I’d like to welcome bestselling author Elizabeth LaBan to the blog today to celebrate her latest release, Not Perfect, which is out now from Lake Union Publishing.
Welcome to my blog, Elizabeth! Let’s get started, shall we?
Name: Elizabeth LaBan
Book Title: Not Perfect
Genre: Women’s Fiction
How would you describe your latest book in one (or maybe two) killer sentences?
Tabitha Brewer wakes up one morning to find her husband gone and a note saying, “Don’t tell them I’m gone or I’ll tell them what you did.” NOT PERFECT is the story of what Tabitha does to keep up appearances while she realizes that her marriage wasn’t what she thought it was, and learns what it will take to be happy (and I promise all the mysteries will be solved along the way!).
What sparked the idea for Not Perfect?
At first I wanted to write a book about people who had created a life for themselves that was so far beyond their income that they had to steal to maintain it, but when I sat down to write it I realized there had to be more behind it. That initial idea didn’t work for me because much of what they would have been stealing to support wouldn’t have been things they actually needed. That’s when I wondered, how could someone go from so much to so little quickly, while still being surrounded by fancy things even when she can barely afford bread and light bulbs? From that question Tabitha Brewer, her world, and all the mysteries swirling around her were born.
How long did it take for you to write the book? Did you do have to do any research?
I always think it takes a solid year to get a good draft finished, but my deadlines are moving faster these days so sometimes I don’t have that much time. From the sale of the book to the publication date it was about a year and a half, but I had that first draft written in six months or so. I did do research, mainly about the medical condition Tabitha’s daughter suffers from throughout the book.
How did you celebrate when you learned Not Perfect was going to be published?
My go-to celebration is always to go out to dinner, my choice, so I think that night we went to Parc on Rittenhouse Square, not far from where much of the book takes place!
What’s one piece of advice you would offer your younger writer self?
The one piece of advice I would offer to my younger writer self is to not take every rejection so hard and personally, because there will be many. But if you don’t give up, and you should never give up, there will also be book sales and published novels and rewarding working relationships in your future.
What’s next for you? Are you working on a new book?
My next novel is called BESIDE HERSELF, and will be published in August 2019. It is the story of Hannah Bent who thinks she has a solid marriage until she snoops in her husband’s phone searching for evidence of a surprise birthday party, but instead finds that he had an affair. Neither wants to get divorced, but Hannah isn’t sure there is any other choice. That is until Joel proposes an idea – why doesn’t she have an affair, too? Then they’ll be equal and they can move on from there, hopefully together. He immediately regrets it, but she likes the idea and moves forward with it.
Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)?
My website is elizabethlaban.com, I’m on Twitter and Instagram as @elizabethlaban, and on Facebook as Elizabeth LaBan.
Thank you, Elizabeth! Not Perfect is available everywhere now!
From Elizabeth LaBan, the acclaimed author of The Restaurant Critic’s Wife, comes a captivating and very funny novel about a wife and mother’s fall from grace, and why keeping up appearances is not her biggest secret.
Tabitha Brewer wakes up one morning to find her husband gone, leaving her no way to support herself and their two children, never mind their upscale Philadelphia lifestyle. She’d confess her situation to her friends—if it wasn’t for those dreadful words of warning in his goodbye note: “I’ll tell them what you did.”
Instead, she does her best to keep up appearances, even as months pass and she can barely put food on the table—much less replace a light bulb. While she looks for a job, she lives in fear that someone will see her stuffing toilet paper into her handbag or pinching basil from a neighbor’s window box.
Soon, blindsided by catastrophe, surprised by romance, and stunned by the kindness of a stranger, Tabitha realizes she can’t keep her secrets forever. Sooner or later, someone is bound to figure out that her life is far from perfect.