Our interview today is with Lennie Ross, author of Blow Me ($9.95), which has 4.6 stars on 17 reviews. Before we get to the interview, here’s a brief description of Blow Me. Author Lennie Ross makes her debut as a Chick Lit novelist with a tale of sex, dating and disappointment in the City of Angels.
Blow Me is the story of three single women—all hovering precariously close to forty, and stuck in a lifestyle that they have long outgrown—who were on a mission to have the perfect life: the amazing career, the baby, the house, the husband. Not having achieved any of their goals, their lives are in complete chaos and their only hope now is to be rescued through marriage or by a Hairy Godfather. Situated in the shallow world of Los Angeles, this provocative novel in the style of Sex and the City provides a humorous, edgy look at aging, dating, and being single in the City of Angels. Blow Me is Lennie’s debut novel and recently won an award for Best New Chick Lit Novel at the 2012 Indie Reader Discovery Awards.
Interview with Lennie Ross
Congratulations on your recent award. Not bad for a first time novelist. How does it feel?
Thank you. It’s pretty unbelievable. I’ve been a writer for a very long time and have always had confidence in my writing, but it is a wonderful feeling to know that my work resonates with my readers. . I’m always so grateful when readers take the time to review my work. Feedback is so important to writers. At least, it’s important to this writer. Receiving the award was a wonderful surprise, and hopefully will help me launch my next novel.
1. What inspired you to write Blow Me? What do you want readers to takeaway from this novel?
I read a lot of Chick Lit and I find most of it is situated in New York with lead characters that live unrealistically glamorous lives. I wanted to write a grittier novel with female protagonists whose lives are neither perfect nor glamorous. Since I live in Los Angeles, I thought it was best to write about what I know and give readers a sense of the crazy lifestyle and mindset of L.A. women—it’s a very different world.
2. You paint a vivid picture of the Los Angeles dating scene. Do you believe the dating marketplace in LA is that superficial? If yes, what are the reasons?
I believe it, because I have experienced it first hand and I have witnessed my friends go through similar experiences to the ones I write about in my novel. But, the superficiality is not limited to Los Angeles. I have girlfriends in New York and Miami who struggle with similar problems. Here in Los Angeles, everyone is trying to be something they are not, and there is a “smoke & mirror” effect, where nobody is as they portray themselves. You can imagine the challenges of dating when nobody is being honest. Some of the earlier stories in my blog are accounts of my dating experiences. Men in Los Angeles tend to treat women like whores. They think dinner equals sex, and see no reason to wait till a third date, or till some form of relationship has started. And, the women are often out for as much as they can get from the men, financially, in gifts, and career-wise. It becomes a bit of a chicken & the egg scenario, as to which came first—poor behavior on the part of the men, or on the part of the women.
3. Your novel is set around the lives of three women in Los Angeles. Women can be each other’s best friends or worst enemies. What do you think accounts for these extremes?
I portray the three women in my book as being both friends and to a degree enemies…though that’s really too harsh a word… how about competitors? The competition between women is a direct result of a phenomenon I call The Wonder Woman Complex: today’s woman is expected to earn a six-figure salary (we all know how hard that is), be a wife, mother, lover, sex kitten, dog walker, maid, and fill a myriad of other roles all with a smile on her face. The pressure on women today is extreme. While women are expected to have careers, they still feel pressure to find a man in a society where men don’t want to get married, because divorce laws are so extreme and divorce attorney fees have no ceiling. You might think women don’t NEED to get married anymore. That’s not entirely true as men still make on average 30% more than women and there are still many jobs that women have a hard time obtaining—specifically those high-salaried CEO jobs. While we may find happiness without men, financial security is still a concern, and companionship is also important. There is a certain humiliation factor when a woman is still single at a certain age. It’s been rumored that Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries was arranged so that she would not reach 30 having not been married. That says a lot about society’s view of single women.
4.What is your method for writing a book? A certain amount of hours every day? A certain routine?
I’m fortunate enough to have a regular job with irregular hours. For years I wrote in the evening, though now I prefer to start in the morning. I don’t have a particular schedule. I find it’s always a challenge finding time to write. The most important part of my writing process is what happens before I sit down to write. I spend a lot of time hiking, walking and just thinking about the characters I want to create and the story I want to tell before I start writing.
5. If you were not a writer, what would you be doing instead?
When I was a child, I dreamed of being three things: a travel writer (which I was briefly), a fashion designer (which I did as a hobby), and an actress (which I also pursued for some time). My parents wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer, but I’m far too creative for those types of careers. If I weren’t a writer, I would probably be a TV host. I would love to host a reality show or talk show. I think that would be fun.
About Lennie Ross:
Lennie Ross writes a blog on dating in Los Angeles called Lennie Ross Writes and works as a researcher, story editor, and story consultant for various screenwriters. Previously, she wrote several screenplays for Playboy’s film division, Indigo Entertainment. She has written several romantic comedy and suspense thriller feature film scripts. Lennie wrote and hosted a documentary on asthma; wrote, produced and starred in her own sitcom pilot, and wrote and starred in her own play. Lennie also wrote two episodes of the Japan-Canada co-production animation series, Cyber- Six, and has had several TV movies optioned.
While pursuing a screenwriting career, Lennie has worked as a producer, talent agent and assistant casting director for roughly ten years. Prior to her adventures in the screen trade, Lennie wrote advertising copy for print and television, and fashion and travel articles for regional, national, and international publications including Beautiful B.C., Canadian Inflight, Adventure West, Pacific Northwest, Western Living and Vancouver Magazine.
Get your copy of Blow Me on Amazon.
Visit her website: http://www.lennieross.com/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LennieRossFanPage
On Twitter: @LennieRossWrite