It’s a week of #ChickLitLove for the ChickLitChat authors! Today’s offering: A chat with my heroines. Let’s dive in, shall we? And be sure to follow the hashtag #ChickLitLove on Twitter for other great posts today and throughout the week!
Hello there, and welcome to the first stop on the ChickLitChat Valentine’s Week Event, #ChickLitLove! Today we’re talking with three bona fide heroines. They may not have scaled Everest or rescued a box of puppies from being sucked down into a raging whirlpool, but they have conquered even harsher challenges: scaling the interminable heights of life, career, and family to achieve success and find happiness, plus navigating the treacherous waters of relationships to find true love. Please give a warm welcome to Emmie Brewster, main character of By Design; Faith Sinclair, main character of Unscripted; and Georgiana Down, main character of Down on Love—
George: Call me George. Everybody does.
Emmie: (sticking head in the doorway) Excuse me? Am I in the right place for the interview?
Faith: Ain’t no other place, honey. Come on in and introduce yourself.
Emmie: (sitting nervously on the edge of a chair) Oh. Um, me first? Okay…I’m Emmie, and…um…I’m an interior designer—well, I would be, if my stupid boss ever let me do anything besides make coffee and take notes for him while he meets with clients. I really rely on my bestie, Trish—we’ve been friends since middle school—to help me keep my head on straight when I just want to give up and stay in bed all day.
Faith: Got a man in your life to keep you company in that bed, sweets?
Emmie: Oh, sure, I’ve got a boyfriend…well, sometimes. Actually, he’s not all that…er… You know, there’s this other guy, though. (closing her eyes) Mm, yep. Graham is…yep. Who knew an architect could be that hot?
George: (snorting) Hmf.
Faith: Problem with that?
George: In general, men suck.
Emmie: Your cynicism is showing.
Faith: We’ll get to you in a minute, grouchie. (gathering up her long dark hair, putting it in a businesslike twist, and securing it with a pencil) We’ve gotta move this along—I’ve got to get back to work—so I’m gonna take my turn now.
George: Make with the introduction, then.
Faith: I’m Faith, executive producer of the TV show Modern Women.
Emmie: I thought you looked familiar! Wow, big-time Hollywood producer. That’s impressive.
Faith: (not obnoxiously) Thanks. But it’s not all parties and power lunches. Sometimes, but not always. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into keeping a hit TV show on the air, and keeping it successful—not easy, especially when you’re a woman, because there are still tons of sexist pigs in the business. Plus it doesn’t give me much time for a personal life.
George: Didn’t I hear some gossip about you and your leading man, Alex what’s-his-name…?
Faith: (looking shifty) No comment.
George: No comment as in nothing’s going on between you, or no comment as in it’s so juicy you’re not going to admit to it?
Faith: (growling) No comment. Besides, that gossip is old news.
Emmie: Which means you’ve got the hots for somebody else. Spill!
Faith: What are you, twelve?
Emmie: I will ply you with copious amounts of wine until you fess up.
Faith: Well, hand it over, then! (accepting very full glass, sipping, then sighing) That’s better. His name’s Mason. He’s hot as fuck. But you didn’t hear that from me. Being stupid about a freaking shaggy-haired community college professor would absolutely destroy my rep. (clearing throat, turning to George) Now it’s your turn, blondie. Tell us about yourself.
George: Well, I’m a blogger—I run Down on Love, a site where people can share their terrible relationship experiences, and it’s also sort of an online advice column. But if you ask for my help, be prepared for my usual advice, which I give out about 90 percent of the time. …Okay, more like 99 percent, if I’m going to be honest.
Emmie: Ooh, I need advice all the time. Let’s hear it.
George: Dump his ass.
Emmie: …Wow. Ninety-nine percent of the time, huh?
George: Very few guys are keepers. One percent is, might I say, generous.
Faith: Cynic for sure. I take it you’re basing that on personal experience?
George: (making a face) You might say that.
Emmie: Oh, come on. There’s gotta be one guy you—ah hah! You’re blushing! I’m right, aren’t I?
George: (muttering) Dammit.
Emmie: And that guy is…?
George: If you spread this around, I will dismember you and spread your body parts as far and wide as the gossip traveled.
Emmie: (shrinking in her chair) Noted.
Faith: You don’t scare me, freckles. I want names, I want data. Now.
George: Fine. It’s just…stupid anyway. His name was—is—Casey. (rushing, her words tumbling over one another) I had a stupid crush on him in high school, he always treated me like a little kid because I was two years behind him in school but then after I graduated, he kissed me. But then he freaked out and took off and we barely saw one another after that. But now we’re back in the same hometown, and it’s…weird.
Emmie: (forgetting to be afraid of George and leaning forward) Why’s he back in town?
George: He took over his parents’ farm and he’s turning it into an agritainment business—you know, pumpkin farm, Christmas trees.
