Book Jacket

 

rank 5904
word count 12200
date submitted 04.01.2010
date updated 19.01.2010
genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
classification: moderate
incomplete

Friends Like These

Katherine G Abbot

Novice writer Flora gets into trouble when she impersonates her artist friend Mercedes at a client meeting. Has she lost her own chance of publication?

 

Single parent and novice writer Flora has enough problems dealing with her own feelings of inadequacy and her daughter's anxieties about her appearance. When Flora inadvertently impersonates her artist friend Mercedes Brown at a client meeting she is horrifed to find the client is Charlie Buxton the sexy, implacable publisher.

Will Flora be able to keep up the pretence for long enough to secure the commission for her friend and still get her own book published? When Flora's teenage daughter goes missing and Flora's ex-husband turns up unexpectedly with bad news how will Flora choose between family and ambition?

 
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tags

, artist, publisher, single parent, teenager, writer

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34 comments

 

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soutexmex wrote 1512 days ago

SHELVING you because Tim did. I can use your comments on my book when you can get a chance. Cheers!

JC
The Obergemau Key

bonalibro wrote 1516 days ago

Hi,

I backed your book some time ago.
I wonder if you might have a look at mine
Good luck with it.

Tim Chambers
Moonbeam Highway: With Apologies to Miguel de Cervantes.

udasmaan wrote 1517 days ago

it is well written and a great story behind this book. backed

shah

Jesse Hargreave wrote 1517 days ago

Backed February 4.

Jesse - Savant

Bob Steele wrote 1541 days ago

Friends Like These should find plenty of sympathetic readers on Authonomy - Flora's predicament with Charlie Buxton could be the worst nightmare of many of us. I liked the imaginative storyline, the strong narrative pace and the well-defined characters you have conjured up [apart from wanting to strangle Tiggy]. No nitpicks on this - I'll be happy to back it.

cremedelacreme wrote 1545 days ago

[ Thanks so much for backing my book and for the helpful comments.

QUOTE] Hi Katherine
Good writing, great dialogue - shelved

I don't crit chic lit as I don't really understand its market. So purely on a technical level.
I would either put the characters name up when you change point of view or break for a new chapter. It makes reading so much easier. I like your characters, they are highly believable.

Good luck with this

John Booth (Shaddowdon)

John Booth wrote 1545 days ago

Hi Katherine
Good writing, great dialogue - shelved

I don't crit chic lit as I don't really understand its market. So purely on a technical level.
I would either put the characters name up when you change point of view or break for a new chapter. It makes reading so much easier. I like your characters, they are highly believable.

Good luck with this

John Booth (Shaddowdon)

cremedelacreme wrote 1545 days ago

[Thanks very much for the positive and helpful comments!

QUOTE] There are many single mothers who will be able to relate to Flora's predicament, trying to juggle bills, work, social life or the lack thereof, and difficult teenagers. Tiggy comes across as a rude spoiled brat who could use some tough love instead of Flora's overindulgence (perhaps as a way of compensating for the father's lack of involvement?)

From the title and pitch, I was under the impression that the story dealt primarily with Flora's impersonation of a friend to get a book published and how she perhaps maneuvered her way through it. Instead, there is a short flirtatious encounter with the publisher, and by chapter four, the deception is revealed. Unfortunately, this is where your manuscript ends; I would have loved to see what other capers you had up your sleeve.

The whole premise of the deception played on Charlie could be the captivating part of your story by adding some fluff to it: more meetings, the development of a romance, a little sex, some close calls, eventually the discovery and its effects on Flora and Charlie. I could just see Julia Roberts in the movie version phoning Mercedes in a panic, asking her how to get out of a fine mess. Oops...there I go getting carried away again.

I would also downplay Tiggy's character a little as there's a lot of YA details here which may be of little interest to your adult readers; maybe make her a bit softer and more of an ally. More flights of fancy on my part...

You've got the bones for a great story and with some more titillating tidbits and good editing, it could be fantastic!

Good luck!
Isabel

Isabel Lopez wrote 1545 days ago

There are many single mothers who will be able to relate to Flora's predicament, trying to juggle bills, work, social life or the lack thereof, and difficult teenagers. Tiggy comes across as a rude spoiled brat who could use some tough love instead of Flora's overindulgence (perhaps as a way of compensating for the father's lack of involvement?)

