Monday, June 30, 2008

Photos galore!

Here are some pics from the fantastic event we had on Thursday June 26th at the Wallingford Public Library. My Ninja Webmaster neglected to snap some photos of the French toast sticks (yummy!) and pink lemonade the amazing Jennifer Nash made for everyone but you can just imagine them as you're listening to the Friends theme song:

And here I am with the amazing YA librarian herself, Ms. Jennifer "Rock n Roll Summer" Nash!

Thanks to everyone who came and to Jennifer and her husband Jerry who did a terrific job putting everything together! Can't wait to come back and visit again!
And for the teens in Wallingford, be sure to get yourself involved with the summer reading program Jennifer is having and you can win a signed copy of ALL ABOUT VEE or LOVE, MEG!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Random Thanks on a Friday

1. Thanks to all who read my guest blog at Teen Book Review last week and who entered to win the signed copy of LOVE, MEG. And the winner is: girlJordyn! Yay!! As soon as Jocelyn gets me your address, I will ship it out asap so you can enjoy it this summer! I hope you'll let me know what you think when you've finished. (btw, love your wordpress blog, ms. girljordyn!)

2. Thanks to all who attended the event at the Wallingford Public Library last night. What a fantastic time we had - me most of all! Great questions, great energy. I hope everyone who read or will read MEG will email me or post about the book. I love to get feedback from readers!

3. Extra special thanks to Jennifer Nash, the YA librarian at WPL who did an amazing job getting everything together and encouraging people to read my books. She made French toast sticks - and for everyone who read MEG, you know what French toast is all about - and played the Rembrandts and served pink lemonade! :) Ninja's Pics will go up on the website very soon!

3A. More thanks to Jerry Nash, Jennifer's husband, fellow Gemini and science teacher, who had great questions and owns the Friends soundtrack (yes!!) and who gave me a copy of the Friends theme song on CD for my very own!

4. Thanks to reporters Carrie MacMillan at the Waterbury Republican-American and Carole Goldberg at the Hartford Courant for helping me publicize my events and books. With their attention, the word is getting out that MEG and VEE are pretty cool books to read.

4a. Lots of thanks to my new special reporter friend, Stacey Graham Hunt, at the Meriden Record-Journal, who interviewed me over the phone and then came to my reading last night and who I'm so excited to be seeing when she comes out to LA this summer AND takes ballet class with me...yay!!

5. Thanks in advance to everyone who comes to Borders on Sunday at 2PM! I can see into the future and see that we're enjoying Seattle's Best Coffee and some sweet treats as we're talking about VEE. Yum!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

SSP Part 2

The fact is that whenever I have anything remotely interesting going on - a school or library visit, a reading, a contest or guest blog - that's the only thing I can think about. So when I open up my blog, I think to myself, "Hmm...what can I tell people about today? I know, my blah-blah-blah is happening today/tomorrow/a year from now. I'll write about that!"

And that is exactly how you get fifty million posts about the same thing. Frankly, I have a one-track mind (altho it rarely thinks about Frank).

So here we go again, Leigh with her singular mode of thinking:

Tonight at 7PM, I will be at the Wallingford Public Library to read from and talk about LOVE, MEG. And on Sunday, the 29th at 2PM, I will be reading and signing ALL ABOUT VEE at the Borders in Farmington.

I really do hope people can come. In all honestly, it's not about book sales, it's just boring to be alone or with Head Honcho (he already knows all my stories!) and I'll end up eating all the snacks. So if you know people who might be interested, bring them along or send them in your place and make them pretend it's you.

As we used to write in correspondence at a company I temped for, Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shameless self-promotion

Because if I don't do it, who will?

Are you in the Connecticut area? Do you need a reason to be?

Then come on down to the Wallingford Public Library on Thursday, June 26 at 7PM (that's tomorrow night!) where I'll be reading from and talking about LOVE, MEG!

Not near there? Not free that night? Well, then come to the Borders in Farmington on Sunday, June 29 at 2PM. Coffee, desserts, and ALL ABOUT VEE!

