Happy Anniversary A State of Jane and guest blogger!

With all of the fuss over the release of my third novel Blogger Girl and the re-release of my debut novel, Just Friends with Benefits, I almost forgot all about my “middle child” A State of Jane. (I’m surprised I haven’t heard the voice of Jan Brady whining “Blogger Girl, Blogger Girl, Blogger Girl!”)  But Jane Frank need not fret as I could never forget the anniversary of the day her story was released to the world. Happy Anniversary to A State of Jane! In honor of this momentous milestone, I have a special guest blogging about the first year anniversary. Welcome Beth Bacon to my blog! I am very lucky in that my publisher, Booktrope, provides marketing support to all of its authors in the form of a Marketing Manager. Beth Bacon is my Marketing Manager and she’s fantastic. I truly think I hit the jackpot of Marketing Managers. And, really, how many other Marketing Managers would agree to guest post on their author’s blogs? So, without further ado, I will hand this over to Beth:

Cheers!

Cheers!

The 1-Year Anniversary… What does it mean?

Happy birthday, Jane.  It’s the one-year anniversary of the publication of A State Of Jane. The first copies started rolling out of Amazon warehouses in mid-September 2012. The chick-lit world has never been the same.

One year. What does a year mean? The marker can trigger a celebration or act as a kick in the pants—Crap! A year has gone by already?

That’s the way Jane feels at the opening of A State of Jane. She’s been single for one year. The anniversary is like a wake up call. BRING! Time to get a life.

Granted Jane is the one who wanted the break up. But in the twelve long, dry months after that, Jane hasn’t dated a single Tom, Dick, or Harry. Crossing the one-year threshold jolts her into action. She needs to find a guy. The guy. The one. And fast. Especially because her ex is now happily engaged—to someone… nice.

What is it about the one-year milestone that spurs Jane to get off her butt and start dating like a her pants are on fire? What is it about the calendar circling around onto itself that makes one day different from the day before? Why do we mark anniversaries at all? And why, why do we feel so excited to celebrate the date that the book A State of Jane was launched into the world?

Okay, hold on, wait. This is not a philosophy blog. This is a chick lit blog. Forget I went there.

Instead—LET’S PARTY! A STATE OF JANE IS ONE YEAR OLD TODAY!

WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?

How do I decide?

•  Skinny blue jeans and white t-shirt like Kim on the cover of Blogger Girl?

•  An A-line dress cinched at waist with pumps like Stephanie in Just Friends With Benefits?

•  A V-neck cashmere sweater, black jeans and boots like Jane in A State of Jane?

WHAT AM I GOING TO DRINK?

So many tasty cocktails.

•  A skinny flute of Prosecco like Kim in Blogger Girl?

•  A dirty Martini like Hannah in Blogger Girl?

•  Wheat beer like Stephanie in Just Friends with Benefits?

•  A nice glass of white wine like Jane in A State of Jane?

WHERE SHOULD WE GO TO CELEBRATE?

Lots of places to check out.

•  Vero Wine Bar, Banc Cafe, The Hurricane Club, or Ryan’s Daughter like in Blogger Girl?

•  The Round Robin Bar, the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, or the Rhino Bar & Pumphouse like in Just Friends with Benefits?

•  Whisky River, Hillstone, or the Lex Bar like in A State of Jane?

HOW LATE AM I GOING TO STAY OUT?

Not too late. I’m gonna’ get home early, curl up in bed, and re-read A State of Jane.

9781935961697-cvr_Createspace.indd

Advertisements

International Chick Lit Month Author Blog Hop

FINALChickLitBlogHopButton2013

Welcome to my stop on the Second Annual International Chick Lit Month Author Blog Hop!

As you probably know by now, one lucky hopper will win the GRAND PRIZE: A FREE Kindle Keyboard 3G, with Free 3G + Wi-Fi, and a 6″ E Ink Display. That lucky grand prize winner will also receive a “chick lit starter library” filled with great chick lit books written by the indie authors participating in the blog hop. Please see bottom of post for instructions.  For More Information Click Here:

The topic of this Blog Hop is “What’s on Page 25” and today, I am sharing the contents of page 25 of my chick lit novel, A State of Jane.

9781935961697-cvr_Createspace.indd

On page 25 of A State of Jane, my main character, Jane Frank, is assuring her doting father that she is studying hard for the LSAT exam. There’s one problem though: Jane is lying.

