Jen Lancaster Book Signing

Monday night I went to see Jen Lancaster, author of four books, the latest of which is entitled Pretty in Plaid. She has also written Such a Pretty Fat, Bright Lights, Big Ass, and Bitter is the New Black. Personally, I have not yet read any of these books, but after seeing and hearing her give a reading and answer questions from a huge crowd, I will read them eventually. Before going to the book signing, I was vaguely familiar with Ms. Lancaster’s writing through and from Melissa C. Morris’s blog post from last week.

Jen Lancaster has quite the personality with an awesome sense of humor. She is every bit as funny as Anne Lamott and almost as funny as David Sedaris. The reading she did was an excerpt from Pretty in Plaid about how she cheated in Girl Scouts to get a bunch of badges and how she redeemed herself by selling the most cookies when it was sale time. I love it when you get to hear an author read their own work, giving listeners the true sense of what he or she intended concerning all the vocal aspects such as gait, intonations, pauses, accents, and other considerations. Ms. Lancaster’s excerpt was from the portion of the book about the 70’s. Her metaphors are priceless such as when she referred to her sash having only a few patches as being, “a thimble of water in an ocean of merit.” I was transported to my own Girl Scout days as she reminisced about sipping the Hawaiian Punch, while reading about the forgery of patches, but how the Girl Scouts organization “instills such fine values.”

The mostly female, aged 25-to 35-year old audience had some great questions:

Are your books going to be made into movies?
Television is her best bet as she is going to LA next week to talk to some TV people.

Any advice to a young girl or adult on being a writer?
2 things: 1) know your story so it will have authenticity and 2) know the voice you want to tell it in.

Any new books in the works?
Yes, My Fair Lazy and Involuntary, My Year of Giving Dangerously.

She also talked about her husband, Fletch, of whom most of the audience was very familiar.

I was going to stick around and get Pretty in Plaid signed, but I could tell I would be in line at least an hour. I decided just hearing Jen Lancaster read and talk (she’s another talker, reminding me of Elizabeth Gilbert) was a fabulous experience. Check out Jen’s blog at

  1 comment for “Jen Lancaster Book Signing

  1. May 14, 2009 at 3:31 AM

    Love the advice to hopeful authors. In fact, that’s pretty good advice to everybody!

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