And I hope you all got your copy of the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper on Tuesday! Did you check out the Lifestyle section and see the fabulous article by feature writer Carrie MacMillan about yours truly? No? Well, take a look here on-line and I'll scan it when I get home so you can see me in all my full-color glory. Yay, technology!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The queue, the queue!

(For those of you in the Connecticut area, be sure to grab a copy of the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper today and check out the Women section - there's an article about me by feature writer Carrie MacMillan!)

Recent selections from the Netfix queue:

"Sweeney Todd" - I adore Johnny Depp, honestly I do, but I just could not get into this movie. Bloody yes, it was like "Hamlet," where pretty much everyone dies and I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that. Really, though, I don't dig musicals at all. Which is strange, I know, coming from someone who dances every day of her life but music, like Marge Simpson says, is none of my business. And speaking of The Simpsons...I don't like it when that show does musicals either. So although I admire Depp and Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman, this movie only got 2 stars from me.

"Semi-Pro" - B-ball in the 70s sounds like such a great premise, especially with Will Ferrell at the helm, but this was just not that funny. Again, HH liked this more than I did although we both agreed the romance between Woody Harrelson and Maura Tierney was completely lame and unnecessary. We fast-forwarded through some of it, to be perfectly honest. And who was the guy living with her? Her boyfriend? Brother? Either way, it was just plain weird. Another 2-stars from me.

"Balls of Fury" - Now here is what you do with a silly movie: expect nothing. And when you do, it's much much funnier! Dan Fogler is not Jack Black but he was very good in this. In fact, the scenes before he gets to the ping-pong tournament at Chris Walken's Central American estate are better than any of the others that follow. Great supporting cast: James Hong, Maggie Q, Patton Oswalt, George Lopez (who should have been given more funny things to do). Some LOL moments but again, expect nothing and you'll enjoy it.

"The Golden Compass" - We loved this movie. Again, we were expecting nothing. I had read the Philip Pullman novel and felt, eh, I don't get it. There was so much set-up in the first book and not a lot of payoff and I didn't get to the next book. Most of the time I kept wondering what Asriel was up to in the Arctic tundra and we never went back to him. The movie distilled everything down for those of us who are denser than the 10 year olds who read the book. Of course, the cast was fantastic: I love love love Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman and the little girl, Dakota Blue Richards, was amazing! I cannot believe they are not going to make a sequel to this movie! I had heard that it was not as popular as they thought, didn't make as much money as they had expected, and that the CG was way too expensive to do a second one. I hope they change their minds because I would love to see what happens next.

And when in BBC's The Office.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Traveling today so I am wicked tired.

Remember the old movies with those romantic scenes of people flying across the country? Passengers got all duded up with hats and furs and jewelry (ok the furs are a little un-pc) and everything was so fancy? Yeah, well, those days - if they ever existed - are long past.

I don't mind paying for things like food because honestly, who needs crap food on a plane (although I must say, food on Alitalia and Virgin Atlantic is awesome - but that's overseas so they charge a lot of money for the tickets and pretty much have you captive for ten hours). I'd much prefer to bring my own snacks like veggies or crackers but a simple glass of water? On a cross country flight? You want to CHARGE me for that?

And paying for luggage? What IS air travel without your luggage? Should we ship our clothes ahead of time? HH thinks it won't be long before we all travel naked; the airlines will hand us those disposable paper gowns like they give you at the doctor's office.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Never too late to win free stuff!

If you're bored on a Sunday or you're too hot to move anything larger than your mouse, click on over to Teen Book Review and read my guest blog about, I don't know, whatever nonsense I'm talking about. Then post, I don't know, your name or something and you'll be entered to win a signed copy of the LOVE, MEG hardcover. Even if you already have one (cuz I'm sure you do - many, many copies, right?), maybe you want to give one as a gift!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Friday

1. I'm a Wikipedia entry! I'm so excited about this I can hardly stand it. I use Wiki like, a million times a day, and here I am, listed and everything. Check it out....Leigh in Wikipedia!

2. The winner of a free signed hardcover of LOVE, MEG will be announced next week. You can still enter to win over at Teen Book Review's blog where I was a guest blogger. Just post a comment, something like, "Leigh, you're the most awesome writer that ever lived!" or maybe just, "Hey, give me a free book!"

