Genre: Chick Lit/ Women’s Fiction *(contains language)
Date Published: June 6, 2017
Elle Martin has it all.
Handsome and successful husband. Check.
Daughter and son attending exclusive private high school. Check.
Privilege, status, and wealth. Check, check, check.
But there is more to Elle’s story.
Already struggling to keep up appearances in a social set full of pretension and ultra-competitiveness, Elle’s façade of perfection is threatened when her husband makes an announcement that will force her to confront a dark past she has successfully hidden for years.
What will happen when long-buried secrets are unearthed and haunting new revelations are discovered? Will Elle find the happy ending she so desperately seeks?
Toggling between the early nineties and the present day, Grannie Panties Are UnderRated captures the Gen X experience from latchkey kid to helicopter parent with keen insight and precision. A page turner full of surprising twists, it is a must read for anyone who has struggled to reconcile the chasm between the person they once were, the person they have become, and the person they long to be.
Praise for Grannie Panties Are Under Rated
“…a highly entertaining and thought provoking book!”
“Gayle Erickson is brilliantly gifted in telling this engaging, sometimes disturbing, yet compulsively addicting story of a woman in crisis due to the bonds of the guilt-filled lens of her past”
“It is visually rich and culturally expansive,”
“You will fall in love with each of these honest, imperfect characters and identify with their struggles, demons, and challenges. Exposing the raw truths we often try to mask…”
“Loved this book, could not put it down”
“A great retrospective of how we come to be who we are and where we are, often without intention or a road map. Like “Grannie’s” characters, we all find moments of clarity or awareness, which give rise to change. All this and an accompanying playlist! A song for every chapter…what brilliant context!
Spotify Playlist by the author to compliment the novel: http://spoti.fi/2sgkyqQ
Interview with Gayle Erickson
What was the inspiration behind this story?
It is human nature to put forth one’s best self to the world. This instinct is taken to new extremes now with the use of social media, where we are barraged with constant images of our friends and acquaintances documenting their perfect vacation, perfect children, perfect marriage, and perfectly perfect lives on Facebook. I am intrigued by the differences between the persona that one portrays with reality and wanted to explore what happens to a woman forced to reconcile who they pretend to be with who they really are.
Tell us about your main character.
From the outside, Elle is living the American Dream. She lives a privileged life as a wealthy suburban housewife with a handsome and successful husband and two children. She has everything she has always wanted in life – all the things that she thought would bring her happiness. Beneath the surface, however, Elle is unhappy and deeply insecure. Exhausted by the pretension of her social set and worried about maintaining her role as a perfect wife and mother, she struggles to keep up appearances. Add to that, she is hiding a dark past and is terrified that the truth will come out and that she will be exposed for who she really is.
What is your favorite personality trait of your main character?
Elle is extremely superstitious. She believes songs provide her with “signs” so she makes important life decisions based on the songs she hears.
Your character has the music blasting. What’s playing, and what is he/she doing while listening?
This is one is easy! Elle loves music and U2 is her favorite band, so as both her younger self and her current self, she would definitely be blasting U2 and signing along with unabashed abandon. (Though her younger self would also probably be doing shots at a bar as well!)
Please share a few favorite lines or one paragraph.
If she hadn’t been so preoccupied with her hangover, Elle would have realized hearing Nirvana was a bad sign. Kurt Cobain had just killed himself in April, so there was that. Plus, as tragic as his death was, she really wasn’t a fan of angsty grunge bands. The music was hard to dance to, and greasy-haired guys dressed like lumberjacks didn’t do it for her. Eighties music ruled. Sting, Jon Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen – now those were men worth throwing your panties on stage for.
If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters?
Sarah Jessica Parker as Elle, Rob Lowe as Mitch, and Ken Watanabe (actor from The Last Samurai) as Tak
Tell us about your cover art and how it pertains to your story.
I wanted a pair of thong underwear and grannie panties on the cover 1) to indicate that this is very much a book for and about women; 2) to suggest it’s a light read and 3) they are a metaphor for the main character’s life. The thong underwear represents Elle’s young self – a free, uninhibited party girl who is fun and up for anything. The grannie panties represent her middle-aged self – boring, practical and not the least bit sexy or daring. The title carries on with this theme begging the question – are wearing grannie panties giving up or is a staid life really underrated?
Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one?
This book captures the sharp contrast of being a young Gen Xer w the zeitgeist of modern-day parenting with keen insight and humor. Elle’s journey of self-discovery is one everyone woman can relate to.
Is there an underlying theme in your book? If so, tell us about it and why/if it’s important to you.
Redemption is the main theme of the book. It is valuable, I think, to remember that our worst mistakes and poorest decisions do not define us. We teach our children this, but often demand more of ourselves. Elle’s story is a reminder that, if we so chose, the ability to live our lives as the best version of ourselves is in our control.
About the Author
Gayle Erickson is a Colorado native and graduate of The Colorado College. She lived in Tokyo, Japan and taught English for several years after graduation. Upon her return to the United States she worked in the non-profit sector. Gayle currently lives in suburban Denver with her husband, twin teen-age children, and two dogs. Grannie Panties Are Underrated is her debut novel.
Connect with Gayle Erickson
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