Blast off! (and other metaphors for family), by Deb Katie

A huge and hearty congratulations to my sister Debutante Kristina Riggle on the debut of her novel, Real Life & Liars. Our fifth debut! Who would have thought the day would come so quickly?

What struck me, reading Kristina’s book, is how the family members are both connected and disconnected. They know each other well enough to make predictions based on past behavior, but they’re disconnected enough from one another in the present that those predictions are often wrong.

It really hit home for me. I live across the country from my family. Sometimes I don’t hear about crises until they’re halfway over with, and then I sit around and worry for two weeks, only to finally hear that the situation was resolved fifteen minutes after I last spoke to someone about it. (Not that my family is non-stop drama… but as, um, anyone who has ever had ANY family at ALL can attest, there’s always something bubbling.) I know and love my family enough to assume I know what’s going on, but I’m often wrong. So, Mom, Dad, siblings, if you get some extra phone calls this week, thank Kristina!

Kristina’s fictional family is made up of people who are all genuinely sympathetic and likeable characters. In fact, the only people they seem to have trouble getting along with are themselves. They’ve come together for one of those family events that nobody is looking forward to but everyone feels they need to be part of, and as the weekend unfolds, secrets are revealed, minds are changed (or not), decisions are made (or not), and a disconnected group of people who know instinctively that they are undeniably tied together make an effort to get all of their orbits aligned.

It’s messy (the situation, not the writing!). It’s honest. Endings aren’t always tied up with a bow. But in the end, it’s about coming together, for better or worse, and that’s the essence of what family is. Kristina has hit the nail on the head, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her!

(Kristina, I hope you’re taking a bubble bath with your red wine and some primo chocolates!)

~ Katie Alender

p.s. Everyone who comments this week will automatically be entered to win a signed copy of REAL LIFE & LIARS as well as a love note from each of the Debs. So comment each day to have more chances to win!

9 thoughts on “Blast off! (and other metaphors for family), by Deb Katie

  1. Great post, Katie! And congrats Kristina on your official debut day. Can’t wait to hear about the launch party! Wish we could all fly in for it and celebrate with you.

  2. Oh, gosh…I hear you, Katie. I live far away too and I only get bits and pieces of stuff and then months later I find out that so-and-so hasn’t spoken to so-and-so for months, “Why didn’t you know this?” they ask! “Besides the fact that I don’t care?” is what I want to say!

    And yes, I’m shamelessly commenting every day in hopes of winning this book! It sounds really great!

    Congrats!

  3. Thanks Katie! I love how you pointed out that not everything ties up neatly. That’s not the way things are in “Real Life,” nor real life!

  4. Katie, this is a terrific post that not only describes RL&L, but our real families as well. And both cause us to wonder if changing attitudes and behavior, regarding those we love, could be possible?

    Happy Debut Day, Kristina! Savor!!!

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