May 27, 2009

Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton

Welcome to another Hachette Group Early Birds Tour for Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton.

What happens when a cautious, anxious New Yorker, Peggy Adams, spends time in Las Vegas for a friend's last hoorah and sends caution to the wind, gets drunk, and meets a stranger? A quickie wedding and a huge hangover, followed by a deal of a lifetime for herself and her new husband, Luke Sedgwick.

"It took multiple tries to work through this last piece of information. Man. A man. A man in bed. In her bed. No, on her bed. He lay on his back on top of the coverlet, in a rumpled shirt and a diagonally striped tie, in slacks, socks, and burnished dress shoes that looked as if they'd been polished and repolished for the past twenty years." (Page 5)

Luke is a WASP and the last of the old world Sedgwicks of Connecticut, and the last hope for an heir to the not-so-large family fortune. Luke is a writer. . . a struggling poet, with an on-again, off-again girlfriend, Nicole, that his great-aunt, Abigail, despises. Peggy is mistaken by Abigail for the relative of an old Connecticut family, though hers is from out west, and she scrambles to please her new family, while keeping her live-in boyfriend, Brock, who is afraid to commit, in the dark about her marriage.

"'A promise ring?' Bex yelled. The string of bells on the shop door jingled as it shut behind her. 'Brock gave you a promise ring? What is this, seventh grade?'" (Page 17)

Lipton has a gift for chicklit/women's fiction that is witty, fun, and vivacious. Both of these characters are anxious to break free from their current lives, but unable to make the move. Mating Rituals of the North American WASP will keep readers turning pages and will make the summer fly by. Lipton's prose paints a clear picture of small-town Connecticut and its unique characters and sets the stage for a comedic plot steeped in romance, drama, and much more.

Also Reviewed by:
Luxury Reading

Here's my interview with Lauren Lipton:

1. How hard was it to transition from writing journalistic stories to writing novels? What has journalism taught you about writing novels?

Writing a news feature has more in common with writing a novel than I'd expected. For both, you need an arresting first sentence (or first paragraph, or first chapter). You need a structure that leads readers through the story, and you need strong characters (or sources in journalism). The plus of writing a novel is that you can invent all the facts!

Working as a journalist gave me research skills for which I'm deeply grateful, and got me used to writing every day, whether I feel like it or not, in any environment. I could write sitting on the floor of the Port Authority Bus Terminal if I had to. (Though, yuck.)

2. Some writers extensively research their charcters or settings, do you spend a lot of time researching or so you simply let your imagination flow?

I let my imagination flow. Unfortunately, it always flows into areas I know nothing about. I'll think, "I simply must set a scene at the annual Yale-Harvard football game!" -despite never having been to a Yale-Harvard game. This happened over and over while I was writing Mating Rituals of the North American WASP. I researched everything from how to apply roofing tar to the medical treatment of a stroke to the way to decant old port. And I found a Yale alum friend who took me to The Game.

3. Do you have any obsessions you would like to share?

My only current obsession is with getting some sleep. The time just before a book's publication is nerve-wracking. I keep waking up worrying, "What if it's a flop?"

4. In terms of marketing, what have been the most successful modes of marketing for you and your books? How would you describe your relationship with the blogging community?

When my first novel, It's About Your Husband, came out in 2006, I had no idea how important the Internet was in getting the word out. I quickly learned how influential sites such as Goodreads, in which readers recommend books by word-of-mouth, are. And even in the two years since then, the influence of book bloggers like you has grown geometrically. As far as my relationship with the blogging community:
I don't know how you all feel about me, but I would like to give you ladies a big hug.

5. What is the best piece of writing advice you've received and how did it help you?

An editor at the Wall Street Journal once told me I overwrote--that is, I used 10 words when one would do and tried too hard to be clever. He was right. After that, I toned myself down.

6. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what were your top 5 songs while writing Mating Rituals?

Oddly enough, I might be able to write in the middle of the Port Authority, but music and TV distract me.

