Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Imperfection of Happily Ever After

When I used to imagine my own happily ever after it always involved this fantasy version of myself.  This sleek, steely Me that would throw her head back laughing as the wind blew her perfectly sun kissed hair back as she wore some gorgeous knitwear on a mountaintop sitting around a campfire, glass of wine in one hand and sitting next to Billy Baldwin circa Backdraft.  That Fantasy Me had no relation to The Real Me whatsoever. I don’t even like wine.  But apparently Fantasy Me is a wine connoisseur.   (We do agree on the Billy Baldwin thing though.)

It was quite the Wake Up Call:  Craft a perfectly utopian future and forget to cast me in it.  Ostensibly my messy humanity was too clunky for that mountaintop.

When I sat down to write my sixth novel, Girl Before a Mirror, I knew this divergence was to be at its center.  Do we believe that we are the heroes of our own stories?  The Real Us, not some airbrushed version of ourselves.  That who we are right now is worthy of a happily ever after.  That there is no perfect, only authentic and that these superficial fantasies are hollow compared to the richness of reality – however messy it is. 

My main character Anna Wyatt ponders this very question when she realizes, “It’s in the imperfections in each other, where we find the humanity.  It’s in our dents and scars where the deepest connections are made.”  That’s the inconvenient truth of real love and intimacy.  It’s not something we control or can fabricate from teenaged crushes or J. Crew Catalogs – it is something that undoes us.  The Real Us. 

Broken people make the best heroes.  Each one of us deserves the happiest of ever afters ... just as we are.

The author of Conversations with a Fat Girl—optioned for HBO—returns with the hilarious and heartfelt story of a woman who must learn how to be the heroine of her own life—a journey that will teach her priceless lessons about love, friendship, family, work, and her own heart.


An account executive in a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced, she’s done a lot of emotional housecleaning, including a self-imposed dating sabbatical. But now that she’s turned forty, she’s struggling to figure out what her life needs. Brainstorming to win over an important new client, she discovers a self-help book—Be the Heroine, Find Your Hero—that offers her unexpected insights and leads her to a most unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign—and meet the author who has inspired her to take control of her life—she’ll win the account.

For Anna, taking control means taking chances, including getting to know Sasha, her pretty young colleague on the project, and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her success, and her alcoholic brother, Ferdie, is spiraling out of control.

To have the life she wants—to be happy without guilt, to be accepted for herself, to love and to be loved, to just be—she has to put herself first, accept her imperfections, embrace her passions, and finally be the heroine of her own story.

About the Author:
Liza Palmer is the internationally bestselling author of Conversations with the Fat Girl. Conversations with the Fat Girl became an international bestseller its first week in publication, as well as hitting Number 1 on the Fiction Heatseekers List in the UK the week before the book debuted.  Conversations with the Fat Girl has been optioned for series by the producers of Rome, Band of Brothers and Generation Kill.

Palmer’s second novel is Seeing Me Naked, which Publisher’s Weekly says, “consider it haute chick lit; Palmer’s prose is sharp, her characters are solid and her narrative is laced with moments of graceful sentiment.”

Her third novel, A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents, which Entertainment Weekly calls a “splendid novel” and Real Simple says “has heart and humor” was released in January 2010.

More Like Her is Palmer’s fourth novel. The book received a starred review from Library Journal in which they said, “The blend of humor and sadness is realistic and gripping, and watching Frannie figure out who she is and what matters is gratifying.”

After earning two Emmy nominations writing for the first season of VH1’s Pop Up Video, she now knows far too much about Fergie.

Palmer’s fifth novel, Nowhere but Home, is about a failed chef who decides to make last meals for the condemned in Texas. Nowhere but Home received the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction for 2013.

Palmer’s sixth novel, Girl Before a Mirror, is the story of Anna Wyatt, a driven ad exec who must attend the annual RomanceCon to land the Romance Novel Cover of Model of the year for Luxe Shower Gel’s spokesman.

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