Jane’s father is definitely her favorite of her two parents as she considers her mother to be a bit on the critical side. Whereas her mother often encourages Jane to wear dark clothes to disguise her curvier lower half, Jane can do no wrong in her daddy’s eyes and she’s a daddy’s girl to the Nth degree. Since she was a little girl, Jane and her father talked about working side-by-side on multi-million dollar deals as legal partners. Jane’s life plan includes kicking butt on her LSAT exam so that she can get into a top tier law school like the Ivy League Columbia.

Unfortunately, Jane’s life plan also includes finding a serious boyfriend. She waited the requisite year after breaking up with her first and only boyfriend of nine years and is ready (and eager) to fall in love again. Jane is afraid that if she waits too long to commence the boyfriend search, she will start law school single and have no time to date. After a few “false-starts” on eHarmony, Jane is getting ready for a first date with a guy she randomly met at an ATM machine and her daydreams about their future together are getting in the way of her studies. (Win the grand prize! The 7th secret word in the 25-word sentence is: Blog) Jane is positive that she can juggle preparations for the exam with her romantic aspirations and she does not see the need to concern her father with minor details like how much she has strayed from her studying schedule ( a lot).

Does Jane really have it all under control or is she about to encounter a rocky road on both the academic and romantic fronts? You must read the book to find out and I hope you will 🙂

Learn “How to Hop & Win!” New to blog hops? Want to learn how to win the grand prize? Find complete information here.

Keep hopping! Click here to return to the list of blogs.

http://wp.me/p318Hj-lD

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. Speaking of buzzing over books and summer parties… If you happen to be in NYC on Thursday, May 30th, please come on down to Stone Creek Bar and Lounge on East 27th (between Lex and 3rd) from 7pm to 9pm for a mix-and-mingle event a few of us in this Hop are hosting. Should be a hoot! Book Buzz 2013–click here for details!

likeable “unlikeable characters” in chick lit starring Jane Frank & Giveaway

The winner has been chosen – congratulations to SusieQ – you have won an ecopy of my first novel, Just Friends with Benefits!  Thanks for playing all 🙂

 

“Somehow, rather quickly Jane became that friend who you love, but drives you crazy along the way.”

Jane Frank, the main character in my novel, A State of Jane, is a twenty-six-year-old woman who has had a pretty easy life.  She comes from a well-to-do family, her parents are still very much in love, she earned good grades in school and her first romantic relationship was a loving and supportive one.  Jane has never wanted anything she couldn’t have and her childhood dreams of becoming a partner in her father’s law firm and being married by 30 are only 3 years of law school and a great boyfriend away.  Or so she thinks

 Sometimes I found Jane to be naïve, childish and rather self-absorbed but I also found her to be funny and just trying to find her path.”

Jane re-enters the dating world a year to the day after her break-up with her first and only boyfriend of nine years only to discover that finding a second boyfriend isn’t as easy as she thought and studying for the LSAT is a little difficult when all she wants to do is decipher the Manhattan male.  Why are they all completely smitten with her one day and then gone the next? 

“As the story went on I saw how Jane had to go through this dating journey to end up where she did.”

My desire in writing A State of Jane was to tell a story of a girl whose life spiraled out of control after she realized that things didn’t always go according to plan.  Jane Frank is a good person at heart but she is naïve and sheltered.  She would never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings but is ill-prepared to handle what she deems as failure.  Jane becomes obsessed with controlling her destiny to the detriment of her career aspirations and her relationships with friends and family.  She becomes self-absorbed and unlikeable but it’s all part of her path to self-discovery and growing up.  I don’t want to spoil anything for people who haven’t read A State of Jane yet but Jane ultimately sees the error of her ways and makes amends.

“Through her vulnerable, all-about-me phase, I enjoyed watching her character arc of becoming just plain Jane.”

Jane Frank has a strong character arc and a lot of readers have commented that they found her extremely relatable, even though they wanted to shake her at times.  I’ve also received comments from readers who couldn’t warm to Jane despite her character development.   Jane is definitely a flawed character and if that is not your cup of tea, you probably will not enjoy A State of Jane.  I feel very protective of Jane as if I gave birth to her, which I kind of did.  But I know that if Jane really was my daughter, I’d probably have to sit her down at some point and explain that not everyone would like her and that’s ok – it’s part of  life. I might introduce her to some other imperfect female characters in chick lit, such as the following:

Darcy Rhone – Something Borrowed/Something Blue – Emily Giffin –Introduced to readers in Something Borrowed, Darcy is the completely self-absorbed, selfish and conceited best friend of Rachel Green and the fiancée of Rachel’s love interest. 