From the title and pitch, I was under the impression that the story dealt primarily with Flora's impersonation of a friend to get a book published and how she perhaps maneuvered her way through it. Instead, there is a short flirtatious encounter with the publisher, and by chapter four, the deception is revealed. Unfortunately, this is where your manuscript ends; I would have loved to see what other capers you had up your sleeve.

The whole premise of the deception played on Charlie could be the captivating part of your story by adding some fluff to it: more meetings, the development of a romance, a little sex, some close calls, eventually the discovery and its effects on Flora and Charlie. I could just see Julia Roberts in the movie version phoning Mercedes in a panic, asking her how to get out of a fine mess. Oops...there I go getting carried away again.

I would also downplay Tiggy's character a little as there's a lot of YA details here which may be of little interest to your adult readers; maybe make her a bit softer and more of an ally. More flights of fancy on my part...

You've got the bones for a great story and with some more titillating tidbits and good editing, it could be fantastic!

Good luck!
Isabel

MKEthridge wrote 1548 days ago

This is great! Any parent with a teenager int he house can relate to the drama Tiggy inflicts on poor Flora's life. Add some mistaken identity and the return of the wayward ex and you have a winner!

Francis Albert McGrath wrote 1549 days ago

Wow. I am impressed. It just... flows. Flora, Mercedes, Tiggy... yes, editing needed, but is this an interesting STORY? Flora is a Bridget Jones type, and the plot seems to be a clone of that plot (no harm - great writers steal), with Charlie as the male interest. Great stuff, shelved.
Frank

katie78 wrote 1552 days ago

believable dialogue, good balance between external and internal. i like shifting pov. i have trouble believing flora's plan to pay her bills involves a manuscript she hasn't finished. and she doesn't even have an agent? i feel like a single mother would be forced to be more practical.
cut 'flora adds silently'- it's not needed. we already know we're in her head.
fleur?
i really like your opening paragraph. you manage to convey a lot about who she is in just a few lines.

klouholmes wrote 1554 days ago

Hi Katherine, I was glad you told about Flora’s book at the beginning and the background with Tiggy was very lively. Her relationship with Mercedes was where I became submerged in this. Their both being struggling artists, Mercedes seems to have really meant that she couldn’t see Buxton. That part was really a ride, especially as he didn’t like writers stalking him. The impersonation of someone Flora knew well seemed almost like a fiction exercise for her. This is immediate, visually clear, and Flora’s POV is strong and involves. I enjoyed it! Shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

TheLoriC wrote 1556 days ago

Chick lit with bite - I like it!

Realistic characters are a fine start; I've used such types as well. Strong writing also brings the story to life magnificently. Have your MC as a writer - brilliant idea! This deserves a shot on my shelf.

L. Anne Carrington, "The Cruiserweight"

cremedelacreme wrote 1556 days ago

Thanks - that's good helpful feedback. I'll have another go at it! from Katherine

I read the four chapters of this and enjoyed it a lot. It held my attention. I think it will need a thorough edit; in places the action is too slow and in others (imho) we need more information about what’s going on. Minor typos and punctuation marks, but nothing that really jarred me. I also had the urge to thoroughly shake some these self centred and shallow characters until their teeth rattled. Nonetheless, this is going on my shelf because it entertained and involved me. Good luck with it.

Ariom Dahl wrote 1557 days ago

I read the four chapters of this and enjoyed it a lot. It held my attention. I think it will need a thorough edit; in places the action is too slow and in others (imho) we need more information about what’s going on. Minor typos and punctuation marks, but nothing that really jarred me. I also had the urge to thoroughly shake some these self centred and shallow characters until their teeth rattled. Nonetheless, this is going on my shelf because it entertained and involved me. Good luck with it.

cremedelacreme wrote 1558 days ago

Very helpful feedback - many thanks, I''l work on that.



Hi Katherine
I used to say I didn't like chic lit before I came to authonomy, now I'll say that I've found some that's really made me smile but I'm still very picky about it - and more's the point, I'm certainly not an expert so please do take my reaction to this with a large pinch of salt.

