What I Have in Common with Kelly Clarkson

Greetings! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am with all the great new music that's out. I've been listening to two albums on repeat this past week: Florence + the Machine's "Ceremonials" and Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger." I love that women are having such a great year in music. Adele's "21" is currently in the running as my favorite album of the year, but both Kelly and Florence are making a very strong case. It's going to be a tight race! I love me some K. Clark (that's my nickname for Kelly Clarkson and I'd like it to catch on, so Kelly hears it and thinks "that's awesome, whoever thought of that should be my best friend." It could happen, right?). Anyways, when I read USA Today's review of "Stronger," I had to laugh. It starts, "Guys, if you start going out with a girl who tells you how much she loves Kelly Clarkson's latest album, run away. Fast." Odd enough, I've heard pretty much the same thing about The Lonely Hearts Club.

Kelly sings songs about not putting up with stupid guys (one of my favorite lyrics on the new album is "Dumb + Dumb = You" from the song "Einstein"). Or that walking away from a bad relationship will make you better in the end. ("What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller. Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone" from the title track.)

In The Lonely Hearts Club, Penny Lane Bloom decides to stop dating guys in high school because they've done nothing but cause her and her friends heartache and trouble. I recently had a high school boy write to me that I am "what's wrong with the world." Um, I'm pretty sure there are other things that are wrong with the world besides someone standing up for themselves. But thanks for giving me so much credit!

Writing (or singing) about strong women can make it hard when you're dating. When Matt Lauer read Kelly that USA Today review when she was on Today, her response was "Which is funny because I haven't had a boyfriend in so long, maybe I'm scaring them!"

I've had more than one person ask me how I handle talking about my books on a date. Well, I have a tendency to not give out too much information when I meet a guy (like my last name, because one Google search can give him so much information about me and I believe in an equal playing field). This is pretty much how I handle questions about my books on a first date:

GUY: So tell me about your books. ME: They're contemporary teen fiction. GUY: So what are they about? ME: Stuff. GUY: Oh, okay... What's the title? ME: One is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. GUY: Um...

It's not like I'm embarrassed about my books or not proud of them, I am very proud of them. I have received so many wonderful letters from girls about how The Lonely Hearts Club has helped them get through a tough relationship (the best compliment ever was "it helped stop the tears at night.") And I will continue to write books about strong girls who will not compromise themselves for a guy (or if they do, it'll be with consequences). But let's face it, some guys can't handle a strong, independent woman. I'm not talking about all men, of course! There are plenty of amazing guys out there. And I have complete faith that I'll meet one someday (and so will Kelly). But, for now, I think I'm in VERY good single company.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I once met Kelly?!?!?! I DID! AND I gave her a copy of The Lonely Hearts Club because I'm that big of a nerd. (I do think I look like a drag queen in this photo, but Kelly is adorbs as always!) And I already snapped up tickets to see Kelly at Radio City in January (I totally jumped around like a lunatic once I got them. Again: nerd.)

I do want to make one final comment: K. Clark is not fat. This makes me so mad. Just because she isn't an emaciated skeleton doesn't mean she's fat. She's a beautiful, talented, and healthy young woman. I'd love to have an ounce of her singing ability. So all you haters out there making fun of her (or anybody's) weight, take a look in the mirror, because you're the one with the problem.

And with that, I leave you with the most played song on my iPod. Enjoy!

XO, Elizabeth

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