Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest Author: Grace Coopersmith + Giveaway

Grace Coopersmith, author of the newly released Nancy's Theory of Style, has been kind enough to stop by Reading with Tequila to talk to us about chick lit.

How Chick Lit is Ruining Western Civilization

It is well known in literary circles that chick lit was created as a diabolical plot to keep women from cogitating on much more important issues, such as solving the Middle East crisis, coming up with a cure for cancer, and stopping global warming. To hear critics talk about pastel covers, you’d think that they had personally been beaten up in a dark alley by Bridget Jones, or had their savings embezzled by Becky Bloomwood.

Serious lovers of literature want serious novels about serious subjects. They want serious covers. Anything pink or bright or fun clearly indicates that the graphic artist has a low opinion of the author’s intellect. The covers may as well say “Beware! Here there be dimwits!”

I love serious literature. Yes, I have studied most of Shakespeare’s plays. Yes, I have read Leon Edel’s five-volume biography of Henry James (and I did it for fun). Yes, I’ve enjoyed novels by Russian authors whose names I can’t spell. These books have their place. So does humor written by and for women. I would like to say to these serious lovers of serious books who scorn chick lit: kindly get over yourselves.

Hi, my name is Grace Coopersmith, and I’ve written a chick lit novel which provides laughter and amusement to those so desperately in need of a fun book for a warm summer day. No, Nancy’s Theory of Style will not change the world. Or maybe it will. Maybe some young woman reading it will get the idea that life is flawed, people are flawed, and you can love a man even if he does idiotic things on occasion.

Or maybe the book will put a reader into a great mood during difficult times, so that she’s cheerful and loving to those around her, a chick lit domino effect. Maybe the book will inspire someone to visit the setting, San Francisco, have a wonderful vacation and while aiding the lagging tourist economy. Maybe the book will inspire a woman to have a a party and share that special feeling of joy that comes when friends and family gather.

Or maybe it won’t. All I know is that I like to read books that make me laugh. I like Twain and Kinsella and Austen and Wodehouse and Kennedy Toole and Fielding. Funny the critics never find fault with men who write silly stories. Nope, just the women. Perhaps it’s because they think we’re actually more capable than men of solving the world’s problems and therefore expect more of us.

Okay, as soon as I finish Charlaine Harris’s latest, I’ll be in my garage, working on that dang teleporting device that lets you travel anywhere without taking off your fabulous stilettos.

About the Author
Grace Coopersmith is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives now with her family and rescued dogs. She's a graduate of Stanford University, where she studied creative writing, literature, and drama.

Grace worked for theatre companies and other non-profits, and was a frequent contributor of home, garden and style features to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, and Spaces Magazine. Yes, she can discuss wallpaper trends and the history of the Barbary Coast.

Grace Coopersmith is the pen name of Marta Acosta, author of Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, Midnight Brunch at Casa Dracula, and The Bride of Casa Dracula. Haunted Honeymoon at Casa Dracula will be released on October 5, 2010.

About the Book

 Lively young socialite Nancy Carrington-Chambers has always believed an excellent sense of style and strict attention to detail are what it takes to succeed, but her own husband Todd is showing symptoms of incurable tackiness, so Nancy flees their McMansion for her posh San Francisco apartment. She knows her event planning company, Froth, is a real winner, but she must prove herself by reinventing the turgid Barbary Coast Historical Museum fundraiser. Luckily, Nancy now has the perfect assistant. Derek Cathcart is British, impeccably dressed, gorgeous, and clearly gay—so why does Nancy find him so attractive?

Before Nancy can unravel her feelings, her irresponsible cousin Birdie abandons her little daughter with Nancy and takes off. Nancy, Derek, and Eugenia make an unlikely “family,” but strangely it seems incredibly right. Now Nancy’s parents are pressuring her to return to Todd, and she still has to pull off a spectacular party. For someone who’s always known exactly where she’s going, Nancy is in dangerously uncharted waters.

Irresistibly funny and romantic, Nancy’s Theory of Style shows that happiness and love—just like fashion—aren’t about playing it safe.

Grace Coopersmith's website
Grace on Twitter

Grace has offered to give away a copy of Nancy's Theory of Style to one lucky reader!

