A night out with the girls

The Baltimore Sun

Ladies, it's time for a night out.

With wine, martinis and the perfect combination of conversationalists, tomorrow's Ladies' Night Out event at the Baltimore Book Festival is the time to dish about life, love, sex and fashion.

And oh yes - the books.

Six of literature's fearless women will appear at the event, held by Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Kate White, also the author of How to Set His Thighs on Fire.

"We've got women who cover so much about dealing with men and the dynamics of relationships," White says. "We can definitely talk about the kinds of things that chicks like to talk about when they get together with their friends."

White will be joined by a panel of female authors, including Cooper Lawrence (Been There, Done That, Kept the Jewelry), Adena Halpern (Target Underwear and a Vera Wang Gown), Kristina Grish (Addickted: 12 Steps to Kicking Your Bad Boy Habit), Amy DeZellar (Dating Amy), and Brett Paesel (Mommies Who Drink ).

"When I get together with my friends, it's because it's both entertaining and because I usually walk away with ideas that I can use in my own life," White says.

The editor of the popular women's magazine and author of the best-selling Bailey Weggins fiction series, White has a unique perspective on everything from life, love, sex and fashion to balancing a full-time job with marriage, children and a freelance writing career.

"I think a lot of people have a secret desire to write, but they have other jobs," she says. "I was a senior editor when I decided to start a separate life as a freelance writer, and I admit, it's tough to do. But on the flip side, the writing has helped with the magazine. It energizes me and makes me look at the world in fresh ways."

That's something White has always done: once told by a New York headhunter that her zany, off-the-wall personality was what won her a job, the best dish she's discovered is to remain true to herself.

"I've just tried to be myself, and there's just a real ease in trying to find your authentic voice at work," White says. "I don't always nail it, but it's helped make me successful, and it's certainly helped me enjoy my job because I'm not putting on any pretenses."

Because White's work at Cosmo and in How to Set His Thighs on Fire focuses so strongly on empowerment - she encourages women to "own their sexiness" - some have expressed surprise that she chose a title so male-centric.

"One of the things that I'm really comfortable saying after eight years at Cosmo is that any woman who is really self-confident and sure of her place in the world is also comfortable admitting that what makes relationships work is the desire to please each other," she says. "And I think men should be equally good at pleasing us - they should be setting our thighs on fire, too."

Men, according to White, "are definitely a different species," she says, "but we shouldn't expect them to read our minds. We think that's what a soul mate relationship is - that we don't have to explain everything. But men need us to spell it out for them."

Fortunately, gentlemen, that's on tomorrow's agenda, too - even men need to dish sometimes.


Ladies' Night Out begins at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Literary Salon of the Baltimore Book Festival in Mount Vernon Place, 600 block of N. Charles St. Doors open at 6 p.m. Complimentary martini and wine bar for women only. Call 410-752-8632 or go to baltimorebook festival.com.



11th annual Baltimore Book Festival


5 p.m.-9 p.m. tomorrow and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday


Mount Vernon Place, 600 block of N. Charles St.





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