Valerie Frankel is the author of Thin Is the New Happy and such chick lit favorites as The Accidental Virgin, The Girlfriend Curse and Hex and the Single Girl. The former articles editor at Mademoiselle, Frankel has contributed to the New York Times, O, Glamour, Allure, Self, Good Housekeeping, among many other publications.
Her books include the memoir It's Hard Not to Hate You and the novel Four of a Kind.
From her Q & A with Belinda G @ Galvanize Press:
Your characters [in Four of a Kind] are thrust together on a school committee, but get to know each other through playing poker, with the high stakes of secrets. Would you say they were driven by a desire to be understood by sharing their own secrets, or by the desire to be privy to someone else's and maybe feeling a little better about their own lives?Visit Valerie Frankel's website and Facebook page.
We all know from airplane travel, that it’s often easier to spill your secrets to near strangers than to confide in your closest friend. So when the characters met for the first time, sat down and, as a lark, decided to play for secrets instead of money, the context allowed that to be possible. An objective listener can be the most helpful, which is why therapy works. The characters definitely took the opportunity to share without caring too much about the others’ reaction (later, however, as they go to know each other better, caring about each other influenced their lives tremendously). None of the characters used the experience in order to feel better about their lives, although when you realize that everyone, no matter how seemingly perfect, has her share of problems, that can be a relief.
We have an innate desire for intimate relationships, yet we are often thwarted in our attempts to be known and understood. Why do you think that is?
It’s scary to put your thoughts and feelings out there! People fear judgment, rightly so. People do judge. They can’t help it. If you express your deepest feelings and fears in order to be understood, you risk being misunderstood and rejected or humiliated in the process. The characters in Four Of a Kind took big risks to reveal themselves to each other. Each woman was so isolated in her own life, though they were in “share or die” mode. The risk was...[read on]
My Book, The Movie: It's Hard Not to Hate You.
Writers Read: Valerie Frankel (September 2011).