Thursday, June 14, 2007

Megan Crane Returns to the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit

I got a wonderful, wonderful new idea yesterday, and now I have a book shaping itself furiously in my head. Of course, this would be a day when I have plans. I'm meeting up with the parents for lunch, and then we're seeing a stage production of Chicago. So it's a very convenient Girlfriends Cyber Circuit day, and we've got a book I've been dying to talk about for ages. I got to read the manuscript of Megan Crane's Frenemies last fall for a cover blurb, and it was one of those books that had me laughing, then crying, and then really thinking about life.

You do know what a "frenemy" is, right? The person you're supposedly friends with but who always manages to undermine and backstab you, all while being nice to your face. I've encountered more than a few of these, myself, and maybe that's why I really related to this book.

Just a few months shy of her 30th birthday, Gus discovers Nate, her "Mr. Right," hooking up behind her back with her so-called "friend" Helen. Soon it seems despite working to hard to appear all grown up, Gus is still living the life of a teenager.

Gus is left with more questions than answers: Can she win Nate back before she turns 30 (And if so, does she really want him?) Is Helen really as devious and manipulative as she seems, or, worse, is Gus more like her frenemy Helen than she’d care to admit? And is she ever going to grow up? With the clock ticking down to her birthday, Gus discovers that sometimes the best thing about best-laid plans is trashing them altogether.

And now, the interview:
What was the inspiration behind this book?
Well, I'm a woman, and was once an adolescent girl, so in a certain sense I was genetically predisposed to write this book! It was a strange cross of the movie Mean Girls, certain experiences with friends, and some very bad behavior in my twenties. It all sort of turned into a big drama starring Gus.

Have you had any real-life "frenemy" experiences? (Feel free to omit names to protect the identities of the guilty)
Oh, yes. I've had girls who were nice to me just to get close to my much cooler friends. Girls who hit on the guys I liked pretty much just because I liked them. Women who casually betrayed me in one breath and then told me how much they loved me in the next. What's upsetting about frenemy experiences is how many of them you collect over the years!

(Oh yeah, been there, done that. The one who hit on any guy I liked -- after saying she was going to help me with my social life since she already had a boyfriend -- got to be particularly amusing once I figured it out and started picking some really odd targets.)

What was your "a-ha!" moment that made you realize it was time to be a grown-up (if you've experienced it yet)?
This seems to be something of an uphill battle for me! A major "a-ha" moment occurred in my mid-twenties, when it dawned on me that if I felt morose and out of sorts while out, I could just go home, instead of attempting to "power through." Another "a-ha" moment: If you have to argue with them about whether or not they want to be with you, why would you want to be with them in the first place? And another: True friends are supposed to make it better, not worse. And one more: The world will not end if he knows you like him. You know, I could go on and on. The thing about "a-ha" moments, I have found, is that they are usually very simple, very obvious things that take whole years to do. But once you do, you're better for it.

(I think I've managed every one of these except for the one about the world not ending if he knows I like him.)

What (if anything) do you have in common with your heroine?
I have been known to be a big old drama queen on occasion. I have also been known to prostrate myself before The Love That Cannot Be. And I have some pretty awesome friends who are more like family, who I periodically wish to kill, but we all love each other anyway.

When can we expect your next book after this one, and what's it about?
My next book is due out next spring. It's about sisters, the road not taken, first love versus true love, and how to figure out who your family really is. I'm really looking forward to it!

For more info, visit Megan's web site. If you're already sold on the book, you can get it at Amazon.

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