Good Cliques Never Die!

I’ve always heard authors say it took years to complete a novel and assumed they were lazy. I mean, I wrote 31 books in ten years and I wrote them quickly!

Well, call me Judy because I was super judgy.

I have written half of The Dirty Book Club about nine times in the past four years. It’s an ambitious project that spans generations, includes secret rituals, funny conversations about dirty books, and great characters in their early 30s with lives that need some serious fixing. And it’s HARD!

My latest start-over was this January. Among other things I changed it from a novel with multiple points of view to a novel with one main voice. Now, seven months later I am on page 175 of a very crappy first draft. Some days are fun. Most suck. But I truly believe in this more than anything I’ve ever done. But those damn voices in my head!! They won’t stop yammering.

Lisi, you’re writing for grown-ups now. Lisi, your friends are going to read this. Lisi, your kids’ teachers are going to read it.

Oprah might. Your parents will for sure. So will the neighbors. And what about those opinionated book club members? You better not mess this up!!

Massie Block

This morning I wondered why I never went through this anxiety with the Clique. Sure, there were uninspired days and major burnout, but for the most part writing that series was pure joy. It’s not that I didn’t care about what you thought. It’s just that, well, I didn’t let myself care. I wrote what I wanted to write. Critics be damned! I let myself show up on those pages like some freak at a cheerleader’s party intent on dominating the dance floor.

The Clique

It’s been twelve years since the first Clique came out. You’re older now. Old enough to read The Dirty Book Club, that’s for sure. So I have named you my muses. The girls I’ve felt safe with since 2003. The ones who accepted me for the flawed and fabulous person that I am. I will think of you as I struggle to complete this first draft. Because you always understood me and you always supported me–way more than Oprah!

Long live My Clique!!!

TTYW,

Lisi

My Musical Muses

Yes, I’ve mentioned T. Swift a lot in recent posts. Guilty as charged. And so I set off to find a new clique of musical muses and now I will share them with you. Check out these ah-mazing ladies. They all address the issues we struggle with and they sound good doing it. Here are my picks for your 2015 Spring Playlist. Feel free to name it Lisi’s Musical Muses 2015 and then blast it like you mean it!

1) Marina and the Diamonds

The Welsh-born singer made waves on the music scene back in 2012 with her album Electra Heart. She’s back and at it again in her latest full-length Froot. A good one to listen to while putting on makeup.

2. The Tuts

This English band is somewhere between a DIY garage rock/punk trio and a pop girl group. Swoon. Their songs are all about issues girls deal with everyday, along with catchy anthems about love. The premier of their music video for “Do I Have to Look for Love?” is below.

Perfect for driving with the girls and head-banging during the chorus at a red light.

3. Nadine Shah 

Nadine’s might be the most beautiful “big” voice you’ve heard in years. This fearless UK singer openly discusses her battle with anxiety and mental health in her song “Stealing Cars” off her upcoming album Fast Food.Perfect for journaling or lying on your bed, staring at the ceiling, and wondering where it all went wrong.

Watch the official video trailer for “Stealing Cars” below.

For the full video click through this link: “Stealing Cars

4. Dalal

I had never heard about European pop star Dalal before this week, but I have a feeling she’ll be making appearances on the US top 40 countdown very soon. Her empowering track “Superman” has lyrics on it like: “I’m not a victim, Baby, I’m Superman, Yeah I can save myself, and never take off my cape,” and that’s just the kind of girl power anthem we love. Watch her official lyric video for “Superman” below.

Sing it in front of the mirror, scream it to the memory of an ex-boyfriend, or shout it from the rooftops. Just let it rip!

5. Gal Pals

I can’t get enough of Gal Pals. They’re definitely taking over my springtime mix. Rookie Mag said it best: “Gal Pals create music that makes me want to grab my best friend’s hand and sneak out of the house.”

Who have you had on repeat this season? Let me know in the comments below.

