"...a highly entertaining and thought provoking book!"
"You will fall in love with each of these honest, imperfect characters and identify with their struggles, demons, and challenges. Exposing the raw truths we often try to mask..."
Published: June 6th, 2017
Elle Martin has it all.
Handsome and successful husband. Check.
Daughter and son attending exclusive private high school. Check.
Privilege, status, and wealth. Check, check, check.
But there is more to Elle’s story.
Already struggling to keep up appearances in a social set full of pretension and ultra-competitiveness, Elle’s façade of perfection is threatened when her husband makes an announcement that will force her to confront a dark past she has successfully hidden for years.
What will happen when long-buried secrets are unearthed and haunting new revelations are discovered? Will Elle find the happy ending she so desperately seeks?
Toggling between the early nineties and the present day, Grannie Panties Are UnderRated captures the Gen X experience from latchkey kid to helicopter parent with keen insight and precision. A page turner full of surprising twists, it is a must read for anyone who has struggled to reconcile the chasm between the person they once were, the person they have become, and the person they long to be.
First of all, and probably a lot of people ask about this: How did you get to and why this title?
I had two important criteria for the title of the book. I wanted something that 1) indicated that the book is very much for and about women; and 2) suggested that it’s a light, fun and easy read - the type of book that suits the busy lifestyle of modern women who have little time for themselves. It is perfect for reading on your lunch break, while you’re in the carpool line waiting to pick-up your kids or – best of all –on a beach chair with a cocktail in hand! I settled specifically on the Grannie Panties reference because Elle’s underwear is central to her journey in the book. The contrast between thong underwear and grannie panties is a perfect metaphor for her life. The thong underwear represents her young self – a free, uninhibited party girl who is fun and up for anything. The grannie panties represent her middle-aged self – boring, ordinary, practical and not the least bit sexy or daring. The title begs the question – is wearing grannie panties an indication that you have given up on youth or is it an acceptance of your mature life and underrated?
The story is presented as a Chick lit or Women’s Fiction. What does this exactly means and does such a story need “surprising twists”? (or how do you build an engaging story?)
I would place Grannie Panties are Under Rated in the genre of women’s fiction because the journey of its main character from Gen X latchkey kid to helicopter mom is told from a uniquely female perspective - one that all women will understand and relate to. I don’t think a story such as this necessarily needs surprising twists to keep the reader engaged, but I wanted to tell a tale that didn’t follow a typical story arc. I hope readers of the book will enjoy the unexpected turns in Elle’s journey, anxious to keep reading because they are so excited to find out what happens next.
How different are women in general and in reading preferences in particular in Japan and US? What about the “Generation X”?
I believe most women, no matter where they live, want the same things in a good chick lit book. Relatable, well-developed characters, intrigue, humor, conflict, and a little bit of hot sex to keep things interesting! In Grannie Panties Are Under Rated I tried to include all of these elements and create a perfect escape into another world that is so interesting, the reader doesn’t want to leave. Gen X women in particular will enjoy the story as it explores Elle’s life as a child of the seventies, with many references to what it was like growing up then and being a young person in the late eighties/early nineties. These same women may also have children of their own, and will relate to what it is like to parent teenagers in the new millennial.
What a “happy ending” means in your opinion? Is the HEA a variable or a constant - everybody wants the same thing?
This is a great and interesting question. Grannie Panties Are Under Rated explores this idea in depth. Elle has everything that she thought would bring her happiness, yet she longs for more. Are some people destined to be unhappy forever? What is the true course to finding happiness and is it sustainable? These are the central questions Elle struggles with up to the very end of her story.
I think this is your first book. How does it feel to be a published author? Do you plan to write other stories?
Yes! This is my first published piece of work. It has been an exhilarating and exciting experience and one that I plan to continue as a soon-to-be empty-nester. I am currently working on another novel, tentatively titled Double Fault, about a handsome and popular high school tennis coach who is accused of sexual assault against one of his players. Look for it in the summer of 2018!
Thank you, MB
About the author:
Gayle Erickson is a Colorado native and graduate of The Colorado College. She lived in Tokyo, Japan and taught English for several years after graduation. Upon her return to the United States she worked in the non-profit sector. Gayle currently lives in suburban Denver with her husband, twin teen-age children, and two dogs. Grannie Panties Are Underrated is her debut novel.