If anyone follows me on twitter or knows me in real life you will know that I love to read. My sister got me a kindle as a gift about six months ago and it’s been amazing for me. I hadn’t read a book for ages because I was so “busy”. Since it’s so small I keep my kindle in my purse and read it every time I have a few spares minutes.
Kate Rockland, a Chick Lit novelist and Self magazine contributor, second novel “150 pounds” is due out today. I was really excited when I got an email from Kate. First, she emailed me herself which I think is really nice. Second, the book has the cutest cupcake cover. What can I say? I’m easy to please and pretty transparent! I also love the feeling that I got to read the book a whole month before it was published!
Synopsis of “150 pounds”:
A novel of two women starting at opposite ends of the scale–and finding compromise and friendship in their journey towards 150 pounds. In the fast paced life of blogging, Alexis Allbright, of Skinny Chick, and Shoshana Weiner, who writes Fat and Fabulous stand out. Both have over five million loyal readers. Both are hungry for success. But the similarities stop there. With over 100 pounds on the scale separating them, weight isn’t their only difference. Alexis is a loner who is so bitchy the only person who can stand her company is her gay best friend Billy. Shoshana is Alexis’s opposite. Living with rowdy roommates, she is someone who “collects friends,” as her mother puts it; and treasures a life of expanding circles…and waistlines. When both appear as panelists on a popular talk show, their lives intersect in ways neither could have imagined. In turns comedic, heartwarming–and familiar to any woman who’s ever stepped on a scale–Alexis and Shoshana realize they have far more in common than either could have possibly imagined, and more importantly, something to offer.
I read “150 Pounds” on the train from London to Bournemouth during a weekend away before Christmas. Once I started the book I was dying to know how Alexis and Shoshana’s rivalry would turn out. The book started out with the typical stereotype of skinny girls are mean and fat girls are funny, but I think it was the authors intention to start off with that assumption and show being fat or skinny is not what defines a person. After reading the first few pages I thought perhaps the book would be pretty predictable, but the storyline quickly takes off and takes an original course.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s nice, easy to read, and filled with plenty of funny quips. My favorite ones from Shoshana were gems such as, (referring to her date) “his breath smelled like raccoon poop” and (on not being a morning person) “in another part of the world it’s much earlier”.
It was fun reading a book where the two main characters are bloggers. The eagerly checking of emails and comments from readers, worrying that you’ll let your readers down and thinking of turning any situation into a blog post rang pretty to to me!
Kate graciously answered a few questions I had about her novel:
Kelly: What gave you the idea to write a novel about two bloggers?
Kate: I wanted to try something different this time around. My last novel, “Falling Is Like This” was a kind of boy meets girl classic tale. I wanted this book to focus on the girls and their lives, what at first made them so different from one another, and at the end, so alike. I used to run a blog about the book industry which was a big failure! I’d always forget to post on there, and I think I had two readers: my mom and my cat. So I was really intrigued as to what the life of a blogger was about. I called and interviewed Kate Harding, who used to run the blog Shapely Prose. She helped me with the technical details of what it’s like to blog daily for a living.
Kelly: Do you read any blogs?
Kate: I love Perez Hilton’s blog, also all the Fat-O-Sphere blogs, and Chick Lit blogs.
Kelly: What’s your favorite dessert?
Kelly: You were recently in London. What was your favorite thing you ate and/or saw while you were here?
Kate: I was in London for two weeks with my husband, who was there for business. One day I took the tube over to Notting Hill. I went to Portobello Market and walked around, popping into a few coffee shops. The thing I liked about that neighborhood was the quaintness of it. I feel like a lot of London is simply chain restaurants, like Prêt a Manger and EAT. I liked Notting Hill because it seemed to have more mom and pop shops. I loved pushing my son in his stroller and glancing up at these beautiful one-family white buildings with black shutters, imagining I lived there. I’d settled for being someone’s nanny and living there! That neighborhood was gorgeous. I also really loved my daily walk from my hotel over to the Tower of London. I’d look at it and imagine poor Anne Boelyn, roaming the grounds, about to get her head chopped off by that a-hole King Henry the 8th. I’d imagine what she must have gone through, to be turned on by the man she loved. The castle has such a creepy history and its smack in the center of skyscrapers and city life. I liked the juxtaposition.