About Me

My photo
Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

Featured Post

Book Review: 23:27 by H.L. Roberts

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blog Tour, Book Review, & Author Interview: Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton

About Lauren Lipton

Lauren Lipton is the author of two novels, It's About Your Husband (2006) and Mating Rituals of the North American WASP (2009). She is also a freelance journalist who specializes in style, business and trend stories. She is currently fashion, beauty and lifestyle editor at ForbesWoman magazine. She has also contributed features on society and media to the New York Times Sunday Styles section. A former Wall Street Journal staff writer, she reported on copycat brides who steal their friends' wedding ideas, pajama parties for grown women, and luxury homes with his-and-hers garages.
Her work also has appeared in Conde Nast Portfolio, In Style Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings, Best Life, Glamour, Marie Claire, Fit Pregnancy and Working Mother, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. She began her career at the Los Angeles Times. Born in Providence, R.I., Lauren grew up in the North County of San Diego and in Los Gatos, Calif., before moving to Los Angeles. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and anthropology from Occidental College and a master's degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California. She lives with her family in New York City and in Litchfield County, Conn.

About Mating Rituals of the North American WASP

New Yorker Peggy Adams is upset when she wakes up next to a strange man after a night in Las Vegas she can't remember...but she's horrified when she discovers she has married him! Luke Sedgwick is WASP royalty, the last of the New Nineveh, Connecticut, Sedgwicks. He might also have been perfect, if Peggy weren't already "pre-engaged" to her live-in boyfriend (with a promise ring to prove it). Peggy and Luke agree to get an annulment ASAP, and then receive an offer they can't refuse. Luke's eccentric Great-aunt Abigail offers the two the chance to make millions on the family estate: All they have to do is stay married for a year. Peggy is soon pretending to be one-half of the perfect couple among New England's WASPy set on the weekends, while keeping her marriage a secret in New York during the week. But she isn't prepared for what might be her worst mistake of all: Falling in love with her soon-to-be ex-husband.

My Review of Mating Rituals of the North American WASP

Peggy Adams wakes up one Vegas morning in bed with a strange man. It seems during a whirlwind casino and alcohol romance, they were married. Her new husband and veritable stranger, Luke Sedgwick, is a Connecticut WASP from a family with a name and history almost as old as the Mayflower. His house, which is rapidly crumbling like his family fortune, stands as an icon of his heritage and prestige. A deal is struck up between Peggy, Luke, and Luke's great-aunt Abigail: the two of them have to stay married for a year, after which they will inherit her house. With the money gained from selling the house, Luke would be able to afford full time care for Abigail. Peggy would be able to save her business from closing. The two of them decide to go through with it. At first, the two of them are barely friends and tolerate each other with cool regard. Peggy has a pre-engagement engagement ring by a man who she has been waiting seven years to get engaged to and Luke is afflicted by a terrible disease known as New England Yuppie Lack of Expressed Emotion with a side effect of Dating A Wild and Exciting Redhead. The early relationship between Luke and Peggy is at first hindered by outside responsibility and guilt. But for the sake of appearances, the two of them play the game and fake being a happily in love WASP couple on the weekends. However, soon the two of them are experiencing real feelings, which brings in a whole new set of complications and guilt. The two of them can never seem to express the right emotion at the right time, or admit to each other what is in their hearts and minds. These two are so frustrating, but with each page they come closer to each other emotionally. I ended up staying up all night to finish this book because I wanted so badly for the two of them to work through their misunderstandings and misinterpretations and just admit to having real feelings for each other. For a while there, for every step forward they make, they take another two back and it drove me crazy in a good way. It is interesting the way that the author allows us to see some events from both perspectives, so that after a while we learn to gauge how the other person is feeling even though it isn't obvious. Like, I knew after a while why Luke would make certain comments or faces. I understood the way Peggy saw his actions. None of it had to be explained anymore. Need I say that I absolutely LOVED the romantic and sexual tension between the Luke and Peggy? I did. Sometimes it was almost palpable, I kid you not. I mean, no it's not very realistic that your average struggling business owner female in an unhappy relationship meets rich and sexy man in Vegas, but I found the progression of their relationship to be complex and realistic. They didn't just fall in to each other's arms as romance novels tend to have their characters do. Mating Rituals is a romance novel for people who don't like the conventions of typical romance novels.

Interview with Lauren Lipton

Q: What do you do to prepare to write? What is the process that gets you ready to sit down a lay out a story?
A: How I prepare depends on where I am in the process. While in the middle of a book, I spend time before my writing day officially begins--while lying in bed, doing dishes, at the gym, and so on--chewing on whatever challenge is on the agenda, such as, "How do I get Peggy down the stairs?" (Truly, getting a character from the third floor to the first is usually as much as I can accomplish in a day.) If I'm starting a new book--as I am now--I spend weeks, sometimes months, thinking about it and outlining it. It sounds like procrastination, but the thinking part is as necessary as the writing part.

Q: How much of yourself do you put in your characters? Are they extensions of you, or are they independent creations that take on a life of their own after coming from your imagination? How much are you like Peggy?
A: This is an interesting question, because I would have given the opposite answer two years ago. The heroine of my first novel, It's About Your Husband, was a fictionalized version of me. But while writing Mating Rituals of the North American WASP, I was surprised to find the characters taking on personality traits I do not believe I possess. Peggy, for example, is too indulgent of her commitment-phobic boyfriend. Seriously, Peggy; he'll never make you happy.

Q: What is the most valuable piece of knowledge that you've picked up after becoming a published author that you wish you knew from the start?
A: Oh, where to begin? I wish I'd known how lovely publishing people are. Maybe there are meanies in the industry, but everybody I've met, from agents to editors to designers, proofreaders, publicists and other authors, has been smart and personable and kind. I'd had this notion that they'd be snobby or mocking. That was a lot of wasted worry.

Q: What's the best part of writing a book? What is the worst?
A: The best part is the physical act of sitting at the computer and spinning ideas into a tangible object: a big, thick, satisfying chunk of paper. The worst part--and it's hardly terrible; I'm not complaining--is that I don't love being the center of attention. I get a little embarrassed doing the readings and interviews and talking about me, me, me. At the moment, I am thoroughly sick of myself.

Q: Finally, could you share with all of us a quote that you love?
A: "Omit needless words." --William Strunk, Jr., in The Elements of Style

Some Participating Sites


No comments:

Post a Comment