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Lockwood, Cara

Lockwood, Cara

PERSONAL:

Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A.

ADDRESSES:

E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Northwestern University, School of Communication, Evanston, IL, writer. Worked for four years as a reporter at a daily newspaper in Austin, TX, and at a marketing firm.

WRITINGS:

In One Year and Out the Other: A New Year's Story Collection, Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2004.

NOVELS

I Do (But I Don't), Downtown Press (New York, NY) 2003.

Pink Slip Party: A Novel, Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Dixieland Sushi: A Novel, Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2005.

I Did (But I Wouldn't Now), Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Wuthering High, Simon & Schuster/MTV Books (New York, NY), 2006.

ADAPTATIONS:

I Do (But I Don't) has been adapted as a movie for Lifetime television, starring Denise Richards.

SIDELIGHTS:

Cara Lockwood grew up in Texas, in a town called Mesquite, just outside of Dallas. After finishing college, she went to work as a reporter for a daily paper in Austin, Texas, but soon found herself unhappy with having to be constantly on call whenever news stories broke. A job at a marketing firm left her with much more free time than she had enjoyed as a reporter, and Lockwood began working on some fiction. Within a year she had completed I Do (But I Don't), a humorous novel about an uptight wedding planner, Lauren Crandell, who narrates her own story. Lauren discourses about the people she meets in her line of work, her unruly hair, her boss—with whom she shares living quarters—and her boss's cat, who appears to despise Lauren. One elaborate wedding involves parachuting the groom down to the beach, where his fiance is waiting for him. When the jump goes awry, rescue personnel must be summoned, and Lauren meets Nick, an incredibly handsome fireman. She finds him terribly attractive, and when she bumps into him a few more times, he seems to return her interest, but Lauren eventually figures out that Nick is the groom in another wedding she is planning. A Kirkus Reviews writer commented: "The pages flip by smoothly but utterly without necessity." Amy Brozio-Andrews, reviewing the book for Library Journal, noted the author's "warm and friendly writing style."

Lockwood took a similar light, humorous tone in her next book, Pink Slip Party: A Novel, which focuses on Jane McGregor, one of a thousand employees laid off by a company called Maximum Office. On the same day that she loses her job, McGregor's boyfriend, a vice president with Maximum Office, ends their relationship. McGregor begins a wide-ranging hunt for a job, applying for every position she can think of, from circus performer to chief financial officer of a major automotive company. In order to keep her apartment, Jane takes in a roommate, Missy, who was also fired from Maximum Office. Missy has a plan to hack into the company's computer system for an elaborate revenge, and she enlists Jane's help. "This is one hilarious book," reported Kam Aures in a review on the Mostly Fiction Web site.

Lockwood drew on her own background to write Dixieland Sushi: A Novel. The story's central character, Jen Nakamara Taylor, is of Japanese-American descent, and is raised in the South; Lockwood, who grew up in Texas, also has a Japanese-American background. The book shows Jen as a successful adult professional, working as a television producer in Chicago. She appears to be an extremely confident woman, but an invitation to the wedding of her highschool crush sends her into a tailspin. All her past insecurities boil to the surface, and in the words of Aleksandra Kostovski in Booklist, "the author ably and humorously depicts the struggle to fit in."

A minor character from I Do (But I Don't) takes center stage in Lockwood's novel I Did (But I Wouldn't Now). Lily appeared in the earlier book as Lauren's flighty little sister. In I Did (But I Wouldn't Now), she is the wronged woman, whose rock-star husband has been unfaithful to her. Lily finds herself hounded by the paparazzi as she endures the divorce proceedings, and seeks refuge with a former lover, Carter. Before long she is trying to save Carter from his latest girlfriend, who seems to be unstable. Kostovski, reviewing the novel for Booklist, recommended it as a "story of heartbreak and recovery."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 15, 2005, Aleksandra Kostovski, review of Dixieland Sushi: A Novel, p. 1265; April 15, 2006, Aleksandra Kostovski, review of I Did (But I Wouldn't Now), p. 29.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2003, review of I Do (But I Don't), p. 498; April 1, 2006, review of I Did (But I Wouldn't Now), p. 316.

Library Journal, May 1, 2003, Amy Brozio-Andrews, review of I Do (But I Don't), p. 154.

Kliatt, September, 2006, Stephanie Squircciarini, review of Wuthering High, p. 34.

ONLINE

Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (December 1, 2006), Marie Hashima Lofton, review of I Do (But I Don't).

Cara Lockwood Home Page,http://www.caralockwood.com (December 3, 2006).

Mostly Fiction,http://www.mostlyfiction.com/ (April 4, 2004), Kam Aures, review of Pink Slip Party: A Novel.

Teen Book Reviewer,http://teenbookreviewer.blogspot.com/ (December 3, 2006), review of Wuthering High.

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