Literary Aperitif
More Zany Adventures of Waverly Bryson, With a Pomegranate Martini

The oldest remaining Bob’s Big Boy, in Burbank, may not serve alcohol, but Mo’s across the street most definitely does. They have a lovely little cocktail list, and delic burgers to boot. Their pomegranate martini (vodka, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, and Grand Marnier - very yummy albeit a bit sickly sweet after more than one :S) is perfect with Maria Murnane’s It’s a Waverly Life, her hilarious chick-lit sequel to Perfect on Paper: The Misadventures of Waverly Bryson. Why is it so entertaining and comforting watching another woman struggle to figure out the right career for her, and to find romance in the big city? I guess because if you’ve been there - and most of us have - it lets you know you’re not alone. 

PERFECT ON PAPER and a Glass of Champagne on Brighton Beach Boardwalk

Every year I celebrate the beginning of summer by going out to Brighton Beach, and nibbling on red caviar and sipping light champagne at one of the Russian restaurants - either Tatiana’s or the Winter Garden - on the boardwalk. I always drink lots of water too to avoid a nasty dehydration headache :)

I took this photo in April of last year, when I trekked out to the beach, and brought with me Maria Murnane’s Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)Adventures of Waverly Bryson, a perfect beach read. As I’d said of the book then (on my other blog):

"It’s a really lovely book, sweet and funny with a cast of characters who are definitely very relatable — the annoying guy who just seems to be everywhere you are, the bitchy competitive co-worker who seems intent on stealing your job, the hot guy in whose presence you just can’t seem not to make an ass of yourself, etc. After being jilted at the altar by her fiance, Waverly sets out on a series of hilariously bad dates in an attempt to overcome her heartbreak and find that ever-elusive Mr. Right. But in the process, she finds herself instead.

Of course there are lots of bad date / overcoming evil ex novels, but what’s original here is Waverly’s knack for coming up with clever little sayings, sometimes darkly comical, that speak well to the single urban career girl, such as, “Ever had to work with a total nightmare? Honey, just wait until the company holiday party. We’ll see who’s all alone in the corner.” And, “Not everyone can have a cookie-cutter family, right? Honey, I’d cut your losses and settle for the cookies.” Waverly eventually creates a line of greeting cards bearing said clever sayings, and voila, her real calling emerges. Also, Waverly works in sports PR (as did Murnane — I like it when authors put their job details into their books; you can learn a lot about other walks of life that way) so there are some interesting, amusing scenes about the sports world — making this a book not only for women, but for men as well.”

Another thing that makes this book notable is that it was one of the first self-published successes. In 2009, after the book generated a great deal of buzz, Amazon picked it up and published it through its publishing arm, AmazonEncore. It’s gone on to be published in Hungarian and German (through Random House), a literary agent is currently looking for a film deal, and Amazon is also publishing the sequel, It’s a Waverly Life, due out this November. Murnane, who appears at a lot of book conferences to talk about her success, and kindly share her marketing and publicity strategies, is so sweet, so charming, you just can’t help but be happy for her. Here’s a profile I recently wrote about her. 

Hope I have the chance to go to Brighton Beach at least once more before I move from NY…