Yes, today we've got award winning writer and professor Dan Begley here to chat. His debut novel, MS. TAKEN IDENTITY, comes out today, and it's a fabulous read. I was asked to blurb this book, and I really loved it. It's a clever and funny story about learning who you really are and what's important in life.
And what's even more exciting is that Dan will be giving away not just one, but TWO signed copies of the book! Deets on how to enter are at the bottom of this post.
So, without further ado, I give you our guest blogger for today, Dan Begley:
When I was a boy, I wanted to be a pro football quarterback. As a teen, my obsession was basketball and the Boston Celtics. In college (when I realized I’d stopped growing and wouldn’t be 6’9”), my interests turned to hockey. So naturally, now that I’m getting a novel published, my chosen genre is…chick lit.
Actually, chick lit and I go back a long way. I read my first chick lit novel when I was in college. I was taking an English Lit survey class, and we were reading Dickens and Joyce and Orwell, among others. Then the professor, a rather staid gentleman, assigned the chick lit novel, unabashedly praising it as one of the best books ever written. Of course, he didn’t use the term “chick lit”; he called it by another name.
Pride and Prejudice.
Yes, that one.
Maybe you’ve read it. Or seen the movie with Keira Knightley (my wife could watch it daily). Or the miniseries with Colin Firth. Or read Helen Fielding’s modern take: Bridget Jones’s Diary. The connection between chick lit and Austen is inescapable. Google the two: 130,000 results.
It seems that Ms. Austen tapped into something both universal and timeless in her delightful novel: romance, fashion, and Love, and the silly things it makes us say and do and feel. In a nutshell, that’s what P and P is about. And, as far as I can tell, that’s what chick lit is about.
Now, I’ve only written one book in the genre, so I’m no expert. There are many other far more talented and insightful (and attractive) practitioners—I won’t name names, but you know these good ladies’ names—and they would be far more qualified to tell you what it is and isn’t.
As for me, I just wanted to write a story about a guy who starts off with his own pride and prejudice about the genre, about the people who read it, and about life itself. He’s not a bad guy; he just has a blind spot. Okay, blind spots. And huge ones.
But in the end, he just wants what every single woman in every single chick lit novel wants: To love, and be loved.
Come to think of it, that’s what we all want, isn’t it? I know I do. And thanks to my wife Robin, I have it.
I’m not sure how women who enjoy chick lit (or women in general) will take to my novel. They may think that it’s making fun of them. If you stop reading after page forty, I can see how you’d think that. But if you hang in there, I think you’ll find that the book is saying something else, entirely.
After all, that’s my name on the cover of a chick lit novel.
And I couldn’t be more proud.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Dan! That post totally makes me want to read your book again!
To enter to win a copy of MS. TAKEN IDENTITY, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post. To get another entry, blog about it! OR, to get yet another entry, email five of your friends about this contest (and cc me on the email so that I can account for your extra entry- brenda[at]brendajanowitz[dot]com).
The lucky winners will be announced on July 6th.