Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
On my sister-in-law's recommendation, I've been watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta. And, oh my, what a wonderful car-crash of a show it is!
When I wanted to publish a novel, I took writing classes, joined a writer's group, and basically worked at it night and day.
You can't make a dream come true overnight, as Kim seems to think. She's uninterested in singing lessons, or learning anything about music.
Don't tell that to Donna Karan, who worked her butt off for years at Anne Klein's label. Or Isaac Mizrahi, who, as part of his cabaret show, used to cut and design a cocktail dress on stage, using only a pair of scissors and a black tablecloth.
In fact, don't tell that to any of us who work night and day to make our dreams come true. Those of us who take classes in our desired fields, network, and practice as much as we possibly can. I guess for the Georgia peaches of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, dreams just come true by throwing lots of money at them.
For the rest of us, it's all about hard work.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Didn't win? That's okay! In January, we'll have giveaways from Leslie Lehr (WIFE GOES ON) and Wendy Nelson Tokunaga (MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT). Then, in time for Valentine's Day, we'll be giving away one from Mindy Klasky (MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL). So, be sure to check back here for a chance to win more books!
Monday, December 22, 2008
This is how CBS describes their show:THE MENALIST stars Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation.
And here's what PSYCH is about:
PSYCH is a quick-witted comedy/drama starring James Roday as young police consultant Shawn Spencer who solves crimes with powers of observation so acute that Santa Barbara PD detectives think he’s psychic.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Wow, she really knows how to coordinate-- she's even got JACK WITH A TWIST and SCOT ON THE ROCKS tote bags!!!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
How ABC can cancel a show that is so intelligent and entertaining is beyond me. Especially when you think about all of those other shows that stay on the air. Now, I don't like to be negative on this blog, so suffice it to say that you know which ones I'm talking about. And so do they! Shows That Are Not Worthy, you know who you are!
But, alas, some shows stay on the air, while my most favoritist ones get canceled. Damn you, ABC! DAMN YOU!!!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Congratulations go out to Audrey Salick from
We’ll be giving away lots more books in the next few months. In fact, right this very minute we are giving away a copy of Melissa Clark’s SWIMMING UPSTREAM, SLOWLY.
There will be lots more wonderful authors stopping by for interviews on my blog and to give away books. These giveaways will only be announced on my blog and to enter, you’ll need to post a comment on my blog.
Look for Mindy Klasky (MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL) later this month, along with Leslie Lehr (WIFE GOES ON) and Wendy Nelson Tokunaga (MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT) in January.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Melissa has generously offered to giveaway one copy of her debut novel, SWIMMING UPSTREAM, SLOWLY. To enter, just post a comment in the comment section below!
Winners will be announced next week. But now, let's get to the questions!
1. Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.
Sasha Salter is pregnant, only she hasn't had sex in over 2 years. Doctors have diagnosed her as harboring a 'lazy sperm' and she must now trace her love life to figure out who the father is. (Uh oh, I'm bad at math)
2. When did you first begin writing?
My dad is a writer, so I was always playing on his typewriter and writing on legal steno pads. I wrote short stories from the time that I could write. In my late 20's to mid-30's I worked as a writer in television. I created a kid's show called "Braceface" which ran for 5 seasons. I loved that experience, but really wanted to write a novel, so I quit my own show and set out to write "Swimming Upstream, Slowly." It was the best risk I've ever taken!
3. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
"Swimming Upstream, Slowly" was born because I was having lunch with a friend and overate. I lifted my shirt to expose my bloated belly and the friend said, half joking, "Are you sure you're not pregnant?" and I said, "Yeah, right, from a lazy sperm." I went home that night and started outlining it for a movie. I decided, eventually, to write it as a novel instead.
4. What are you working on right now?
I JUST finished my second novel last week. It is another medical anomaly type of story, but more of a coming-of-age. It is at the agent's now and I am on pins and needles waiting for her call!
5. What are you reading right now?
I just started "Bright, Shiny Morning" by James Frey (author of the infamous 'A Million Little Pieces') because a friend said he read it in a 24 hour period and I was just so curious as to what grabbed his attention. So far it's pretty good, but I don't think I'll finish it in 24 hours!
