Dec. 11, 2020

Lainey Cameron - THE EXIT STRATEGY

Lainey Cameron - THE EXIT STRATEGY

Lainey discusses her debut novel The Exit Strategy, working in the tech industry as a one of the only women in the boardroom, her desire to inspire and empower women with this story, the importance of titles and covers, and publishing during the pandemic.


Lainey discusses her debut novel The Exit Strategy, working in the tech industry as a one of the only women in the boardroom, her desire to inspire and empower women with this story, the importance of titles and covers, publishing during the pandemic and the fabulous 2020 debut group, and much more.

The Exit Strategy can be purchased at Murder by the Book. 

Lainey’s 5 recommended reads are:

  1. The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai
  2. A Door Between Us by Ehsaneh Sadr
  3. After Elias by Eddie Boudel Tan
  4. Forever 51 by Pamela Skjolsvik
  5. Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho

 

Other books mentioned are Daughters of Smoke and Fire by Ava HomaA Solitude of Wolverines by Alice Henderson and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

book, exit strategy, authors, people, women, Colombia, cover, world, read, title, husband, debut, point, happening, story, romance, write, publishers, reader, little bit

SPEAKERS

Cindy Burnett, Lainey Cameron

 

Cindy Burnett  00:08

This is the Thoughts from a Page Podcast where I interview authors about their latest works. Listen to what inspired the storyline, how their covers and titles were chosen, their personal connection to the story and other fascinating tidbits about the author's themselves. My name is Cindy Burnett, and I love to talk about books. If you have any comments, questions you want me to ask authors, or feedback for me feel free to contact me through my website thoughtsfromapage.com. Check out the new book holiday gift list that I just recently posted on the blog section of my site if you are in need of a present for a loved one close friend, coworker or even a gift exchange. Today I am interviewing Lainey Cameron. Lainey is an author of women's fiction and a recovering tech industry executive. Her award winning novel The Exit Strategy, a number one Amazon bestseller, was inspired by a decade of being the only woman in the corporate boardroom. It's been called a rallying call for women to believe in themselves and join together. Thank you so much for listening, and I hope you enjoy the show. Welcome Lainey. I'm really excited that you're here to talk with me today. How are you?

 

Lainey Cameron  01:11

I'm great. I'm so excited to be talking with you too.

 

Cindy Burnett  01:14

Well, let's get started with you telling me a little bit about The Exit Strategy.

 

Lainey Cameron  01:19

So The Exit Strategy is the story of two women in Silicon Valley. And if I were to summarize it in one line, I would say it's about Silicon Valley sexism and the power of female friendship. These two women have every reason to hate each other. In fact, one woman, Ryn, she's about to close the deal of her career. She's an investor; she invests in startups for a living. And she's bet her whole career on this particular opportunity. And she's getting ready to walk into the room to sign the paperwork where she's going to invest in this company, a startup. And she realizes that the woman who owns the company is her husband's mistress. So that's kind of the first chapter of the book, a lot of fireworks and a lot of tension as these two women face off across a negotiating table.

 

Cindy Burnett  02:05

Well, I'm so curious how you came up with the idea for this book.

 

Lainey Cameron  02:09

It was a combination of a couple of things. So I come from Silicon Valley. I've spent the last 20 years running marketing, big and small companies there. And the sexism in the book, and there is a lot of it, really came from my own personal experience of what it's like to be the only woman in the boardroom. To walk into that meeting where your career depends on closing a deal. And you're surrounded by men who are looking at you sideways, almost like what are you doing here? You don't belong. I know, you know, women are not the only people who experienced that, minorities experienced that, many people experienced that. I wanted to really show what it feels like to be at odds and to be like, not in the easiest place. And then I wanted to tell a story of friendship. It was very important to me having seen, I'll put it this way, if think about a woman and a wife and a mistress. And what's the first image that comes to your head?

 

Cindy Burnett  03:00

Well, I would think conflict.

