"In Lynne Murray's fabulous version ofromance, lovers find true pleasure in all body sizes and shapes, weddingdresses are altered to fit the happy bride's body (not bride made to fitbrocade), and readers feast on smart detail and smarter dialogue."--Marilyn Wann, author of FAT!SO?
"From the start you will find yourself cheering forDaria as she overcomes hurdles such as a control-freak sister, his and herstalkers, and her own nagging self doubt, to marry her beloved Oscar. Bride ofthe Living Dead is a fun read about love, friendship and being true toyourself." --Sue Ann Jaffarian, author of the Odelia Grey mystery series& The Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series
"Bride of the Living Dead is an irresistible comedythat's got it all: a big, beautiful, witty heroine, true love, scary stalkers,reluctant in-laws and monster movie magic. Buy it, read it, laugh out loud andenjoy the heartfelt love story." Jaqueline Girdner, author of the KateJasper & Cally Lazar mystery series
From the Author
Debbie: In her cover blurb, Laurie [Toby Edison] calls the book "Jane Austen meets the Marx Brothers." Is that the tone you were aiming for? Did you have a catch phrase of your own for what you wanted the book to be?
Lynne: Laurie's comment was more than I could have hoped for. I have studied various writers' work, particularly when I was trying to write action scenes in mysteries, which don't come naturally to me, but when I read Austen, I just feel like I'm living in her world, eavesdropping on her pointed remarks. The Marx Brothers are also total fun for me, so to be compared to both in one sentence is tremendous. If I had a catch phrase it would have probably been less inspired, so I'm going with Laurie's!
Lynne: When the hero or heroine of a book is any size over "slim" in our season of insanity where vaguely average characters bemoan how fat they are, a writer is dealing with very loaded words to describe a character's size. When I first consciously chose a fat heroine, Josephine Fuller, I introduced her as "over 200 pounds" because I was reacting to a book where a fat joke was made about an elevator being broken if a woman over 200 pounds got into it. That served Josephine Fuller well.
However, with this book, I specifically did not want to use a dress size or a given weight. When you drop numbers into a fictional text, you stir up reactions like: "Oh, she's way too fat, totally fatter than me, I can't relate to her at all." Or for the more radical reader: "She's not fat enough for me to identify with."
Instead, I made the point that Daria could seldom find clothing in her size in the stores and when she needed something beyond jeans and a T-shirt her mother took her to a seamstress to have clothing made for her that fit. I wanted to make Daria's experience of being too big to fit the most important factor.
Debbie: I'm very interested in Oscar [Daria's boyfriend/fiance], who is human enough to be grumpy and nervous, and is still a remarkably good model for how a heterosexual man can treat a woman he's dating (and later engaged to) respectfully, while still holding his own ground. Is that aspect of his behavior based on any models you know of in fiction (or film or other story format) or did you construct him from scratch? What's your favorite thing about him?
Lynne: It's hard to pick one thing about Oscar, because he has a lot of the elements that I most admire, and I've been fortunate enough to know several men (and to be married to one) with such qualities. To me, Oscar is the quintessential good guy-smart but non-manipulative, funny, and happy to laugh at life's absurdities. Often when a man says he wants a woman with a sense of humor he means he wants someone who will laugh at his jokes. Daria would probably scare off such a guy. But Oscar has the rare and wonderful gift of being confident enough in his own self-worth to enjoy it when Daria gives as good as she gets. Oscar has integrity, he takes responsibility, and he has friends who value him because he values and supports his friends.
Debbie: And while we're at it, what's your favorite thing about Daria?
Lynne: Daria is surprisingly good at making the best of a bad situation, being able to laugh at adversity helps.
Lynne: That's a question I've never considered, but I suspect that I'm not so flexible. My best guess is that Daria's sense of humor is similar to my own. From time to time I do try to sharpen up my wits by reading about how professional humor writers hone their writing. I keep having the yearning to write a straight-up farce, but when I attempt it, I start building layers into the characters, and the structure of a farce is notable for sacrificing depth for a kind of Rube Goldberg mechanical action. Much as I love to see a well-done farce, I'm not sure I could write one. But the question does make me want to ask another question back atcha--how can someone step outside themselves to create a different sense of humor? Examples, please!