TTYW,

Lisi

10 PreTENders

I pretend I’m writing but I’m really searching for your confessions. #WeArePretenders

POST YOURS by messaging me on Facebook or Tumblr and submitting your confession, or just tweet it @LisiHarrison or comment on Instagram @Lisi4RealHarrison. That’s it!

TTYW,

Lisi

EhMaFraud.

Have you ever heard the term “Fraud Complex?” Nine out of eight writers are born with it every day. Symptoms include self-doubt, envying ‘real writers,’ and internal voices screaming, “You are a fake. You don’t know how to punctuate. Stop trying to fool people with your trite musings. And please stop kidding yourself!”

It’s painful. And what’s worse? Mine is spreading. I am about to address your questions, none of which have anything to do with writing. I will give my opinion and dole out advice. All while silencing the voices that keep telling me I have no idea what I’m talking about. Although these ones might be right.

Dreamerhogwartsbeliever on Tumblr asked: If you could cast any young stars on the Hollywood scene at the moment for the second Clique movie, who would you pick? (Not including the girls from the first movie).

Emma RobertsEmma Roberts as Massie

 

 

 

 

Karley Scott Collins Karley Scott Collins as Claire.

 

 

 

 

selena gomezSelena Gomez as Alicia.

 

 

 

bella thorne   Bella Thorne as Dylan.

 

 

 

HELP!!!!!! I have spent the last HOUR trying to cast Kristen. ANY IDEAS???
A young Blake Livley is where my heads at.

Noah CyrusNoah Cyrus as Layne. (LOVE THIS ONE!)

 

 

 

2. Lauren Hass on Twitter asks: What was the dream career that you wanted when you were a little kid?!

EhMaFraud: You’re looking at it. (When you’re reading one of my novels.)

 

3. Julia from my Blah-g comments asks: You and Kevy and married, correct? Or do you just live together and are in looovvee?

EhMaFraud: Yes we are married. But I prefer to call him my life-crush. It sounds more exciting.

 

4.  From Kathy off my blah-g comments:

On Sunday my grade went on a field trip for a couple days with kids from another campus my school is associated with. I know the kids from there, we were together in primary. One of the girls there (code name Anabelle) was one of my friends from the school. But during the trip she did something really mean to me and I have no idea why.
Here’ what happened. She was talking to all my guy friends and keeping them away from me just to piss me off and make me jealous (excuse my language in this comment, I’m just really mad at the girl). I don’t know what I’ve ever done to make her want to hurt me, but for some reason she did. We went out to dinner one night, and there was just one friend of mine who was making our table the best one to be at, it was soooo much fun!! But than Anabelle was like, “oh can I talk to you?” so he went over to her table. She kept him there for a really long time. Then when he left, she said “what else can I do to make Kathy jealous?” A friend of mine that was at her table told me about it.
I’ve never done anything to hurt her and it really pisses me off that she’d do something like that to me. I felt like walking up to her and telling her she was a b!tch, but I didn’t. I thought I’d tell her over e-mail but I decided no to. I want to get revenge over her but I know it would be wrong. I don’t know what to do. I know I’m mad and that she shouldn’t be able to get away with it that easily, but I don’t know how I can get back at her with out acting like a total b!tch myself. I don’t wanna sink to her level.

This is a REALLY long comment and it means the world to me if you read it.
Any advice? I’d love to hear your say in the matter!!”

EhMaFraud: Kathy, few things hurt more than a friend turning on you, especially when you don’t know why. I understand the urge to fight back and hurt her the way she hurt you. Believe me, I do. But even a fake advice giver like myself can see that she’s trying to get a reaction out of you. So the best way to get her back is to ignore her. Imagine an invisible bubble around yourself and don’t let her in. The more she tries to penetrate the thicker your bubble gets. It may seem like you’re taking the easy way out but ignoring takes more strength than calling someone names. And please do NOT email anything to her. Emails can be changed, forwarded, posted, and used for evil. Write everything you WANT to say to her in a private journal, then say nothing. And remember, bubble up for safety!

Please label all future inquiries to Ask EhMaFraud and I will do my best to answer them.