 

Lainey Cameron  03:03

Right, and maybe a bit of cattiness, maybe kind of fighting with each other. So there's a stereotype in movies and TV of the wife and the mistress, and when you put them in the room together, The reason there's so much tension in the beginning of this book is we expect them to eat each other alive. Even professional, savvy women are portrayed as kind of reverting to teenagers not in charge of their emotions, and not able to manage through the situation. And so I wanted to tell a different story. The question I asked myself was, what would it take for those two women to actually become friends, and even to support each other? And so this book, it's interesting, it's, it's a little bit of a revenge novel, but not really. I wanted the book to center around the two women not about the guy, the man in the story. And so some people have actually given me the feedback. They're like, I don't understand why they didn't team and just go after the man. And my answer to that is, this is a story of the two women overcoming the situation they were thrown into. It's not about the man, he's just the plot puppet that makes it all happen.

 

Cindy Burnett  04:04

I just think it would be really hard for me in that situation, if I determined that my husband was having an affair, and then I met that person to then become friends with them. That, I don't know, that's hard for me.

 

Lainey Cameron  04:16

It was hard to write. You know, it was a challenge to say what would it take? How could this be possible? And it starts with empathy, right? Like, we have to be able to look at the other person and see ourselves in them, and be able to see the world from their perspective, which is a hard thing these days, right? We're challenged with empathy around the world. And so that was something for me that mattered. I wanted to tell a story of empathy, and how can we look outside of our own world and our own perspective to see it from the other person's point of view?

 

Cindy Burnett  04:46

That's a very good point and something, yes, we are all needing to focus on as much as possible these days, empathy and putting yourself in someone else's shoes.

 

Lainey Cameron  04:55

Indeed.

 

Cindy Burnett  04:56

Well, what kind of research did you have to do?

 

Lainey Cameron  04:58

So, the sexism part interestingly, I write in the Author's Note, the, the two characters by the end of the book Ryn and Carly decide to take on sexism in tech, and they actually decide, they do something pretty dramatic to try and bring it more under control. And that part I actually didn't have to do much research on. In fact, I just use my personal history, my friends history, I actually wrote an Author's Note at the end of the book where I say that mostly I toned things down because I wanted them to be credible. So for example, I mentioned in the Author's Note that I don't have the characters go to a strip club for a business meeting, which is something I actually had to do. So there were some things that I just thought the reader wouldn't buy, because they were so outrageous. And so I took them out. That I didn't have to research too much. What I did have to research is a little bit of marriage laws, divorce laws, how it varies state to state those a little bit, there's a little bit of legal stuff. And there's a little bit of a mystery about what the husband is really up to. And those things I had to research a little.

 

Cindy Burnett  05:59

Well, the #metoo movement part of it is definitely relevant to everything that's been going on recently. So I'm sure your story is resonating with a lot of people.

 

Lainey Cameron  06:07

I have been just so touched by the early feedback. I mean, the book has about 150 reviews on Goodreads at this point. And I've just been so touched by people saying that it was an uplifting story, or that it was a page turner, or that they really appreciated the friendship angle of the two women lifting each other up. I can appreciate that right now is a really tough time for all of us. And sometimes we just need happy stories that end well, right. I mean, I'm in that boat. So it's been interesting to notice even how my own reading has changed in the last year.

 

Cindy Burnett  06:40

Mine is completely the same way. I was actually just talking with a friend about this yesterday. That I don't normally read a lot of really light things because it's just not what I read. But in the last eight months, I have definitely tended to read lighter things, romcoms, things that just aren't normally up my alley, because there's just too much happening already that's grim. So when I read, I would rather read things that aren't grim. I've also read a lot more nonfiction and not heavy nonfiction. But just kind of more narrative nonfiction. And that's been a good escape too.

 

Lainey Cameron  07:09

Oh, yeah, I can totally relate to that.

 

Cindy Burnett  07:11

Well, what surprised you the most about writing this book?

 

Lainey Cameron  07:14

The resiliency it takes to go from thinking I'll write a novel, a lot of people are in the situation this month in November, because it's National Novel Writing Month. So a lot of people are starting a book for the first time. And on the one hand, I didn't really appreciate the level of craft learning that I would go through over five years before this book was ready to truly be published and be in front of readers, whether it's like how to get emotion on the page, or how to keep the pages turning, and how to end your chapters and so many different parts of craft learning. But I think that resiliency is something that I appreciated having as I came into this process, even though I was not fully aware of how much I would need it.