7. Are you working anything currently and could you share some tidbits about your latest project?

I'm just starting a third novel that's more ambitious (and hopefully more serious) than the first two. It's a retelling of a century-old novel-of-manners set in modern-day New York. It's daunting, but I'm looking forward to diving in.

I want to thank Lauren for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions, check out the giveaway below.

About the Author:
Lauren Lipton is the author of two novels, It's About Your Husband (2006) and Mating Rituals of the North American WASP (2009). She is also a freelance journalist who specializes in style, business and trend stories.

She is currently fashion, beauty and lifestyle editor at ForbesWoman magazine. She has also contributed features on society and media to the New York Times Sunday Styles section. A former Wall Street Journal staff writer, she reported on copycat brides who steal their friends' wedding ideas, pajama parties for grown women, and luxury homes with his-and-hers garages.

Born in Providence, R.I., Lauren grew up in the North County of San Diego and in Los Gatos, Calif., before moving to Los Angeles. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and anthropology from Occidental College and a master's degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California.
Check out her Website, her blog and her Facebook Fan Page.

Giveaway Information:

Hachette Group is offering 3 copies of Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton for U.S. and Canadian readers of Savvy Verse & Wit.

1. To enter leave a comment on this post about the review or the interview.
2. For a second entry, let me know if you follow the blog in Google Reader, Bloglines, Rss, etc.
3. For a third entry, blog or Twitter about this giveaway and leave me a link here.

Deadline is June 3, 2009 at 11:59 PM EST

Don't Forget About These Great Giveaways!
1 Signed Copy of The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire by C.M. Mayo, here. Deadline is May 30, 2009, 11:59PM EST.
2 copies of The Wonder Singer by George Rabasa, here; Deadline is May 30, 2009, 11:59 PM EST


Also Reviewed By:  
You've Gotta Read This! 



Meghan said...

This book sounds like a very enjoyable read. I know I need some laughs! Based on the reviews I've seen today, I think Lauren Lipton can start sleeping. =)

I would love to enter the contest. My email address is meghankk at gmail dot com and I do follow you on Google Reader.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Just read the review of this at Dar's place! I love the title and love the premise. And I think that Lauren should get her screenwriting pen out, because this would make a fabulous movie! I really like Lauren's attitude and personality that came through the interview. Let's all give her a big hug back!

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me. You know all the right questions to ask an author - I always enjoy your interviews.

Pam said...

This book sounds like so much fun! I agree that Lauren Lipton can start sleeping again - I don't think this sounds like a flop. I find it interesting that music and TV distract her while she's writing. I remember in College that I could study with TV/movies/music without trouble but put me in the library and I couldn't concentrate - I'm too easily distracted by people walking by, etc.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

I follow your blog through google reader/blogger.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Toni said...

Hello.. no need to enter. Nice Review.. Great interview too! I can't listen to music and write. I like music to much... I have to humm along.

Ti said...

I loved her comment about book bloggers. It's nice to be appreciated. Looks like a great summer book. Wonderful interview.

Dar said...

Don't enter me Serena. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this book too. It was fun and entertaining. I especially liked Aunt Abby. Great review and interview!

Literary Feline said...

I was just reading someone else's review of this one. :-) It sounds like a fun and entertaining book. And I enjoyed reading the interview. I can definitely see the advantages to making up the facts in fiction. :-)

I would like to enter the giveaway. I subscribe to your blog through Google Reader.

literaryfeline AT gmail DOT com

DeSeRt RoSe said...

You have something waiting for you at my blog :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I found this in my reader, so I posted about it at the new site -- before I realized it was a give.

Drop me an e-mail if you'd like it at the old Win a Book.

Dixie said...

I'd love to win this book.
The characters sound fun but I am interested in getting to know the great-aunt who orchestrates the marriage charade-she sounds like she would be a hoot.


Dixie said...

I follow on google friends connect.

Jo-Jo said...

