1. Tell us about your newest release.
This is a reissue of my first and favorite novel, You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs, about fifteen years of bad dates in the life of single, Jewish actress Karrie Kline, taking place in New York and LA. I always loved the Frogs, first published by Red Dress Ink, Harlequin. And I was tickled pink, okay maybe green, when I received an email telling me that MIRA, another division of the publishing house, wanted to reissue the book this month. Frogs is a novel-in-stories about this woman who approaches her mid-forties and has really lived, loved, pursued her career and had much success in life. But she has not landed. The idea that her life would be settled by that point: solid career, relationship, perhaps a marriage, a kid, a co-op is just that, an idea, because it is not become her reality. And Karrie wonders if it ever will. So one sleepless night she looks back on her last fifteen years of dates to see how it brought her to where she is. And along with learning a lot of lessons she also learns that life is not linear, and when it comes to love you just have to kiss a lot of frogs.
2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?
One of my favorite scenes is this very short story, just two or three paragraphs, called My Worst Date – Almost. Funnily, or sadly enough the premise was completely true. When I was living in Los Angeles my roommate threw a party, and I met the man in our living room. He was holding hands with a woman I thought to be his wife, but in fact it was his sister. Of course that should have been my first clue, but I guess I wasn’t looking for any as it led me to one of my funniest stories. Read it, and I won’t say anything more.
3. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?
The most surprising thing, I believe, for any author to discover when writing a story is what happens when you get to the point where you are just the vessel, and the story writes itself.
4. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
I was deeply influenced by the late, great, phenomenal Nora Ephron. The brilliant Carrie Fisher. Television shows like That Girl and Mary Tyler Moore. And New York City, that inspires me no end.
5. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
They are proud. I will be often be introduced as an author. It is always exciting. And a trip.
6. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
I worked as a professional actress for over twenty years and still love acting and the theater, and am a very active member of WorkShop Theater Company for fifteen years. I also work in public relations. In addition, I do pilates and run the reservoir, volunteer in a homeless shelter at my synagogue, belong to a book club, love to entertain and throw fun themed parties, like a MadMen soiree for the season premiere, a movie night, an Oscar party. I like to read, be near water, I like to eat and find it fun to cook.
7. How can readers connect with you online?
Please stay in touch by Liking my Facebook Fan Page, connecting to me on Goodreads, following me @LaurieGraff and checking out my website to read my FrogBlog.
FrogBlog on Website: www.lauriegraff.com
Laurie Graff, author of the bestselling You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs (reissue 11-12) that received multiple printings here and abroad (Italy, Australia, and Amsterdam), has also written the novels Looking for Mr. Goodfrog and The Shiksa Syndrome. A contributor to Complaint Box NY Times, Live Alone and Like It, It’s A Wonderful Lie and Scenes from a Holiday, her work is included in the upcoming anthology, No Kidding, (2013), and is represented in New Monologues for Women by Women and Best Men’s Stage Monologues of 1999. One-act plays All My Problems, Telephone Call for Francine Stein, Love in the Time of Recession, and Charlie & Flo (at PS NBC) have been produced at WorkShop Theater Company where she is a member. Her favorite acting role was “Frenchy,” in the Broadway hit Grease, she plays herself in the documentary, Mr. Right, and promotional appearances include Fox & Friends, Better TV, Joan Hamburg, SiriusXM, CNN Radio, and ABC World News Now. Laurie lives in New York City.
YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS
Forty-five-year-old actress Karrie Kline doesn’t usually lose a lot of sleep over her age or her single status. But after one too many bridal showers, a notice on her apartment, an expired unemployment claim and her acting prospects drying up – too old to play the ingénue, too young for the role of matriarch – she’s awake at 2:00 a.m. and determined to get perspective on her life. Starting with the men she’s dated.
From the man whose parents loved her more than he did, to the famous actor who had more bark than bite, Karrie traces back through her love life to uncover how her experiences have shaped her and how to find meaning in the past.
Told with warmth, wit and poignancy, You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs shows how to face your memories – even the darkest, most secret ones – with courage, humor and hope.
“I never knew bad dates could be so good.” -Kelly Ripa
“A provocative and intelligent look at the ways that people search for a meaningful life.”-- Publisher’s Weekly
“More than just a catalogue of loser guys and bad relationships, Graff’s smart and funny novel shows just how hard finding the right man can be and how easy it is for a relationship to fail.” -Booklist
“We’re rooting for her to find everything she’s been missing – which turns out to be less than she imagines.” -Daily News
“…this book ventures out of the frog pond in search of a deeper meaning of self worth and completion… a quirky spin that keeps you reading and keeps Karrie from giving up.” –Fit
“Loved the book!” -New York Times bestselling author and actress Fran Drescher