 

Cindy Burnett  07:55

I always say that authors really have to have thick skin these days, because there's so much of what you just described. But then also, once you get through the publishing process, social media, Goodreads, Amazon, all these different review places, and people just feel comfortable saying whatever it is to say. So I think you do have to just be able to shake it off.

 

Lainey Cameron  08:15

Yeah, yeah. And this book, I had so much rejection before it found its place in the world, I queried over 130 different agents. And the answer that I got, and in the end, I actually published it through a small publisher without an agent. And the answer that I got from agents was, there's no book that looks exactly like this in the world. So we're not confident that we know how to sell it to a publisher. And so they look at the marketplace. And they say, well, there's no demand for a book like this, because there are no books like this in the world. And I look at it. And I say, well, just because something hasn't been done doesn't mean there's no demand, and people wouldn't enjoy it. And so I'm still glad I didn't give up and I put it out. After 130 agent rejections, I put it out to six small publishers and got multiple offers within a month. So it's really interesting the difference in the approaches. And so I'm just so glad because people are writing the emails and saying it's really made their day and it's uplifted them, and it's made them rethink about friendship. And so I'm like when I get an email like that I kind of sit for a second and go, Wow, I could have just given up and not put this book into the world.

 

Cindy Burnett  09:15

Well, I think that's such a circular argument. When you're talking about publishers and what's out there already, and not wanting to publish something that's different than what's out there already. You know, it kind of becomes this self-fulfilling prophecy because until you try something new, how do you know whether people are going to like it or not. But I also feel like there's a very big trend to slot books in certain genres. And if things are outside of genre, or they fit into maybe two or three genres, it's a lot harder to get the book published. And that is an ongoing theme. I feel like when I've been interviewing authors on my podcast, I kind of hear that over and over again.

 

Lainey Cameron  09:50

I think that's true. And sometimes it even does the author and the book a disservice if a publisher tries to put it in a category that is not a perfect fit but a high selling category. Sometimes I wonder whether the publishers are doing the best by that novel by putting it in a romcom category. Because what happens, it's all about reader expectations going back to those reviews you were talking about. If I pick up a book, and I'm told it's a romance, and then the romantic interest doesn't turn up until the last three chapters, I feel disappointed because I had an expectation as a reader about what that book was going to be. Now if I'd pick that same book up, and I thought it was going to be a snarky Bridget Jones type, fun romp that has a little romance, but that's not the main theme, I'd probably react very differently to the exact same book. It's just all about the expectation of what I picked it up thinking it was going to be.

 

Cindy Burnett  10:39

That's so interesting that you say that, because I have noticed that several times through the summer with a couple of books that I picked up. And like I said, I don't read much in the way of romcoms, but I picked them up because people said, it's not really a romcom, it's more kind of women's fiction, or just standard contemporary fiction story with a little bit of a romance. It was like, Great, that's gonna appeal to me. And I read them, and I loved them. And then I would go look at reviews. And I would see exactly what you're saying people would say, well, the romance didn't develop right, or there wasn't enough romance. And so I do think setting expectations is a big part of it, if there wasn't so much of trying to feel like everything had to be slotted into a particular place, some of these books probably would do better. Because my other pet peeve is, you know, there's like 2000 books that have been analogized to Gone Girl, and so many of them are not. And I mean, I don't actually even like Gone Girl. So usually that keeps me from reading those books, because I'm like, Well, I didn't like Gone Girl, I'm not gonna like these books. But every once in a while somebody will say, you really will like this book. It's nothing like Gone Girl, and I pick it up. And I do like it. And so then I'm thinking it's a shame to use that - it's just like this book, or it's just like that book - because most books aren't just like anything else, or they wouldn't be being published.

