Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Big congrats go out to Sherri from Chandler, Arizona-- she's won a signed copy of Alison Pace's CITY DOG! Sherri is the author of the blog Sherri's Thoughts and Ramblings. Sherri, shoot me an email or post a comment to this post-- you'll have to get us your address so that we may get you your prize!

Not a winner this time around? That's okay! Tomorrow, we'll be giving away a copy of Carleen Brice's ORANGE MINT AND HONEY. So, don't forget to check back here for a chance to win more books!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Free book Friday!

Yes, I know it's Monday, but I just had to write to let you know that my book is being featured on Free Book Friday!   It's a book giveaway site created by the wonderful author Jessica Brody.  Jessica and her peeps give lucky readers the chance to win free books every Friday!  How awesome is that?!

We'll be giving away five (yes, you read that correctly, FIVE!) signed copies of JACK WITH A TWIST!  And guess when the winner will be announced?  Um, yeah, well, Friday.  Which really makes sense, being free book Friday and all.  I hope you'll hop over to this fabulous website and enter to win!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Join me for tea!

If you're around this weekend in the New York area, I do hope you'll join me on Sunday for tea! It's a great event that I'm doing for the Transition Network: I'll be on a panel with fellow authors Ellen Meister, Saralee Rosenberg and Carol Hoenig, moderated by Book Columnist Debbi Honorof.

But most importantly, there will be pastries. So you really can't go wrong.

To buy a ticket, just click here. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yes man

Have you heard the news? Well, the first bit of news is that they're doing a re-make of Footloose. And what's even more exciting than that is the fact that they've got Zac Efron all set to star!

Which brings me to the second bit of news. Seems Zac Efron's dropped out of the project. Perez Hilton's reporting that it's because he doesn't want to do another musical right now. (Or, for those High School Musical fans out there-- he doesn't want to do another muse-ick-ahl.)

Doesn't want to do another musical? Zac Efron's star is totally on the rise, thanks in large part to his star turns in High School Musical and Hairspray. So, what's this about not wanting to do another musical?

But it brings up another question: in your career, when is it a good idea to say 'no' to something? In my career, it's always served me well to always say yes. Even if I'm tired of something. Or don't have the time.

Two months before my wedding, my publisher asked me to write a short story featuring the protagonist from my two novels. Now, in the months before my wedding, the last thing I wanted to do was add more work to my plate, but I had a long talk with my agent and we agreed that when given an opportunity, no matter how inconvenient it may be, it's always a really good idea to say yes.

So, what do you think? Is it always a good idea to say yes? Are there times in your career when it's a good idea to actually say no?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More movie madness!

The other day we talked about movie adaptations and how sometimes the movie is just completely different than the book.

Well, more movie madness is being reported over on Galleycat. Apparently, bestselling author Clive Cussler sued the movie peeps responsible for the movie adaptation of his novel, Sahara.

He claimed that he wasn't allowed a final peek at the script, and that's the reason that the movie wasn't as uber-successful as it should have been. The studios countered and argued that Clive overstated the popularity of his book, and that's the reason that the movie tanked.

Well, the case is closed and Clive lost the lawsuit. Worse yet, he's now responsible for paying $13.9 million (yes, you read that correctly-- MILLION!) in legal fees to the production company he sued.

Now, I can't imagine actually suing anyone responsible for bringing my books to the silver screen. I'd like to think that I'd just be so, SO happy that I'd be too busy jumping up and down with glee that I couldn't possibly ever sue someone over my good fortune in selling book rights. But what if the studio butchered my poor little books? Would I feel any differently? (Or would I just be too busy counting my money?)

So, I ask you: who is responsible for the success of a movie? Is it the screenwriters, the movie studio, the actors? What's the role of the source material in all of this? If the original source material is popular, can that transcend critical pans? And most importantly, what role do Matthew McConaughey's biceps play in all of this?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Author interview and book giveaway: Alison Pace

Today we've got the lovely and talented Alison Pace here to answer some of our deepest darkest questions. Now you all know that I absolutely loved her latest, CITY DOG, and now, Alison is being kind enough to give a copy away to one lucky reader! To enter, just leave a comment below!

And now, on to the grilling!

Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.

City Dog is the story of Amy, an author in New York City who writes children's picture books about her dog. When her dog becomes much more famous than she is and one of her fictional characters begins to take on a life of his own, Amy's world takes a turn toward the surreal.

And I think that was more than twenty-five words.

When did you first begin writing?

I've always been writing. The first big project I remember was second grade, a short-story about how God created the world with a rubber band and bathtub faucet. Some weighty stuff.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Luckily for me, I find inspiration everywhere: my dog, Central Park, New York City, music (definitely music) conversations I have with friends, people who annoy me...for starters.

What are you working on right now?

I'm working on a collection of essays about life in New York with and without dogs. The tentative title is Write Your Own Happy Ending, but I'm not sure that's going to stick, even though I'm quite fond of it.

What are you reading right now?

I'm back and forth between Laurie Colwyn's Happy All the Time and David Ebershoff's The 19th Wife.

How do you fight writer’s block?

Writing is my job. I sit down and write. Granted, some days are going to be much, much better than others, but I still try my absolute best to stay the course.

