Message From The Author

Author's Message


Your average chick lit heroine likes to fixate on designer shoes and handbags. So when Claudia Bloom blows up a bus she stole from her ex with all her possessions inside
on the first page of Jody Gehrman's Tart (Jul., Red Dress Ink),
you can tell you're in for a wild ride.

Claudia subscribes to a philosophy that life is to be tasted. But that doesn't stop misadventure from following her everywhere--in this case to her new job as a drama professor at
UC Santa Cruz. Of course when she meets Clay Parker, a motorcycle-riding knight in shining armor, en route, she immediately wants to take a big bite. But Clay is technically still married--and when Claudia's combustible love life coincides with some poignant family revelations, life begins to taste a little... tart.

"The word just kept popping up a lot in my original draft," explains Gehrman. "I was intrigued by the idea of 'tart' as philosophy.
The word conveys irreverence, which I love."

Indeed Claudia, and the characters of Gehrman's equally original and offbeat debut novel, Summer in the Land of Skin (Aug. '04, RDI)--which was a "love letter" to the transient
music scene of Bellingham, Washington--all share a restless quality. "In fiction, men can be questing, but women are depicted as all about settling down and having a home
front. That wasn't my world view."

Of course Gehrman's childhood was rather unorthodox. Though she lived a more serene and stable life with her mother during the week, on weekends she visited her father, an anarchist and peace activist, on his commune. "It was the best of both worlds, really. My characters tend to have a similar double life inside themselves," she adds. "They are questing for love but also for truth and integrity." Spoken like a true tart.--Tara Gelsomino

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