morelikeherus.jpgLiza Palmer's novel More Like Her was published in the UK earlier this year, and has just been released in the States. The book is about Frannie, who wishes she was just a little bit more like her seemingly perfect new boss, Emma. We spoke to Liza about the new release, the inspiration behind it and her favourite places to write...

Please describe your latest book in 15 words or fewer.
Sometimes, it's what's behind those perfect white picket fences that you have to be worried about.

What inspired you to write More Like Her?

I wrote More Like Her because, for some reason, women have to be effortless in their pursuit of perfection. We lie and are lied to.  A lot.  We've all heard celebrities intone the usual rhetoric: They dropped all the pregnancy weight just by "chasing the baby" and that stick figure starlet "loves cheeseburgers!"  Not true.  That poor starlet hasn't had a cheeseburger in decades.  According to the other women in the PTA, the Junior League or just your local coffee shop, their marriages are blissful and raising their children is akin to seeing a double rainbow.  Why are we so competitive?  What mystique do we think will be shattered if we admit raising kids is hard?  Or maybe you're having a rough patch in your marriage - maybe you fear you married the wrong guy?  Why can't we say these things without other women relishing in the cracks of our lives showing.  We're human.  It's actually what makes us beautiful.  Unfortunately with women, being human makes you a target.  Someone to be gossiped about.  And More Like Her is about what happens in the extreme.  When someone who seems effortlessly perfect is actually the opposite.  And how her silence is partly our fault.

Where do you do most of your writing?

I write at home or at the local Starbucks, depending on how much of a shut-in I'm feeling like.  Sometimes I have to get out and among people and when that's the case I have a Starbucks I go to where they let me sit for hours and hours at a time.  I was actually telling a story about my "work friends" the other day and my sister was like, "Do you mean the kids who work at Starbucks?"  Uh.  Yeah?

What is your favourite book?'

Jane Eyre - without a doubt.  That book... it's just perfect.  

Which part of More Like Her was the most enjoyable to write?

I loved writing the friendship between my main character Frannie and her two friends, Lisa and Jill.  I love the way friends speak in shorthand and I wanted to build these three on a foundation of mutual respect and authenticity.  I didn't want any back biting - as is usually the way women are portrayed.  Their dialogue was some of the most fun.  
What are you currently reading?

I just finished the Hunger Games Trilogy and The Discovery of Witches - which I looooooved.  I'm now on Tea Obreht's, The Tiger's Wife and Chad Harbach's, The Art of Fielding. 

Who is your favourite herione?

Jane Eyre - I know, not much of a surprise.  She's just so beautifully written and she stayed with me longer than any other.  Absolutely mesmerizing. 
Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published authors?
Write. Write like you mean it.  Don't be afraid to be passionate.  Don't be afraid to get your hopes up.  Treat it like a job.  No one owes any one of us a writing career, so sit at the table and be heard.  Find a community of people who are happy for you and are rooting for you to achieve your goal.  Get out of the way of your story.  There's no place for ego when it comes to the narrative.  Get over yourself and kill your darlings.  My favorite quote -- I think it was Neil Gaiman -- says when someone tells you something isn't working, they're probably right.  If they tell you how to fix it, they're probably wrong.  And if you ever think, why me?  Why will I be published when so many aren't?  Why not you? 
Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?

I'm editing my fifth book, Nowhere but Home, as we speak.  It's the story of a failed chef who returns to her small Texas hometown and finds herself making last meals for the condemned.  The food in this book?  Forget it.  The recipes alone are enough to make any mouth water. 

Thanks, Liza!

You can find out more about Liza Palmer over at her website.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Liza Palmer - Comments

  • erwin

    wow Lisa palmer
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  • Suedyer

    Really looking forward to  Nowhere but Home!

  • Duckducrot

    I am enjoying this book.... but it makes the reader take a very hard look at what may be behind the facade we see in others.

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