I know what you’re thinking, “just what the world needs! Another website from another novelist who thinks she has something to say…”
Still reading? Well, like many of you I always wanted to write. In fact I published my first book at the age of eight. Yup. Eight. And no doubt due to some over-inflated opinion of myself I also drew all the illustrations. In crayon. Come to think of it I wrote all of the text in crayon too. I wonder if it’s still sitting on a shelf somewhere in my former grade school library? Oh, did I not mention? I’m using ‘published’ loosely…I made the book out of colored construction paper and I think the spine was stapled. One of a kind would be accurate. But the librarian felt it was worthy to put in the library for other kids to actually read. Mine was the only one in the class to achieve this honor and a writer was born, or at least encouraged!
From that auspicious start I continued to dream about becoming a writer when I grew up. High school turned into university where I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in, wait for it, screenwriting. You see I was raised on a steady diet of old Hollywood movies. Lauren Bacall and Katharine Hepburn were two of my mentors and let’s not get started on my early crushes on Cary Grant and James Stewart!
I spent my twenties doing what many writers do best: procrastinating. I put off writing so much that I came up with a title for my future autobiography: I’ll Start My Life Tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I wrote, I just didn’t finish anything. Not that my twenties were dull. I had adventures. I drove from Toronto to Los Angeles – twice. I backpacked solo across Europe. I worked in Washington DC as a wildlife conservation activist. I discovered I can’t drink coffee and that I hate avocados. I worked on film sets. I directed a documentary. I produced on-set segments for Entertainment Tonight. I dated a musician and a screenwriter. I married the screenwriter. I divorced the screenwriter. In fact we had one of those whirlwind Hollywood romances. Married on the beach, divorced in an LA strip mall the same year I got adult braces. But the braces didn’t cause the divorce.
Along the way I did discover one thing: writers write. So I did. But sometimes a fledgling writer needs to be pushed, to feel such overwhelming passion for a topic that he or she just can’t help it. This is what happened when one of my best friends, Ceri Marsh (pronounced Carrie) and I got so fed up with all the badly mannered people we encountered in our day-to-day life that we set out to write a modern etiquette book. The first, The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Decorum, was a bestseller and we ended up on The Today Show and Oprah and a host of other wonderful media outlets. The sequel, The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Grace Under Pressure (or Guide to Life in the UK) also did well. We were etiquette experts. Still are. No one wants to sit near us at dinner parties. Let me say it once: we don’t judge and we spill wine and drop our napkins in the soup just like everyone else.The etiquette books were great, are great, you should buy one.During this same time, which is around 2000, I also ended up as a journalist. I pitched one article to a newspaper and it snowballed. Seriously. I have no training. I’m technically a journalist imposter and I’m still waiting to be revealed one day when it matters most. Though I can’t envision when it would matter at all so my secret is safe, except for anyone reading this. Are you still reading?
My niche was at fashion magazines. What girl doesn’t love fashion? So I toiled in the trenches…and believe me it isn’t all glamor and free nail polish except when it is. And I’m still working at a magazine. Though it isn’t a fashion magazine but a lifestyle called Zoomer.
You’d think a successful career as a magazine editor and two etiquette books would be enough wouldn’t you? And yet I didn’t go away! I was determined to write fiction. To create my own world, and I wanted that world to be a fun and exciting place. So I wrote a novel.
And that, my friends, is how we came to meet here. The debut of my novel The Jane Austen Marriage Manual. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it makes you laugh and cry and for all the right reasons. For more on the novel, the etiquette books and anything else in my crazy life check out the rest of this site. And if you want to write, don’t let anyone tell you it’s an impossible dream. It isn’t.
Kim Izzo is available for corporate events, private shows, milestone celebrations (birthday, anniversary), fundraisers, festivals, and more.