 

Lainey Cameron  11:46

Oh, man, you make such a good point. And we see it in titles too. Readers often don't realize that there's a reason you see a wave of books with the same title, right? So like, girl, right? Suddenly, we saw like 50 books come out within a few months that all had girl in the title? Well, I don't know about 50 I made that up many, many books with girl and the title. But that's because publishers are trying to ride trends. And so books get renamed; titles get changed all the time. And to your point sometimes that's great because it actually puts a book right in the place where people are going to find it because it is the right book in the right place. And sometimes it's not because it miss sets the expectation of what that book is, and I don't know whether it's always good this kind of renaming books thing to fit with a trend.

 

Cindy Burnett  12:26

Well, definitely to your point of putting it under the shadow of another book, then I think everybody comes in either love Gone Girl and thinks, well, this book isn't like Gone Girl, or didn't like Gone Girl and doesn't pick it up. So I think there's some danger in using that idea of it's just like this. And I see the same thing with covers, actually, to not so much the putting under another book. But the cover works really well. It's successful. And all of a sudden, 10 covers look so similar. And I am always all about covers, and I love covers that are different. I mean, to me, that's what you want, not something that looks like the last 10 books that came out.

 

Lainey Cameron  12:59

Oh, that's such a great point. There's a theory that says you want your cover to actually look like it fits with the bestsellers in your genre. So if you're romance you want to look at the top 25 romance books and say my covers fits exactly in that category. And, and that's why you see, like for women's fiction, you see a lot of covers that have woman with her back to the camera, and in historical women's fiction woman with her back to the camera with a little bit of red somewhere on the image. And so these are like their tropes. But they do send a sign to the reader that says, If you like this kind of book, you'll like me, right? I'm the book that fits with the books you liked. And so it's an interesting point, because like my cover is a little bit out of that genre of women's fiction. It's got two coffee cups on the cover. And I kind of went back and forth on would I be better going with the more popular trope of two women with their back to the camera and decided that I was okay with it being a little different because it probably sent the right message about this book, that it is a little different. That it's not exactly the same as anything out there. But who knows whether that's good for sales or not. There's a theory that says that it's better to have a cover that looks exactly like it fits in the other top sellers in your genre.

 

Cindy Burnett  14:09

That's interesting. I'm not sure I'd ever really heard that before. I mean, it makes perfect marketing sense, but I'm not sure I've ever heard it voiced like that. I guess I always really like the covers that are different, like something that looks like nothing else I've seen always catches my eye. Versus I'm like, oh, there's yet another graphic that looks just like the last six romcoms that I saw the cover for or with like you talk about historical fiction, if it's set in Paris, there's the Eiffel Tower. You know, I always really am drawn toward those that are different. And that usually catches my eye - different colors, different look, all of that. And that appeals to me a lot more I think.

 

Lainey Cameron  14:45

I'm thinking about some of the books that I've appreciated the most this year and I love when the cover has something on it that you only understand after you've read the book. So for example, one of the guests that you had who has a fabulous book Ava Homa, her novel, her debut Daughters of Smoke and Fire, it has a flower on the cover. And you only understand the significance of that flower, which grows only in Kurdistan, after you read the book.

 

Cindy Burnett  15:10

I agree completely, and Ava's been great. She was one of my very first interviews, and she has connected me like with you with so many people. And I loved that book; I learned a lot from it. And I also just think that cover is so striking - another one of those books that it caught my eye because I love red, and it's just so bright. And like you said, the flower, you don't really know until you read the book, exactly the meaning the cover. And I feel the same way about titles. I just had read a book or loved recently A Solitude of Wolverines by Alice Henderson, and I was curious about the title and you don't really understand it until you get to some portion of the book where she explains exactly why it's titled that. And I love that because then you sort of settle it - that's, that's why they picked the title. And it makes perfect sense. And that's just such a nice feeling I think. How did you come up with the title for this one? I know we talked about titles, but we didn't actually talk about you picking the title for it,

 

