Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Devilish Twist on Chick Lit

Today Martha Land is getting a visit from the lovely Kathleen O'Reilly from The Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit!

It's your lucky day because in honor of Kathleen's O with the apostrophe, I'll give you a handy Gaelic saying~which kind of even GOES WITH HER BOOK!

Go n-ithe an cat thĂș is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat!
May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat!

I can think of some people I'd like to say that to!

From Kathleen's press release:

What would you sacrifice to be a size zero? For more than a few women, the promise of thin thighs in 30 seconds might just convince them to deal with the devil. Award-winning author Kathleen O'Reilly's The DIVA'S GUIDE TO SELLING HER SOUL (Apr., Downtown Press) is a story for every woman who knows that getting celebrity-style skinny involves a pact with Lucifer~or in this case, the silver-tongued Lucy. She's the trashiest gossip columnist in the city and she's working a pyramid scheme that's truly evil. The more clients our "innocent" heroine V recruits for her "Life Enrichment Program," the more of V's decadent desires will come true. Unfortunately, V soon discovers there maybe something worth saving in her after all, which means when she made the deal with the devil she may have truly damned herself - unless she can figure a way out.

Funky cover, eh? And on to the interview...

MO'C: THE DIVA'S GUIDE is quite a twist on Chick Lit~I'd almost call it Faustian in concept! How did you get this idea?
KO'R: Well, when you see Page Six Six Six t-shirts in the paper, and when Gwyneth Paltrow calls Bonnie Fuller the devil -- it's not a big leap. And in fact, I was positive that someone was going to write a gossip-writing devil before I did... however, no one did. I guess my brain is just too twisted.

MO'C: Which character did you enjoy writing about the most?
KO'R: Oh, that's V. She's my id, the instant gratification of all desires and pleasures, and damn the consequences -- literally. But what I truly loved about her was her courage. Sometimes I think about how far I'd go to get what I want, and I'm a coward when it comes to a lot of things.

MO'C: Do you think you will continue V's story in another novel?
KO'R: No. There's really no way. Sometimes you read a sequel to the book, and you know the author sold out in order to get that sequel, and if I wrote another book with V in it, I'd be selling out, too because... well, you have to read the ending. Of course, I say this, and then four years later when I'm poor and panhandling in front of the Trump building, I'll get this idea-flash, and she'll be back on the shelves: The Diva's Guide to Reselling Your Soul.

MO'C: What are you working on now?
KO'R: Current working title is Looking For Mr. Goodbunny, it'll be out in April 2006. It's another misguided 40 year old female, who's unwilling to face the truth about herself. Sometimes I think I'm writing my own story, and then I say to myself: "Nah."

MO'C: Can you discuss your Coffee Klatch blog a bit? How did it get started and how do you select novels to discuss?
KO'R: Julie Kenner is my critique partner, and we often trade books, "Oh, you HAVE to read this one..." After a few of these, we realized that we could milk some promotion, uh, I mean, share our literary enjoyment with the rest of the world. We try to do non-romance since there's an expression, don't poop where you eat.... Not that we've pooped, but if we did decide to poop, I would want to be very honest about it....

MO'C: How did you move from Tech Writing to writing novels? Do you find any of the Tech Writing skills, other than the obvious grammatical ones, useful in writing novels?
KO'R: Actually, my friends all say that my computer programming books were a fluke because they knew since I was little I was going to be a romance novelist. It was probably the feather boa.... No, actually I've read romances (and lots of other genres as well) for YEARS. In 1996, my computer skills were being Microsofted into obsolescence and so I decided to try my hand at something different. Fiction. I finished my first manuscript in 1998 (Chapter 2 gave me great pains), and was published in 2001. As far as my skills, I think my reading over the years gave me a lot of innate writing skills, because the editing in our computer books was always very light. Although my butt is still getting kicked by that darned passive voice....

MO'C: Can you talk a little bit about your contests and how they help you promote the book? Would you recommend running contests to a new author?
KO'R: I used contests a lot in the beginning of my career to attract people to my email newsletter. I suck at promotion, honestly, I do, but I knew I had to do something and contests seemed like a good idea. I've learned that people are just as happy with a book as they are with a big basket of chocolate, wine, and Antonio Banderas, but it's easier to get mention of your contest in other places when you're giving away Antonio.

MO'C: What has been the most surprising thing to you about your publishing journey?
KO'R: The twists and the turns. There are no road signs in this business, and if they're there, they're twisted 90 degrees just to fool you. When I first started writing, I expected to be able to find my niche and stay there for forever. I am still nicheless, but I have hope.

MO'C:What advice would you have for aspiring authors?
KO'R: Don't let Chapter 2 get you down....

Thank you for answering these questions, Kathleen! You can buy her devilish novel at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, or my personal recommendation~support your local independent bookseller by visiting Booksense.