Deadline for entry is Friday, May 28th at 11:59pm EST. US and Canada only.

To enter, leave a comment for Grace.

Be sure to leave an email address so I can contact the winner.


  1. You're an amazing author -- hard to believe since you are American ; ) Sorry couldn't help myself. If anyone hasn't read any of Marta (Grace) I highly recommend her -- trust me I'm a Librarian

    contestmom AT hotmail DOT com

  2. "They think we’re actually more capable than men of solving the world’s problems and therefore expect more of us." --> You're so right!!

    I also live Chick Lit, because its funny and puts me on a good mood :]

  3. AMEN! I'm an English teacher and I Love and read all kinds of books! Read, Read, Read!

  4. What a great post. I agree that chick lit definately has its place. I read different genres depending on the mood that I'm in. Sometimes you just need something light hearted and fluffy. I also agree with Peppermint PhD in that it really doesn't matter what people read as long as they are reading. There are so many people that don't.

    Please include me in your giveaway. I would love to read this one.

    teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

  5. Grace, I just put your book on wish list so it would be lovely to win a copy. I've heard such good things.

    Lisa.2713 at gmail dot com

  6. Love the title of this post. : )

    The cover of your book is awesome & I would love a chance to read it (in fact, I may have to even if I don't win, lol).

    Thanks for the giveaway.
    ambience.of.rain {at}

  7. Please count me in. I just love the Casa Dracula books!!

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  8. This book sounds amazing, I'm dying to read it!
    Email Address:

    Thanks for the contest!

  9. Grace, I'd love to win a copy of your book. Sounds great and different than anything I've read before. I also like that you have rescued pets, so do I. :)

  10. I do like my share of chick lit from time to time. ;) The book looks great, too bad I don't live in the US or Canada. :( Just want to add that you've got an award on my blog too! =)

  11. I love humor in my books so this book was written for are a new author for me so I have added you and your books to my list.
    Thanks for stopping by to chat. Great interview.
    Pls enter me in the giveaway. Thanks

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  12. I really enjoy your Casa books, so I'd love to try out your new chick lit book.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  13. I'm usually dead-set against chick lit of any kind (it says so on my blog...) but for some reason I REALLY want to read this. Count me in!

  14. Sounds like its going to be a great book. Thanks for the chance and congrats on the release!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  15. Hi, everyone! Glad you were entertained.

    Dannie, the term "chick lit" was created by marketing people to sell books. It worked extremely well for a short time. So well that it was thrown at anything with a female protagonist and humor.

    I sometimes call my books comedies of manners. The humor is really at the forefront of a relationship story.

    Chick lit was a catchy phrase and could have been useful if publishers hadn't flooded the market with dreck. But there are also readers who think that writing humor is easier than writing about misery. As the saying goes, "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."

  16. You are so right about chick lit having it's place, Grace! It takes some intelligence to realize what type of a book you are picking up to read. When I pick up a book by Jane Green, I am not expecting Pulitzer prize-winning literature.

    Literary classics have their place, as does chick lit. Who am I to say chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla? That is just my personal opinion. Both are good in their own way and everyone appreciates the flavors a little bit differently!

  17. Oops--after that rant I forgot to leave my e-mail!


  18. Grace, this sounds like an awesome book. I love reading something that makes me laugh. I'm looking forward to it.

    forwhlz at gmail dot com

  19. Looks good. I'd love to be entered to win this book..

    I follow on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  20. Grace, I have heard great things about this book! I can't wait to read it!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Hello Grace Coopersmith! You've certainly put it well, that serious v. chick lit. Your book looks great, thanks for the chance to win.

  22. Sounds like a wonderful and fun book. I would love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!


  23. Hi, everyone! I'm still mulling over Mountie's comment, "Trust me -- I'm a librarian." As if a girl hasn't heard that line before and then woken up between the HI-JKL stacks with a nasty hangover, an empty bottle of JD by her side, and a new tattoo that says, "Dewey Decimal System 4EVR!"

    But, in this particular instance, do trust Mountie, and if you don't win, I hope you'll pick up my fab new book.