Friday, March 20, 2015

Leslie Lehr talks about Wife Goes on, a joke book, and second and third acts in life!

 Leslie Lehr is not only one of the best friends anyone could hope to have, she's also a talented writer whose latest novel, Wife Goes On, now has a superb second life--with an amazing story to go along with it--and a joke book!  Just take a gander at some of this praise! 

"A modern mix of “Sex & the City” and First Wives Club, this is serious fiction wrapped with a chick lit bow. Lehr keeps the plot moving with madcap hijinks and tender moments." ~ Publishers Weekly

"Wife Goes On is a tantalizing romp through the world of the newly divorced..." ~Hope Edelman, Motherless Mothers

"Leslie Lehr has done the impossible: She's made divorce into a winning, funny and inspiring activity... Wife Goes On isn't fictionalized self-help or mundane chick-lit; it's about loving, escaping and living again… Just like real life." ~Tod Goldberg,Gangsterland

"Leslie Lehr is a truth teller - a rare writer who untangles the realities of women's lives without flinching, while making you laugh, cry, and nod in understanding with every word." --Leslie Morgan Steiner ~ The Baby Chase.

I'm thrilled to host Leslie here--the only thing better would be to sit down and have tea and pie with her!

Tell us about what's different about the reissue of Wife Goes on--what a story!

When the original book came out, I got hundreds of letters from women. They were inspired by the story and felt there really was a sisterhood, that friends had really helped them through. At the time, divorce was still shameful and the news shows were promoting divorce parties focusing on revenge. But real women had children to consider and bills to pay. Book clubs went crazy for the book, but it was a tough topic even when I met with HBO and sold a script to Lifetime. Now there’s a popular TV show about divorce – I’m a fan– but it’s about rich, skinny friends.
     Wife Goes On is about complete strangers from every walk of life whose friendship makes a real difference. There’s humor and sexy stuff, too, but the characters are more diverse.
    Also, the first edition was orphaned – my editor went on maternity leave before the magazines got copies, my agent left for a different agency – so it never liked the cover, so it didn’t get the release it needed – and I hated the cover. I finally got the rights back, so I have a sexy new cover, and as an ebook I can price it so that the women who need it most can afford to splurge on a little humor, heart and hope. 

What's the free joke book like--which I think is pure genius? Can you tell us some? Did you make them up?

When I went through my divorce I felt like I was joining a club I had avoided for years. It seemed horrible, and yet there were little things that were actually funny. Or, at least they made me smile again.
I came up with 121 sayings: You Know You’re in the Club When… that told the story of how it really is being alone, with kids, with dating, with starting over. I Xeroxed pages of them and handed them out to women I met at the gym and everywhere – it was like we had a secret handshake. I saw it as a little gift book to buy at the register for yourself or a friend. But the consensus in the publishing world was that divorce was too dark of a subject for humor. With ebooks, I can afford to offer it for free, but to more people than from the trunk of my car. Why not? Women going through this are not rich like the ones on TV. And as Solomon said, ”Laughter is the best medicine.” Here are some examples:
  • You wish you had married for money.
  • The man in your bed is nine years old.
  • You start checking for wedding rings – on women’s fingers.
  • You start to judge men by whether you would want to have sex with them.
  • The expression, “I gave him the best years of my life,” no longer sounds stupid.
  • You never have to cook his mother’s pot roast again.
  • You stop pretending to be happy and learn how to actually feel that way.
What's your writing life like now these days?

Wife Goes On is just the beginning – I plan to revise and republish my earlier books that current readers might have missed. With ebooks, I get to control so much more – I may even change my first novel to have a happy ending. I’m also doing lots of consulting for other novelists through Truby’s Writers Studio.

What's obsessing you now and why?
I’m happily remarried, but my husband and I had to delay getting a new home together because I got breast cancer before our first anniversary. Now that I’m better, we just bought a home together – a condo with an ocean view!  So right now I’m obsessed with the idea that life ain’t easy, but we really can make our dreams can come true. We can live happier ever after.  Wife goes on!

What did I forget to ask?
The price. It’s a new release, on sale for $2.99. A few hours of fun for less than a latte. The price goes up on April 1. No foolin’.

You can buy it from my website,, or from any of the usual ebook outlets!

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