28 Sep 2013

Say hi to... Elisa Lorello

Duran Duran-loving author Elisa Lorello stopped by for a chat today (love that T-shirt!)...

When did you first start reading Chick Lit?
Maybe about ten years ago? I think I started with Jennifer Weiner and Marian Keyes.

When did you first start writing Chick Lit?
Funny, I never consciously set out to write chick lit! I wrote the draft of my first novel, Faking It, in 2004. When I self-published it in 2009, it seemed to best fall into that category. I market myself as a commercial women’s fiction author, but sometimes I feel rather genre-less.

What is it about this genre that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres? If so, which?
I like that the genre doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the best of it is laugh-out-loud funny with fluent dialogue and likable, yet flawed characters. Reading chick lit often feels like a girl’s night out. However, it gets a little too predictable and cliché for me sometimes (although I’ve been accused of the same). As a reader, I’m not really loyal to any one particular genre. If a book tells an interesting story with engaging characters and is well written, then I’m in.

Name one of your favourite Chick Lit books.
Marian Keyes’s The Other Side of the Story is one of my favorites. I also love the audio version of Bridget Jones’s Diary (by Helen Fielding). I don’t remember the reader, but she did a fantastic job. And I don’t know if Nora Ephron’s Heartburn is considered chick lit, but it’s also a fave.

What's the title of your latest book? Can you tell us about it? What inspired you to write it?
I’ve just released a memoir called Friends of Mine: Thirty Years in the Life of a Duran Duran Fan. Each chapter is a story from/about my life—growing up in a large musical family, being devastated by my parents’ marriage ending, and falling in love with the Fab Five as an escape. It’s also about how that love has endured for the last thirty years, and how it’s influenced my life and relationships, and vice-versa. Generation X fans will especially connect to it since a large part of the book is devoted to the 80s. And I don’t think it’s for Duranies only. For example, a good friend who is a Backstreet Boys fan enjoyed it. And of course, the majority of Duran Duran fans are women, so I’ve already heard from a few about how much they related.
I knew that when I hit the thirty-year milestone of Duran-fandom, I wanted to write a book about it—aside from my family and a few close friends, it’s the longest long-term “relationship” I’ve ever been in, hahaha. That alone was fascinating to me. When I started writing it, however, I realized that I needed to go deeper than just being a fan. I began to see all kinds of patterns and connections, especially with my relationships with people and music. Some parts were painful to write about, but ultimately I think readers will see themselves in one form or another.
My next novel is called She Has Your Eyes, and it will be released in February 2014. For those who are Faking It fans, it’s the continuation of Andi and Devin/David’s story. A lot of people found the sequel, Ordinary World, to be depressing. I think they’ll like this one more. And I’ve gone on record saying it’s my favorite of the three.
So many readers wanted more of Andi and David, which touches me as the writer, especially since I love those two characters just as much as they do, if not more. I wasn’t planning to write another one, but these things take on a life of their own. A character entered the backyard of my mind, introduced herself, and that was that.

Who designs your covers?
Since I’m contracted with Amazon Publishing, they hire designers to do my covers. In fact, with the upcoming publication of She Has Your Eyes, Faking It and Ordinary World got a cover re-branding, and I love the results.
However, I self-published Friends of Mine, and hired a designer named Patty Palazzo who’s done a lot of design work for Duran Duran, including bassist John Taylor’s book cover. I connected with her on Twitter, and the rest is history. She did a kick-ass job.

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Oooh, we just had a discussion about this on Twitter’s weekly #ChickLitChat! (Every Thursday at 8:00 p.m., US eastern time.) Assuming we’re talking about She Has Your Eyes… Devin/David was inspired by Chris Noth’s smile (and his Mr. Big look), believe it or not. However, I think Gabriel Macht (Harvey on Suits) would make an interesting screen version of Devin/David. I can never think of anyone for Andi. The actress would have to put on weight and not look so Hollywood glamorous. She’d also have to pull off a natural Long Island accent and have some Italian in her blood.

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?
It’s rare that I like any book adaptation (with the exception of Chocolat). But I think Bridget Jones’s Diary was good, if only for Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Perfect casting!

Who is your all time favourite Chick Lit character?
Tough call. I loved Jojo in The Other Side of the Story, but how can you not love Bridget Jones?

Name one Chick Lit author who you think deserves to be better known.
I very recently read a novel called Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown. I really enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to her next book.

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
Oh geez…can I play myself? And can I choose who gets to play my love interests? I have a list of actors I’d like to kiss—er, work with…

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy? I don’t drink, so I’m sure one shot of anything would put me over the edge.
Shopaholic or shopadon't? Is there a middle ground on that? I probably lean towards the second, although I just sprung for practically an entire fall wardrobe.
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? Close to the ground! As beautiful as some high-heeled shoes are, I walk like Herman Munster in anything over three inches.
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? Can I pick the late Nora Ephron instead?
Cry baby or tough cookie? I’d lean closer to tough cookie, except when I’m sick. Then I get very weepy and lonely.

Elisa Lorello is the author of the Kindle best-selling novels Faking It and Ordinary World, Why I Love Singlehood (co-authored with Sarah Girrell), and Adulation. Her fifth novel, She Has Your Eyes, a continuation of Faking It and Ordinary World, will be released in February 2014.
When she’s not reading and writing, Elisa is an unapologetic Duran Duran fan, a walker, coffee shop patron, Pop Tart enthusiast, and sings two-part harmony. She currently lives in Southeastern Massachusetts.

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Blog: “I’ll Have What She’s Having”
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