Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Sad News, With A Silver Lining...

I don’t know how to do this, other than to just rip off the Band-Aid and do it, so here goes: Last week I received an email from my agent telling me that my release date has been pushed back six months…which means *sob* March of 2010.

I have to admit, the first 100 (or so) times that I read the email, all I could see was: "DELAYED! DELAYED! DELAYED!" It was not a pretty scene at my house, all the crying and the tissues and the puffy eyes. My husband was the one who had to point out that there were other words in the email too. (And can I just say, thank god for supportive husbands…they don’t say anything when you’re drinking wine with your ice cream, and they make sure that the 8-year-old goes to school in clothes that aren’t out of the dirty clothes hamper.)

So, as sad as I am over the news, and believe me, besides the crying, I’ve also spent a few days in total denial (and with my face buried in box after box of Girl Scout cookies!), there is a silver lining to the announcement. The request came directly from the Sales Department at HarperCollins because they want to make a bigger marketing push for The Body Finder. This is great, it means that the book will get more attention (and hopefully more marketing $$$).

And even though I’m being pushed back, their reasons seem to be for the best. To be honest, I’m already seeing an increase in attention from the publisher, which makes it really hard to complain.

I kind of felt like I was slipping between the publicity cracks (my deal was only 12 months from handshake to scheduled release, which is SHORT in the publishing world), so it really is better this way.

But, still, I'm a total baby, and the waiting will, in all reality, probably kill me!

Okay, I may be a tad dramatic too!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Meet Neesha: SHINE, COCONUT MOON

I’ll admit it, covers are my thing. And the cover alone of Shine, Coconut Moon does it for me. It’s dark and beautiful and evocative.

Once the cover hooks you, read this:

Samar–a.k.a. Sam–is an Indian-American teenager whose mom has kept her away from her old-fashioned family. It's never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a demanding boyfriend. But things change after 9/11. A guy in a turban shows up at Sam's house–and turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage. Sam is eager, but when boys attack her uncle, chanting "Go back home, Osama!," Sam realizes she could be in danger–and also discovers how dangerous ignorance is.

Neesha Meminger was born in India, grew up in Canada, and currently lives in New York City with her family. All of her writing explores the inner landscape of her characters, and how it merges or conflicts with the outer. She writes stories of women and girls defining themselves and shaping their own destinies within the confines of their day to day realities.

So, you guys know the drill: The interview is five questions and one Bonus!

Neesha, feel free to elaborate as much as you want (except, of course for the one-word bonus question).

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

A bit of both. Though my first choice would really be Oprah (as in: I'd like to BE Oprah).

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Laugh, cry and gasp!

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Keep writing from my beach house, definitely :).

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook, all the way, baby!

5) After a period, one space or two?

Gosh, I'm such a dinosaur. I still do two spaces, if you can believe it. *runs and hides*

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Steadfast

To learn more about Shine, Coconut Moon, and its fabulous author, Neesha, check out Neesha’s website at http://www.neeshameminger.com/!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saundra Mitchell: SHADOWED SUMMER

Saundra Mitchell's SHADOWED SUMMER is one of the releases that I ran out to buy when it came out last month. I’m reading this book now, and I love Saundra’s (or should I say Iris’s) voice. It’s authentic and lyrically Southern, it’s sort of reminiscent of Scout Finch. And I love the way Saundra uses a few masterfully chosen words to draw you in.

Let me show you:

Wind kissed my ear, cool and soft, and I heard a voice.
It sounded like clover tastes, green and new and sweet.

Here's the story:
Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared. His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered.

Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind "The Incident With the Landry Boy."

Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette's latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew.


What she doesn't realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.

And the Author:

A screenwriter and author, Saundra Mitchell penned the screenplays for the Fresh Films and Girls in the Director's Chair short film series. Her short story "Ready to Wear" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her first feature film, Revenge Ends, debuted on the festival circuit in 2008. In her free time, she enjoys ghost hunting, papermaking, and spending time with her husband and her two children.

And you guys know the interview. . .

I’ll ask you five questions plus one bonus. Feel free to elaborate as much as you want (except, of course, for the bonus question!).

