Bring Back Reading with Ripa--Stalking Kelly Ripa

Okay, we're not really stalking her (please don't call the FBI), but this blog was born out of the frustration of trying to get our books NOTICED when there is a sea of books published every year. If you can't change it, at least you can laugh about it....

Monday, July 04, 2005

Dear Kelly,

You know something about this, Kelly, so I thought I'd ask your advice. Remember when you first hired on at REGIS AND KELLY and everyone compared you to Kathy Lee Gifford? How did you handle that and do such a fabulous job of establishing your own identity without taking anything away from your predecessor?

I have this little problem. I write humorous, sexy mystery/romances.

So does Janet Evanovich. You may have heard of her—she's a regular on the New York Times Bestseller List with her hilarious Stephanie Plum Series.

Now I've never met Janet (I have met Jackie Collins, Dean Koontz and a host of other truly lovely authors but that's another blog). I have only admiration for her books and her business skills. There's no beef between us.

But some of her fans, okay, ONE of her fans has taken it upon herself to write me emails. She tells me she MIGHT have liked my books if she hadn't read Janet Evanovich, but since she has, she has spotted many glaring similarities. She ended the first email with something like she "supposed the imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Which is a snarky way of suggesting that I am stealing from Janet. To back up her brilliant deductions, here is some of her evidence:

Samantha Shaw (the heroine in my series) has frizzy hair as does Stephanie Plus (Evanovich's heroine).

Stephanie Plum has a grandmother, and Samantha Shaw has a grandfather in the series.

They both have big dogs.

They both have love triangles.

I can't remember the rest, but they were all equally silly. Now Kelly, I can answer these. For instance I have frizzy hair, and frankly, I've gotten some big laughs. Once we went to Palm Springs (California) for brunch with the corporate bigwigs from my husband's work. The entertainment? Watching my carefully groomed hair frizz beneath the misters used to keep guests cool.

Hello! I spent twenty minutes taming my hair into submission and this restaurant puts misters above the guests? Don't think the wait staff wasn't coming by every two minutes and laughing behind their serving trays. What's a girl to do? I, of course, cracked jokes. Sure, my husband's colleagues MIGHT actually have been laughing at my frizzy hair, but I prefer to think it was my wit.

And yep, my character Sam has a grandpa. Umm, most everyone I know has a grandparent or two, or four, or even six hanging around the family tree. How does she think I stole that? Stephanie's grandma goes to funeral viewings and shoots the Sunday chicken. Samantha's grandfather is a retired magician who is helping Sam raise her sons. What's the big rip off there?

The dog? Excuse me, I had the dog first! She came in chapter two of my first book. A really cool German shepherd booted from the police dog program for stealing beer. Janet Evanovich's dog came later in her series after I'd written one or two of mine (and no, I don't think Janet ripped me off either!). Frankly, I know lots of people with dogs! Lots of books with dogs! Please.

And lastly, the love triangle. Oh for Cupid's sake, lady, get a clue. That's been around for CENTURIES. Janet E, though very talented, did not invent that one! And pay attention, I don’t exactly have a love triangle. My character is committed to one man. What I have is a little sexual tension going on between Sam and a police detective but nothing ever comes of it. It's called FLIRTING. Go look it up in a dictionary.

Kelly you were brilliant when you had Kathy Lee Gifford guest star on your sit com, HOPE AND FAITH. It showed everyone what a wonderful sense of humor both of you talented ladies have. But I don't have a sitcom. Do you have any other suggestions to get this gal to back off and take up another hobby besides dogging me?



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