It's quite a flowing read and I enjoyed the premise but I really think you need to beef up some of those characters. Currently I find little to differentiate Flora and Mercedes, both sweet enough but where's their spark, their ooomph?? And I was so disappointed that they let a spoilt teenager ruin their day - far more satisfying for me would have been if they'd stayed one step ahead of her. I think to engage in the story, Tiggy needs to have an endearing quality rear itself early on. I worked with an author mentor who really encouraged me to dumn down my baddy in my book, make him more intriguing rather than present him on a plate as the bad guy at the beginning because what's more to find out? I felt the same about Tiggy and it would be quite easy to make her more of a comfort to her mother perhaps, however exasperating she could be at times (I wondered about her cooling off to Mercedes and lamenting her behaviour whilst explaining the difficulties of being at private school - then you'd do away with some of the back story told via Flora and Mercedes too.)

The twists and turns are excellent and the mix-up has bags of potential to be good fun for the characters and the reader. My only suggestion would be that I think you need more of a build up to the meeting as the way Charlie immediately gets on to the subject of writing reads a little contrived at the moment.

I think this could really work but a good word edit would help it jump off the page and a little more dimension to some of the crucial scenes would do wonders too. Best of luck with this.

Jackie
Glass Houses

Jo Ellis wrote 1558 days ago

I could relate to this on many levels straight away so you have certainly captured me.

Realistic characters and great writing finish this off nicely. Have your MC as a writer with a dream is great... appeals to all us writers out there plus you have the experience of understanding which again brings about the realistic feel. I found Tiggy a little nasty but then I think I have forgotten how horrible I was as a teenager, teemed with the fact that she is going to a 'rich kid' school but not being able to keep up would be difficult for both Tiggy and Flora.

I would read on with this one.

Backed

Jo xx

Spoilt

mgrbec wrote 1559 days ago

Hi Katherine, your characters are believable and well showed, especially Tiggy - what a bundle of energy (and trouble:) ''hurled into the room' 'bounced' and 'flounced', she really came off well//i alike a writer protagonist - immediately i had something huge in common - dreamer:) - and Merecedes, comes across as a dear, and wonderful friend; my heart goes out to her for her depression, but at the same time I'm fascinated; the 'net' was a good start, and your slow reveal is natural, and even suspenseful(regardless of how prevelant it is, it's stell closeted - so thanks for showing us)// Mercedes looking out the window was a stand out super fab para// best wishes for getting published, and if you have time I'd appreciate some feedback (i think i uploaded a new cover yesterday) cheers, Monique Grbec

cremedelacreme wrote 1559 days ago

Thanks Barbara!

What a tangled web! Charming story --a nice light read for the beach or to cozy up in front of a fire! Perfectly pitched for the chic-lit girls. I have no nitpicks. I just wonder how you get Flora out of her mess.
Backed,
Barbara
The Sea Pillow

cremedelacreme wrote 1559 days ago

Thanks Fancie!



Hi Katherine,

Several on my friends list back this and I wanted to check it out to see what the fuss was. You're story flowed right down the page. Very easy to follow and relate to. ;) One tiny thing...and I don't know if it's even a thing...the parenthesis. I think you could illiminate them and weave the info into the story. Just a personal preference, though don't think the editor cares for them.

Happy to back this. Best of luck. :)

fancie
The Transformation of Anna

cremedelacreme wrote 1559 days ago

Thanks, Gerry! Very encouraging.



This is an interesting, unusual plot, and promises a lot of excitement and fun as it develops. Flora is a lovely character, and Mercedes is someone who is also interesting, but whom we sympathise with. Tiggy is a real pain, and I'm afraid Flora must have spoilt her badly! She really needs to learn a lesson. Maybe this will happen later in the book. Charlie is a good hero, attractive but with enough of an edge. You write in a nice, smooth style, with a lot of humour and some moving bits, and naturally you are really inside the skin of the struggling writer. I'm dying to know how Flora gets out of her problem. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls.

fancie wrote 1560 days ago

Hi Katherine,

Several on my friends list back this and I wanted to check it out to see what the fuss was. You're story flowed right down the page. Very easy to follow and relate to. ;) One tiny thing...and I don't know if it's even a thing...the parenthesis. I think you could illiminate them and weave the info into the story. Just a personal preference, though don't think the editor cares for them.