Here we go:


1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Can I be the rockstar until the recession is over, and then convert to award-winner?

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

I'd just like to make people feel something, although a good laugh is harder, and it doesn't last as long. There's something ephemeral there. I don't know if that recommends it, or dissuades me. But I think it's true, anyway.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

There's no stopping. I once told my agent that all I want to do is publish one book a year for the rest of my life, and I meant that entirely.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook. I'm allergic to glittertext.

5) After a period, one space or two?

One. Jeez louise, that's an entire character space wasted if you use two! That adds up! Paper is expensive and precious!

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Edit.

(Definitely edit!!!)

Thanks for stopping by Saundra!

To find out more about Saundra and her books, check out her website at http://www.saundramitchell.com/.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sarah MacLean: THE SEASON

I told you this was going to be a busy week, and today I have the incredible pleasure of introducing you to Sarah MacLean, author of THE SEASON.

Okay, so some of you might find this strange considering the kind of freaky paranormal stuff that I write, but I have to confess that I love (LOVE!) a good historical romance. THE SEASON is in my Amazon cart right now, beside the Forest of Hands and Teeth (which for those of you who don’t know, is about a world post-zombie-apocalypse).

So, I’m an enigma, right? Right! But here’s the deal, I love the gowns (not in the zombie book). I love the language. And I love the settings.

Which brings me to THE SEASON:

Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford doesn't fit into the world of Regency London — she's strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and she absolutely loathes dress fittings. Unfortunately, her mother has been waiting for years for Alex to be old enough to take part in the social whirlwind of a London Season so she can be married off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance.

Between sumptuous balls, lavish dinner parties and country weekends, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. When the Earl of Blackmoor is killed in a puzzling accident, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. It's a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, and suspicion. As she and Gavin grow closer, will Alex's heart be stolen in the process?

Romance and danger fill the air, as this year's Season begins!


Sarah MacLean is the author of THE SEASON, a YA novel coming in March 2009 from Scholastic. She grew up in Rhode Island, where she spent much of her free time bemoaning the fact that she was more than a century too late for own Season. Her unabashed addiction to historical fiction helped to earn her a degree in European History from Smith College before she moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. After receiving a Masters in Education from Harvard University, Sarah returned to New York, where she lives with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She is currently working on a series of regency-set romances to be released in 2010 from Avon/HarperCollins.

So, here’s the way this works, Sarah. I’ll ask you five questions and one bonus. Elaborate as much as you wish, except for the one-word bonus!

Here we go:


1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Oh, Bestselling Rockstar Author, please. Then I'm just writing plain old books that people like to read. Acclaimed Literary Award Writers are too remarkable (and a little scary).

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Laugh. Teary from happiness at that perfectly romantic scene where the hero realizes he's in love with the heroine works too.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Keep writing from my beach house!

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook. MySpace scares me.

5) After a period, one space or two?

Two. Much to my editor's dismay. When I'm done with my first draft, the first thing I do is Find __ and Replace with _.

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Read.

Thanks Kimberly! This was so fun!

This book is getting great reviews and I say: BUY IT! For more about THE SEASON, and its lovely author Sarah, check out her website at http://www.macleanspace.com/!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

MODELS DON'T EAT CHOCOLATE COOKIES!

This is gonna to be a busy week for me on the Blog Tour, and we continue today with another great release, Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne. Okay, first of all, I just have to say: GREAT! TITLE!

Thirteen-year-old Celeste Harris is no string bean, but comfy sweatpants and a daily chocolate cookie suit her just fine. Her under-the-radar lifestyle could have continued too, if her aunt hadn’t entered her in the HuskyPeach Modeling Challenge. To get out of it, she’s forced to launch Operation Skinny Celeste—because, after all, a thin girl can’t be a fat model! What Celeste never imagined was that losing weight would help her gain a backbone . . . or that all she needed to shine was a spotlight.

And here’s the interview I know you've been waiting for…

I call it The Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other Interview. It’s made up of five questions, plus one bonus. Feel free to elaborate as much as you want, Erin (except, of course, for the bonus question!):

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Best-seller, I think. It'd be nice to know that a lot of people are reading my book!