3. And speaking of blogging, I'll be a guest blogger at Young Adult's blog next week. Not sure of the date yet but you can come check that out too.

4. Next week I'll be on the east coast, doing some east coast book-type things. On June 26th I'll be reading and talking at the Wallingford Public Library (Connecticut) at 7PM and on June 29th I'll be reading and signing at the Borders in Farmington (Connecticut) at 2PM. I'm pretty excited about both of those visits - as you know I love libraries and who wouldn't love people who sell books? Especially mine!

5. The first rewrite of the book I finished last week is almost done. My deadline for getting it finished was this upcoming trip. I hate having things hanging over my head. Now I will be free to think about the rewrite of another book (I swear I do love rewriting) and developing a brand new idea which I am super-duper thrilled about. I can't wait to allow my mind to explore a new story with new characters - so many possibilities!

And last but not least...
6. Who watched Celebrity Circus on Wednesday night? Come on, raise your hands! How much fun was it to see Peter Brady (a/k/a Christopher Knight) set himself on fire? Or Wee Man tumble around in a wheel? Personally, I'm rooting for Rachel Hunter, who is the most graceful of all of them. Maybe she's not as athletic as the others but she looks fantastic!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Contest/Blog Reminder

One more thing for today...

You can still enter to win a signed hardcover of LOVE, MEG over at Teen Book Review! Just post a comment! It really couldn't be easier to get something for free!


Digital vs. Paper

I gotta say, one of the absolute coolest things about being a writer is getting letters from readers. I mean, actual letters: thoughts jotted down on paper and sent out in an envelope with a stamp through the US Postal Service and delivered to my door (or my publisher's door).

Don't get me wrong, I love emails too. I completely dig seeing a letter from a reader in my inbox, one that says "Hi C. Leigh, I love your book..." But a letter on a piece of paper just seems so real. The writer went to such trouble to get it to me! So naturally, I respond in kind - and that too seems so real to me.

I mention this because of the ongoing debate about e-books and traditionally-printed ones. A book on paper, like that fan letter, just feels authentic. I understand e-books are the wave of the future but I hope the future doesn't come too soon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guest Blogging and a Free Book!

Free has to be the best word in the English language! Who doesn't like something that's free?

Free money.
Free food.
Free gas.
Free love...

We'll stop right there. Oh wait, one more: free book!

Today I am Jocelyn's guest blogger at Teen Book Review and I'll be giving away a signed copy of the LOVE, MEG hardcover to a random commenter. Honestly, I don't know how that happens but Jocelyn says she will take care of it. I think all you have to do is post at the blog.

I mean, it would be nice if you had something to say to me or about me or my books but I think just posting your name and saying, "Gimme a free book" will work.

So cheers and come on over for a visit! And check out Jocelyn's archives for some awesome book reviews as well as other author guest blogs.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Body Image and the Ballerina

A couple of weeks ago I posted about being "fat" in LA, about the media's obsession with perfect bodies and how it makes the rest of us feel. And let's please note that the media's definition of "perfect body" is far from what the average person would say.

In the dance world, particularly ballet, weight is a constant issue. Every ounce of flesh you have on your bones is paraded in front of strangers. Costumes are designed to cling to your figure, to accentuate long limbs and lean torsos. God help you if you happen to have a curve or two. George Balanchine, whom many consider to be the father of ballet in America, encouraged an ideal body type among his dancers: small round heads, narrow hips, impossibly long legs, short waists and nonexistent chests. That ideal is still fairly prevalent among most ballet companies and schools and even if it wasn't, the girls themselves perpetuate it. See below for Balanchine with his muse, Suzanne Farrell, whom all dancers at City Ballet modeled themselves after:

The fact is, you can't get away from your body when you dance. You are constantly aware of every muscle - whether it's in pain or tweaked or needs to rest - and for advanced dancers, each minute detail of their bodies affects how they perform. Add to this the display of one's body every single day during class and rehearsals. Who else spends hours of their days practically naked in front of a room full of mirrors?

And believe me, every dancer in every studio knows exactly where the "fat" and "skinny" mirrors are in the room.

