Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been friends and bloggers for a very long time. But this summer they’ve added something new to their repertoire: co-authors. And this is something that deeply fascinates Marybeth and I. We’ve followed Liz and Lisa’s blog for some time. They’re bright, generous, and funny. And they’ve managed to do something we have only talked about. Write a book together. So we sat down with them at the first opportunity to see how it’s done. They have kindly returned the favor and interviewed us here.
Liz and Lisa’s debut novel, YOUR PERFECT LIFE, releases today (make sure you pick up two or three from your local indie bookstore) and we have a copy up for grabs today. See the link below for entry details.
Marybeth: The two of you co-authored YOUR PERFECT LIFE. Many women might fantasize about how fun it would be to co-author a book with their best friend (Ariel and I have circled the idea for years). How does the fantasy align with the reality?
L&L: Hmm, well like most things, it sounded much easier in theory. For years, we fantasized about writing a book together. But once we started the process, we realized it was going to be a lot harder than we’d thought. We never considered that we would have to agree not just on the plot and characters, but every single word. True story: We once argued over whether the word start or begin was better! We forget who won that battle. But where the fantasy and reality met head on was the joy of creating a book together. That part has been awesome. Despite our occasional heated debates, we do make a great writing team, as we suspected we would. Where one of us lacks, the other seems to prevail. And because we’ve known each other for so long, our writing voices are so similar that we often can’t recall who wrote what. Well, unless it’s the word, start or begin. That, we’ll never forget!
Ariel: It takes a certain kind of tenacity to seriously pursue writing novels AND blogging about them (and a hat tip to both of you for doing so). How do you think being long-time book bloggers has impacted your writing?
L&L: Thank you! The way being long-time book bloggers has impacted our writing the most is through what we’ve learned about the publishing world and books in general. We’ve had so much great exposure to seasoned authors who have taught us so much through the quality books they have written. We’ve also had a lot of “behind the scenes” information that has helped us navigate the publishing world in a way we might not have been able to without our blogging experiences.
Marybeth: What most inspires you? Liz? Lisa?
Liz: Hope inspires me. That hope when I open my eyes each morning that life will take me on an adventure, that all the best moments in my life are still yet to come-that it will just keep on getting better.
Lisa: My three-year-old daughter. Watching her respond to the beauty of the world (the other day she remarked on the gorgeous sky), still so naïve about the “bad things,” reminds me to appreciate the little things that really, can be so big if you pay attention.
Ariel: You’ve been friends for twenty years. And YOUR PERFECT LIFE is about life-long friends who wake up on the day after their twentieth reunion to find that they’ve switched bodies. Having known one another so long do you ever feel like you could step in the other one’s life and live it for her? Or do you still find that there are surprises and little mysteries about your best friend?
L&L: Great question! The reason we wrote the book is because we came to a point in our thirties where we realized how much we didn’t know about the other’s life. Despite being best friends, we’d become so busy in our drastically different lives (Liz was married with two kids, while, at the time, Lisa was still single) and had drifted apart. We now know a whole lot more about each other, but would still never assume we could just step in. Plus, the whole “husband swapping” thing would be really awkward!
Marybeth: You both have busy lives like us– writing books, keeping up with a very active blog, and managing family life. What one time management skill helps you most?
L&L: We both agree on this one. Hands down, it’s the shared calendar in our iPhones. We both share our personal family calendars with our husbands, which helps us keep on track. And we also have a calendar we share, full of book deadlines, etc, which helps us remember, well, everything!
Congrats, ladies! Such a wonderful accomplishment. We’re cheering you on!
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Two childhood best friends wake up the morning after their twentieth high school reunion to discover that they’ve switched bodies in this hilarious and heartwarming debut by two childhood best friends.
With “a delicious, page-turning premise, and sweet and surprising insights” (New York Timesbestselling author Jen Lancaster), Your Perfect Life perfectly illustrates that old adage: Sometimes, you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to see what’s in her heart.
Best friends since childhood, Casey and Rachel couldn’t lead more different lives. While workaholic Casey rubs elbows with celebrities daily as the host of Gossip TV and comes home nightly to an empty apartment, stay-at-home mom Rachel juggles an “oops” baby, two fiery teenagers, and a husband who barely seems the man she fell in love with two decades before. After an argument at their twentieth high school reunion, Casey and Rachel throw back shots to get the night back on track. Instead, they get a life-changing hangover.
Waking up in each other’s bodies the next morning, they must figure out how to navigate their altered realities. Rachel is forced to face the broadcasting dreams she gave up when she got pregnant in college, and Casey finally steps out of the spotlight to face the real reason why she’s alone. And they soon discover that they don’t know themselves—or their best friend—nearly as well as they thought they did.
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke bring their “witty, winning style” (Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Best of Us) to every page of this novel that is sure to please fans of In Her Shoes and The Opposite of Me. Your Perfect Life is a story of humor and heart about two best friends, what they didn’t know about each other, and how, by switching lives, each learns to appreciate her own.