Happy to back this. Best of luck. :)

fancie
The Transformation of Anna

beegirl wrote 1560 days ago

What a tangled web! Charming story --a nice light read for the beach or to cozy up in front of a fire! Perfectly pitched for the chic-lit girls. I have no nitpicks. I just wonder how you get Flora out of her mess.
Backed,
Barbara
The Sea Pillow

gillyflower wrote 1560 days ago

This is an interesting, unusual plot, and promises a lot of excitement and fun as it develops. Flora is a lovely character, and Mercedes is someone who is also interesting, but whom we sympathise with. Tiggy is a real pain, and I'm afraid Flora must have spoilt her badly! She really needs to learn a lesson. Maybe this will happen later in the book. Charlie is a good hero, attractive but with enough of an edge. You write in a nice, smooth style, with a lot of humour and some moving bits, and naturally you are really inside the skin of the struggling writer. I'm dying to know how Flora gets out of her problem. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls.

Thomas J. Winton wrote 1562 days ago

Katherine,
Chick Lit is not my thing, but it's obvious it is yours. Well done. This is a wonderful portait of the struggling writer and the hard financial times people suffer in this day and age. It illustrates well the negative effects hardship has on family relationships as well as our total sense of being. Backed with pleasure.
Thomas J Winton
(Beyond Nostalgia)

Christina McClean wrote 1562 days ago

Well written story with good plot. I identify with mc. You might want to separate the pitch into two paras - just a thought.
Backed with pleasure
Chrsitina
From Under the Bed

paxie wrote 1562 days ago

Catherine

Read your opening chapter deleting the following:-
her way
picked them up and......

Do you think it sounds better ?

seemed to get
seemed to be losing...............She did get, and she did lose........Seemed often makes the action passive, sometimes it even reverses what you actually mean to say.......Be economic with its use.....I didn't like it here....

be (that) she was .......be she was
and (then) all those days .............and all those days
hoped (that) her ancient printer.........hoped her ancient printer...

that & then,.....are a habit we all have to learn to break.....

150000........you need a comma.......150,000

The speaking Flora and the thinking Flora sometimes have two different voices.......
I will get rid of all.........(this is the thinking Flora)
I'll get rid...........(would be the speaking Flora)......
You need to determine her voice and stick to it, formal of informal.......whichever, but consistent.....

Both Flora & Mercedes are brilliantly profiled....I have a clear picture of each in my minds eye.....This reminded me of a Catherine Alliott novel.....Rosie Meadows Regrets......Total different premise, but the lilt and the language is similar.....

Best of luck with this......Let me know if there is anything in particular you want me to have a look at......

Shelved with good wishes..

Mairi Graham wrote 1562 days ago

I'm glad the word 'ruefully' appeared in that sentence about all she had to do was sell the book. Poor Flora. The last scene with Charlie was physically excruciating. I was right there, trying to shrink into nothing. frankly, just walking around Edinburgh with Flora was enough to draw me in. At least she has really first rate charity shops to choose from. Good luck with this. It deserves it.

ElizaW wrote 1562 days ago

Katherine,
First of all I immediately connected with Flora. As I read on I realized I have a lot in common with her: writer, just lost my Dad, having money trouble etc. Your writing appears effortless. It is what I would call clean - nothing took me out of the story. I look forward to more.

Backed with a smile.

El
(Reckless Scarlett)

ElizaW wrote 1562 days ago

Katherine,
Are you interested in swapping reads?

El
(Reckless Scarlett)

cremedelacreme wrote 1562 days ago

This is an entertaining read, well-written. A plot most of us here should enjoy. Backing it.



Thanks - still getting used to site!

Ilyria_Moon wrote 1562 days ago

Hehe, so much of this rings true for me! You have a great premise for a story, and it's executed well, in what I've read so far. I like that you've thrown an added drama into the mix, with Flora's daughter going awol, not to mention the ex-husband. I just want to see what develops with Charlie. Backed.

Melcom wrote 1562 days ago

Isn't that the mantra we all have, 'with my first advance, i'll buy this or that.'

You have a terrific story telling voice and an interesting tale to tell.

Good luck and welcome to the site, when you have time if you could take a look at Impeding Justice for me I'd appreciate it.

Melxx

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