Dancers are just like actors in that both groups are often judged - and hired and fired - based on their looks. I really really wish that wasn't the case. A graceful body is a graceful body, regardless of its size or shape.

And just to prove that to everyone, please take a look at The Big Ballet Company of the UK. Are they gorgeous and graceful or what? Completely non-traditional bodies. I love them!

Monday, June 16, 2008

More videos of Leigh saying things!

My Ninja Webmaster has put together 2 more videos for the website, one of me talking about...I don't know...stuff and the other one without me talking at all, just some enjoyable music while I do...I don't know...stuff. Kinda like a music video only without the cool band or the hot guys and chicks. Just...I don't

Check 'em out:

Video 3

Video 4
Featuring the song "Should Be" by singer/songwriter "Arthur Yoria"

Friday, June 13, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Friday

Is this a regular feature? Should it be? I am a listmaker and I have a tendency to think in terms of productivity, hence the end-of-the-week listing of things in my head.

1. Today is Friday the 13th (oooh! scary!). People who are afraid of this day are said to be afflicted with paraskevidekatriaphobia. They won't drive their cars or use anything mechanical; they won't make important plans for the day, like weddings or big meetings. Some people say it dates back to Christ whose 13th disciple betrayed him and led to his crucifixion (which was on a Friday). Others date it to the ancient Egyptians who associated 13 with the unknown realm (12 being the number of realms on earth) and to a story in Viking lore about the god of mischief, Loki, who was not invited to a banquet of the gods at Valhalla - and yes, he was #13.

Statistically, it's not anymore dangerous or deadly than any other day of the week or month. No, seriously, it's not so go ahead and schedule your wedding on that day. Just don't invite me...

2. M. Night Shyamalan's new movie "The Happening" opens today and while I was not a big fan of "Signs" or "Lady in the Water" and I guessed the secret to "The Village" not long after I read a Margaret Peterson Haddix novel, I do look forward to his hubris. He once had the gall to say he was a better filmmaker than Spielberg. Um, "Schindler's List," anyone? "Close Encounters?" Um, no.

3. I'm guest blogging at Teen Book Review next Wednesday, 6/18, and I'll be giving away...something! I'll let you know next week but in the meantime, check out the blog. Jocelyn gets some great authors and does some amazing reviews! I don't think she actually sleeps...or else she's figured out how to read while she snoozes!

4. I hate having a cold during the summer. It's completely unfair. It's hard enough to curl up with a hot cup of tea in SoCal during the winter because the sun still shines most of the time, but the summer? When everyone is outside and the days are superlong? Forget about it. I'm trying to pretend I'm perfectly fine and maybe my cold will get bored and leave.

5. Thursdays just aren't the same without LOST. HH and I are going through withdrawal. I suppose I could read or something, huh? I mean, it's not like I have to watch television...or do I?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Real celebrities have curves

Celebrity Circus - an appreciation

Yes, I am being completely honest and sincere about this. Last night HH and I watched Celebrity Circus, the NBC show that takes a handful of celebs and trains them in acrobatics for 8 weeks, then throws them in front of three judges (one of whom is British, of course) and America votes.

It was mesmerizing. First of all, as graceful as ballet has made me, I don't think I could EVER in a million years do what they did. Sure, they had harnesses as they were suspended fifty feet in the air but they were twirling and spinning and there was definitely a degree of fear in the air.

But the real reason I loved it and continued to root for the contestants? 3 of the 4 women had curves. And I mean real, honest-to-goodness God-given curves, not the kind people buy at the doctor's office. Rachel Hunter (the supermodel), Stacey Dash (the actress), and Blu Cantrell (the singer) all had shapes that are not typically in tight Spandex with sequins and tassels on broadcast television.

And they were sexy. And graceful. And adventurous. And brave. And gorgeous.

The 4th woman was Janet Evans, the former Olympic swimmer who had six pack abs at the age of 37. My admiration for her is of a completely different nature.

So yeah, I'll watch again.

One more thing: choreographer Louie Spence has got to be the first openly-gay talent judge on one of these network "family shows." How awesome is that?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Book list update...

