Our latest Lit IT Girl: Jessica Grose
Why we love her: It’s the best feeling when we fall in love with a new author’s voice and even though we’ve just discovered her, cannot wait to read what she writes next. No pressure, Jessica!
Her debut: Sad Desk Salad (Out today!)
The scoop on it: As a writer for Chick Habit, an increasingly popular women’s website, Alex Lyons gets paid to be a bitch. She’s churning out several posts a day, and she saves her juiciest ones for blog prime time, when working women eat their sad desk salads in their offices. Alex tells herself she’s fulfilling her dream of being a professional writer; so what if it means being glued to her couch and her laptop from six a.m. to six p.m., scouring the web in search of the next big celebrity scandal? Since Chick Habit’s parent company keeps close tabs on page views, Alex knows her job is always at risk.
So when an anonymous tipster sends her the year’s most salacious story—a politico’s squeaky-clean Ivy League daughter caught in a very R-rated activity—it’s a no-brainer. But is Alex really willing to ruin the girl’s life by igniting the next Internet feeding frenzy? And what she doesn’t yet realize is how this big scoop is about to send her own life spiraling out of control.
Our thoughts: It’s smart, funny and juicy–we loved getting that insider feel about the celebrity world! (You know we’re celebrity gossip whores!)
Giveaway: FIVE copies. Leave a comment to be entered to win and we’ll select the winners on Monday, October 8th after 3pm PST
Fun fact: Congrats to Jessica! She’s going to have a baby! See below…
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS…LIT IT GIRL: DEBUT AUTHOR JESSICA GROSE
1. How many agents did you query before you found “the one”? I was phenomenally lucky to find my beloved agent Elisabeth Weed in my first round of looking. When I was a senior in college, I wrote a series for Salon.com that caught the eye of a young editor at Random House. I was totally green, and so that editor was kind enough to introduce me to some agents who might be interested in my work. If memory serves, I emailed five or six of them, ended up meeting with three, one of whom was Elisabeth. It was so clear that she got me in ways that the others didn’t, and I’ve been with her for over nine years now.
2. What’s a line from your “favorite” rejection letter? I wish I could remember! I think I have a mental block about them in the interest of self-preservation. I do remember a pseudo-boyfriend once telling me in a break-up email that I was too neurotic and dramatic for him. I guess that is my “favorite”?
3. What was the hardest part about writing your debut novel? Trying to see the process as a learning experience no matter what the outcome was. When I was about half way through, I started panicking—what if I’ve devoted all this time to writing this and it never sees the light of day? What if it’s actually terrible and no one will tell me? I needed to teach myself to feel good about finishing it, regardless of whether or not I sold it.
4. What is the best advice you received while you were trying to break into the book biz? Find readers who give you feedback that you trust. My book got about 45 times better after I had three exceedingly generous colleagues read the first draft and give me notes. I am so ridiculously grateful to them for their time and care.
5. How did you celebrate your book deal? I bought a pair of stupidly expensive Rag & Bone boots that I had been coveting for six months. And I went out to a fancy dinner with my husband.
6. Who is your writer crush? Oh my god, I have a new one every week. Zadie Smith is the one that comes to mind first. She’s so smart and talented and foxy. My parents gave me White Teeth as a high school graduation present and Smith just continues to wow me in both fiction and non-fiction. Her recent profile of Jay-Z is one of my favorites of the year. I hadn’t heard of Gillian Flynn before reading Gone Girl, and now I am obsessed with her. Same goes for Maria Semple—I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette in one day over Labor Day weekend and just think Semple is so hilarious and bright.
7. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one book, what would it be? The book I’ve probably read the most is Marion Meade’s fabulous biography of Dorothy Parker, What Fresh Hell Is This? I love literary biographies and Parker is a heroine of mine. I know it’s kind of an odd choice—I bet most people choose fiction–but I find Parker’s life story and the relationship to her work endlessly fascinating, somewhat inspiring (and more than a little sad).
8. What’s on your iPod right now? My latest downloads are the new albums from The Divine Fits and The Walkmen. Both could be described as “dad rock.”
9. What’s your #1 stress reliever? Usually I would say running. But since I am 7 months pregnant and running is…comical, my #1 stress reliever is napping.
10. Who/what would you place in the center of the Entertainment Weekly bullseye? I just saw the movie Bachelorette and Lizzy Caplan can do no wrong with me.
Liz & Lisa