Lainey Cameron  16:00

The title for The Exit Strategy. It's funny; I tried to change it at one point. I really liked it. It's a double entendre. So the two women in my book, in the novel, are in a situation that they're not sure how they're going to get out of, right? They're forced to work together. Obviously, at the beginning of the book, that's the last thing in the world they want as a wife and a mistress to have to work together and to be dependent on each other for success. And so part of it was at the beginning of the book, they're thinking, what is my exit strategy to get out of this. It also has a couple of other meanings in the in Silicon Valley world exit strategy is a very popular term in venture capitals. So if I put several million dollars into a company, there are possible exit strategies - I could sell it to another company, it could go public, many ways to get your investment out. And that's your exit strategy. And then in the book itself, it actually has a third meeting and a revelation for Ryn, my main character, she realizes that she hasn't got an exit strategy for her own life. That she's constructed this entire perfect life, but she doesn't really have an exit strategy when it falls apart on her. And so that has a significance for her on a personal level. I went back and forth on changing the title. And at one point, it was something like Unlikely Allies, and we decided that just didn't work as well as The Exit Strategy. It wasn't as punchy; it didn't have the the double entendre.

 

Cindy Burnett  17:19

I like that, though. It's definitely it's catchy. And it's easy to remember, because I, I struggle, sometimes when there are titles that are just kind of, I always feel like they're a bunch of words thrown together. They're clearly not just a bunch of words thrown together, like between you and me and the dog, it's just hard for me to kind of get them in the right order. And remember the title. So something like The Exit Strategy takes me two seconds, it sticks with me, and I'm there. So I always prefer that too. Like I said, a bunch of words strung together.  (both laugh)

 

Lainey Cameron  17:44

I completely agree.

 

Cindy Burnett  17:46

Which is probably not gonna sound very nice to authors who have titles like that. And I don't mean it badly. But it just makes it harder to remember I think.

 

Lainey Cameron  17:54

Indeed, it makes it easier to recommend the book. I've done exactly what you're saying you're like it's the one with the dog, in it with the pink cover.

 

Cindy Burnett  18:01

Yeah. And something with a lot of words strung together. So well. Are you working on anything at the present?

 

Lainey Cameron  18:07

I am. I'm actually doing NaNoWriMo this month, although I'm a little bit of a rebel. Technically, if you're doing NaNoWriMo you start on page one of a new book, but I was already 50,000 words into my second draft, my first draft of my second novel, and so I decided my goal is to take it home, to finish the first draft this month, and I think I hit 70,000 words this morning. It's about a digital nomad Instagrammer. She's actually an adventure travel Instagrammer. So right at the beginning of the book, the very thing that happened in her past that was very traumatic is back in the national media, and they're running a campaign to find her - a where is she now. And so it's a bit of a suspense. But also, it's about learning to be okay with who you are and your past. And she's going to have to make a decision through this book on whether she continues to be this new identity that she's been living under for almost 10 years now. Or she's willing to re-embrace what happened in her childhood and speak up for what she believes in.

 

Cindy Burnett  19:02

Oh, that sounds really good. I look forward to reading it. When I think about some of those Instagrammers, I think about and I know this is not who you're writing about, but those people who like stand too close to the edge of the Grand Canyon or head to someplace that then everybody else is trying to troop to or whatever. But I know there are a lot of neat Instagram accounts where people are opening people's eyes to different parts of the world and different kinds of cool things they can do.

 

Lainey Cameron  19:27

I love Instagram. I've only been doing it for a few years. I'm a nomad myself. So my husband and I live different locations around the world. So we generally pick six months at a time, obviously not right now during COVID times, but part of what I love on Instagram is sharing the insights on culture as I learned them, as I understand why something is a particular way in Mexico versus in Colombia versus in the United States versus in France. I love to share some of the little insights on the stuff you don't realize when you visit as a tourist and what you see when you live there that is different. And so I'll often take photos and share my personal experience of how things are different than you expect living in a location that not everybody gets to live six months in Cartagena, Colombia like we did, which was fabulous. But so many things were not what we expected. And so I love sharing some of that with people who follow me and connect with me on Instagram.

 

Cindy Burnett  20:16

I love that. Well, I just started following you, so now I'm gonna have to go back and look at some of your older posts so I can see some of that. We moved a lot when I was young and lived in Rio. So we traveled through most of Central and South America as we were coming back and forth. But I did feel like living someplace different like in Rio, you learn a lot about the culture and why things are the way they are. And it helps correct some of the misconceptions, I think, sometimes that you have too.

