Thursday, September 8, 2011
Something is funny about Amanda Egan, plus she has an e-book to give away!
**Giveaway is now closed**
We are very excited to have Amanda Egan at CLC to discuss her debut novel "Diary of a Mummy Misfit," published in June 2011. Amanda was born and raised in London and is a professional actress. Writing became her focus several years after her son was born. Besides being an avid reader, Amanda enjoys crafts and is well known for entertaining and throwing lavish themed dinner parties.
Amanda is here today to talk to us about how humor and chick lit go hand in hand. She also has one e-book of "Diary of a Mummy Misfit" to share with a lucky reader anywhere in the world.
To learn more about Amanda, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.
Check out Amanda's video for a brief synopsis of her novel:
"Make 'em Laugh"
By Amanda Egan
The type of chick-lit I enjoy reading the most is filled with humour. We all love to have a chuckle and, if you’ve got a great read with believable characters and a fab plot, the laughs are always an added bonus. Who doesn’t love a good pun, a saucy double entendre or even a sneaky snigger at taboo?
Nobody likes a perfect heroine. It makes us feel better to know that they too have to wear big pants, worry about spots or wrinkles and generally feel insecure. So when a heroine can laugh at herself and her shortcomings, she gets us on side.
As very young chick-lit readers, we love to laugh about the bitching between friends - it puts it all into perspective. “Yep, been there done that!” As we mature we want to see the funny side of failed relationships and dodgy boyfriends. Then comes the settling down phase - Mr Right has been found and snared and we want to delight in the ups and downs of marriage. Pregnancy (and infertility), babies, toddlers, teenagers and general family life open up the stage to a whole heap of opportunities for humour - the observations of relationships and peoples’ quirks is what we yearn to relate to.
Once the babies have been born, there’s a new set of characters to explore - the playgroup friends, the interfering in-laws and the school gate mummies.
This is where the humour in my book comes in. The writer of “Diary of a Mummy Misfit,” Libby, feels out of her depth. She doesn’t belong. She’s made a huge decision to sacrifice luxuries to send her son to a private prep-school but, once she starts to meet the ‘Meemies’ (it’s all about me, me, me), she wonders if she’s made the right decision. This juxtaposition sees her constantly doubting herself, not knowing what to say and generally stuffing up. I’m told my readers feel for her and can empathise with what she’s going through. She makes us laugh with her self-doubts and observations and we want it all to work out for her because we can see she’s not perfect - but at least she’s a decent human being.
On her journey, Libby meets the larger than life Fenella-Hunter-Barnes. Fenella could easily be a ‘Meemie’ herself, as she has all the trappings and financial security, but she has her feet firmly on the ground and befriends Libby, becoming the voice of reason. From a comedy perspective, they’re not exactly a double act, but writing Fenella gave me so many opportunities to extract a giggle - she thinks something, she says it and with her ‘Ab Fab’ plum in the mouth voice, she is the Queen of Hyperbole. A posh British accent can get away with any amount of expletives and still sound classy and when Fenella decides to let rip she’s imaginatively eloquent, to say the least!
The meddling Mrs Sengupta living next door, and desperate to match make the already happily married Libby with her son Pritesh, introduces an element of farce. With her love of Barry Manilow and Babycham, attending her computer class and bringing home a punk called ‘Skunk’, we learn to love her and all her eccentricities. I only wish I had my own Mrs S, living next door to me.
The ‘Meemies’ provide much light relief because we love to hate them. With their designer handbags, nannies and bitchily barbed comments, we cringe at the recurring theme of their conceited remarks and insensitivities. The reason I wrote them so laughably horrid was to caricature the type and to highlight the differences between them, Libby and Fenella. Hopefully the readers find themselves wanting to see the ‘Meemies’ next prat-fall or failure, as this becomes a match-point to their heroine.
The situations that Libby and Fenella find themselves in become increasingly ludicrous. The banal demands of the school committee, and the ridiculous social situations they find themselves in, escalate to the point of lunacy. I wrote based on experience but took my observations to the extreme. There were many times, in my journey as a real prep-school mummy, that I found myself thinking, “Boy, you couldn’t have written that, if you tried. Did that really happen? Did that person really say what I thought they said?” This book was my opportunity to embellish and to take my thoughts to the next level.
So humour can come from characters and situations but it can also shine through in the darker areas of life. Life can be tough: we don’t always get what we want, we have failed relationships and we have to make difficult decisions. Eventually, we emerge from the fog and see the funny side - through black humour we can often find escape.
And isn’t that what a good bit of fluffy, frothy chick-lit is all about? We’re not expecting ‘War and Peace.’ We just want a few hours of girlie escapism that doesn’t tax our brain too much but keeps us entertained in somebody else’s world for a while.
Thanks to Amanda for making us laugh and sharing her e-book with a lucky reader. Thanks also to Amy Bromberg for her help with putting together this post....one of her first posts as our promotional associate!
How to win "Diary of a Mummy Misfit":
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 or blog if you can receive messages there.)
Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is the funniest or craziest thing you've ever done as a mom, seen your mom do or seen another mom do?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.
Giveaway ends September 14th at midnight EST.