Okay, so I have re-organized my piles of books and come up with the following list, in the order that the books need to be read. Let me say right up front that I will read the Meyers books at the same time, beginning with Twilight.

--The Ghosts of Kerfol
--Babylon Rolling
--Simon Bloom, Gravity Keeper
--This Lullaby
--Chasing the Jaguar
--Catch a Mate
--The Lace Reader
--Millicent Min
--Someone Like You
--The Smart One and the Pretty One

There are more, I know, but I had to stop there because I'm pretty sure something will interrupt me, like my own work or something lame like that. The reason for this reorganization is twofold: one, if I don't make a list, I won't read the books at all and two, I want to give a lot of them away.

That's right, contests! Everyone else has contests so why not me? Right now, I am deciding how to divide them up, logically. They will be in reading packages, not single books, because I want to get them out there. What people do with them after that is their own business - give them away yourselves, donate to libraries, sell on eBay, whatever.

What this also means is I CAN'T BUY ANY MORE BOOKS! HH and I were in our fave used bookstore on Sunday and the urge to buy - to look - to glance quickly at - all of those books was so strong, I had to insist to HH that he keep me away from them.

I could seriously buy more books than I could ever read in a lifetime, like Burgess Meredith's character in that classic Twilight Zone episode, the one where he has all the time in the world to read - finally - after he survives a bomb blast but then breaks his only pair of glasses (ah, the pathetic irony). I have on my bookshelves a couple of King novels I haven't read plus a Koontz and some nonfiction, and that is simply inexcusable. The books are there to be read! I think I need to take a year off and just read...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Massive To-Read List

The absolute coolest thing about attending the Book Expo last weekend was walking (crawling...) away with bags of free books!

The absolute worst thing about attending the Book Expo was...see above answer.

Why, you ask? That sounds ideal, like a dream come true. Free books. Advance reader copies.

Because I already have a HUGE stack of books at home that I still haven't tackled. You'd assume that since I write books, I would be reading them all the time. After all, I teach ballet, so I take a lot of ballet classes and when I wrote screenplays, I watched a lot of movies. The problem is that I try very, very hard not to read anything at all similar to what I write when I'm writing something new. When I'm editing or just in the thinking stage, then yes, I devour books both similar to and dissimilar from, my own.

As I mentioned last week, I finished a new draft of a book so now I'm in rewrite mode. Therefore, it's perfectly acceptable for me to read something that isn't mine. The question is what.

Here are some (just some) of the books on my pile...
--Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci
--Sucks to be Me by Kimberly Pauley
--Bliss by Lauren Myracle
--The Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes
--Philippa Fisher's Fairy Godsister by Liz Kessler
--Goth by Otsuichi
--Chasing the Jaguar by Michele Dominguez Greene
--The Lucky Ones by Stephanie Greene
--The Gravity Keeper by Michael Reisman
--Millicent Min by Lisa Yee

I also have some more adult books on my list...
--Crime by Irvine Welsh
--Atonement by Ian McEwan
--The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
--Babylon Rolling by Amanda Boyden
--I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass
--The Widows of Eastwick by John Updike
--Catch a Mate by Gena Showalter

I can start reading any one of these books or I can chuck all of 'em and start the Stephenie Meyers books. Opinions, anyone?

Soon, very soon, perhaps during my next trip to the east coast, I will devise a clever contest to give away some of these amazing books I have in my possession. I just have to figure out how to do it!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Celebrity sighting with chopsticks!

Okay, brace yourselves...this was a GOOD one...

Let me set the scene for you as they say here in Hollywood:

The location is Buddha's Belly, a hip Asian restaurant in LA, where people come more for the food than the atmosphere. It's a weekday evening, around 7:15, and the early eaters - those with kids and pets to go home to - are splitting. The valet outside is parking SUVs and hybrids, nothing too fancy or out-of-the-ordinary.

Not a paparazzo in sight.

A tow-headed youngster gallops around the restaurant, not particularly noisy or bothersome, cute in his shorts and collared shirt. A woman keeps tabs on him, not chasing him down but rather watching him so he doesn't run outside and into the street or other diners.