 

Lainey Cameron  20:41

Absolutely right, I went into Colombia expecting not to always feel safe, right. There's an image of Colombia as a particularly unsafe location. And I think that was true at various points in the past. But that wasn't our experience of living there as expats; our experience was just so different. I'll tell you one funny little story, we were looking for an apartment. And we were really surprised that everybody who was helping us and coming from an American background where we assumed that there was some economics of this transaction. We assumed that somehow there was some big network where everybody was on commission to everybody else. And somehow we couldn't quite figure it out. We were just kept, kept having to believe that there was some monetary transaction happening somehow, where people were getting compensated for this. And no, people just genuinely wanted expats because we had not had a lot of Americans in Colombia at that point. There was this image of Colombia being this dangerous, scary drug ridden place. And so what was happening is people wanted us to choose to stay. So they were helping us choose an apartment and find an apartment, because they wanted to show the world what Colombia today looks like.

 

Cindy Burnett  21:43

That's pretty funny. Well, I will say I do have that assumption about Colombia, because when we lived in Rio, which of course was like the late 70s, so it was a very long time ago, my dad worked for Exxon. And he came and went from Colombia, and they always had armored cars, and they had several really scary incidents. So I do think in years past, Colombia's had trouble, but I understand from you know, in the news and talking with people like you, it's much better now. But I think sometimes people get, those places get reputations, and it's hard to clear them up. And maybe that's exactly why everybody was trying to help you so that you could be one of the ones trying to be an ambassador now. Well, before we wrap up, I would love to hear what you have read recently that you really liked.

 

Lainey Cameron  22:21

Absolutely. And before we do that, I just want to say thank you so much to you, Cindy, because you have showcased so many debuts this year. And this has been a really hard year to be a debut author, right? I'm part of the group of 2020 debuts, and we actually have a Facebook group, and we support each other. But talk about a challenging year, right? We come into this year, and many authors thought they would have book events, and they will be on tour and they will be doing all of these things. And I know this is the least of our issues in a year that has turned everybody's world upside down. But people had to launch their books anyway. It's not like we were given a choice that said, let's let's have a redo in 2021. And we'll just step aside from this year. And so people like you who have supported us who are willing to talk to debut authors, it's made all the difference. So I just want to say the hugest thank you. And I hope it's been a good experience for you too. And you've enjoyed getting to meet some of these authors.

 

Cindy Burnett  23:10

Oh, you're so kind. I have actually loved it. When I got started with the idea of a podcast and I reached out to the authors that I knew to start because I felt like it's brand new and people I didn't know we're gonna be like, I don't know anything about you and what your podcasts gonna be like. So I started with some of my friends and one of them was Que Mai with The Mountains Sing, and she has just had this greatest connection of debut authors that she's slowly connected me to who then connect, you know, this could have been this just trickle out. And that, to me has been one of the greatest benefits. I love finding new authors. And I love finding them at the beginning like Fiona Davis and Susie Orman Schnall and Hazel Gaynor. I've read all of them since their C.J. Box even, since their first book came out. And it's just so fun to then keep following them along. And so it's just been a great joy to me this year to meet so many debut authors. And it has been a terrible time for them, as you said. And so it's been nice to try to help in any way I can. And also to just be on the ground floors as hopefully you all go out and write many more great books.

 

Lainey Cameron  24:11

Thank you. Well, thank you so much. So saying that let me talk about some other debuts. I have two categories here. I'm going to talk about ones that transported me to another location because that's something I've really appreciated this year being stuck inside the house most of the time. And then I'll talk about ones that were pure escapism, but I just felt like were fun and like we were talking about earlier, a little bit of a break from reality and funny. So let me start with the ones that transported me and you actually just mentioned The Mountains Sing by Que Mai, wow, that book right? It changed my perception of Vietnam. It's amazing. It's poetic. You can tell that Que Mai was a poet and how her language is so lyrical, and she wrote it in her second language, which just blows my mind and makes the rest of us feel entirely inadequate.

