Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CJ Hauser brings some new voices to chick lit...plus a book giveaway

Photo by Shannon Taggart
Let's all give a warm welcome to CJ Hauser, debut author of The From-Aways, which came out on May 20th. Some of Ms. Hauser's short fiction has appeared to date or is forthcoming in publications including Tin House, Triquarterly, The Kenyon Review, Slice and Esquire. She is the 2010 recipient of McSweeney's Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, the winner of the 2012 Jaimy Gordon Prize in Fiction and the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize for Sudden Fiction. She was also a finalist in Esquire's Short Short Fiction Competition and shortlisted for the UK's Bridport Prize. A Brooklyn College MFA graduate, Hauser will join the Creative Writing PhD Program at Florida State in Tallahassee this fall.

CJ is here today to talk about her characters. Thanks to HarperCollins, we have THREE copies of her novel for some lucky readers in the US and/or Canada.

Visit CJ at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

An Imaginary Tribe of Women

I used to be a nanny for these two little girls, and they were very confused about what I got up to when I was not with them. It was hard enough for them to imagine me existing when I was away, much less having interests outside their own.
“I’m a writer,” I said. “I write books.”
“But what are you doing all day?” they said.
I told them that in my book there was a town, and in that town there were two girls, older than them but younger than me, and that I spent all day writing about the things those girls said and did because they were always getting into trouble.
“OH!” they said, like they were getting it. “They’re your imaginary friends. That’s cool. We have imaginary friends too.”
“No, no—” I started to say, this was different, but then I realized that they had understood perfectly. They were right: before I picked them up from school, I spent all day at my little desk…playing with my imaginary friends, Quinn Winters and Leah Lynch.
The From-Aways is narrated by both of these women, in alternating chapters, and I have spent the past five years listening to their voices, and talking back to them. I know these women like my own family, their good qualities and their bad. Quinn and Leah are the “from-aways” of the title, girls new to a small Maine fishing town, and both out of their element in different ways—until they meet each other at the local newspaper where they become co-workers, then friends.
Quinn and Leah are the sort of women who order whiskey on rocks. They are the sort of women who laugh too loud at jokes and spit their drinks out when that laugh is unexpected. They are the sort of women who stay up all night playing favorite songs on the guitar and singing, badly but joyfully, trying to fit their voices into harmonies. They are the kind of friends who can call each other in the middle of the night when they have done something monumentally stupid, and need to be bailed out…they are pretty much always doing things that are monumentally stupid. They give each other a hard time, tease each other constantly, because how else would you let someone know that you love them?
I have been lucky enough to find a tribe of women like Quinn and Leah in my own life. Smart, fast-talking women. Absurdity-appreciating women. Adventure-seeking women. Women who survive the darkest things by laughing their asses off in the face of it all. These are my people and I wouldn’t last long in this world without them. This is why, when I sat down to write the novel, I knew these were the kind of women I wanted to write about. And I suppose I wanted to do this so that, even if a person didn’t have her own tribe of women like this, she might find one in the book for a while.
Because, sometimes, don’t we all still need an imaginary friend or two?
I am only too happy to share mine in The From-Aways

Thanks to CJ for sharing her characters with us and HarperCollins for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


US/Canada only. Giveaway ends June 1st at midnight EST.

24 comments:

Bonnie Franks said...

They should be strong and/or inventive.

Janine said...

Strength, a sense of humor and interesting

pascale said...

Great questions, one of I have thought about lately. My friends should be fun and honest, strong and brave. They must be able to be real with me- if they have a problem, they need to trust me the way I trust them. I have taken stock lately and realized that many women that I have considered friends would not actually be real with me and it makes me sad. On the other hand, the fact that I would not be completely real with them is also telling.Like I said, I have been taking stock in friends, and determining who they are versus fun buddies. Friend is a precious word that should be reserved for the most special people.

Alice H. said...

Confidence - knowing oneself, knowing what one truly wants.

susieqlaw said...

Sense of humor
Witty
Extroverted

Melanie Backus said...

I love my"girls" to possess a strong, intelligent mind, a wonderful sense of humor and a kind and loving heart.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

They have to be honest and ethical above all. After that, intelligence and a sense of humor.

Kimberly V said...

They have to be honest and ethical above all. After that, intelligence and a sense of humor.

Sorry for the repost, but I didn't include my name.

Mary Mac said...

Strength and humor

Mary Mac said...

Strength and humor

Jessica Meddick said...

Strong, beautiful, funny!

rhonda said...

Strength of character sense of humor

JJT said...

A sense of humor!

Vivian Vereeke said...

Strong sense of self, ethical, sense of humor to make me enjoy taking the ride with her

Anita Yancey said...

The should be smart, brave, and have a good sense of humor.

jodi marinich said...

love to read about strong women

jpetroroy said...

Independence

Donna E said...

Self confidence, humor, intelligence

Carol Fragale Brill said...

I most like to read about realistic women who are honest, open to learn, have strong family values, and are vulnerable and hopeful.

Mary Jo Burke said...

Independent. The hero joins her life in progress


maryjo(at)maryjoburke(dot)com

bn100 said...

intelligence

L.A. Remenicky said...

Smart and funny

Bonnie K. said...

Be strong when facing adversity. Having a sense of humor is good, too.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Ro said...

Strong, kind, sense of style, generous with ability to handle most everything.