Wanna win a free copy of Melissa's book? Just post a comment here and you're entered to win!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
It's so amazing to be part of something so supportive and positive. You often encounter writers who are competitive or unwilling to share advice and it's so nice to be part of a community that's all about pushing women forward by supporting each other.
Each month, I'll be posting author interviews and book news from the GCC. Who knows, I may even throw in a book giveaway or two, since you know that I love free books!
The fabulous ladies that I'll be joining are:
Judy Merrill Larsen
So, please, go check out their blogs. And look for lots of author interviews to come! Doncha just love making new friends?!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
But today it's all about MJ and her writing. So, without further ado, let's ask MJ some questions!
1. Tell us about your most recent novel, THE MEMORIST, in 25 words or less.
Ancient Flute made of Human Bone.
Jewish Indiana Jones.
2. How do you fight writer’s block?
I honestly believe writer's block comes from a few things:
A: Not knowing your characters well enough and rushing into writing the book before you've gotten them under your skin and done enough research.
B: Writing what you know instead what you want to know about because unless you're amazingly fascinating you'll get through what you know by book 2 or 3 and then what will you do.
Once I figured that out that stuff I haven't suffered dreaded writer's block.
3. What is your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?
Third and fourth drafts are my favorite. I can just keep nuancing the work and the hardest part is done which leads me to least favorite - the first draft is so damn tough. I'm not a good outline person.
4. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don't give up your day job. Only write because you love it so much you think you'd go crazy if you couldn't do it. Spend at least 25% of your advance on marketing.
5. How do you usually begin your stories—with a character or with a plot?
With a plot—more like a "what if" and then I have to have the title. Then I spend three months working on the main character and doing research.
Thanks for coming by, MJ! If you'd like to find out more about MJ Rose, check out her website. And if you'd like to enter to win a copy of THE MEMORIST, check out our book giveaway, going on right now!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
What they say about those Manhattan kids is true: they really do learn everything before other kids. This little one already has figured out how to read and has GREAT taste in books, to boot! (I hope someone tells her that there's a sequel to that book she's reading....)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
And now genius book marketer MJ Rose has come up with a fabulous campaign for the holiday season. The idea is to post blog ads that advertise the fact that books make great holiday gifts. At under $15, you can't buy enjoyment for less!
So, she got a bunch of her author friends together and created a massive campaign that you'll see on all of your favorite blogs: PerezHilton, Dlisted, you name it! Overall, the campaign will result in 500 million - that a 1/2 billion - impressions altogether over the 31 days of the campaign. See, I told you she was a genius!
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and buy some books!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The first thing you need to know—the thing that most people don't want to hear—is that for a fictional novel, you have to have your whole book written before you can even begin to query agents.
So, get your manuscript in great shape—go to writing classes, attend workshops, and get yourself into a writing group in order to get your book in fighting shape. But, really, if you think about it, that's the fun part. Then the real work begins:
You'll need to start with a reputable guidebook—I suggest Writer's Market in my Mediabistro class, but I’ve also heard that Jeff Herman’s guide is quite good, too. Read the section in the beginning about how to write a query letter and the etiquette of querying agents. All of that stuff is key—it’s just like applying for a job. Just because they are agents doesn’t mean you can be any less professional in your communications.
I'd also suggest using mediabistro.com to back up your book research. You need to be an Avant Guild member of mediabistro to access their content on "How To Pitch An Agent" content but in my experience, it was worth it.
Last but not least, you should also do internet research on each and every agent you plan to query. (Specific agent, that is, not merely the agency, although you should research the agency, too!)
Remember that you should never pay an agent to read or review your work. Agents get paid by selling your work and then taking 15% of the sale and royalties.
Allison Winn Scotch’s blog, Ask Allison, has *amazing* info on finding agents (she's also on myspace). Read the links starting from the oldest. Her advice is really spot on.
She also does a q and a, so you can email her if you have specific questions.
Allison also has a bunch of incredibly informative blog posts where she talks about her own personal experience, so check them out.
If you prefer your advice with a bit of attitude, check out Miss Snark. She no longer updates the blog, but the archives are invaluable.
