A group of Australian HarperImpulse authors reveal which loved or loathed chick lit character they would most like to make an appearance in their book.
Carla Caruso, author of Pretty Famous
I would love Samantha Sweeting, the workaholic attorney in Sophie Kinsella’s The Undomestic Goddess, to step into the world of my ‘Astonvale’ rom-com mystery series.
My protagonist, Celeste Pretty, is a neat-freak professional organiser turned reluctant sleuth and she would have had Samantha sussed in under a minute!
In Kinsella’s book, Samantha stumbles on to the nearest train after making a costly mistake at the London law firm she works at, winds up in the countryside, wanders into a stately home, and is mistaken for the owners’ new housekeeper. While it’s the perfect place for Samantha to hide out, she needs to master the art of laundry, cooking and cleaning ASAP…
Celeste – the exact opposite of a messy Bessie – would have been on to Samantha straightaway, catching her using the wrong products and getting her cleaning techniques all wrong. It’d be a hoot, in fact, to see the pair collide… plus The Undomestic Goddess just happens to be one of my all-time fave books!
Deborah Disney, author of Up and In
Much-loved author Rebecca Sparrow described Up and In as ‘The Devil Wears Prada at the school gate’ and having just recently seen the film (yes I was living under a nappy-changing rock in the early noughties and managed to miss both the book and the movie) I can see why. Andy Sachs’ rise (or otherwise) from being the fish-out-of-water fashion magazine assistant who asks someone at D&G how to spell ‘Gabbana’ … to the glamour-toting fashionista who ‘sold her soul the first day she put on a pair of Jimmy Choos’ is very reminiscent of my bumbling school mum character, Maria, as she tries to fit in with the well-heeled, champagne-swilling mummy-set at her daughter’s exclusive school. And so it seems like the perfect chick lit character to make a guest appearance in my book would be the delightfully beastly … Miranda Priestly.
I think I would perhaps make her the older sister of Up and In’s resident Queen Bee character – aptly named Bea. Most Queen Bee types have someone in their lives who has the ability to reduce them to feeling like a little worker bee, and I would love to see a sisterly showdown between Bea and Miranda. Perhaps Miranda could swan in swathed in Prada and cut Bea down on her designer strappy flats with a perfectly timed ‘That’s all …’
Susan Murphy, author of Confetti Confidential: They Do, I Don’t
The character I would like to make an appearance in Confetti Confidential: They Do, I Don’t is Samantha Jones from Sex and The City. The wrath she could unleash on my main character, Viv, and her three sisters would be fabulous!
Viv is on the verge of an epic breakdown. Facing separation, her husband’s infidelity and being comfortable in a body that has produced three children and ingested enough chocolate to feed a small nation, sex, romance and dating are as foreign to her as leftover cake.
A strong character with no inhibitions like Samantha could really inject some life and much needed confidence back into Viv. God knows she needs all the help she can get.
In chapter 10, Viv’s more adventurous sister, Julia, takes her and the even more prudish, Annabel to ‘Beavers’ adult shop. Despite Julia’s best efforts the clueless pair barely make it through the door with Annabel refusing to even enter until there’s no one around to see her. I would love to have Samantha there to whip them both into line and liberate them a little. I could see her demonstrating the use of various accessories and explaining some concepts that are definitely foreign to these two. Of course they would be horrified which would make it that much funnier. Sadly, Viv is left mortified by the far too personal admission of the bearded lady at the counter and Annabel ends up in the corner sniffing edible underwear. This would never have happened if Samantha was there!
Samantha Napier, author of Dating the Alphabet
While my main gal Ramona Rawlings has come up with a great plan to get her dating life moving again, she is struggling in her job as the manager of a theatre restaurant. If only she had someone strong, confident and as slightly deranged as her to show her how to manage her staff … cue fabulous glamorous entrance of Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada.
Would Miranda Priestly ever have to deal with one of her staff member’s bare bottom trending on Twitter? Definitely not, but #RespectTarzansbottom is what Ramona finds herself trying to sort out one afternoon. If Miranda was in charge, Cinderella wouldn’t even contemplate changing the length of her voluptuous skirt, even if it is to show off her gym-toned legs!
Of course an unfortunate twerking incident at the Christmas party, staff taking home costumes to help work through relationship problems and others panicking over a rumoured test on the alphabet would also be things Miranda would put a stop to with just a simple look.
Even with all their challenging ways Ramona loves the crazy bunch of characters she manages, probably because she spent a couple years in her twenties dressed as Snow White prancing around the restaurant floor just like them. She understands her employee’s unfulfilled dreams and ambitions it’s just that she would appreciate a bit more respect. Probably not the fearful, eating-disorder-inducing respect Miranda gets but she could do with a few tips from her on how to get her staff to listen to her.
I’m sure Miranda Priestly wouldn’t even know what to make of a woman who has come up with a plan to date based solely on letters of the alphabet. She would also probably dismiss a bunch of people dressed up in costumes serving food, singing and entertaining with a single “that’s all” but if she had a good look she might see some wonderful loyal friendships and a woman with the courage to try a weird and wonderful plan to making dating fun again.
Tess Woods, author of Love at First Flight
If I could choose one famous character to bring into Love at First Flight, I’d call in Gus, Toula’s dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. He would have been just what Mel needed on the flight home to Perth from Melbourne.
A couple of days earlier, Mel was on a flight to Melbourne when she met Matt and fell in love for the first time in her life. Now she’s boarding the flight back home. She’s left Matt behind and she’s exhausted and heartbroken. Mel takes her seat on the plane and sitting next to her is Gus. He’s just visited his nephew, Nick, in Melbourne and now he’s visiting his other nephew, Nick, in Perth. He sees that Mel looks upset so he reaches into his backpack and pulls out some homemade baklava.
She tells Gus she shouldn’t because she’s on a diet and Gus explains that diet comes from the Greek word “dieticas” which means inner thigh gap. He tells her that the skinnier she gets the older she will look and he insists on the baklava. Mel accepts and opens up to Gus about her broken heart.
Gus advises her to put some Windex on it and explains that a bit of heartache is no big deal when compared to his sister-in-law, Voula, who it was discovered had the remains of her twin (teeth and a spinal cord) inside her neck. By the time Mel gets off the plane in Perth, she’s forgotten all about Matt and she is looking forward to going to Gus’ house for dinner that night, where they’ll be enjoying a pig on a spit and a bunt cake.