Emmie: Ooh, a farmer. Sounds yummy.
George: (sighing) He is. But I’m not so sure we’re good for each other. There’s also his old high school girlfriend, Celia—sometimes I think he’d be better off with her.
Emmie: And we hate Celia?
George: No, no. That’s what makes it even more awful. Celia’s a doll. Sweetest girl I ever met. That’s one of the reasons I think they’d be better off together.
Faith: Well, that’s just stupid. You obviously still have a thing for him; I say go for it.
George: Nobody asked you to executive produce our lives, Hollywood.
Faith: Well, excuse me for caring.
Emmie: (picking up a sheet of paper) Oh, look, you guys. There are some questions for us. Let’s answer them.
Faith: That’s your best attempt to distract us?
Emmie: (ignoring Faith) “What three qualities do you find most attractive in a partner?”
Faith: The first person who says “abs” is gonna get clocked.
Emmie: There’s nothing wrong with abs, is there?
Faith: No, but—and this is me speaking from experience—you need more than that.
George: If I remember rightly, that actor on your show, Alex, spent a lot of time shirtless—he had magnificent abs.
Faith: And nothing but fluff between his ears. So there ya go.
George: So you’d put brains on your list.
Faith: Absolutely. Top of the list.
Emmie: And incredible hotness.
Faith: Well, that goes without saying. How hot is this architect guy of yours, exactly?
Emmie: Let me put it this way: Trish and I compared Graham to Clooney, and Graham won. By the way, do you know him?
Faith: (taken aback) Clooney? No. He’s out of my league—professionally, that is. Personally, I’d probably take him apart and put him back together the wrong way, repeatedly, till he begged for mercy.
George: That’s attractive.
Emmie: What about your answer?
George: Three qualities? Please. I’ve only got two: He goes away and stays away.
Faith: Woman, you need an attitude adjustment.
George: You sound like my sister and her wife. Cut it out. I get enough of that at home.
Emmie: (clearing her throat) Let’s try another question. “What’s your idea of romance?”
George: He goes away and—
Faith: All right, we get it. (turning to Emmie) What about you, cupcake? You look like the hearts and flowers type.
Emmie: I’m into kindness, I won’t lie. Graham is so nice, and so courteous…but not in a boring way, you know?
Faith: I know. Just a little while ago I wouldn’t have agreed with you, but…
George: This Mason guy is nice to you, isn’t he?
Faith: (squirming) Too nice. Sometimes.
George: And other times?
Faith: Let’s say he keeps me in line when I’m starting to go off the rails about stuff. In a good way.
Emmie: Sounds perfect for you. Here’s a good one: “What’s been your most embarrassing moment in regard to the opposite sex?”
Faith: (seriously blushing) Oh God…
George: (brightening) We need to hear this, I think.
Faith: (not looking at them) I thought Alex was interested in me. But he wasn’t. I tried to kiss him…and ended up gnawing on the side of his head like a zombie. Humiliating.
Faith: What about you?
George: By the way, where’s my glass of wine? (Emmie hands George a glass) All rightie then. (taking a healthy swig) Er…I accidentally almost crushed Casey’s nuts with a can of beans.
Emmie: (wincing) Yikes.
George: Well? What’s yours?
Emmie: Honey, my entire life is one humiliating moment after another, especially when it comes to the opposite sex.
Faith: (looking over Emmie’s shoulder at the list) Oh, that one’s good: “What was your first impression of your partner or crush? How accurate was it?”
George: You should answer first, if you picked it.
Faith: No problem. I thought Mason was a hottie that I wanted to get to know better. Unfortunately I was being thrown off my studio lot at the time, so it wasn’t a convenient moment. (winking) I had other chances later. Cupcake? How about you?
Emmie: I knew from the very first embarrassing moment, when he caught me napping at work, that I wanted to marry him.
George: (stunned) Wow. Hardcore.
Emmie: I stand by my first impression.
Faith: This is getting too drippy for me. Are we done here?
Emmie: Oh, come on. One more. “What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever gotten?” Well, this one’s easy…
George, with Faith and Emmie joining in: Dump his ass!
Faith: Good thing we haven’t been listening to you. Otherwise we wouldn’t have these great love stories to tell.
Emmie: I vote we get back to them. Who’s with me?
Faith: (halfway out the door) I’m way ahead of you.
George: (opening her laptop) In a minute. I want to get all this down. My readers are going to love it.
(Emmie and Faith are prevented from exiting by the appearance of another woman in the doorway)
George: (looking up, startled) Celia! What are you doing here?
Emmie: This is the Celia?
Celia: Oh, sorry—am I too late?
George: Too early, I think. Isn’t your story coming out in July?
George: Well, then, beat it—for now, all right? No spoilers!
All the heroines’ stories are available in all e-formats—except Celia’s; she’s going to have to wait for a bit. Links to the others are here!