April 2009


Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been friends since college and both live in California. Like the two main characters in their debut novel I'll Have Who She's Having, Liz is married with two children and Lisa is single. They also have created the chicklitisnotdead blog.

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  1. How did the storyline for I'll Have Who She's Having originate?

    It all started in our drama class in college. We were co-writing a play on our word processor (hey, at the time it was "cutting-edge" technology) and we said we should write a book! Cut to 10 years later when Lisa started pushing the issue again. Liz had just popped out her first kid and Lisa felt "inspired" while on a single girls' trip to Hawaii. Naturally, Liz and Lisa were in very different mental places. Lisa was sipping pina coladas on the beach and flirting with hot men and Liz was walking around like a zombie trying to figure out how to breastfeed. So in a sleepless haze, Liz agreed. And when Lisa came bounding back from Oahu with a few pages of a character she called Kate, we sat down and brainstormed for hours and the concept was born. They say write what you know, so Liz was at home with her new baby and Lisa was in yet another single slump so the storyline for I'll Have What She's Having was set. (Originally titled Pacifiers & Pedicures).

  2. Why did you write about sisters, rather than best friends?

    We've been friends for so long that we consider ourselves sisters! When you've known someone long enough to know that they aren't a natural blonde and that they make regular LIP WAXING appointments, you can call them family. But seriously, we wanted Kate and Kelly to be very different but also bonded together and felt like a sibling relationship was the best way to showcase that.

  3. What is it about Kate and Kelly that will appeal to readers?

    We believe that people will see a little bit of themselves in Kate or Kelly or a combination of both. Anyone who feels like society thinks you are incomplete without a man or has been frustrated with their dating life can relate to Kate. And women who decided to stay home in search of greener pastures will identify with Kelly and her quest to find herself while trying to fit in with her new "mommy" friends. And we feel almost all women will be able to relate to how easy it is to be vulnerable and fall for Mr. Wrong.

  4. How did the writing process work - I believe each of you wrote for a different character?

    Yes, we each wrote one character. Liz wrote Kelly and Lisa wrote Kate. But when all was said and done, we both contributed a lot to each character. And to be perfectly honest, we weren't nearly as organized as many "how to write" books would encourage! We knew the basic outline (beginning, climax and ending) but would only map out about 3-4 chapters at a time. And it was really fun to do it that way! It sometimes felt like a game. One of us would get the latest chapter hot off the presses and then the other would write her reaction to what just happened. For us, we are at our best when we are less structured.

  5. What is the best and worst thing about writing as a team?

    Whew, what a loaded question! The best part is that you have a partner in crime, someone to plot with and to motivate you when you have the writing blues. And we have so much fun reading each other's work, almost to the point where we like to "one-up" each other. Probably bad for friendship but great for our readers!
    The downside? We had to learn how to take a step back and GRACIOUSLY ACCEPT constructive criticism because throwing lattes at each other in Starbucks during editing sessions is frowned upon.

  6. What's the best and worst thing about being a Facebook addict?

    Well, as certified Facebook whores, we can only sing its praises. (In fact, we invite you to join our group, Facebook Whores & Proud of it!.
    However, Liz's husband may feel differently since her Facebook home page has gotten more hits than him lately, if you catch our drift...

  7. Do either of you play volleyball or sing?

    Lisa is actually a semi-decent volleyball player. She played her freshman year of high school (she was voted most improved player, but she'll take it!) and in some sorority tournaments in college. Liz also joined the sorority team, but didn't actually play. She just wanted to wear the team uniform-short shorts with a big KD on the ass.
    As for singing ability, Liz has always harbored secret karaoke dreams. She sings horribly but dreams of belting out a huge ballad onstage, similar to what Kelly did in I'll Have Who She's Having. She doesn't have the balls to take a singing class so she lives vicariously through her characters! Lisa's singing voice has been known to scare small children. It's so bad, she won't even sing in the shower. So you won't find her dressing up like Britney Spears and singing Slave for You anytime soon. (at least not in public!)

  8. Why do you think your friendship has survived through the years?

    Well, now that we've survived the book editing and query letter process with only one girl-fight, (long story!) we are confident our friendship can make it through ANYTHING. But seriously, we think that the most important thing in long-term friendships is to understand that your relationship will go through up and downs over the years. But it's important to remember that things always come full circle. That faith is what has made our friendship survive. Okay, we need to move on. This is getting way too sappy for us!

  9. What are you working on now?

    We are working on our second book about a recently divorced man and the two women in his life - his ex-wife and his new girlfriend. We also have a blog at that we have so much fun writing. Come check it out!

  10. Has having a book published lived up to your expectations?

    Yes, there is definitely nothing more gratifying than people enjoying something that was a true labor of love. (Trust us, it was labor! Liz was post-partum and Lisa was going through yet another break-up as we went through the final editing process.) Love it or hate it, we are just happy you picked it up! We're easy that way. But please love it, at least just a little bit! Or at least lie and say you do.

  11. Why do you think chick lit isn't dead?

    We believe that the genre is in no way, shape or form buried six feet under like many in the publishing world would claim. We believe that well-written, funny chick lit (yes, even with a Jimmy Choo reference here and there) still appeals to women (and even men, we don't discriminate!) of ALL ages (hi, mom!). It's the perfect form of escapism (especially right now with the economy being in the crapper, etc...) It's not a coincidence that romantic comedies are doing so well at the box office right now. As long as there are chick flicks, there will be chick lit. PS: how many more depressing Oprah's book club selections can people take before they need a little pick-me-up?

  12. What is your favourite chick lit book?

    Liz loves Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. It's a beautifully written story of two life-long friends from very different backgrounds. Total perfection!
    Lisa hearts Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. Emily Giffin is inspirational because this was her debut novel and it hit the NY Times bestseller list. When you read it, it's obvious why it did. She has incredible talent because she writes about a girl who sleeps with her best friend's fiance but still has the ability to make you feel for and even like her.

  13. What new chick lit book are you desperate to read this year?

    Liz is very excited to read One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell. She loves her!
    Lisa just ordered The Divorce Party by Laura Dave. London is the Best City in America, also by Laura Dave, is one of her favorite books, so she's chomping at the bit for this one to arrive in the mail!!

  14. Which reality TV show would you most like to be on and why?

    Liz would love to be on The Amazing Race with her husband but is afraid that everyone will discover what a complete bitch she can be when under pressure and it will ruin her "nice girl" reputation that she's worked so hard to build!
    Lisa would love to be on Top Chef. If only she could cook...

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