Thursday, June 2, 2011

Guest Blog - Amy Bourret, Author of MOTHERS & OTHER LIARS

            “No mother would ever do that. Period.”
            “I wouldn’t make those choices, but I can understand why   
Ruby made  them.”
            “The author obviously has no maternal instincts.”
            “How dare you write about mothers when you aren’t one?”
            “I wonder how you would have written the story differently if you were a mother yourself.”

This is just a handful of the feedback I have received on my debut novel, Mothers and Other Liars, which was released last fall by St. Martin’s Press. One of the biggest (and most rewarding ) surprises I have found on this side of the publishing journey is that an author actually does get feedback. I have had readers write to me with very specific ideas on what they want to read in the sequel. I have had readers write to me just to tell me that they loved my book, or that they became “friends” with my characters and want to keep them around. And I have had them tell me that they hated, hated the book. One thing is clear: people feel very strongly about the choices my protagonist, Ruby, makes.

And you know what? I’m elated to hear it all, even the excoriations. I feel that it is a true privilege to be invited into peoples’ homes for the several hours that they read my book, and it is an absolute honor when my words, my story, my characters, stick with readers after they have finished the book. How many books have each of us read that we forget completely the moment we finish it. I’ve been known to check out the same book from the library several times, not realizing I had read it before until I hit around page 37 or so. You have to remember the story to have an opinion about it; it really has to stick with you (whether in your craw or in your heart) to stoke your passions.

So I’ll take them all, and I’ll even admit to feeling giddy at the idea that people are passionate about Ruby and Lark. I’m not a mother myself (the nerve!), but I think the author/character relationship is not so different from parent/child. I mean, you love your kids and think they are great and your friends might tell you they are adorable, while behind your back they are saying, “What. A. Spoiled. Brat!” So yes, I’ve felt especially giddy, call it proud parent syndrome or my own little Sally Field moment, to hear that you like them, you really like my characters.

Some of the most fun I’ve had has been meeting with book clubs. I love book clubs. I am a member of three myself (although one has pretty much devolved into a wine and whine club; the books are rarely mentioned let alone discussed, that is when we bother to choose a book at all), and the opportunity of visiting others may be reason enough to write a book. Ruby and Lark’s story makes for great debate (especially when wine is involved!) and I have enjoyed hearing the discussion first hand. I’ve been amazed at some of the insights of readers, connections and subtext that I hadn’t even recognized myself. The book club members get all excited that a “real live author” is coming to their meeting; I feel humbled just to be invited to their table. And the visits never seem repetitive: each book club has its own tenor and timbre that steers the conversation in a unique way.

So call me an idiot to my face, challenge my right to even write about a topic. Love the short chapters because you can stop at any time; hate the short chapters because you stayed up all night telling yourself “just one more.”  Like my vivid imagery; hate the “flowery” writing. Bring it on, baby. And then I’ll say a sincere thank you, for reading, and for caring, about my book.

Amy Bourret is a graduate of Yale Law School and Texas Tech University and a former partner in a national law firm. Her pro bono work with child advocacy organizations sparked the passion that fuels Mothers and Other Liars, her debut novel. She lived for several years in Santa Fe and now splits her time between Aspen, Colorado and Dallas, Texas. Learn more at


  1. Hi Amy, welcome to the SG! Your book sounds fascinating (love the title!)

  2. Amy, thanks so much for visiting with us today! It's so interesting to hear the kind of reader feedback you've been getting on MOTHERS & OTHER LIARS! It surely means readers are passionate about the book (one way or the other! ;->). Now I'm even more anxious to read MAOL. It's in my summer reading pile!


  3. Thanks for inviting me to be your guest!