Mary Strand has joined us here at GLIAS in the past with her wonderful women’s fiction novel COOPER’S FOLLY, and I couldn’t be more excited to have her back so she can introduce us to her brand new YA novel - PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND PUSH-UP BRAS (The Bennet Sisters Book # 1) from Triple Berry Press. I am so excited about this series and cannot WAIT for all the books to be out! Mary is a fellowMinnesotan, an RWA chapter mate, and, most of all, a great friend and writer well known for her wit and humor on Facebook and for getting into jealous tussles with me about our favorite Minnesota Twins player Brian Dozier. But that’s for another time; for now, I hope you’ll give a huge Get Lost in a Story welcome to my bud, Mary Strand!
A LITTLE ABOUT MARY
Mary Strand practiced law in a large Minneapolis law firm for 16 years until the day she set aside her pointy-toed shoes (or most of them) and escaped the land of mergers and acquisitions to write novels. She lives on a lake in Minneapolis with her husband, two cute kidlets, and a stuffed monkey named Philip. When not writing, Mary lives for sports, travel, guitar, dancing (badly), Cosmos, Hugh Jackman, and ill-advised adventures that offer a high probability of injury to herself and others. She writes YA, romantic comedy, and women’s fiction novels. Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras is the first in her four-book YA series, The Bennet Sisters.
A LITTLE ABOUT PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND PUSH-UP BRAS
College freshman Liz Bennet refuses to let her name—or Jane Austen, for that matter—define her. Even though she’s one of five teenage sisters named after the Bennet sisters in “The Book,” as Liz not-so-fondly calls it, she can’t afford to let her life parallel The Book in any way. Period. Liz has big plans for her future, and they don't exactly mesh with the life laid out for a fictional young woman 200 years ago.
When two gorgeous guys, Charlie Bingham and Alex Darcy, arrive in Liz’s Minnesota town, her whole world is turned upside down. Her sister Jane starts acting like a lunatic with Charlie. Alex is tempting but also a jerk. Seeing too many uncanny connections to The Book, Liz is afraid she can’t win. Is this fate’s little joke on her modern Bennet family? What’s a girl to do? Fight? Or ... surrender?
PURCHASE LINKS FOR PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND PUSH-UP BRAS
Amazon e-book (trade paperback is also available)
MARY ANSWERS MY CRAZY QUESTIONS
LIZ: What was your favorite book as a child?
LIZ: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
MARY: Out of a writers’ voice class taught by Barbara Samuel! One of the writing exercises we had to do was to type the first 2-3 paragraphs of a favorite book, then retype them in our own voice. I chose PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. When the class read my new opening for P&P, they basically laughed and said, “Yep, that’s exactly how you talk!”
LIZ: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
MARY: Sports and music, music and sports. At the moment, though, I’d have to say that it’s music. I’ve just joined a rock band (for the first time in my life, if we don’t count my fifth-grade band, the Bell-Bottom Blues), and I’m playing guitar (badly), and it’s an utter blast. Our first gig is in November.
LIZ: If you could have dinner with any three book characters, who would you choose and why?
MARY: Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice; Lord Rothgar from Jo Beverley’s Malloren series; and Ranger from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. But, um, could each of those dinners be separate? We’re talking Rothgar and Ranger. J
LIZ: If your house was on fire and you only had time to save three objects, what would you save?
MARY: I actually had this dream scenario LAST NIGHT and discovered that, ultimately, the only thing that mattered was saving my life. So I’ll say the kidlets ... and my convertible. :-D
LIZ: Write us a haiku about your book or one of your characters!
MARY: Warning: haiku is not among my strengths!
Liz lives for rock songs
Until Darcy rocks her world;
She’s “All Shook Up” now.
LIZ: I love this (especially because at first I thought it was about me)—and that you’re one of my few guest/friends to take on this challenge. You can claim it as a strength if you want to as far as I’m concerned!
LIZ: Time for a mini blitz!
a)Favorite color? Song? Movie?
b) Summer or winter?
c) Morning or night?
d) Rain or shine?
e) Sweet or salty?
a) yellow - Rodney Crowell’s “Please Remember Me” - DON’T MAKE ME PICK ONE MOVIE!
b) summer (but actually fall)
LIZ: Name three things on your desk right now.
MARY: A large bottle of Airborne; a magical stone; and my next manuscript.
LIZ: Where is your favorite place to write?
MARY: Sebastian Joe’s! It’s a local coffee and ice cream shop here in Minneapolis (two locations; I go to the one closest to my house), where I write with the enthusiastic assistance of triple-berry scones and Diet Coke.
LIZ: What’s on your bucket list for this year?
MARY: We already hiked to Machu Picchu this year, six months ago. For the coming year ... my hope is to hike the entire 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago in the early summer of 2017.
LIZ HAS GOTTA ASK: What’s the most personal thing you’ve ever put in one of your books?
MARY: It’s a book that’s written but not yet published, about a girl who has to face her biggest fear and survive it. A few years ago, two different creepy guys, a month apart, each tried to abduct my daughter. She did Every Single Thing I’ve ever taught her to do in such a situation and even amazed the investigating police afterward. So I started writing that book about a girl my daughter’s age (then 12), but then advanced her after the first chapter to age 17. The 17-year-old heroine suddenly (and without warning!) turned into me, and the book also dealt with a guy who was my big love (although he wasn’t 17 in real life). It was like ripping out my heart every day I wrote it. I gave her a happy ending, though. J
MARY’S QUESTION FOR HER READERS?
PRDE, PREJUDICE, AND PUSH-UP BRAS is the first book in the four-book Bennet Sisters series, about five modern-day sisters named after the five Bennet Sisters in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Liz Bennet’s three younger sisters often drive her crazy. What’s one thing that drives you absolutely CRAZY about your sister(s) or brother(s)? Or, if you don’t have sibs, one thing that drives you crazy about someone else!
I have an e-book copy of PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND PUSH-UP BRAS for one commenter today!
My next release is BEING MARY BENNET BLOWS, the second book in my Bennet Sisters YA series. It’s coming in November, I hope!