I had been reading lots of mysteries in college and in the next few years after graduation. I loved whodunits and had written several very cozy ones that didn’t end up selling. Then I discovered Janet Evanovich and One for the Money, the first in her hilarious series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. I had never read anything quite like it, as it was a combination of a very modern mystery with the pluck and fun of Bridget Jones’s Diary. I had penned a novel called Blue Blood with a straight-talking, sassy heroine who stumbled upon dead bodies and rebelled against the traditional (namely, her fashionista mother, a true blue-blooded Dallas socialite). My then-agent labeled it “Janet Evanovich meets Bridget Jones’s Diary,” as a matter of fact, and sold it quickly to HarperCollins/Avon as the first of my Debutante Dropout Mysteries. I’m not sure what I would have done without Helen Fielding and Janet Evanovich blazing a trail for chick lit writers everywhere. So thanks, Janet and Helen! You helped this writer kick-start her career.
Susan McBride is the author of Little Black Dress (William Morrow, August), a tale of two sisters, one daughter, and the magical black dress that changes all of their lives. She also wrote The Cougar Club, a Target Bookmarked Breakout Title that More Magazine put on its list of February Books We’re Buzzing About in 2010. Visit http://SusanMcBride.com.