And this blog post offers great insight on advances and how an author earns royalties.
I wish you the best of luck. Now, get back to writing!
Friday, November 28, 2008
And now, without further ado, I give you the Astro Twins!
We first discovered astrology when we were 21, studying art at the
What are some celebrity couples that will last/ won’t last because of their zodiac signs?
It’s really a matter of timing…what’s in the stars that month or year. For example, Jennifer Aniston is an Aquarius and she’s highly compatible with Libra John Mayer. However, next year Jupiter will be in Aquarius, making Jennifer more independent. She could be dumping him for a change! That said, our money is on Reese and Jake (Aries and Sagittarius, compatible Fire signs). There could be trouble in paradise for Mariah Carey (Aries) and Nick Cannon (Libra) later in the year, when Saturn moves into Libra, her relationship sector. She could start to get a little paranoid about the age difference, and he may have an identity crisis, like “How the heck did I end up here?”
What is Chinese astrology and what does it have to do with the zodiac that most of us are familiar with?
It corresponds with Jupiter, which moves once a year. So every January or February, the Chinese calendar changes and a different animal, and that’s what you’re born under. It’s actually fascinating, and we’ve become obsessed with it over the past few years. (You can read about your Chinese horoscope on our website)
Can you tell someone’s sign just by looking at them?
A lot of the times, yes—and if not, we know after asking a question or two. Sometimes, your ascendant (“rising sign”) is very different than your Sun sign, and can make you resemble a different sign. For example, we’re Sagittarius, but with a Capricorn rising, which makes us come across as more serious and business-focused than the typical Sag. You can actually do a free sample chart on our site and find out your whole chart.
How far into a relationship should a woman find out her partner’s zodiac sign?
As soon as possible! We like to say that a lot of women accidentally do the wrong thing with the right guy. We broke our book up into the various phases of a relationship, so there are very specific “start-up” tips for what each guy is like on a first date, how he courts you, how you know he’s into you, and how to prepare for his first home visit or meeting his parents.
Should you break up with someone if you learn that your zodiac signs are not compatible?
Absolutely not. In fact, we don’t follow any rules there at all. We believe that any match can work with a combination of self-awareness and acceptance. Sure, some may require a little more flexibility and compromise. It’s really everyone’s choice. Easy isn’t always best. Sometimes, dating a person very different from you can spur amazing growth because you’re forced to look at yourself.
How will this book help women in their dating lives? Will married women benefit from the book?
Women in any phase of a relationship—single, dating, or married—can get a ton of practical advice from this book. It’s a 450-page guide to the men of every sign. Each chapter gets really in depth about what makes them tick. It was written to help women understand any man, be it your husband, boyfriend, brother, father, son, friend, coworker…you name it.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Didn’t win? That’s okay! We had so much fun giving books away, we’re doing it again!!! (And if you’ve already entered, well, then thanks and good luck!)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Since books are the perfect gift to give this holiday season, we're offering you another chance to win a box full of books. The winner will get signed copies of all of these fabulous reads:
THE ASTRO TWINS LOVE ZODIAC:
SCOT ON THE ROCKS
by Brenda Janowitz
MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL
by Mindy Klasky
WIFE GOES ON
by Leslie Lehr
by Alison Pace
TIME OF MY LIFE
To enter, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and write “Another holiday book giveaway” in the subject line. You must be a subscriber of the www.brendajanowitz.com mailing list to enter.
Want extra entries? Post a blog entry about this giveaway and/or email five friends about it. For each blog entry and each email you send out, you'll get another entry to win!
Winners will be announced on December 16. So what are you waiting for? Enter today!
Friday, November 21, 2008
I've been watching the new 90210, and it's made me so incredibly nostalgic for the original 90210. My husband sent me this clip and it just cracked me up! How did the actors actually keep straight faces when they filmed this?! It's so ridiculous, so campy, that it's-- dare I say-- brilliant!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Lydia Heath from Wisconsin, and
Carlie Sherwood from Louisiana
who won signed copies of JACK WITH A TWIST! If you'd like to see the wonderful essays that won the prize, check out Chick Lit Gurrl's wonderful website.