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Make people laugh. I wish I could write horror--I love to read it--but the only thing scary about my work are my drafts!

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Write from the beach house. Preferably one on a tropical beach, like St. John's. Or Aruba. Or Maui...

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook! MySpace perplexes me.

5) After a period, one space or two?

I'm a reformed two-spacer.

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Persevere!

(Okay, yes, definitely persevere!!!)

Erin Dionne has lived on two coasts and in four states. Her debut novel, MODELS DON’T EAT CHOCOLATE COOKIES, was inspired by events that occurred in seventh grade, when she wore a scary peach bridesmaid dress in her cousin’s wedding and threw up on her gym teacher’s shoes (not at the same event). Although humiliating at the time, these experiences are working for her now.

Erin lives outside of Boston with her husband and daughter, and a very insistent dog named Grafton. She roots for the Red Sox, teaches English at an art college, and sometimes eats chocolate cookies.

Erin’s debut novel Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies is available now on Amazon. To find out more about Erin and her book, check her out at http://www.erindionne.com/.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Overheard At My House...

We live in busy times. Life passes quickly, and sometimes those little moments, the ones we think we’ll never forget, the funny little things our kids say, or the unforgettable incidents we promise ourselves will be forever etched in our memories, get brushed aside in our overloaded, overtaxed brains.

I live in a funny household, both on purpose, and at times, by accident. My husband and I like to tease our kids, and when we can actually pull it off, to pull one over on each other. I keep a canister on my kitchen counter strictly to keep track of the funny things that are said around here, and beside it a pad of paper, so that when someone does something “noteworthy” (not to be confused with “sponge-worthy”), I write it down, date it, and toss it in the canister.

Today, I decided to look through the canister, and here are a few of the gems I dredged out:

1) Said by our son, when he was 10 years old: “The sun will burn out in our lifetime. Guaranteed.” (He was particularly impressionable at the time and was hanging around an older boy who was VERY opinionated…and sadly misinformed.)

2) Said by my husband and me, to our son (who was about 8 at the time): “You’re lucky, when we were little we only had two flavors of ice cream to choose from, vanilla and chocolate. Only they weren’t called vanilla and chocolate, they were just ‘white’ and ‘brown’.” (Nice! This was our version of “you kids have it so good these days.”)

3) Our youngest daughter, when she was 6 and watching the cat clean himself: “His fur must taste really good.”

4) And our oldest daughter, when she was 21 and trying to explain to her friends why you can’t drive to Alaska: “Just look at a map [of the United States]. Alaska’s right next to Hawaii.”
(Ahaha…I almost cried laughing. And, umm, yeah, she just got accepted to the University of Washington!)

(Yep, there it is!)
5) And drumroll please: (Because sometimes my husband gets me too) After seeing a newsclip of a baby chick and a mouse on TV, my husband says to me: “Did you hear about that? They did the first brain transplant from a mouse to a chick.” It took him a minute before he got me to say, “Really?” And then he laughed at me, “Yeah,” he said, “But all it does is peck at the cheese all day.” (Ha-freakin-ha!)

6) Soooo, about a week later he was walking down the hallway in his brand new workout shoes after coming home from the gym, and I say, “Dude, your shoes light up when you walk.” And (all embarrassed) he goes, “No way!” After several minutes of jumping up and down, and looking over his shoulder at them trying to make them light up, he finally figured out that I was messing with him. (Maybe he was the one who had the brain transplant!)

I thought you’d like to see why our kids will need therapy. Lots and lots of therapy!

I also thought I read somewhere that laughter was the best medicine. No???

Thursday, March 12, 2009

From NASA to "Deb": Meet Jenny Moss!

It's that time again, I have the privilege of introducing you to another 2009 Debutante! This time you get to meet Jenny Moss, author of WINNIE'S WAR.

Jenny is a former NASA engineer who earned a master's degree in literature and taught writing as an adjunct at University of Houston-Clear Lake. Winnie's War is her first novel. She lives with her two teenagers in Houston, Texas.

(Who says writing isn't rocket science???)

