If you caught our podcast coverage last year, you know what fans we are of the LadyGang. That’s why we were over the moon when LadyGang co-founder and now author herself, Keltie Knight, agreed to join us as our guest editor of the month. Let’s get to know a little bit more about Keltie. The LadyGang’s book, Act Like a Lady, is out this month.
Since the launch of the LadyGang podcast in 2015, you have tackled a plethora of platforms including TV, social media and live tours. When did you decide it was time to write a book?
Since almost the beginning of the podcast in 2015, we’ve had the imaginary “LadyGang Dictionary” where we make up words and what they mean. Some of our favorites: “DickSand” (Much like quicksand, “dicksand” is what girls get caught in when they’re obsessed with their boyfriend/crush/husband or really anyone that’s giving them dick.), “Hoetivites” (activities that render one a hoe), “Kelt-Down” (when I melt down, I’m one of those people who bottles all my stress up and then explodes in an epic tear filled melt-down).
So, it felt natural to have a book, but it actually wasn’t on our minds at all. We were in the middle of filming our TV show for E!, and the book agent Andy McNichol at William Morris Endeavor, where I am repped as a TV host, wrote us a note saying she thought we had a book in us and that she’d like to know if we were interested in writing one because she thought she could get us a deal.
I was thrilled as I have a had a lifelong goal of being on the New York Times bestseller list, and my co-founder Jac Vanek was thrilled because she’s very creative and a wordsmith. Becca Tobin, our third member, was less than thrilled, she did NOT want to write a book. We traded off doing something she really wanted to do and eventually flew to NYC to pitch our book idea to publishers
Writing duos are always impressive let alone a writing trio. What were everyone’s roles in the creation of the book?
Like everything we do, once we decide to do it, I usually take the reins and make a plan of attack. For this in the beginning stages I had a cork board and post-its for each section and when they were completed I put a gold star sticker on the post-it.
We decided early on that we wanted to have one singular LadyGang voice in addition to personal essays written by each of us. We love books like Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck and Why Men Love Bitches, and used those as inspiration for the type of read we wanted to create.
We knew we wanted to separate the book into four sections, your relationship with your lover, self, friends and career. We actually recorded ourselves podcast-style talking about all the different aspects and pieces of advice we had for each of those sections first, and transcribed it into what is now the in-betweens of the book. Then we went off on our own and wrote our personal essays that fit into each section which make up the bulk of the book.
Lastly, we sat around and got drunk and dreamed up the most insane list of illustrations, charts and quotes we wanted to sprinkle throughout the book. Becca really nailed down working on making us not sound like idiots, and Jac basically designed the entire inside and outside of the book on page at a time. I gave everyone gold stars and annoyed everyone to keep us on track. I think that’s why this is something we are so proud of. It’s really us.
What are you hoping readers take away from Act Like A Lady?
We say in the book that we are sharing our stories of when we’ve screwed up our lives so that our reader feels less badly about how they’ve screwed up their own. Our mission at LadyGang has always been to make women feel less alone. I recently had my best childhood friend staying at my house, someone who has nothing to do with Hollywood at all, and was delighted to hear her laughing, and then crying while reading an advanced copy of the book. She had just gone through a really messy divorce, and when Becca refers to her life in one of her essays as a “dumpster fire” my friend looked up and giggled at me and said “that’s exactly how I feel.”