Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rachel Bertsche can be *our* BFF and she has a book to give away!

Introduction by Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

I have a few things in common with Rachel Bertsche. She lives in Chicago and I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. She's interviewed many celebrities and I've interviewed many authors who are celebrities in the chick lit world. We're both pop culture fanatics. We're both Jewish. And we must not forget about the curly hair! Finally, she's moved around a couple of times and had to make new best friends wherever she went. I can completely relate to that, as I have moved from a place where all my closest friends, including my BFF, live and first moved to a town in NJ where I had a really hard time finding a new best friend. (If I had met Amy five years ago, this wouldn't have been such an issue.) Then I moved to the DC area. While it was easier to make friends here, most of them don't know who I was before I became who I am now. So I'm glad that Rachel wrote "MWF Seeking BFF," which speaks to the best friend seekers in us all.

Rachel's "resume" is very impressive! She has written for a lot of magazines, including O, The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, Every Day with Rachael Ray, More, Huffington Post, Chicago Magazine and Field and Stream. (Don't ask!) She interviewed Katey Sagal, aka Peg Bundy (and Leela from "Futurama") and Vince Vaughn! Other interviews include Al Gore, Hilary Swank, Queen Latifah, James Cameron, Stephenie Meyer,  Zac Efron and  Taylor Swift. She graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she was the student newspaper’s resident sex columnist. (Think Carrie Bradshaw...)

Overall, Rachel is an incredibly warm and friendly woman. Just ask one of our guest bloggers who met her last week at a book signing in the Chicago suburbs.

Rachel is here to talk to us about "MWF Seeking BFF" and thanks to Random House, we have TWO copies to share with lucky readers in the US.

If you're seeking a BFF or just want to find out more about this really cool chick, look for Rachel on Facebook and Twitter (@rberch and @MWFSeekingBFF) and check out her blog too. (There's so much to relate to in there!)

(Author photo credit: Jennifer Troyer Photography)

Before you read ahead, check out the trailer for "MWF Seeking BFF." It's cute and funny!

We'd love to hear about your unique experience and research behind "MWF Seeking BFF" Do you work with an outline, or just write?
When I first started out, with the outline and the first couple of chapters, I just wrote and kind of waited to see what came out. As the year progressed, and I had more and more adventures, I started leaving notes all over my desk. It looked like a chaotic mess of notes that said "Chapter 7 - IMPROV!" and "Chapter 13 -- Asking out waitress!" I'm not the most organized person in the world, so I guess that was the closest I came to writing with an outline. A couple of times I tried to outline, but as the words came out they often took me in a different direction than the outline detailed, so it never seemed to really make sense to keep doing that. I only ended up feeling bad when I didn't stick to the plan!

What did you do to celebrate when first published? 
On the day that my book hit shelves, I was at the local bookstore at 9 am on the dot! I had to see it to believe it! My mother and brother and I took a family trip to see "MWF Seeking BFF" on the shelves. Then I got a manicure, and went to lunch--margaritas included!--with one of my new friends. That night was Hanukkah, so we had a joint holiday/book celebration. It was the best day ever!

What are some tips you can share with future writers? 
Don't worry so much, yet, about the publishing process. I hear from so many aspiring writers who want to know everything about the book business before they ever put words on the page. Start by writing. Get your story, or at least the beginning of the story, on the page before you start to worry too much about agents and editors and how much you will sell it for.

If "MWF Seeking BFF" were made into a film, how would you go about casting? Who would you cast as yourself?
In the book, I say that I want Rachel Bilson to play me in the movie of my life. And that's still true! Lately, I've been hearing from everyone that Emma Stone reminds them of me. I think it must be the freckles, because otherwise we really don't look alike. But I take it as a compliment. I'd kill to look like her!

If you could live anywhere in the world, besides where you’re currently living, where would it be, and why? 
Well, part of me wants to say New York City, since that's where so many of my lifelong BFFs live. Another part of me wants to say Hong Kong, or Paris... just because that sounds really fabulous.

What type of literature do you enjoy reading in your spare time?
I read a lot of fiction and a lot of memoir. I try to read a little of everything. My favorite thing about being in a book club is that I am forced to read all sorts of different stuff. The last bunch of books I read were "Girls in White Dresses" by Jennifer Close (Women's Fiction), "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight" by Jennifer Smith (YA), "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns" by Mindy Kaling (Essays), "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell (Non-fiction) and "The Glass Castle" (memoir). So I'm sort of all over the map.

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla! Always vanilla!

