The Imperfect Lives series:
News, events, maybe cats
For intelligent readers, who like to be entertained, and who don’t object to strong-minded female characters and rude words.
These books, all #1 bestsellers in New Zealand, do fall into the ‘chick lit’ genre, but they are not the sweet and light kind. They are not frothy and mild like a cappuccino but more like an espresso that also makes you laugh. I’ve written them for intelligent readers, who like to be entertained, and who don’t object to strong-minded female characters and rude words. The sex is medium raunchy, although my friend’s eighty year-old mother has never looked at me quite the same since reading the vichyssoise scene in The Sweet Second Life of Darrell Kincaid.
The series revolves around a set of characters linked to Darrell (not a boy), who stars in the first book. The star of The Not So Perfect Life of Mo Lawrence is Darrell’s best friend Michelle (called Mo so that the title would fit on the cover). Both Darrell and Michelle turn up in The Misplaced Affections of Charlotte Fforbes, which stars Charlotte, a new character. In fact, almost everyone from the first two books turns up in the third book, which did my head in plot-wise but then I have no one to blame but myself.
The novels are set in Islington in London, Marin County, California, and Lake Como. I was only in Lake Como for a week, but I did stay in the villa right next door to George Clooney’s. He wasn’t home. My brother lives in Islington and I used to live in Marin County. Many film stars live in Islington and Marin County. I’ve never seen any of them, either.
Having been a long-time fan of writers like Mary Wesley and Barbara Trapido, whose characters can behave quite appalling, I was surprised to cop flak from readers and reviewers for my own female characters. Darrell is nice, but Mo and Charlotte have more – challenging – personalities. As does Aishe, who co-stars in book two.
Personally, I love writing about women who care not a jot what people think of them and who have a firm grip on the steering wheels of their lives, as opposed to being dragged passively along in its slipstream. But they’re most certainly not your typical sweet and vulnerable ‘chick lit’ heroines, so be warned.
I love writing male characters, too, and I hope I’ve liberated mine from the shackles of traditional fictional expectation. The men in my series range from outspoken to repressed, sexually ‘generous’ to resolutely faithful, and posh to dead common, sweary and polite.
Best wishes and happy, espresso-like reading.