Welcome to the world of 'Alli & Genine', two 30-something Gen X-ers who have written and published a book that is destined to become the 'reality TV' of the literary world.
Issues? What Issues? chronicles the daily highs, lows, challenges, failures, the whole slice of life of two every day BFF's and business partners. From motherhood to marriage, miscarriage, merkins, manners, missing mojo and money - the girls tackle all the big issues.
Alli & Genine started out as co-workers. This morphed into a friendship, and soon they became business partners and now co-bloggers and authors. Their blog was a raging success, so the pair took the plunge and extended the chronicle of their lives into their first book, and the 'real world'.
As the title suggests, their dialogue is the anecdotal journey of their generation. It's funny, it's raw and honest, it talks freely about taboo issues, it comments on the hopes, fears and joys of being average gals. Alli & Genine share their own special spin on everything, from the very serious, such as adoption issues, the pain of miscarriage and family deaths, to the chic fun of shoe addiction, being a cougar and boob jobs. Their antics of juggling motherhood, family, marriage, friends, running businesses and homes will make their readers laugh and cry.
Alli & Genine's followers love them because of their raw 'warts and all' commentary on the micros and macros of life. No matter what, they pick themselves up, throw their big girls' panties on, have a savvy blanc and charge back into the world. "We are just a couple of average 30-somethings struggling through life," said Alli. "We all have issues to confront, challenges to crash tackle and problems to sort. Alli is quick to point out though that this is definitely no self help book though. "Think Sex and the City meets Bridget Jones's Diary for the noughties," said Alli.
Issues? What Issues? is very much a commentary in the style and medium of its time and place. Jane Austen observed the manners of Georgian society, Charles Dickens dealt with Victorian England. Alli & Genine are products of the late 20th century, dealing in a virtual world with current issues. The girls started their blogging in late 2011 and were amazed at the response from other women who felt empathy for the pair.
Alli Grant spent the last 16 years in the corporate world as a marketing and public relations professional specialising in big global and Australian brands. After seven years with a high profile PR consultancy, she burnt out and escaped to the Sunshine Coast where she worked for a local media company before leaving to launch her own marketing business. Along the way she met Genine. They clicked and now are business partners in a regional publishing group, of which Alli is editor-in-chief. She also has a footwear business (of course she does). Alli has been married, divorced and married again, has a three-year-old boy, a dog, a cat and three goldfish, and lives in Brisbane's eastside.
Some of Alli's 'issues', just to mention a few, include:
Her failings as a working mother, 'I hate craft'.
Being adopted, how at 18 she found her birth parents via the White Pages.
Her life as a cougar who is obsessed with short men (and even married one!)
On body image Alli asks, "Is it wrong to hate my friend 'cause she's skinny?"
Her missing libido "I thought I left it on the bedside table next to my James Patterson novel, but it seems to have vanished."
Genine Howard grew up in Melbourne, and studied biology before escaping to the warmer weather of Tropical North Queensland to follow her passion of becoming an educator in a wildlife park. A career sea change took her into advertising and magazines (with a bit of semi-professional singing and dancing in lycra along the way), and then she launched her own business, Profile Magazine, on the Sunshine Coast. Genine was named Sunshine Coast's Small Business Woman of the Year in 2009 - a business she now runs with Alli and a third partner. She is married with a small dog and is keen to have a family after suffering several painful miscarriages, although ironically, she didn't ever want to become a mum. Genine's ramblings include:
Genine lines up for mummy club membership, "I have been on the waiting list for three years now".
Genine's hunt for the G Spot. "Perhaps a GPS would help, boys?"
"I come from bogan stock." Genine confesses to a mullet, acid wash jean, Holdens and Acca Dacca T-shirts.
Her WAG status, but not in a football team, a brass band and a choir. Posh, eat your heart out.
Ageing gracefully. "I want a nose job, and a new pair of boobs wouldn't go astray."
Genine's bad wife confession. "I am crap with Valentine's Day, forget birthdays and fall asleep on romantic dinner dates."
Review: Raw & realistic, this honest account of dealing with life's up's and downs is very entertaining.
Issues? What Issues?
Authors: Alli Grant and Genine Howard