Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Author Guest Post - Sarah Bird

Today, Sarah Bird, author of 'How Perfect is That' is graciously guest-blogging here. 
Welcome, Sarah!
Hello, welcome to my deflowering. This is, literally, the first time I have ever blogged. I’m not totally sure of the conventions, so how about if I just free-associate madly?

**IF** I were like my scoundrel of a heroine, Blythe Young, I’d be popping some mood-stabilizers right now to calm myself down. Even without chemical amendment, however, this is a fascinating experience for me, to be able to talk about a book that was published a year ago. In that year, I’ve read all the reviews, (I am definitely not one of those lofty writers who can hold themselves above the fray and ignore reviews), and had lots and lots of discussions about “How Perfect Is That.”

The one piece of the reaction to this book that is utterly different from any of my others is how stunningly polarized it is. More than anything else I have ever written, “How Perfect” seems to be a love it or hate it read. This came across very dramatically for me in following the reviews on Amazon. Until yesterday, I had no, none, zero, four -or three-star reviews. All fives, twos and ones. Oh, reading those one and two starrers, I did wish I were an above-the-fray author who never bothered herself about such matters.

This dramatic lack of middle ground has led me to two conclusions: One, if a book is foisted upon a reader as a “comic novel,” if the foisterer promises that this will book will make you lose bladder control, and if the reader then does not find the book to be a laugh riot, that reader will be irritated. Novels that are held out to be comic--unlike thrillers, romance, or even general mid-list literary fiction--don’t miss by inches. They either synch up with a reader’s sensibilities, what he or she thinks is funny, and are a dead-on hit or they don’t work at all.

Second conclusion: It can be a challenge to read about a character who makes moral choices that you, the reader, wouldn’t. My “heroine,” Blythe Young is a user and an abuser. A striver and a conniver. A climber and whatever rhymes with –imer. Bad two-timer? Annoying street-mimer? All right, not the last two, but she is a scoundrel. The big question hanging over the book is, “Can she be redeemed?” The bigger question that I was addressing was, “Can she be really funny in the process?”

A few months ago, when I needed to make myself feel confused and depressed, I did a bit of self-Googling. A series of random links led me to a site that proposed that my first novel, published in 1986, “Alamo House: Women Without Men, Men Without Brains,” was the first chick lit book ever. Who knows? Though someday it might be remarked that “How Perfect Is That” was the first in another line: Bitch Lit.

Now that was entertaining, wasn't it, Readers? Certainly didn't feel like your "blogging deflowering", Sarah :) You're most welcome to come back here again, anytime! In the meantime, you can visit Sarah at her website - http://www.sarahbirdbooks.com

Readers, your thoughts and comments are most welcome, as always.
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4 comments :

  1. This book should be in every library, in every home and in all bookshelves, it's simply great.I loved it.

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  2. Well, your deflowering was fun, though, wasn't it? LOL!

    Wow, poor Blythe! Or did she bring everything on herself? But she's going to have some growing done through this book, I can tell.

    I love the dorkocycle!

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  3. I have so many books at home that I had to find a self-storage unit in order to keep them all.

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  4. Also, you should know that this author has written some other books as well, that you might enjoy reading, very similar to this one.

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