Cosmopolitan Girls

Paperback $11.95

Feb 24, 2004 | 272 Pages

Ebook $8.99

Dec 18, 2007 | 272 Pages

  • Paperback $11.95

    Feb 24, 2004 | 272 Pages

  • Ebook $8.99

    Dec 18, 2007 | 272 Pages

Praise

"I’m not really a big fiction guy, but I couldn’t put this book down!  The journey of Lindsay and Charlie is a fascinating and fun ride.  Enjoy!" 
–Tavis Smiley, author and talk-show host

"Two parts love and friendship, with a twist of attitude, Cosmopolitan Girls is a heady cocktail that should be enjoyed one decadent sip at a time."
–Lori Bryant-Woolridge, author of Hitts & Mrs.

Author Q&A

In conversation with Charlotte Burley and Lyah LeFlore:

Black Ink: How did you become a writing team?

Charlotte Burley: Lyah and I were a writer-producer team in the beginning. Lyah optioned my first screenplay. In the process of trying to get the film produced, there were lots of late-night meetings and long lunches. One afternoon after a meeting, we met up with two other girlfriends for a late lunch and cocktails. Over drinks we began to share each of our personal “male” dramas. We found the afternoon so enlightening and therapeutic that we decided our session should be put in book form.

Lyah LeFlore: Absoutely! That afternoon of Cosmopolitans and Conversation sparked the start of something great! We felt it was high time the story of the single, never-been-married, thirty-something African American woman be told by two women who had been in the trenches and survived. More important, as African American women who were small-town girls who moved to New York City in our early twenties, we knew we could give the writing an even bigger spin.

BI: And how did you write the novel together?

CB: Since Lyah lives in L.A. and I live in New Jersey, we had to use just about every means of communication to complete the book. We had meetings by phone, exchanged lots of E-mail attachments, faxed, and when the manuscript got too big, we began shipping the printed pages or the disks to each other via FedEx.

LL: I think we actually have stock in FedEx now! It was great and the creation of our partnership is quite unique. Conceptually, we decided before we ever put pen to paper exactly who the “Cosmopolitan Girls” were. We created each lead protagonist initially in dialogue. I had been keeping a journal for years of my personal life experiences from the time I graduated college and came to New York City. Lindsay’s foundation is rooted in those writings. Once we breathed life into “Lindsay” and “Charlie,” Charlotte and I worked independently on the respective character’s chapters, and then melded the work together. It was an incredible experience, because, amazingly, as distinctive our individual voices and styles are as writers, the writing was practically seamless.

BI: What inspired you to write Cosmopolitan Girls?

CB: That afternoon hanging out with “the girls” was a big inspiration. Having another woman’s ear to not only listen and support you, but also being there for her as she shares her experiences, makes you feel really good. We want every woman to know that in the end we’re all the same.

LL: Love of self, self-acceptance, self-pride, an appreciation and fascination of women–all women, particularly African American women–and of course men, glorious men! The good, the bad, and the beauty of relationships was the drive for our novel. We wanted women to stand up and be proud in the name of love.

BI: So who exactly are the Cosmopolitan Girls? Are they based on people you know?

CB: Yes, Cosmopolitan Girls are women we know personally: our mothers, sisters, and best friends. They’re also the great women we see on TV, read about in papers and/or magazines. And of course there’s a little bit of our own personalities in the characters.

LL: A Cosmopolitan Girl can be nineteen or ninty. She is flawed, fierce, fearless, and fabulous.

BI: At the heart of this high-spirited novel is the “Cosmo Girl Code of Arms.” Could you tell us more about the pivotal role this invention plays in the main characters’ lives?

CB: The Cosmo Code of Arms is really a girl’s conscience. It’s the part of the mind that tends to be hardheaded, because of fear or insecurity or shame. So you need that best girlfriend and the rules to remind you to do the “Right Thing.” Honestly, every woman knows, deep down, right from wrong, but sometimes we bury it so deep that it’s hard for good old common sense and clear-thinking to resurface. That’s where the Code of Arms comes in. It’s a tool to help dig up the courage we women already possess.

LL: The invention of the code is pivotal because it really is the jumping-off place for the bond Lindsay and Charlie ultimately develop. Yes, they get a little crazy when they are implementing the Code of Arms, but they also get a wake-up call when they see things spinning out of control, and get themselves back on track. You know that exiled island where we want a situation to be something and we go right along operating through rose-tinted and glitter-sprinkled glasses, as opposed to dealing in reality. But everyone knows you can’t keep a good WO-man down!

