“Twisted Family Values is a deliciously salacious 50-year unraveling of family expectation and secrets with dysfunction, wit, and a taboo love that simply won’t let go. And perhaps shouldn’t. Chickering writes with her characteristic wit and insight that others dare not tread. Perfect beach read!” - Lucy Sykes, bestselling co-author of The Knockoff
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My new novel, TWISTED FAMILY VALUES comes out June 25th!
It’s an unpredictable, four generation, dysfunctional family saga about small-town privilege, social expectations, and the fine line between innocence and desire.
It’s 1977, underage debauchery is the norm, and Marjorie and Dunsfield Thornden are the envy of their neighbors. In the uptight suburb of Larkspur, New Jersey, their grown daughters, Cat and Claire, set the town’s social calendar by hosting tastefully lavish parties year-round. And now their own children—Bizzy and Choo—are tarnishing their good name.
For years, the Thorndens have had their privilege to fall back on, but the veneer is fading unattractively. Secrets that shouldn’t have been kept—especially from each other—are bubbling insidiously to the surface.
So, when scandal threatens to unravel this tight-lipped family, they must consider whether to let decorum dictate their decisions and how far they’ll go to keep skeletons in the closet. Their choices could free them from expectation and welcome long-awaited love, but alter the course of the Thornden legacy forever.
Chickering’s second novel is a bit different from her first. You’ll still enjoy her crackling dialogue and steamy/awkward sex scenes, however, this story is more complicated, realistic, and intense. It spans four generations of the Thornden family as they slowly implode over fifty years. It’s packed with awesome outfits, throwback hors d’oeuvres, and the popular slang and music of decades past. Written with understated humor and keen insight into the mindset of generations forced to adjust, TWISTED FAMILY VALUES revels in the hidden heartbreak of friendship and sexual longing, and one family’s struggle with acceptance, forgiveness, and a semblance of grace.
Chickering’s first novel, NOOKIETOWN, is a funny/racy romp about a wife-sanctioned sex coop among friends in suburban New Jersey. Here’s the story:
Recently divorced, 40-something single-mom, Lucy, is lonely, antsy, and distractingly horny. So, when her trusted long-time married friend, Nancy, begs Lucy to sleep with her husband to save her marriage, Lucy goes for it. It's so successful the two friends invent a town-wide underground barter system whereby Nancy's married girlfriends sub-contract Lucy's horny divorcee friends to sleep with their husbands so they don't have to as often. It's a win, win, win--for a while. Then it all goes to hell in a hand-basket.
Laugh-out-loud and emotionally provocative, NOOKIETOWN is a story of risk-taking, marriage, honesty, sex, friendship, divorce, and desire, and what one woman rationalizes in order to get what she wants.
Click on any link below to order your copy:
KIRKUS Review: "With vivid characters, quick dialogue, and over-the-top situations, Chickering's debut novel alternates between moments of true hilarity and deep introspection." (full review here)
@POPSUGARLove: In 2016, Brenda Janowitz names it one of the "23 Books to Read This Winter," tweeting, "A smart, funny book with tons of sex..." (see list here)
LIBRARY JOURNAL Review: "Chickering holds nothing back in this debut that can only be described as a Fifty Shades of Grey* for the married and divorced set. She dives in with a plethora of graphic sex scenes, creating a blend of erotica with a strong dose of women's fiction. Sure to be a hit among women seeking a feisty, thrilling, and risqué read." (*author's note: except there's no BDS&M and it's funny)
Watch the NOOKIETOWN: Funny/Racy Book Tour launch event video.
NOOKIETOWN press? Why, yes!:
S'up. You found me.
V.C. Chickering is the author of the forthcoming dysfunctional family saga, TWISTED FAMILY VALUES (St. Martin's Press 6/25/19) and the perennial funny/racy NOOKIETOWN. She also writes charming essays and witty, clever songs for her band, Tori Erstwhile & The Montys (think Flight of the Conchords meets Doris Day).
