Excerpt to “Blogger Girl” sequel and Introducing Felicia Harrison

This time last year, I put out a challenge to the “blogosphere” to set me up with a man – not just any man but an appealing and available man I actually liked. In return, I vowed to name a character of my next book (the sequel to Blogger Girl) after anyone whose matchmaking led to an actual date. You can read the post here:

Well, it’s a good thing I have my own ways of getting dates because you guys FAILED miserably. Seriously. Thanks for nothing people…

One person did, however, stand out among all others. My interactions with this woman were very limited at the time, but she really made it her mission to set me up. She, also, failed. But her efforts have earned her the prize as well as a true friend who adores her.

After much discussion, she has chosen to remain anonymous so rather than use her real name, I have named a character after her alter ego, aka the fake name she gave to men when she was single and not interested.

I’d like to introduce you all to Felicia Harrison. The below excerpt is subject to change since I’m still in editing.

I spotted Felicia immediately. She was sitting on a black upholstered couch scribbling in a leather-bound journal. As I approached, she looked up and smiled. Standing up, she said, “Kim?”

I returned her smile and nodded. My throat was dry and I swallowed hard, praying my voice wouldn’t crack. “Hi.”

Motioning toward the couch, she said, “Is this okay? I got here early and snagged the only open spots. I’m glad you got here before I had to fight someone for the space.” She laughed.

I scanned the crowded lounge and smiled timidly. “It’s fine. I hope I’m not late.”

“You’re right on time. Do you want a drink?”

The answer to her question was an unequivocal “yes” but I didn’t know the proper protocol. Was it a trick question? 

As if reading my mind, Felicia said, “Having met with many new authors in my fifteen years as a literary agent, I find a drink calms their nerves and they almost never make drunk fools of themselves.”

I bit my lip. Almost?

Felicia laughed. “I’m making an executive decision and getting us both glasses of Champagne. You sit and protect our space.”

I chuckled. “Okay. Thanks.”

Even though I had seen pictures of Felicia during various stages of agent-stalking, I discreetly checked her out as she ordered our drinks at the bar. With fifteen years’ experience, she was probably about forty, although she could easily pass for thirty-five. She was tall (at least compared to me) and thin with killer legs and warm brown eyes. Her chestnut brown hair was styled all one length except for bangs. She was pretty and so far, seemed as kind as her appearance suggested. 

Returning from the bar, Felicia handed me a glass of Champagne before sitting down next to me. Then she clinked her glass against mine. “Better?”

I took a small sip, determined to pace myself. “Much better,” I confessed. The Champagne took the edge off my nerves, but I was far from tranquil. I had conversed with many agents in my blogger capacity, but this was my first face-to-face as an author and I didn’t want to blow it. 

Felicia smiled. “Good. Thanks for meeting me today.”

“Thanks for asking me! And for reading A Blogger’s Life.” I felt a pulsing in my throat in anticipation of the conversation about to take place.

Felicia put her glass down on the table in front of us. “It was my pleasure. It’s a great story, Kim. You should be proud.”

Lifting my chin, I said, “Thank you.” So far so good.

“Although the market is flooded with bloggers turned authors, a fictional novel from the perspective of a book blogger is fresh.” Tipping her head to the side, she queried, “It is fiction, right?”

“Yes. I mean, I relied on my own experiences as a book blogger for authenticity, but the story itself as well as the characters are completely fictitious.”

Felicia nodded. “You’ve got talent Kim and I think the novel has a wide appeal for younger readers of chick lit, romantic comedy, and humorous women’s fiction. But…”

But what??? Nope. You’ll have to wait until the book is released to read what comes next.

For those of you who didn’t win, it could have been your name up there. Aren’t you jealous?