TTYW,

Lisi

Proud Fraud Complex survivor since 2001.

Cliques and Stones…

I recently received this letter on my Facebook page and thought it was worth addressing publicly in case any of you have had similar experiences. Also because it’s a great example of how to disagree with someone in a respectful, intelligent way.

Ms. Harrison,

Hello, my name is Judy. I am 19 year old college student studying Speech Language Pathology with a double minor in Linguistics and Psychology. When your Clique books were first released I was just starting middle school. Like the other 11 girls in my small, parochial grade school, I was an avid reader, constantly anticipating your next book release. However, I was also pale, skinny, middle class and shy–a combination that does not exactly get you many friends in an affluent, private school. Many of the pre-teen girls utilized the vocabulary used in your book. I was called an “Albino LBR” both to my face and behind my back. They also used many of the bullying tactics the characters in your book used on “Claire.” The worst one that I can still remember quite vividly to this day happened right after the release of your first book. “Inspired” by the red paint incident in your novel, girls purposely smeared ketchup all over my seat at lunch. While everyone knew it was ketchup, I was still absolutely devastated and remember running the bathroom and crying. However, I never confided in my parents regarding the abuse, especially my mother who suffered from severe depression for the bulk of my childhood. You might wonder- “Why is this former “LBR” telling me this?” Mrs. Harrison, I have no doubt you are a kind, intelligent woman. You are a successful author who has such a large fan-base of young, impressionable pre-teens. While it is ultimately up to the parent to allow their child to read your books, you have the opportunity to positively affect the attitudes of young girls toward their peers. While these books may reflect teenagers in some affluent, upper-class suburbs, the end message of at least the first few of your novels seems to be “If you kiss up well enough to the popular girls you can become popular and make fun of the girls who aren’t.” I apologize, I actually have not read your more recent books, so I don’t know if this message has changed. I’m just asking you, as a former reader and anti-bullying advocate, to please consider presenting a more positive message and thus empowering young girls to support each other in their goals and aspirations. We need all the help we can get. Thank you for your consideration and have a nice day!

Sincerely,
Judy

cliquebooks

Dear Judy,

I would like to start by thanking you for sharing your horrific experience with me. It sounds awful and lonely and I know it took a lot of courage for you to revisit it.

I understand why you would hold The Clique series accountable for the awful way those girls treated you. After all, they copied the ignorant behaviors of my characters and mistreated you the way Massie Block mistreated Claire Lyons. I wish you had stuck with the series so you could have seen how Claire triumphed in the face of their bullying. Ironically, she was the most confident, self-assured girl of the bunch. She didn’t have money or designer clothes or a gaggle of “beautiful” friends. She had self-esteem and courage to stay who she was in spite of it all. I’m not saying their abuse didn’t crush her. It did. She was devastated. She started dressing differently and lying to her parents so she could fit in with the so-called cool girls. But she learned quickly that in a many ways that felt worse than the abuse. So she returned to her self and stuck with people who treated her well. Eventually, the Pretty Committee recognized her strength and they all became best friends. Claire didn’t change for them, they changed for her. What if they hadn’t? Claire would have been perfectly happy with her one friend Layne and her ah-dorable crush Cam. She was the hero of the series, not Massie.

I have received thousands of letters and emails since the series began in 2003. Most of them were from girls like you who had some bad social experiences. Most of them said the series helped them understand why bullies bully (insecurity) and said they found strength in Claire and Layne. This was always my intention and I am proud of my success in pulling that off.

I am truly sorry The Clique didn’t help you the way it helped others. This is always a risk when you put something out there for the public to interpret. I hope you were able to find comfort in other ways.

If you have some downtime between classes you might want to check out the series again. Slap a speech pathology text book cover over it and no one will know the difference. And if they do, and someone makes fun of you, hold your head high and ask yourself what Claire would do.

TTYW,

Lisi

P.S. If any of you would like to share your personal experiences with The Clique series please do so in the comments section. Sharing is caring.