From Publisher’s Weekly: “Perhaps beautiful Darcy Rhone isn’t really wicked, but she is one of the most shallow, materialistic, self-centered and naïve 29-year-olds around.”

Darcy was an unlikeable character yet most readers appreciated her growth as a character.

“You really did come to care for and root for Darcy as she became less self-centered.” 

 “Emily Giffin has done a great job creating a character that, at first, I found myself disliking, and then in the end rooted for her as she founded her happy place in life”

Maggie Feller– In Her Shoes – Jennifer Weiner – The younger and more “beautiful” of two sisters, readers instantly dislike Maggie when she sleeps with her older sister Rose’s boyfriend.

From Publisher’s weekly, “Twenty-eight-year-old Maggie Fuller relies on her looks and size zero body to flirt her way through life while working dozens of dead-end jobs and dreaming of stardom.”

Maggie was easy to dislike at the beginning of the novel having betrayed her sister in one of the worst ways imaginable. It is also difficult to relate to a woman who is completely lazy and irresponsible, relying on her looks to get by in life.  However, readers see a different side to Maggie as she comes to terms with her inferiority complex and works hard to be a better person and sister. 

 “Maggie was so irritating and unlikeable, that the first half of the book was difficult to endure.  The second half brought redemption, healing, and transformation to Maggie.”

 “Just as you start hating Maggie, the one who has it easy getting jobs and men, Weiner emphasizes a hidden dimension of her character that allows us to empathize with her and realize that maybe she doesn’t have it so easy after all.”

Mattie Johns – The Hating Game – Talli Roland – Mattie Johns is very tightly wound to say the least.  She has built walls up around her to keep others away and she’s not a very nice person.  However, as the story develops, readers learn that Mattie is in fact capable of true love and selfless behavior. 

 “At first I found Mattie unlikeable.  But even in the beginning, I could detect her vulnerability within her uncompromising exterior.  This is a woman who wants to be in control, so it’s interesting to see how she grows as her life becomes more and more out of control.”

Just like these characters, Jane Frank is not always likeable.  She’s not always nice.  She doesn’t always do the right thing and she can be flat-out selfish.  In a word, she is human.  Another word is “flawed.”  But just like these other characters, there is an explanation for Jane’s behavior, and the consequences of her actions lead her to the path to redemption.  I hope that readers will forgive Jane’s “all about me” phase and admire her for putting her flaws out there for the world to see. 

“I liked that Jane was not perfect, and even got a little mad at her myself while reading.  But that is what makes her a real character.” 

What about you?  To win an ecopy of my first novel Just Friends With Benefits, please comment with your email address AND the name of one of your favorite flawed females in fiction! 

A Life Plan Similar to Swiss Cheese – guest post

In celebration of International Grilled Cheese Month*, I wrote a guest post for the lovely Julie Valerie over at Chick Lit Chick Chat. In addition to reading my very deep and thought provoking comparison of Jane Frank’s life plan to Swiss cheese, if you catch the blog by April 29th, you will have an opportunity to win a $5 gift card to Amazon. You can buy five 99 cent ebooks with that. Or two books for $2.99 (hint: A State of Jane is a good one 🙂 )

Check out the post here:

http://www.julievalerie.com/2013/04/24/meredith-schorr/

*How cool is it that there is an entire month devoted to one of my favorite sandwiches? I wonder if there is an International Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich month too…

 

To my single sisters

Jane Frank, the main character in my novel A State of Jane is ready to fall in love again after terminating her only long-term relationship. Although Jane Frank and Meredith Schorr (me…) do not have much in common, we both did battle with the New York City dating jungle at one time or another and we both tried many different ways to meet “the one.”

Since A State of Jane deals at least in part with Jane’s journeys in dating, I was asked by Julie from Julie’s Chick Lit to write a post for her blog on 6 ways to go Man-Hunting and I have shared the link with you below. With the exception of matchmaking, I have tried everything in my post with varying degrees of success (and enjoyment). I tried to be as objective as possible…:

http://julieschicklit.com/2013/03/27/meredith-schorrs-6-best-places-to-go-man-hunting/

I’ll have a thicker skin, hold the ice, please.