I would love to read this one Serena. Great interview...I love what she wrote about advice on trying not to be too 'wordy'. Once and awhile I read something and think...did the author really need to write all of that?
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Jo-Jo said...

I also follow you in blogger.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Edited the other post and added you to the current Win a Book. Who said moving would be easy?

Still no need to enter me -- I got a copy. Yay!!

Anna said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the book, too. What a wonderful interview. I agree with Kathy, you do ask the best questions!

No need to enter me, of course. I added the giveaway to my sidebar. :)

Diary of an Eccentric

nightdweller20 said...

lol I originally thought this book was about bugs! But now that I don't, I love the title and the premise :) Good interview questions, Serena!

jaam121388 at yahoo dot com

nightdweller20 said...

I almost forgot, I am subscribed via Google Reader.

jaam121388 at yahoo dot com

scottsgal said...

I can't wait to read this one - lauren sounds like she's got such a great sense of humor.

msboatgal at

scottsgal said...

follower on google reader

msboatgal at

Jess said...

I'm glad I found your giveaway. This books sounds wonderful. Please enter me.

Lisa said...

I'd like to be in the drawing for this one, please. I usually avoid the ones that are everywhere, but this looks good.

Jenners said...

Well after I realized this was not a book about bugs in any way, I realized it sounds like a fun read!! I'm going to blog about it -- even though it hurts my chances of winning it! And, as usual, great interview!

Jenners said...

I am a follower!! Entry 2!

Jenners said...

I tweeted about this ... but I'm not sure how to give you the link! I'm a Twitter newbie and still finding my way around!

softdrink said...

Great interview!

Thrity Umrigar said something very similar about her journalism background training her to write every day...she also mentioned that plumbers can't claim a lack of a muse, so writers shouldn't either. :-D

And I follow you in Google Reader!

donnas said...

Please include me. It sounds like a great summer read, very enjoyable.

I follow in google reader.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Marie said...

I appreciated the interview since I had no idea from the title what the book was actually about! It sounds like a great read though!

Marie said...

I'm a follower.

miriamparker said...

Love this interview!! I'm the same way, love noise when I write!! :)

Serena said...

I usually have my earbuds in while writing and the music tuned up!

Cheri2628 said...

Thanks for posting this review. I have been hearing a lot of buzz about this book. It sounds like a delightful story, and it has one of the best titles I have heard. Can't you see it as a movie?

Thanks for the chance to win this!


Cheri2628 said...

I am a Google follower. :-)

Cheryl S. said...

Great review & interview. This book sounds like so much fun to read

Please count me in - Thanks!

Cheryl S. said...

I follow in Google Reader.


Amber said...

Please enter me - it looks really funny and the title is so clever! I didn't know Lauren went to USC. One of my best friends is headed there next year, but she's studying business.

Thanks for the giveaway :)

Ladytink_534 said...

This sounds like SUCH a good story. Glad to hear that you were more than willing to research for your story!

I'm a follower/ Google Reader subscriber.


Esme said...

This is the perfect book for the beach.

chocolate and croissants at yahoo dot com

Gwendolyn B. said...

Lipton has a pretty interesting educational background, but I'm sure her success is linked to having been born in Providence! Looking forward to reading this book over the summer -- thanks for the chance to win a copy!

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

I follow you in Google Reader.

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

Here's my Tweet!

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Margot said...

The review and interview has me wanting to read this book. Please enter my name in the drawing.


throuthehaze said...

I agree that this book won't be a flop. It sounds like a great read and I would love to be entered into this contest!
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

throuthehaze said...

im a follower
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Jo-Jo said...

I blogged about your contest here for another entry.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Alexa said...

This sounds like a great book. enter me please.

I'm a follower.


minishoes1 said...

Lauren sound like a very interesting person! If I had a dinner party,She would be the first guest I would invite!Can you imagine what stories she would have to tell. I would love to read her book -Its about your husband.thanks

minishoes1 said...

I follow through reader.

Llehn said...

I'm seeing this book everywhere! My interest is piqued!