. For us, it just seemed like the right choice and the perfect time to do it.
8 )Brilliant! So tell me about The D Word:
The D Word is the story of Elle and Jordan- two women who are vying for a relationship with the same divorced man. Jordan is a single mom (and spiritual counselor) who walked away from her marriage to Kevin a year before.
Just as divorce papers are being drawn up, Kevin meets Elle, a woman who was not looking for a relationship- especially with a man with an ex-wife. Only a year before, she’d broken off her engagement just days before her wedding.
Meanwhile, when Jordan discovers that Kevin is moving on while she’s still unable to fill his side of the closet, she decides she needs to win Kevin back and put her family back together. And when Elle sees just how far Jordan’s willing to go to get him back, she wonders if she made a mistake leaving her fiancé in the first place.
You’ll walk in the shoes of both Jordan and Elle and discover that you’re often not that different from the person that makes you feel the most insecure.
9) Divorce is such a hard topic to tackle. What do hope women will find when they read your novel?
One of the reasons we wrote The D Word as a dual narrative is because we wanted to represent two very important points of view. We hope that women will relate to many different things- to both Jordan and Elle’s insecurities and misperceptions about each other, to Jordan’s struggle to be a good mother, to Elle’s struggle to get over her fear of divorce. But most of all, we hope people realize that’s there’s always two sides to every story.
10) Well said! So what do you do when you’re not writing?
When we’re not writing, we’re actually pretty boring! Between running between this Girl Scout meeting or that mommy and me class and all the other things in between, we sometimes feel like we barley have a moment to breathe. But when we do get time to ourselves, Lisa’s idea of having fun is watching an uninterrupted episode of the Real Housewives of New York. And Liz loves to unwind by watching shows that make her feel better about herself, like Bridezillas and Bachelor Pad.
11) Now for the really tough question I can’t wait to ask: If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?
Judy Blume. Her books were at the heart of our adolescence and spoke to a whole generation of women. And she wrote the first book we ever got taken away. (who didn’t have a copy of Forever hidden under their bed?)
*We’re giving away 3 Electronic copies of The D Word! To Enter for a chance to win:
Simply leave a comment answering the following bolded question!
Rules for this contest:
*You can enter anytime from right now up to Sunday (July 3rd). Those who comment will be entered to win. This giveaway is international! When you comment, you will be asked for your email address. This information will not be made public. It will only be used to contact the winner. You must provide your name.
For additional entries and chances to win:
*Subscribe to this blog!
*Become a member on Facebook: The Write Stuff
*Follow me on Twitter
*Tell someone and have them comment here! (Make sure you have them point out they referred you!)
*Twitter, Facebook, or Blog about the contest (you must provide a separate comment that you did this with a link).
Every name is assigned a random number. The more you enter, the more numbers are assigned to your name. The range of numbers is put into a Random Number Calculator and the winning number is chosen! I’ll announce the winners on July 4th! Once contacted, the winner will have three days to email me their mailing addresses. If I do not receive a reply within the allotted time, I will pick another winner. Good luck!
*What’s your favorite way to spend the 4th of July?
For Example: BBQ and front row firework seats at the baseball game!