Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jimmy Choo, who?!? Plus a book giveaway...



**Giveaway is now closed**

Lian Dolan is one of the five Satellite Sisters, a group of real sisters who started out with a radio show and website in 2001 and now connect with a blog, podcast, books, social media, personal appearances and an online community. They have won EIGHT Gracie Allen awards for excellence in women's media, including "Talk Show of the Year." Lian has written her first chick lit novel, "Helen of Pasadena"(reviewed here), and has come to Chick Lit Central to explain how to write about fashion without being fashion conscious. She has even given us one copy of "Helen of Pasadena" to give away to a lucky reader in the US or Canada.

If you like what you've read here, check out her Satellite Sisters website, book website and blog. You can also visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

How to Write a Fashionable Chick Lit Novel... even if You're Not!


When I sat down to start my first novel, Helen of Pasadena, there were many aspects of the writing that I had to worry about: plot; character development; dialogue, creating a hot love interest. But nothing terrified me more than getting one of the essentials of chick lit right: The Accessories.
I’m not part of the Shoe & Handbag crowd here in my hometown of Pasadena. I covet other women’s Tory Burch flats, but I don’t buy them. If I had my druthers, I’d wear clogs to every event and still carry a back-pack with all my stuff. Maybe it’s disinterest or maybe it’s my bunions. Either way, I was in no position to write with authority on any aspect of fashion. My knowledge of designer clothes is only slightly more evolved than my knowledge of designer footwear. In order to make up for my Jimmy Choo deficit, I used a three-pronged approach to getting the style details right in my book:

Made Conversation: In the past, I’d never lean over to another mom and say,“ Oh, I love those shoes. Who are they?” because if those shoes couldn’t be sold in a European Comfort Shoe store, I didn’t care. But once I started writing Helen, I needed some fancy footwear, at least on the page. So I asked! At soccer games, PTA meetings, on the way back from communion. And women spilled! I even made some new friends! Because, “Oh, I love your shoes!” is the magic phrase for many women.

Read the Paper: I tried to study fashion magazine for everything from evening wear to belts, but I found the sheer volume of ads overwhelming. And, how could I decide which brands were chic and which brands simply had large ad budgets, but no real class. So, I decided to let the New York Times do the winnowing process for me. Everyday in the New York Times (or your city newspaper), there are ads on pages 2 and 3, just inside in the front section. These ads feature high- end luxury products with just the right pedigree. On Sunday, the style section is a bonanza of fashion advertising.

Found Myself a Rachel Zoe: Maybe I don’t dress like a celebrity stylist, but I have a friend who does. I admire Sally’s fashion bravado when it comes to clothes, even though I could never wear a single item she puts on with ease. So, I enlisted Sally to be my stylist for the book! We’d go out on our walks, and I’d ask, “Hey, Sal. What do you think a mid-fifties, divorced real estate would wear?” And Sally responded, “A Dana Buchman suit in winter white.” Or, I’d say, ‘Hey, Sal, I need the perfect evening gown for a Greek- themed charity benefit seen. Any thoughts? And Sally piped up, “Vintage Mary McFadden!” What a friend. Her only payment was acknowledgement in the book!

So, if you’re in the midst of writing your own Chick Lit novel and face a fear of fashion, use my three-pronged approach and relax. We can all be fashionable...on paper!


Special thanks to Lian for teaching us how to "fake" our fashion knowledge and also for the book for our giveaway!


How to win "Helen of Pasadena":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)

1. Please tell us: In what ways are you not fashion conscious?
2. Please tell us: What have you had to fake knowledge about in order to impress someone?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Monday, February 14th at midnight EST

55 comments:

PoCoKat said...

I actually do always try to be fashion conscious.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

No, I never fake knowledge..too easy to be found out.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

I follow!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

I belong to Chick Lit Central on FB

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

laceyinthesky said...

GFC follower :)

Laceyinthesky AT live DOT com

Lacey in the Sky with Books

Laura Rachel Fox said...

1. I am not fashion conscience in the way that I cannot afford to be. But it doesn't stop me from trying to fake it with knock-offs. Now I've given away my secret.

lostlibrarygirl(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

2. At my husband's last school event I had to fake my way through some over my head theological conversations. Ph.D. students are hard to keep up with . . . seriously.

lostlibrarygirl(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

3. I'm a follower of this blog.

lostlibrarygirl(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

4. I posted a link on Twitter

http://twitter.com/#!/LostLibraryGirl/status/35715793270345728


lostlibrarygirl(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

5. I'm a member of Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

lostlibrarygirl(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Linda Kish said...