Her debut novel is set against the backdrop of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918:

Life in Winnie's sleepy town of Coward Creek, Texas, is just fine for her. Although her troubled mother's distant behavior has always worried Winnie, she's plenty busy caring for her younger sisters, going to school, playing chess with Mr. Levy, and avoiding her testy grandmother. Plus, her sweetheart Nolan is always there to make her smile when she's feeling low. But when the Spanish Influenza claims its first victim, lives are suddenly at stake, and Winnie has never felt so helpless. She must find a way to save the people she loves most, even if doing so means putting her own life at risk.

Okay, Jenny, these are the rules. I call this interview Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other. There are five questions, plus one bonus question. Feel free to elaborate as much as you want (except, of course, for the bonus question!)

Here we go:

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Acclaimed Literary Award Winner

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Laugh & cry

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

To bed early, then write at dawn with hot coffee

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook

5) After a period, one space or two?

I've converted: one :)

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Write.

To find out more about Jenny and her books, check her out at http://www.jenny-moss.com/.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Is “Sell-Out” My Middle Name???

With the advent of DVRs, commercials seem to be falling by the wayside, so advertisers are finding more, shall we say "creative" ways to attract our attention. And maybe creative is a bit of an overstatement. Maybe in-your-face would be more accurate. It’s a little something we like to call Product Placement.

It’s actually nothing new. It’s really not DVRs that have spawned this event. Remember ET? That adorable little alien who stole our heart-lights back in the 80’s? Did he not make your mouth water for those delectable Reese’s Pieces? It just as easily could have been M&Ms you were craving had the Mars company made Spielberg the right offer.

Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t mind the shift toward product placement. Not even a little bit. It can even be entertaining, as long as it fits into the story. It can be as blatant and obvious as 30 Rock’s McFlurry episode (which, paid for or not, was sheer marketing genius!). And, which I might add, made my mouth water for the almighty McFlurry. Well played, advertising gurus…well played!

So, where does this product placement end, I wonder? Surely not with TV and movies. When will we see it bleeding into the pages of the books we love? And, more importantly, do we care?

As an author would I be willing to change the soda that my characters drink based on a check I receive from PepsiCo? Or to change a setting to a certain fast food joint just for some extra change in my pockets? I don’t know…maybe? How much are we talkin’???

What about the covers? Those beautifully crafted covers that we drool over? Should there be ad space for sale on those? Banner ads? Logos?

I don’t know…that may be too far even for me (and those of you who know me understand that “too far” is not a phrase I know well).

So, maybe “Sell-Out” is not my middle name. But I’m not ruling out “Coke” or “Charmin” or “Skittle”, you know, if the price is right….

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stacey Jay Stops By For A Chat!

I get tired just reading Stacey Jay’s Bio! Another fellow-Deb, she’s also a workaholic with three pen names, four kids, and a decidedly macabre sense of humor. She loves zombies, creepies, crawlies, blood, guts, gore, and of course, romance. Her debut, YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME, is out now and available on Amazon!

Megan Berry's social life is so dead. Literally. Fifteen-year-old Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a bunch of dead people. All Megan wants is to be normal--and go to homecoming. But someone in school is using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into flesh-eating Zombies, and it's looking like homecoming will turn out to be a very different kind of party--the bloody kind.

(You guys know I LOVE me some paranormal, so this one’s right up my alley!)

So, Stacey, here's how the interview works: I call it The Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other Interview. It’s five questions, plus one bonus question. Feel free to elaborate as much as you want (except, of course, for the bonus question!):

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Could I just be a writer who sells well and entertains people but isn't a rockstar? I don't want to become too famous or I wouldn't be able to take my kids to school in my pajamas, lol. Though I don't think that's a big deal for authors. Most of the time, people don't know what we look like. Love that!

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Laugh and hide...and maybe a tear every once and awhile. But I'm not big on bringing on the real hard core angst. I figure we all get enough of that in real life.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Keep writing from the beach house. Can't let the old saw get rusty and writing is fun.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook. Myspace gives me a headache and takes forever to load.

5) After a period, one space or two?

One.

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Enjoy

Thanks so much for having me over to the blog, Kimberly! Zombie hugs, without the flesh munching, Stacey.


To find out more about Stacey, and her books, check her out at http://www.staceyjay.com/!