And who is he? Who is this little boy? Why, he's the son of Gwen Stefani!

Yes, THE Gwen Stefani was dining in the same casual, reasonably priced Asian restaurant as me and my friends! She was so low-key and reserved that we didn't even notice her until she and her table left. The woman with her son was obviously a nanny, which left Gwen to enjoy some tofu and veggies or maybe the mahi mahi and risotto special. Alas, no Gavin! She was with a couple of male friends (one in the brightest pink polo shirt I have ever seen - he stood out more than she did!) and left quietly, scooping up her boy and letting him grab onto her stubby blond pigtail.

Gwen herself was not dressed like this:

But more like this:

Pregnant with baby number 2 and wearing a long black dress, a loose starched cotton with white edging, sandals. Her hair was pulled back and she had little to no makeup on. She was in total mama mode! Fantastic!

I didn't think fast enough to get my cell phone out to nab a pic but the restaurant just isn't like that. It's a place more enjoyed by locals who recognize each other as they're seated indoors and out or stop by to get takeout. Excellent food, btw.

So there you have it! My third great celebrity sighting in a week! Wowsa!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Leigh's First Chat!

It was a smashing success!

If I do say so myself...

And how much FUN did I have????

Here is a picture of me having fun as I was chatting live on-line for almost two hours! (Thanks to my Ninja Webmaster for the picture!)

You can't tell but I'm chatting furiously with our host, Chelsea, and guests, Megan, Anilee, Breanna, Carol, Eliza, Lauren, Breakingnews, Chelsie, Liv and Hope. And of course, Mojo!

Here's Mojo having fun too! (Hard to tell, huh? Trust me, this is him having fun...)

There was dancing on the tables (by Mojo) and talk about Coney Island (with Mojo) and places to visit in Brooklyn (Mojo's opinions). And oh yes, we talked about favorite books, current books, books that inspire us, books on our long to-read lists, authors we love (Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen and Stephenie Meyer and Laurie Halse Anderson and James Patterson and Cassandra Clare and Catherine Murdock and many, many more) and maybe 1 or 2 or 10 people told me I have to read every single word of the Twilight series, including the copyright and acknowledgments pages!

And then there was the writing stuff - the questions about how I write, what I write on, where I write. Do I outline? (Yes!) Do I like revising? (Yes!) Any advice? (Finish that! And write every day!)

And what would a chat be without non-writing topics? World travel and foreign languages! Favorite food! Favorite movies! Favorite television shows!

The answers: Italy, French, Chinese, 12 Monkeys, Lost...

Just like a regular party, people came, left, got a snack or answered the phone, returned, danced on a table or two, claimed to have another engagement, forgot their keys and came back again, sneaked some dessert, and finally finally left with hugs and kisses and promises to write very soon.
And my favorite question of all? From Breakingnews: is there a sequel to ALL ABOUT VEE coming out? Ah, it is written but without a pub date. Maybe soon. Maybe in the future. Maybe baby. We'll have to see...

Everyone was so welcoming and warm and kind and they made me feel like such a...writer!

Thank you, thank you to Chelsea for hosting at her fab website,! I had such a good time, I hope you ask me back! And if anyone has any questions, they should definitely email me or go to my Myspace page or my Facebook or post here at my blog (my gosh, I have a million ways to keep in touch!).

And now, I'm off to do writerly things in my writerly life.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Renea Stanchfield who won a brand new signed copy of ALL ABOUT VEE at Rachel Olivier's contest! Whoo-hoo!

Rachel asked entrants to name their favorite plus-size actress and to provide a link to the actress' website. Renea, who is an actor as well, chose Roseanne Barr whom she said she admired because she proves that you can have a full life and not be pencil-thin.

My sentiments exactly!

Other great responses included Sara Ramirez from Grey's Anatomy, America Ferrara from Ugly Betty, Camryn Manheim, Queen Latifah (LOVE HER!!!), Nigella Lawson, Tracey Ullmann, Amy Sedaris, and Angela Bassett.

Thank you to all who entered! I hope you all get a chance to read the book. Rachel has inspired me: I may soon do a contest of my own! Stay tuned...

