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Lighter Workload Doesn’t Always Free Up Creative Time

lauren-lipton-2009.jpgLauren Lipton has been busy lately—the former Wall Street Journal staff writer is now working part-time as the fashion, beauty and lifestyle editor of ForbesWoman, but relaunches come with plenty of extra work… on top of which, she’s out doing promotional work for her second novel, Mating Rituals of the North American WASP. So when we met up for lunch last week, we plunged right into the conversation, curious to hear what had inspired her to write a romantic comedy about two strangers who, on a drunken impulse, get married in Vegas, then decided to postpone the annulment as part of a plan to inherit a crumbling mansion in Connecticut. “We’ve had a weekend home in Litchfield County for ten years now,” Lipton replied, “and after my first novel [It's About Your Husband], I didn’t want to set the next book in New York City again. I wanted to write an equally strong Valentine to another place.” And Litchfield was the place she knew best—even though, she admitted, she still deals with “the odd feeling that you belong, but you don’t really belong.” That tension drives much of the story, which encompasses Yankee emotional stoicism and local preservationist movements in equal measure.

We wondered whether Lipton was working on a new novel, and she admitted to some bumps in the road. “It was almost easier to write when I was working full-time,” she said, explaining that when she had almost no time left to work on her fiction, she was forced to make the most of every available moment. “”It’s a lot harder now that I’m only working 30 hours a week,” she continued: With family errands and other personal matters expanding to fill the available free time, it becomes paradoxically more difficult to pull herself away and work on the next novel. “I feel like I need a social secretary,” she laughed. We’re rooting for her, though—and if she could squeeze in another workshop for aspiring writers, that’d be great, too!

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