As part of a cross-promotion with eight other authors, I temporarily lowered the price of the ebook version of A State of Jane to 99 cents over President’s Day Weekend and in honor of Valentine’s Day. Thanks to several very supportive bloggers, social networking in general and a well-placed ad by my amazing publisher, there were approximately 1,200 downloads of A State of Jane that weekend. To be honest, I never expected to sell 1,000 copies period, so selling more than that over a few days is, for lack of a better word, fantastic! I even made it onto a few Amazon best-seller lists and since I have no idea when that will happen again, if ever, I took screen shots and have them hanging on my bulletin board at work so I can look at them when I need a quick pick-me-up.

Although I am very excited about the volume of sales I experienced, I am also terrified. With more sales comes more readers (it ain’t rocket science…) and with more readers comes the increased risk of negative reviews. I’m well aware that even The New York Times best selling books get bad reviews as it is impossible to please everyone. Impossible. It stands to reason, therefore, that not everyone is going to like A State of Jane. Negative reviews are just part of being a published author, right? My head understands the logic behind this but my heart is a different story, not to mention my thin skin.

So far, the majority of reviews for A State of Jane have been very positive. Most of the ratings I’ve received have been 4, 4.5 or 5 stars and some of the reviews have included comments that the book is “chick lit at its finest”, “a must-read” and “hilarious”. Many people have asked me about a sequel and told me they want more Jane. Obviously not everyone has LOVED the book but most have said they enjoyed it. It has made the handful of two and three star ratings on Goodreads easier to swallow since, like I said before, no book is going to have only positive reviews if anyone reads it besides friends and family of the author!

Am I fooling anyone? I didn’t think so. Despite two published novels under my belt, negative reviews/ratings hurt like a mother fucker!

I’ve recently received two somewhat unfavorable reviews for A State of Jane from bloggers. Both reviewers did not like my main character and said that it took away from their enjoyment of the book. I’ll be honest in saying that I can live with that. It was my intention to write a story about a very idealistic and optimistic young woman who learns the hard way that life doesn’t always follow a to-do list. Unlike many main characters in chicklit, Jane is not merely an innocent victim of circumstances outside of her control, i.e. relationships that don’t work out, career aspirations that don’t take off due to an evil boss etc. When faced with disappointment, Jane tries everything (and I mean everything) to turn things around and becomes obsessed to the point of alienating her friends and family. As many readers have said, Jane becomes very unlikeable for a portion of the book. I fully expected readers to dislike Jane for a period of time and so reading this doesn’t surprise or upset me. My hope (and expectation to be honest), however, was that Jane’s antics would endear her to readers and that they would understand and appreciate why she acted the way she did and maybe even relate to her. For the most part, readers have expressed that this was the case but unfortunately for me, other readers could not warm to Jane. I cannot apologize for that because if I could go back and change Jane, I wouldn’t. If I did, it would be a completely different story and not the story I wanted to tell. And if I changed Jane to please those people who didn’t like her, I would thoroughly piss off those who did. (To those readers who did not like Jane, might I suggest that you pick up my debut novel, Just Friends With Benefits? The protoganist is much nicer 🙂 )

I obviously prefer to read reviews from readers who got a kick out of Jane, found her relatable and refreshing and laughed their way through the novel, however, it does make me feel better when the basis of a negative review is something I did intentionally and would not change. I did, however, read a review recently that really pissed me off because it did not seem like the reviewer even read the book. She got a couple of facts wrong and made comments that were just not accurate. She said that the book focused entirely on Jane’s dating experiences and that there were no other relationships or sub plots. Since the premise of the book was how Jane’s obsession with finding “the one” and controlling her destiny negatively affected her relationships with her best friends, family, co-workers and career aspirations, I got the feeling that the reviewer simply skimmed the book and wrote her review based on assumptions of what she thought it was about. That bothers me, especially if others rely on her review, but I guess that is the risk I take putting my book out there.

In summation, bad reviews suck. Despite my friends and fellow authors reminding me that even Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner get bad reviews, bad reviews make me want to cry and sometimes I do cry. Bad reviews even make me question whether I want to keep writing. But then I re-read all of the amazing reviews I have received, I look at the screen shot of A State of Jane reaching #6 on Amazon’s list of best sellers in humorous fiction, I recall how undeniably happy I feel after a good writing session and I move on.