If your book were to become a movie, who would you cast?

For City Dog, I'd cast Carlie as herself, obvs. For Amy, I think someone quirky, but cool, who could work with a little bit of darkness. Zooey Deschanel would be perfect. And Jason Bateman as Robert Maguire, no question.

[Editor’s note: Jason Bateman! Yum!]

What is your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?

My favorite part of writing is when I'm reading something over that I'm just thrilled to have written. It doesn't happen very frequently, but when it does, it's fantastic.

I think my least favorite, even though it shouldn't be, is when anonymous people write these downright awful reviews of my work on Amazon, etc. I know it shouldn't but those reviews completely ruin my day when I come across them. To that end, I'm a fan of positive reader reviews all the same.

What tips would you offer to aspiring writers?

Stick with it, stay the course. Believe in yourself.

Thanks so much to Alison for stopping by today! Want to win a free signed copy of Alison's book? Just leave a comment below and you're entered! Want extra entries? That can be arranged.... Blog about it for another entry. Become of follower of this blog for another entry, too.

The winner will be announced on March 31st.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Big congrats go out to Wrighty-- she's won a signed copy of Carolyn Jewel's MY WICKED ENEMY!

Not a winner this time around? That's okay! Next week, we'll be giving away a copy of Alison Pace's CITY DOG. So, don't forget to check back here for a chance to win more books!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Mysteries of Filmmaking

I was so, so thrilled when I found out there was a trailer for the movie adaptation of Michael Chabon's Mysteries of Pittsburgh. I absolutely LOVED the book (and if you haven't read it yet-- get it on your reading list as soon as humanly possible!), and when I read the book, I remember wondering why a film version hadn't yet been made of this wonderful novel.

So, I dug into the trailer with glee, and was pleased to see that the movie seemed to have captured the tone of the book. However, as I continued watching the trailer, I noticed that something was missing. Something really important.

One of the main characters from the book had been dropped completely! Arthur Lemcote does not appear to be in the movie at all. His character is simply gone. Which is odd, since those of you who read the book know that he was a major character. Some aspects of his character (yes, I'm speaking in code, but I'm trying not to give any spoilers here!) seem to have been collapsed into Cleveland's character. Which doesn't make sense to me, given what I know about the character of Cleveland. I'm not sure how this is really going to work in the movie....

Are there any beloved books of yours that were changed when they were turned into films? Favorite characters left on the cutting room floor?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tea for two

or four, as the case may be!  I'll be speaking at a "Meet the Authors" Afternoon Tea on Sunday, March 29th from 2pm until 4pm.   But it gets even better-- I'll be joined by fellow authors Ellen Meister, Saralee Rosenberg and Carol Hoenig, moderated by Book Columnist Debbi Honorof-- so, it's guaranteed to be a wonderful time!

The event takes place at the Hofstra University Club and costs $25 to attend.  To register, click here.

More details follow:

"Meet The Authors" Afternoon Tea

Long Island authors

Carol Hoenig
Brenda Janowitz
Ellen Meister
Saralee Rosenberg

will discuss how they use fiction to explore the
myths and realities of woman's lives.

Moderated by Debbi Honorof, Book Columnist, Long Island Woman

Come and enjoy luscious French and Italian pastries, fresh fruit selections and
specially selected international teas and coffees.

Sunday, March 29, 2-4 p.m.
Hofstra University Club
$20 TTN members/$25 non-members

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Got a story to tell?

So, have you always wanted to write a book?  Do you have a story that's just dying to get out?  If so, print out some of those pages you've been playing around with and bring them to my writing workshop!

I'll be teaching at Mediabistro on Sunday, March 15th from 1pm until 5pm.  The workshop is a great forum to get pages of your novel read and critiqued, meet other writers, and network for the future.  We always have a total blast, and everyone who takes my workshops loves em!

For the deets and the application, click here.

I hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Christmas comes early!

And no, I'm not talking about all of the wonderful free books they are offering over at the Book Giveaway Carnival.

I'm talking about this fabulous tidbit that NY Mag posted about Ghostbusters. Could it really be true? Will Judd Apatow really produce Ghostbusters 3?

Be still our hearts....

The only thing I'd suggest is that they use a newer, more updated sound for the Ghostbusters theme song. Jack Black, take it away!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Let's go to the carnival!

Okay, no, there won't be any funnel cake, so before I go any further, I should probably warn you that this is a virtual carnival that I'm talking about.

But, it's even better than you can imagine! The wonderful news is: it's a Book Giveaway Carnival, hosted by the fabulous peeps over at bookroom reviews.com. So far, they've got over one hundred book giveaways posted (yes, over one hundred FREE BOOKS!!!). The lovely Drey from Drey's Library is giving away a copy of JACK WITH A TWIST, and there are tons of other great reads being offered, too.

I know that the readers of this blog LOVE free books as much as I do, so hop on over to this wonderful site and register to win as many free books as your heart desires! Just don't forget to enter my latest giveaway. :)

Who needs funnel cake when you can win free books?!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Be our guest!

Today I'm so thrilled to tell you that I'm the guest blogger over at Drey's Library!  I'm talking all about how I went from lawyer to novelist in three easy steps...  well, sort of!

To hear all about my progression from law to letters, go check it out!