BI: Do you have to be a big-city reader to enjoy the highs and lows of Lindsay and Charlie?

LL: There is a Cosmopolitan Girl in every woman. It doesn’t matter if you live in a small town or a bustling metropolis. If you’ve ever fallen in or out of love, triumphed over adversity, or worked hard for the money, this book is for you!


From the Trade Paperback edition.

 

In conversation with Charlotte Burley and Lyah LeFlore:

Black Ink: How did you become a writing team?

Charlotte Burley: Lyah and I were a writer-producer team in the beginning. Lyah optioned my first screenplay. In the process of trying to get the film produced, there were lots of late-night meetings and long lunches. One afternoon after a meeting, we met up with two other girlfriends for a late lunch and cocktails. Over drinks we began to share each of our personal “male” dramas. We found the afternoon so enlightening and therapeutic that we decided our session should be put in book form.

Lyah LeFlore: Absoutely! That afternoon of Cosmopolitans and Conversation sparked the start of something great! We felt it was high time the story of the single, never-been-married, thirty-something African American woman be told by two women who had been in the trenches and survived. More important, as African American women who were small-town girls who moved to New York City in our early twenties, we knew we could give the writing an even bigger spin.

BI: And how did you write the novel together?

CB: Since Lyah lives in L.A. and I live in New Jersey, we had to use just about every means of communication to complete the book. We had meetings by phone, exchanged lots of E-mail attachments, faxed, and when the manuscript got too big, we began shipping the printed pages or the disks to each other via FedEx.

LL: I think we actually have stock in FedEx now! It was great and the creation of our partnership is quite unique. Conceptually, we decided before we ever put pen to paper exactly who the “Cosmopolitan Girls” were. We created each lead protagonist initially in dialogue. I had been keeping a journal for years of my personal life experiences from the time I graduated college and came to New York City. Lindsay’s foundation is rooted in those writings. Once we breathed life into “Lindsay” and “Charlie,” Charlotte and I worked independently on the respective character’s chapters, and then melded the work together. It was an incredible experience, because, amazingly, as distinctive our individual voices and styles are as writers, the writing was practically seamless.

BI: What inspired you to write Cosmopolitan Girls?

CB: That afternoon hanging out with “the girls” was a big inspiration. Having another woman’s ear to not only listen and support you, but also being there for her as she shares her experiences, makes you feel really good. We want every woman to know that in the end we’re all the same.

LL: Love of self, self-acceptance, self-pride, an appreciation and fascination of women–all women, particularly African American women–and of course men, glorious men! The good, the bad, and the beauty of relationships was the drive for our novel. We wanted women to stand up and be proud in the name of love.

BI: So who exactly are the Cosmopolitan Girls? Are they based on people you know?

CB: Yes, Cosmopolitan Girls are women we know personally: our mothers, sisters, and best friends. They’re also the great women we see on TV, read about in papers and/or magazines. And of course there’s a little bit of our own personalities in the characters.

LL: A Cosmopolitan Girl can be nineteen or ninty. She is flawed, fierce, fearless, and fabulous.

BI: At the heart of this high-spirited novel is the “Cosmo Girl Code of Arms.” Could you tell us more about the pivotal role this invention plays in the main characters’ lives?

CB: The Cosmo Code of Arms is really a girl’s conscience. It’s the part of the mind that tends to be hardheaded, because of fear or insecurity or shame. So you need that best girlfriend and the rules to remind you to do the “Right Thing.” Honestly, every woman knows, deep down, right from wrong, but sometimes we bury it so deep that it’s hard for good old common sense and clear-thinking to resurface. That’s where the Code of Arms comes in. It’s a tool to help dig up the courage we women already possess.

LL: The invention of the code is pivotal because it really is the jumping-off place for the bond Lindsay and Charlie ultimately develop. Yes, they get a little crazy when they are implementing the Code of Arms, but they also get a wake-up call when they see things spinning out of control, and get themselves back on track. You know that exiled island where we want a situation to be something and we go right along operating through rose-tinted and glitter-sprinkled glasses, as opposed to dealing in reality. But everyone knows you can’t keep a good WO-man down!

BI: Do you have to be a big-city reader to enjoy the highs and lows of Lindsay and Charlie?

LL: There is a Cosmopolitan Girl in every woman. It doesn’t matter if you live in a small town or a bustling metropolis. If you’ve ever fallen in or out of love, triumphed over adversity, or worked hard for the money, this book is for you!

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