My interview with author Susan Buchanan

One of my virtual writer friends, Susan Buchanan, author of two chicklit novels “The Dating Game” and “Sign of the Times” recently interviewed me for her blog. She asked me some tough questions, for instance, whether I’ve ever been so wrapped up in my love life that I allowed my other relationships to fall by the wayside (like Jane Frank did in my novel, “A State of Jane”) and some of my more embarrassing dating moments. Read on to see my answers, but please note that the giveaway of A State of Jane is over. The book is still only $2.99 though… 🙂

I am also currently reading “The Dating Game” so stay tuned for my review on Amazon and Goodreads!

http://susancbuchanan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/interview-with-us-chicklit-author.html

Valentine’s Day ebook sale – 9 authors, 9 ebooks, 99 cents each!

VDayPromoArtFinal (1)

Love is in the air . . . and it can be on your Kindle, too!

Do you want to fall in love with a good book this Valentine’s Day weekend? How about 9? Then don’t miss this special promotion. For four days only (February 14th – February 17th), 9 popular Chick Lit authors will be lowering the prices on their favorite rom-coms to 99 cents on Amazon.com! At that price (A bottle of wine costs more!), why not sample them all? Some delicious literary treats await you, and unlike chocolates these goodies are calorie-free!

And guys: If your sweetie is a book-lover, you’ll make her Valentine’s Day by gifting her with one (or more) of our fun, romantic stories! 

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Lucas-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister – Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself?  http://www.amazon.com/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y 

Rita Hayworth’s Shoes by Francine LaSalaJilted bride Amy’s down on everything until she convinces herself to purchase a cute, ridiculously expensive pair of second-hand shoes. Once she does, life starts looking up, and she falls into an unexpected new romance with the last man she’d ever expect to love. But can a pair of shoes really be magic? And is her new prince really just a frog? http://www.amazon.com/Rita-Hayworths-Shoes-ebook/dp/B007ZHVB1I/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie – When Roxy Rule shares a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, she must come to terms with her feelings for him while dealing with two sisters in full crisis mode, a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener and a fiancé who can’t wait to walk down the aisle. Can she keep it together–or will she break under the pressure? http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-the-Rules-ebook/dp/B008UZYPLW

The Green Ticket by Samantha March – College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty, but her good fortune quickly turns disastrous when she realizes her job is filled with lies, betrayal, and cover-ups. Keeping up with classes, her girlfriends and a budding romance, Alex feels the pressure – but will she overcome the challenges? http://www.amazon.com/The-Green-Ticket-ebook/dp/B00AI02BO0

Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer – Disgraced New York fashionista, Maya Kirkwood, is fashioning herself a new life as an artist in San Francisco when she’s hired to do an installation of her work by dorky, yet dashing dotcom executive, Derek. The sparks soon start to fly, but this could mean disaster for Maya – a woman with an explosive past and far too many secrets.http://www.amazon.com/Unmasking-Maya-ebook/dp/B00AN7CCV0

A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr – Jane Frank is newly single after nine years and looking for a second chance at love. But when she dives head first into the NYC dating scene and finds it infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow, it may be time for Jane to turn the tables! http://www.amazon.com/A-State-of-Jane-ebook/dp/B009CDVZ64

True Love Way by Nancy Scrofano – When her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris, Marlo Spencer travels to her hometown to try to rekindle their relationship. But when dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and betrayals are revealed, can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart? http://www.amazon.com/True-Love-Way-ebook/dp/B007VA4AZI

Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone – Lauren Tate’s perfectly planned life quickly unravels at the seams when a smear campaign threatens her career as a top TV executive, but she learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart goes missing. http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Perfect-ebook/dp/B0093H0326

 

How I get into my character’s heads

As part of my blog tour for A State of Jane with Chick Lit Plus, I stopped by the lovely Kaley’s Book Etc. blog. Kaley asked me to share my thoughts on how I get into my character’s heads. Read here for my secret. Although it’s not a secret anymore now, is it?

http://booksandstuff-kstar.blogspot.com/2013/01/guest-post-meredith-schorr.html

The Future of Chick Lit

As part of the A State of Jane blog tour with Chick Lit Plus, I was asked by the lovely Isabella “Chick Lit Goddess” Anderson to write my thoughts on the Future of Chick Lit. There have been whispers that “chick lit is dead”. Do you think I am in agreement? Here’s a hint, I have published two novels which clearly fall in the definition of “chick lit” within the past three years and am in the process of editing a third. Read more here:

http://chicklitgoddess.com/category/guests-authors/meredith-schorr/