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog, click here: http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-june-2015/

Blogosphere Blogosphere Make Me a Match, Find Me a Find, Catch Me a Catch

In almost all of the chick lit/romantic comedy novels I write, there is a central romance and after some missteps, my main character gets the guy—maybe not the guy she wanted on page one, but the guy she eventually falls in love with, and the guy who is ultimately her best match. The closing scenes of my books always leave me with the warm and fuzzies, but as thrilled as I am for my protagonist, I am also a bit envious. Despite being several years older than all of my main characters, none of my boyfriends to date have been “the one.” As a result, I often wish I was a character in a romantic comedy so that I would know that my happily ever after was around the corner. I feel like Charlotte York in Sex and the City when she exclaimed, “I’ve been dating since I’m fifteen, where is he?”

I always make my main character work hard for her happily after ever. I don’t let her get the guy until she is truly ready for him. First she has to make her mistakes (as we all do), figure her shit out and make amends (read: character development). This is because I believe that the blessings in our life are most appreciated and most likely to be nurtured when they aren’t spoon fed to us— when we actually have to work for them. Using this mindset, I understand why I didn’t settle down in my twenties or even early thirties. I was nowhere near ready. I didn’t know myself; I’m not entirely certain I really liked myself; and my priorities were not conducive to a healthy relationship. In my twenties and early thirties, we had not gotten to the part of the chick lit book starring Meredith Schorr where I figured my shit out and made amends. As a result, I so get why I didn’t get the guy at that time in my life and I am okay with it. I don’t look backwards (much).

I am more self-aware than the average person and I am fully cognizant of the mistakes I made in the past, however, my character development has been extensive. I’ve learned so much from my mistakes and have come to terms with them. I have taken responsibility for my failed relationships and those that didn’t make it out of the gate, but, equally important, I have also realized that the failings weren’t always a result of something I did or did not do, or someone I was or wasn’t. I have learned to cut myself some slack and I now understand that I can’t control everything; that relationships take two; and not every mistake is on me. I truly like (love) myself now, inside and out, and at this point in the Meredith Schorr chick lit book, it is time to get the guy. It took me over 40 years, but I am ready (hallelujah!), and I want more than anything to find my other half.

But I can’t! In a city as populated as New York, it is beyond challenging to meet available, somewhat age-appropriate men who are looking to meet a woman to eventually commit to and yes, I have tried online dating (hate it) and other avenues. Add to that finding a man with whom I have chemistry and actually want to date and…well, you can hopefully understand my frustration. I get hit on by married men and much younger guys who aren’t at the same stage of their life, but most of the other men I come into contact with are already taken or, if they are single, they are more interested in instant gratification and casual sex and disinterested in having a committed relationship. I don’t fault them for it, but I want something bigger, deeper, and more fulfilling! I’m aware that serious relationships aren’t made overnight but I yearn to find someone who, like me, sees it as an end goal.

New York is too big, too fast, too loud, too impersonal, too much sometimes and it is so easy to get lost. There must be true “catches” out there who would love to meet a woman like me but I don’t know how to find him, how to get his attention and how to connect.

This is where you come in (yes YOU). I need your help. Do you know a man who meets the general criteria listed below?

Single
35-50 (generally)
Lives in tri-state (NY/NJ/CT) area preferably
Physically attractive and fit
Healthy

Funny
Intelligent
Kind
Interesting

If you (yes YOU) know someone who fits the above description (everything else comes down to chemistry) who you consider a catch, I would love to hear from you (or him). If your introduction leads to an actual date, regardless of ultimate outcome, I will name a character in my next book after you! I am not interested in serial dating and will only go out with someone if he sincerely interests me, so be selective! As anxious as I am to find the “the one”, I will never be with someone merely to avoid being alone.

If he requires more information about me, he can read my blogs or simply ask me. A Google Image search will bring up lots of pictures too.

THANK YOU!

There was a time, probably not too long ago, when I would have been way too embarrassed to put myself out there in this manner. Each man I have dated in the past few years has taught me so much about what I want, need, and deserve in a relationship, and the fact that I am comfortable asking for help is indicative of how ready I truly am! I vowed to write my own happy ending and I’m starting here. Why should my characters have all of the fun?

 

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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/