By Samantha Vlahos

Being a single gal gets difficult from time to time. There are only so many failed date ideas one can endure before wanting to give up on the idea of finding the one. Lisa Becker’s hit new romance chick lit, titled clutch: a novel, follows protagonist Caroline Johnson as she endures many dating misadventures. The single purse designer compares her unsuccessful relationships and love to different styles of handbags, and with her best friend by her side, she wears her heart on her sleeve and continues to search for her “clutch,” that special someone that she wants to hang onto.

In our exclusive author interview, the dating expert gives us a glimpse behind the evolution of clutch and reveals her best relationship advice about online dating and having the courage to find true love. And the best part? If you’re still searching for the perfect gift this holiday season, the Takashi bag by Harper Avenue is a must-have holiday item. Use the discount code below for 20 percent off!


Cupid's Pulse Article: Find Your ‘Clutch’: Relationship Advice from Author Lisa Becker
The Takashi bag by Harper Avenue.


Relationship Advice to Help You Find Your Clutch

We’re so excited to read your fourth book clutch: a novelWhat inspired you to write about Caroline and her dating misadventures?

I’m a sucker for a good love story and enjoy creating fun and engaging tales that are filled with lots of heart and humor.  

Why did you decide to compare men to handbags? 

When I was writing the Click trilogy, (Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click, and Right Click), I was obsessed with NCIS re-runs and would have the show on in the background as I wrote. There was an episode when one of the characters mentioned that men were like purses: something useless to hang on a woman’s arm. I started thinking about that, and the idea grew from there. I believe that everyone deserves a happily ever after and would like to think there’s a “clutch,” or someone worth holding onto, out there for everyone.

Related Link: Clicking to Find Love 

What surprising revelations about love does Caroline learn throughout the novel?

Throughout her handbag-themed journey to find her “clutch,” Caroline learns a few important lessons. Most notably, she realizes that being able to talk honestly with your partner is the cornerstone of a solid relationship. Also, there’s never anything wrong with being with someone that makes you happy.  

What is the main message that you hope readers take away from your book?

Sometimes, the love you want, deserve, and need is right there in front of you all along. You just need to be open to it.  

You’ve been married for over 10 years. How does that influence or help shape your writing?

I never thought I would get married, so some days, I still pinch myself that I’ve got a loving, hilarious, and intelligent husband. Writing these books reminds me of how lucky I am to have met him.  

What suggestions do you have for women who repeatedly find themselves on unsuccessful dates or are searching for the courage to find love?

In the modern classic film, The Shawshank Redemption, Tim Robbins’ character, Andy Dufresne, says, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” That quote comes to mind when I think about searching for the “clutch.” If you feel like it’s not going to happen, then my relationship advice is to just give up. You heard me. GIVE UP! Surrender to that notion that you’ll end up alone. If that’s truly the case, do you want to spend the next 30, 40, or even 50-plus years wallowing in misery? Sitting around and lamenting your singleness? Or are you going to get busy living? Buy your own home. Travel to all of the places you want to visit. Adopt a child. Write that novel. Engage in hobbies and activities that bring you joy. 

Chances are, when you start focusing on what will make you happy — not who will make you happy — you WILL be happy. Happiness is evident and infectious. Happiness makes you more interesting and more attractive to someone else. And when that happens, you’re more likely to meet the right person who’s going to complement the amazing life you’ve created for yourself.  

Related Link: Four Dates and a Wedding

You met your husband through an online dating site. What is your best tip for our readers who are struggling to get past the creeps and find a genuine guy?

Connecting with the right person online starts with you. When writing your online profile, be honest. Don’t say you’re an exercise junkie if you’re really a couch potato. Don’t post a photo from 10 years earlier. Don’t downplay your intelligence or success because you think men will be intimidated by the real you. While you might garner a lot of interest early on, the truth will eventually come out. Nothing stunts a budding relationship and love more than deception and lies.

Also, my love advice is to let your personality shine through and be specific about the things that make you special, including hobbies and interests. It’s your chance to make a positive first impression while being in complete control of the messages you are delivering.

The main character in my novel, Click: An Online Love Story, writes in her profile: “I cry at Hallmark commercials, sing (sometimes off key) with the radio while driving, own more pairs of black shoes than should be legal, and my fear of flying is rivaled only by my love for chocolate.” My relationship advice is to tell someone who you really are, including your sense of humor, interests and confidence level. Be creative!

You balance working and writing with being a full-time mom — not an easy task! Any advice for other working moms?

Organization is key! I have a master to-do list that I update weekly to keep track of school projects, sports practices and games, and after-school activities as well as all of my personal deadlines and appointments. I also use a spreadsheet to map out meals for the week along with groceries needed so that I never have to worry about what to make for dinner or spend time making multiple trips per week to the store. Shopping online is also a big time saver. If I’m writing and enduring a bit of writer’s block, I can quickly click over to Amazon and order things I need.

What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?

Aside from the standard wallet, keys, sunglasses, and hand sanitizer, you’ll always find snacks for the kids. Never (ever!) leave home without snacks for the kids.

Related Link: Looking for Love is Like a Job Search

If you were given an offer to turn clutch into a movie, who would you want to see playing the roles of Caroline and Mike?

I think Eloise Mumford, who played Kate in Fifty Shades of Grey, would make an outstanding Caroline. She has the right mixture of warmth, gumption, vulnerability, and beauty to bring this character to life. I still can’t decide on who would play Mike, although I know I’d love to sit in on those casting sessions.  

Do you have any other upcoming projects or anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

clutch actually started out as a screenplay that was under option at a major studio, but it fell out of development. I turned it into a short novel so I could share this charming and hilarious tale. I’m eager to see if there’s interest from someone else on bringing this fun and quirky story to the big screen. So if you happen to be a well-to-do movie producer looking to make a new romantic comedy, please get in touch!

Purchase clutch: a novel on Amazon. You can use the discount code cupidandclutch for 20% off of your total purchase at Harper Avenue and free shipping through December 24th. For more on Lisa Becker, visit her site and check her out on Twitter @lisawbecker,  and