#150 – Episode 150 – Party Girl with Anna David


Veronica speaks to Anna David, a long-time recovery advocate and author about the re-release of her book ‘Party Girl.’ Party Girls is a semi-autobiographical novel set in L.A. in the ’90s. Credited with kicking off the whole ‘quit lit genre’ Anna discusses why she wanted to publish the book and what she hopes people get out of it.

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What This Episode Is About

In this episode, I’m so excited to be joined by bestselling author, Anna David, whose first book, Party Girl, is credited with launching the quit-lit genre.

Anna’s been sober for over two decades (we actually share the same sobriety year!) and she’s one of the leading writers in the addiction recovery sphere. She’s always been a very vocal recovery advocate and I think you’ll really enjoy listening to her.

Party Girl tells the story of a girl who gets sober and is then hired to do a column called Party Girl, which reflects Anna’s experience right out the gates of sobriety when she had to write a column pretending to be a crazy, wild party girl when really she was sober.

“The PR around recovery is so bad, I thought it was going to be the end of my life. If I had known that it was going to lead to all this laughter and joy, I would have done it a lot earlier.” – Anna David

Considering herself a humorist, Anna decided to write the book as a novel because she couldn’t think of how to do a funny addiction recovery memoir. She loved the idea of making fun of the person she was in addiction, who she describes as self-obsessed and convinced that it was all everyone else’s fault. She threw herself into writing Party Girl and ended up with an authentic, no filter portrayal of the messed-up person she was in addiction that was inherently funny.

When she wrote the book in 2005, there was really nothing like it on the market and her journey to getting published was a Cinderella story. An agent reached out because of her journalism, she sold the book within a week to her top choice publisher, and they paid her a lot of money.

But then things took a turn.

Her publisher was fired in the biggest scandal to ever hit publishing, the rights for her book were shifted over to an imprint and it was never pitched to bookstores at a time when they mattered a lot.

The end result? Even though it got a lot of great press, it just didn’t sell very well and Anna was devastated.

Nine books later, Anna still feels like Party Girl was the best thing she’s ever written because it came from such an organic place.

“I wanted to be a party girl, that’s what I aspired to be.” – Veronica Valli

I read Anna’s first novel, Party Girl, several years ago when we just met and I absolutely loved it. It’s a semi-autobiographical novel that’s funny, moving, and a great page-turner. Even though Party Girl was set in LA and I was from England, I related and identified so much with her thinking, the breakthroughs that she had, and her lifestyle.

In the 90s, all of a sudden, women could drink as much as men and it felt like it was about equality and it was feminist. It was like party girls were really hardcore and I identified with all of that. The book, with humor, really leaves that open that you scratch that a little bit but you see that there’s no depth and weight there and none of that stuff is true.

“I think the universe will bring us the same lesson over and over again until we actually get it.” – Anna David

Despite the outcome when the book first launched, Anna never gave up on it and finally got the rights back. In September 2021, she relaunched it through her publishing company and if you haven’t read it yet, stop everything and get it right now. You won’t regret it.

About Anna David

Anna David is the New York Times bestselling author of two novels and six non-fiction books. Sober for over two decades, she’s the author of Party Girl, the book credited with launching the “Quit Lit” genre. The former Executive Editor of the Fix, she sold her recovery website AfterParty for six figures within a few weeks of its launch. Her accompanying podcast was one of the first recovery podcasts in existence. She’s been published in The New York Times, Time, The LA Times, Vanity Fair, Playboy, Vice, Cosmo, People, Marie Claire, Redbook, Esquire, Self, Women’s Health, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and Salon, among many others, written about in numerous publications, including Forbes, Martha Stewart Living, Entrepreneur, Allure and Women’s Health and has appeared repeatedly on The Today Show, Hannity, Attack of the Show, Dr. Drew, Red Eye, The Talk, The CBS Morning Show, The Insider and numerous other programs on Fox News, NBC, CBS, MTV, VH1 and E. She’s been a featured speaker at three different TedX events and has shared the stage with Tony Robbins. Her company, Launch Pad Publishing, writes and publishes books for thought leaders.

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