I only wear clothes that are comfortable. Too old to care about fashion anymore.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

Love the tips! Even though I'm a fashion/beauty writer, I'm so not fashion savvy when I'm in comfy pjs and curled up like a cat in a blanket due to this freezing weather!

Brittany Roshelle said...

I've had to fake knowledge any time someone mentions sports!

Brittany Roshelle said...

I'm a follower!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

Forgot my email on last two so I'm reposting them!

Love the tips! Even though I'm a fashion/beauty writer, I'm so not fashion savvy when I'm in comfy pjs and curled up like a cat in a blanket due to this freezing weather!

Brittany Roshelle said...

Umm...ok I'm tired...let me try that again!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Love the tips! Even though I'm a fashion/beauty writer, I'm so not fashion savvy when I'm in comfy pjs and curled up like a cat in a blanket due to this freezing weather!

Brittany Roshelle said...

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

I've had to fake knowledge any time someone mentions sports!

Brittany Roshelle said...

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

I'm a Follower!

Brittany Roshelle said...

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Tweet! Tweet! I added it to my twitter feed!

Colleen Turner said...

I am horrible at putting outfits together! I am really simple, so trying to find the perfect top to go with that skirt, the right jewelry to go with that outfit and the perfect shoes to tie everything together...it is inevitable that I will get something wrong and clash! I take my fashion-friendly coworker with me when I shop for clothes so she can make sure I don't end up looking silly :).
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

The only knowledge I can think of that I have faked is saying I knew more about certain computer programs than I did during a job interview. Other than that, I try to be honest about what I do or don't know.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a GFC follower.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a fan of Chick Lit Central on Facebook.
candc320@gmail.com

JHS. said...

I don't think I'm fashion conscious in any way at all. I wear clothes that are comfortable and functional. I don't care about whether or not they are particularly stylish. Ditto shoes. Gave up heels after the 2nd kid was born. I see those 6" stilettos and laugh my butt off because I know nobody can really walk in them. They're just faking and in pain all the time. Fools to fashion.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

JHS. said...

I fake knowledge on a variety of topics all the time. It's a professional hazard. :-) Seriously . . . can't remember. If I don't know, I say I don't know. It's much better than lying about it. People respect the truth.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

JHS. said...

GFC follower.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

JHS. said...

FB member.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

I am not very up to date on high end shoes and purses. I have a ton of both but do not drop crazy $ for them :)

otkeri at comcat dot net

karenk said...

i love to wear 'comfort'

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

email subscriber :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a follower :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jencey said...

jenceyg@msn.com. I will post link on fb. I did want to add that I loved the part of her talking about writing the novel. I don't know that I really fake knowledge but just do the best I can with what I have.

Heather said...

I am not fashion conscious in the fact that I don't pay attention to brand names anymore.
ra6352 (at) gmail (Dot) com

Heather said...

I am a terrible liar so I can't fake knowledge on anything!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a follower!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit Central!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I shared on facebook!
ra6352 (at) gmail (Dot) com

Nancye said...

I guess mostly I am not fashion conscious because I generally don't care what people think about my clothes. As long as I like it, it's clean, and it fits, then that's all that matters.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I don't fake my knowledge about anything because like my last entry, I don't care what people think about me. I'm not concerned with trying to impress anyone.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Blog Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/36951609586089984

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I joined Chick Lit on Facebook

nancyecdavis At bellsouth DOT net

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I am so not fashion conscious! Who has time? Lol

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via twitter

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via email

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via facebook

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow through gfc

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow through gfc

ADR said...

I'm not fashion conscious about wearing sweats to the store.

adr52775 at aol dot com

ADR said...

I faked knowing something about the Grateful Dead to impress a guy.

adr52775 at aol dot com

ADR said...

I follow on Twitter

ADR said...

I follow on Facebook

adr52775 at aol dot com

ADR said...

I follow the blog

adr52775 at aol dot com

Amy Saunders Lawer said...

I'd love to be more fashion-conscious, but my budget is for beer, not champagne!! I've been known to share clothes with my four daughters....so I get to wear more updated fashions than I would normally purchase, as my idea of good fashion is to buy classics instead of fads. That makes them last more than one season, too! I do have a rather haughty friend who is always a fashionista, and I've had to pretend to recognize the designers she boasted on several occasions- even though they were completely foreign to me! I can be reached through my Facebook inbox (preferable), Or my e-mail address is:
Msamy323 at yahoo dot com
Good luck all, and thanks for the giveaway!!

Amy Saunders Lawer said...

I follow this blog, And am a member of chicklitcentral on Facebook