Debbie: I've seen books where the characters have very different senses of humor, different enough that it doesn't seem likely to me that the writer has all of them. Terry Pratchett comes to mind here as a funny writer whose characters often have widely varying senses of humor. I don't write fiction, but I expect that one way to step outside of your own sense of humor is by observation; seeing what kinds of things are funny to various people, and what kinds of ways different people express their senses of humor, and bringing those differences onto the page.
Did you consider putting in a supernatural/horror element to go with the title? If so, why, and if not, why not?
Lynne: The title was the very last part of the puzzle piece to fall into place long after the book was complete. For years the book was called A Guide for the Dysfunctional Bride, but Daria's T-shirt collection and love of old monster movies became more and more important to the story as I went through many revisions of the manuscript.
I brainstormed with publisher, Peggy Elam, about horror movie titles at least one candidate became a chapter heading-"Attack of the 50-Foot Wedding Planner." Bride of the Living Dead was my favorite, but I went back and forth about it for some time because I didn't want to raise false expectations among fans of the undead. In fact, one zombie-loving blogger, mystery author Dani Fredsti, read the book with that expectation. She was kind enough to say that she came for the zombies and stayed for the humor. But her reaction and comments from zombie fans on her blog made me consider what the book would have been if I'd taken the story into the horror realm--zombie wedding caterers, vampire tuxedo rental companies, werewolf indie film directors. It would have been a different book for sure!
Debbie: Maybe that's next?
What went into the way you handle Sky's anorexia? Have you known anorexic people? (Spoiler question: do you think Daria's wedding is part of what enables Sky to seek treatment? And did you purposely not tell us how successful the treatment is, or is that just where the book ended?)
Debbie: Thanks for writing the book! I really enjoyed it, and I'm sure lots of Body Impolitic readers will follow suit.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top Customer Reviews
Daria, the protagonist was also very relatable for me, being not a skinny or romantic person myself.
However, there were some things about the book, that I found strange. Daria and her husband Oscar both have stalkers - and neither of them seem to really do anything about them. And then both of these stalkers (both ex-partner's of Daria and Oscar) meet and fall in love and leave the couple alone from then on. Not so realistic.
[SPOILER]Also, Oscar's mother seems to be a real monster in law. She's an awful person, hoping that the marriages fails or doesn't even take place - and she tries to get Oscar back together with his stalker-ex. Why? Because she doesn't like that Daria is a plus-size woman. However, Oscar doesn't tell her to shut up (okay, not many men do tell their mums to shut up, but this really made him very unattractive to me), he just repeats that he loves Daria, which doesn't interest his mum in the least. The funny thing is though, that Daria just shrugs about his mother and that's about it...[/SPOILER] But that actually is the only detail I didn't like about the book, the rest I loved! I will also buy and read other books by the author.
I would recommend this book for soon-to-brides, plus-size women who can laugh about themselves and several fat-girl-stereotypes and everybody who enjoys a funny book for recreational purposes.
I received a review copy in order for an honest review, but I wasn't encouraged to say positive things.
review it. Disclaimer: I was sick when I read this book, so I may have missed something and felt differently about it had I been healthy.
I didn't dislike this book, but I didn't love it either. I don't really feel like the story fell under the category or humor OR romance. It wasn't really that funny, and it didn't really seem to be about a romance so much as it was about a completely dysfunctional family. The story went on for way too long, and went into minute detail of things the reader could probably care less about. And being overweight myself, it felt a bit insulting that the author crafted the heroine's entire being out of her weight. We get it, she's chubby. We get it, someone loves her anyway. Move on. Half the country (more, even) is overweight. It's a fact of life, and people find love anyway, despite the fact that they don't fit into haute couture. It kind of seemed like maybe the author was trying to validate herself through her character. My advice to the author would be to make the story less about who is eating what, and more about who is loving whom. Then it will truly fit the "romance" bill.
Women of size and those who believe that beauty and comedy come in all shapes and sizes will embrace Daria and her wonderfully curved voyage toward marrying an adoring man whom she finds hotter than a shining star, and who feels so very much the same about her, her sharp wit and her loveliness of body and mind.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book gives an honest look at the way too many people feel about overweight women.Read more
Bride of the Living Dead was a hoot! I thoroughly enjoyed it.Read more