Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Once again, we are lucky enough to plug into the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit. Our guest today is Kathleen O'Reilly, author of The Diva's Guide to Selling Her Soul. Here's some PR:

The Devil Made Her Do It

What would you sacrifice to be a size zero? For more than a few women, the promise of thin thighs in 30 seconds might just convince them to deal with the devil. Award-winning author Kathleen O'Reilly's The DIVA'S GUIDE TO SELLING HER SOUL (Apr., Downtown Press) is a story for every woman who knows that getting celebrity-style skinny involves a pact with Lucifer‹or in this case, the silver-tongued Lucy. She's the trashiest gossip columnist in the city and she's working a pyramid scheme that's truly evil. The more clients our "innocent" heroine V recruits for her "Life Enrichment Program," the more of V's decadent desires will come true. Unfortunately, V soon discovers there maybe something worth saving in her after all, which means when she made the deal with the devil she may have truly damned herself -unless she can figure a way out.

I asked Kathleen to write a little something about body image and the expectations society places on women, and how this inspired/affected her novel. Here is her response:

We moved two years ago from Texas, the land of big hair and big butts, to New York, the land of platinum hair, platinum jewelry, and size zero jeans. Sadly, I stood out - literally. And I'm only a size eight. It's not like people stop you on the street, or stare as if you're disabled, but it creeps into your psyche when you're surrounded by women of toothpick proportions - or smaller. I started Diva's Guide To Selling Your Soul, because I realized that when it comes to the haves and have-nots, Manhattan exists only for the haves. The wants and the needs creep into your blood slowly and make you burn, just like a healthy shot of Jack Daniels on a cold winter's night. I love New York, I don't want to live anywhere else right now, but sometimes I pinch myself (and perhaps an extra Oreo) to remind me exactly where my priorities lie.

It was easy to write the main character, V. She's sold-out to have everything she wants, and damn the consequences. She's got a great life in the book; this isn't a story where the devil turns all the soul-less into zombies or something. Unfortunately, the time comes when she has to examine the choices that she made, knowing that she can't go back.

There's a lot of people in this city who defend their choices and justify them, but you hear the worry in their voice. They know what their doing. They're trying to keep up, and in the process, they sold out some important piece of who they are. Envy is a lot like alcoholism -- each day brings up new battles: new shoes, a massage, the latest It-bag, but you just gotta take it one day at a time.
Thanks so much, Kathleen!

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