And speaking of's one more plug for the chat today at ThePageFlipper! Come on by and join in the fun at 7PM Eastern/4PM Pacific and all times in between!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Celebrity Sighting Among the Books!

As much as I want to, I can't count Dean Koontz or John Hodgman as bona fide celebrity sightings. I was in line to meet them at BEA and get their autograph so they're not real "sightings."

But toward the end of the day, I did actually spot a celebrity wandering around the floor of the smaller exhibit hall by himself: Evan Handler, the actor who recently fought leukemia and wrote a book about it called "It's Only Temporary." He also spoke at the LA Times Festival of Books a few months ago and although I didn't have time to stop to listen, I did hear a LOT of laughs coming from his session. Most people know him as Charlotte's husband Harry from Sex and the City, but HH and I loved him as Hurley's invisible friend, Dave, from LOST (hope he makes another appearance!!). Check out his extremely cool website...Evan Handler dot com.

So okay, I'm gonna mention this one more time because I'm so excited and because I would love to have people come by...on Thursday, June 5th, which is tomorrow, I will be at ThePageFlipper to do a LIVE chat!! See her website for more details and times and so on...and come armed with questions! I love all sorts of topics, except math, which I have recounted many, many times as the only class I ever failed in college.

Oh, I didn't tell you that?

Yes, it's true. I had a horrible experience in Calculus during my freshman year of college. I started out the semester well (having remembered my calculus from high school) but then completely floundered as things got more complicated. A Big Fat F. So sad.

Try not to think less of me...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Prom Time, etc.

It's so strange when art imitates life...right now, I am finishing up a draft of a book whose protagonist is the co-chair of her senior prom committee. And just recently, I posted my own prom photo (don't laugh - it was the 80s!!) on Little Willow's Bildungsroman site for her roundtable discussion with the readergirlz as they honor Laurie Halse Anderson's novel, PROM, this month.

Personally, I loved the book even though I didn't care for the cover art (see below), which was frilly and girly and made it look like it was going to be chick-lit. Anderson does NOT write chick-lit, as all who have read SPEAK know.

And here's the etc...
On Thursday, June 5th at 7PM East/4PM Pacific, I'll be chatting LIVE!!! on-line with ThePageFlipper's book club! It's gonna be major amounts of fun! Check out her MySpace page or her way fun website,, for more info. There I am, on her page and everything!

Monday, June 2, 2008

BEA is F-U-N!

If you think being surrounded by thousands of books, authors, publishers and small dogs in cute outfits is fun, then this was the funnest time ever!

Book Expo America (BEA) was held this weekend at the LA Convention Center in downtown LA and it was amazing! My friend and fellow writer Chandra and I became exhausted and our shoulders and neck throbbed from carrying so many pounds of brand new books from one side of the floor to the other - and back - and back - and back - and then out to my car. Thank goodness for coat check where we could store some books and then go back for more!

We were lucky enough to pick up some fantastic books (I'll be giving some away soon - not just YA but also some cool middle grade and adult books too!) and to get some autographs from our favorite authors.

Like Dean Koontz! Yes, THE Dean Koontz! He was so very cool and gracious. He was signing his late dog Trixie's book, "Bliss is Good." It is HIGH-larious! In fact, it was so funny, I laughed out loud many, many times while HH was watching "Into the Wild" last night. That is NOT a movie you laugh at. It is WAY serious. Anyway, I sort of expected Trixie's book to be one of those maudlin inspirational books people write about animals. Oh my, no. This was so very funny, I wish I had picked up several copies for friends who have dogs. Maybe I'll have to actually but it when it comes out.

So, reviews of the new books will come. As will some giveaways here and on the website. And to prove I was there and actually saw the hysterically funny John Hodgman, here are a couple of photos of Chandra getting her book signed by him. He too was gracious and kind and he has MUCH better hair in person than he does on television.

This week's fun includes a LIVE CHAT with ThePageFlipper!!! Thursday, June 5th at 7PM Eastern/4PM Pacific (I have to make a note of that because I am sooo bad at math.). She's got a MySpace page and brand new website,, that will probably tell you more than I can! Check it out...