V.C. Chickering has lived in New Jersey for most of her life, except for when she lived all over Manhattan for 17 years, and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, back in the day for $250 a month rent. She’s parked cars at the Four Seasons in Boston for a summer and studied avant-garde theater in Paris for a year. She also lived in Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Edinburgh, Scotland; then back to New Jersey so she wouldn’t have to pump her own gas. Chickering wrote and directed plays and produced a performance art series while at N.Y.U, then eventually spent 10 years writing, directing and producing on-air promos for various television networks such as MTV, Comedy Central, Lifetime, and Oxygen. During this time she interviewed Judy Blume, Amy Poehler, and Joan Jett, under the byline Tori Galore for BUST magazine. She also wrote two screenplays, articles for Cosmopolitan and The Washington Post magazines. Plus countless essays, two of which were published in the anthologies, The BUST Guide to The New Girl Order and A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World.
There was that delightfully bizarre-o music video, “Friend is a Four Letter Word,” she produced for the band CAKE, and the hilarious play, Sex, Wieners and Boobs, she produced for David Wain, Joe LoTruglio and Mike Showalter. There was also the gritty and fascinating feature documentary, The Soul of Wit, Chickering co-produced and directed with Matt Walsh (Veep) about the alternative comedy scene on Manhattan's Lower East Side in the late 1990s. The film stars Walsh, Leo Allen, and the Upright Citizens Brigade (with Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser). It highlights a hundred comics performing in the “Night of a Hundred Stars” show at Luna Lounge. The film includes interviews with Amy, Matt, Marc Maron, Artie Lang, Tom Lennon, Joe LoTruglio, David Wain, Todd Barry, Janine Garofalo and a gazillion others. With an introduction by Stephen Colbert. Good stuff. Really funny.
Years later, Chickering decided to give novel writing a try while her kid was at summer camp. She read Chris Baty's No Plot, No Problem!, Stephen King’s On Writing, and Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, then wrote 1,700 words a day from July 1st to the 31st. And didn't stop there. Four years and 11 drafts later, NOOKIETOWN was published. Around the same time, she tried her hand at writing music and lyrics and found it a productive way to procrastinate. She started a band, Tori Erstwhile & The Montys, who play an unpredictable mix of original songs in various genres (alt. bluegrass/indie-pop/jazz/random Latin/R&B) most often compared to Flight of the Conchords. Laugh-out-loud funny and always charming, their music is catchy, friendly, and infectious. Click here for music videos, plus there's a Tori Erstwhile & The Montys FB page. The band also opened the NOOKIETOWN: Funny/Racy Book Tour launch event.
Chickering continues to write catchy songs and sing with her band of incredibly talented musicians--all named Monty--(actually most are named Dave) while promoting TWISTED FAMILY VALUES and hard at work on the romance novel WENDY WANDERLUST, the first in what will be the bitchin’ 1980’s adventure, The Ex-Pat Series.
TWISTED FAMILY VALUES will be published by St. Martin’s Press on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019. But you can pre-order it today so it arrives just in time for summah.
NOOKIETOWN was also published by St. Martin’s Press on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016. Warner Bros. Television won the option in a friendly bidding war. V.C. has written a spec pilot based on the book. The author currently retains the rights.
LOOKING TO PROCRASTINATE?: Here's a funny 5 min. piece I wrote and performed for 450 peeps in the nationwide 2015 Listen to Your Mother personal essay event. It’s called “Still Smokes”--about my esteemed mother--and if you know someone who still smokes you will laugh out loud, I guarantee it.
In a BOOK CLUB? Tell your friends to pre-order their copies then get in touch with me when you've all read it and I'll come visit or we can Skype. I’ve done both. I’m very flexible.
Click HERE for EVENTS and to KEEP in TOUCH!
(author photo credit: Kolette Kleber)