What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done? 
Oh man. The difficulty I'm having answering this question is telling me I need to be more spontaneous. Ummm... Once I decided at the last minute to sneak away from a family Cape Cod vacation to go visit my boyfriend in Washington DC. I told my parents I had to go home to visit a friend and hopped on a bus. It was definitely the sneakiest thing I've ever done. Luckily, that boyfriend turned out to be my husband. My mom heard that story for the first time when my brother outed me at our wedding!

Any upcoming projects you are working on that you can share? 
I'm pretty focused on "MWF Seeking BFF" right now, but I am thinking of my next project and hoping to send a proposal for book two to my agent very soon!

Special thanks to Rachel for chatting with us and making us want her for a BFF! Thanks to Random House for sharing "MWF Seeking BFF" with our readers.

How to win "MWF Seeking BFF":
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 your favorite thing about your BFF?
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.

US only. Giveaway ends January 31st at midnight EST.


Nina said...

Anyone who has written for O, The Oprah Magazine automatically gets points in my book! Hahaha. :D What I love about my bff is that she's always up to make the ordinary adventurous. If we're planning an ordinary lunch to Chili's, she'll find one in a town we've never been to and make it a fun day-trip!

Pinchbuggies said...

The best thing about my BFF is she is totally honest. I can say things to her that won't end up with everyone at our church knowing all about it & she doesn't even tell her husband! That's real friendship!
pinchbuggies at hotmaildotcom

rhonda said...

My best friend has been by my side scince our early twenties through wedding births sad deaths &every thanksgivng &celebration in between shes been there,The best thing about her i know she will always have my back.

livelykcole said...

1. What is your favorite thing about your BFF? She is truly my best friend, in every sense of the meaning.
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower- I followed this blog on Twitter!
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it - I posted it on my Twitter account!
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. - I joined!
I'm dying to read "MWF Seeking BFF"!! My email is colekmATverizonDOTnet

Pinchbuggies said...

I've been following you & Love your blog!
pinchbuggies at hotmaildotcom

Pinchbuggies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pinchbuggies said...

pinchbuggies at hotmaildotcom

Pinchbuggies said...

I'm a member

Pinchbuggies said...

I posted on my wall
pinchbuggies at hotmaildotcom

Camille said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I already follow you on Facebook

Anonymous said...

I'm dying to read this book!!!

I love how my BFF and I can pick up right where we left off after days, months, and even years of not seeing eachother.

I follow the blog and I'm a fan on FB.

jordanweber at live dot com

Cassandra @ Book & Movie Dimension a Blog said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
(at) yahoo (dot) com

Lilian said...

1. Please tell us: What is your favorite thing about your BFF?
The nicest person ever, seriously, she is he type that would always but others above herself ad feel sorry about squishing an ant.

2. Followed!

3. Tweeted:

4. Joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

lilianxcheng AT

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I love that my BFF is always there for me. and I am there for her.

I follow via twitter, facebook & gfc

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

My favorite thing about my BFF is that she is always upbeat.

I follow this blog.

Thanks for the giveaway.


Krystal Lynn said...

My closest friends are both guys and make me laugh so much! I like that they are fun, laid back and not at all boring. Sense of humor and dorkiness go a long way with me!

Follow blog, fb and twitter.

rubynreba said...

My BFF doesn't judge me and accepts me the way I am.

rubynreba said...

Joined you on facebook

Jeryl M. said...

The best thing about my BFF is she is always there when I need somebody to talk to about anything.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook follower.

Tracey said...

One of the many things I love about my BFF is her sincerity and genuine heart.

Anonymous said...

The best thing about my BFF is that we can pick up our conversation after months of being apart. We live in different states. Our conversations continue in letters we write. She is always supportive and understanding. Maybe because we've been friends for 45 years.

Tracey said...

I'm a follower of ChickLit Central on Facebook.


mep said...

Okay, I totally want to join Rachel's book club. Love all the book selections mentioned there!

My best friend always knows what to say (when to lie to me, when to give it to me straight, etc.). She also loves carbs as much as I do. I can't tell you how many soft pretzels we've enjoyed together!

I follow Chick Lit Central on Twitter (I'm @nottobrag)

mep AT nottobrag DOT net

Nancye said...

The best thing about my BFF is that she is ALWAYS there for me no matter what. She is true to her word and is one of the most generous people I know. I am so lucky to have her in my life!

GFC Follower

I Tweeted!

FB Post
FB ID: Nancye Epperson Davis

I like you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net