 

Cindy Burnett  24:58

I mean that part, I tell people that all the time I'm like, and she wrote it in English, which she didn't even learn till she was I think like an eighth grade or high school or something. So I just am like that is just amazing to me. I couldn't even write a book in English. But I am just always sort of awed because I think I couldn't even do the first part of it.

 

Lainey Cameron  25:16

So other books that I've loved A Door Between Us by Ehsaneh Sadr, this one is set in Iran in 2009, right after the elections that were greatly contested. So talk about a timely novel where the election was contested, there were protests, but it's written from the point of view of being inside an Iranian family where the family is being torn apart by being of two different political persuasions. So some of the family believes in the regime and some of the family believes in the kind of usurper, the new person who's coming up, but who technically didn't win the election according to the results, which nobody trusts. And this book is really interesting, because even though you could think that's a really heavy political topic, it's actually told from the point of view of a couple who are about to get married when all of this happens, and suddenly, their two families are torn apart. And they're no longer able to be together, and they suddenly get mixed up in all of this in a way they don't want to. And it's a page turner, and you're, you're rooting for them to work it out. But it poses some interesting questions on what if our political beliefs come in conflict with our ability to protect ourselves and to protect our families and our children? And how far are we willing to go to do the right thing. And so it was just a wonderful page turner of a novel. Another one that I adored recently is After Elias by Eddie Boudel Tan. This novel is really hard to explain. It's about grief. It's about a fiance who loses his husband-to-be only a few days before the wedding, and decides he's on the Mexican island to go forward with a celebration of life. But the undercurrent of the book is the way the husband died was in a plane crash that where the plane went down with 300 people. And all the way through the book, you don't know did he do it? Did he actually take down the plane and you're in the perspective of the fiance, and you're wondering, how can you possibly get through this situation? It's one of those like, we can survive more than we believe we can. But the book is beautiful. It's lyrical. It's something I just fell in love with it. It's one of my favorite books in recent years. And I actually wrote a long review saying that I had such a hard time describing why it's so good. I need like 30 minutes just to talk about this one book, but just trust me, it is fabulous. And then I'm going to give you two that are just laugh out loud, funny. And if you're looking for pure, silly escapism, one is called Forever 51. And it's about an eternally menopausal vampire. It just came out just recently here at the beginning of November. And if you imagine all the worst elements of menopause, so sweaty boobs and hot flashes and everything that at least you can survive it if you're a woman because you think it's gonna be over someday, right? Well imagine that you were turned into a vampire 150 years ago, mid-menopause, and it's never going to be over. So you're permanently menopausal for all eternity. But it was great escapism. I during the few days that I was reading that one I was just flipping pages, and it's by Pamela Skjolsvik, just very funny and escapist. And then the last one is someone who was on your show recently, Lauren Ho was here talking about Last Tang Standingset in Singapore. And that one also has me laughing out loud. And I'm listening to the audio of that one while I'm reading a couple of other books. And I'm finding the audio is very Bridget Jones-like with the diary entries and trying to deal with the fact that everybody wants to get married, and her family wants her to just get married and get on with life. And that's not necessarily she sees the world. So that one has also kind of has me laughing out loud, and it's providing some great, great escapism.

 

Cindy Burnett  28:45

That book is so funny, and I loved the format. I was so happy she put it in diary format and just the voice of the main character that is a really great book. And then Forever 51 actually, I just got that so I haven't read it yet, but I feel like that's gonna be very entertaining.

 

Lainey Cameron  29:00

It is. it is. It's worth it. It's worth your time.

 

Cindy Burnett  29:02

Well, good. Well, I can't thank you enough for joining me today, Lainey. It's been really fun talking with you, and I'm so glad you were able to come on the Thoughts from a Page Podcast.

 

Lainey Cameron  29:11

Thank you so much.

 

Cindy Burnett  29:14

Thank you so much for listening to my podcast. If you like this episode, and I hope you did, please follow me on Instagram and Pinterest at @thoughtsfromapage, tell all of your friends about the podcast and rate it wherever you listen to your podcasts. I would really appreciate it. Lainey's book can be purchased at Murder by the Book where I work part time, and the link is in the show notes. Thanks to K.P. Regan for the sound editing, and I hope to see you next time.