Shelf Life

Shelf Life: Former English teachers writes about self-confidence and a 'big' love affair

2014-01-12T09:00:00Z 2014-01-15T20:59:48Z Shelf Life: Former English teachers writes about self-confidence and a 'big' love affairJane Ammeson Times Correspondent
January 12, 2014 9:00 am  • 

A former high school English teacher, got married, lost her job because of declining enrollment, then ultimately was hired as the Director of Education and Community Programs. Stacey Ballis is now author of a series of popular and humorous "chick lit" books that in her words, “don’t compromise the intelligence of the reader.”

The career transition began when Ballis, a double major in English Literature and American Studies with a minor in Creative Writing from Brandeis University, decided to start writing short stories again.

“I knew I wanted to write a story about a big girl who was comfortable in her skin, having a good life, having great sex and not dieting or being morose about her body,” said Ballis, author of the recently released "Out to Lunch" (Berkley 2013; $16). “So a story about a big girl having a passionate affair seemed a good place to start. Lucky for me, the ‘short’ story wouldn’t stop coming for over 400 pages. Who knew?”

Her first novel, "Inappropriate Men", was a success and since then besides more novels, Ballis contributed chapters to two non-fiction anthologies, "Everything I Needed To Know About Being A Girl I Learned From Judy Blume" and "Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys: True Tales of Love, Lust and Friendship Between Straight Women and Gay Men". She was also regular contributor to the Rachael Ray Show on CBS. "Good Enough to Eat" was her first book of what she calls foodie fiction—novels that include recipes. It was the perfect combination for a Chicago gal who loves to write and eat.

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