Monday, March 31, 2008

Upcoming stuff...

I’m sending out an email to everyone today to let them all know about the neat-o things I’ve got cooking.

(I think I will try to single-handedly return the word “neat-o” to the American lexicon.)

First of all, it’s just ten short days until ALL ABOUT VEE is available in your local indie or Borders bookstore! If they don’t have it, or plan to have it, ask them for it! Make your voices heard and your opinions known!

And on that very same day, the LOVE, MEG paperback will be released so you have two opportunities to add to your C. Leigh Purtill collection.

Now, keep in mind two very important things: both of these books are trade paperback, that beautiful thicker-covered paperback, same size as a hardcover, but much, much cheaper and more easily portable.

With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and graduations and spring and summer birthdays coming up, you’ll need a copy or two for gifts, don’t you think? Well, if you’re in any of these following places, I will sign them for you!

--LA Times Festival of Books, Book Soup Booth #329, UCLA Westwood, CA on Sunday, April 27 at 2PM

--Chevalier’s Books, 126 N. Larchmont Boulevard, LA, CA on Saturday, May 10 from 2-4PM

--Borders Books, 1600 South East Road, Farmington, CT on Sunday, June 29 at 2PM

I’ve also got a whole bunch of awesome library, book club and school visits in April, May and June so there will be plenty of chances for us to catch up!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Crazy Love

Some documentaries make me feel smarter for watching them, especially those that deal with the environment or politics or big business.

Then there are others that make me feel stupid for Netflixing them, like the ones HH likes that are basically Tin Foil Hat Society stuff and usually involve UFOs, JFK, and vapor trails.

Now “Crazy Love” comes along and it…it…it confuses me. It’s the story of Burt Pugach and Linda Riss, a couple who fell in sort-of-love when she was just 20 and he was older and rich – and very married. Burt saw Linda one day while he was out driving and became obsessed with her. He had to have her, had to make her his girlfriend or whatever he called it. She was impressed and let him wine and dine her but was shocked to learn he was married. He lied all the time about how he was going to divorce his wife and she believed him until his wife Francine called her and said she would never divorce him.

So Linda left. And she found another man who loved her. Of course Burt was livid when he learned she was engaged to this man. He hired a man to throw lye in her face which blinded her and made her bald. Her engagement was off; her life was off. Burt was sentenced to prison for 30 years but was released on parole 15 years later…

…after giving Linda $4000 and promising the parole board he would continue to give her money! She never married, never felt confident in herself after he ruined her life and took away her sight. When he got out of prison, she agreed to meet him and eventually they married. This in itself is dumbfounding but then we learn that during their marriage Burt cheated on Linda for five years with a younger woman who later claimed he threatened her life. Remarkably Linda not only stood by her cheating man, she defended him!

Their relationship is bizarre. I don’t believe either of them knows what it means to love someone. Then again, who is to say what love really is? They have something that evidently works for them. They each came from very rough circumstances: Burt was beaten by his mother every day and Linda lived with friends from an early age and didn’t have much of a father in her life. Each time I thought I had a handle on who they were and why they acted as they did, something shifted.

So I may not be smarter or dumber by watching this, just more confused.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Doc Doc Doc Goose

This week Netflix delivered 3 documentaries from our queue: "Confessions of a Superhero," "The End of Suburbia," and "Crazy Love." We've already watched the first 2, both of which I recommend.

"Superhero" tells the story of 4 of the people who play "characters" on Hollywood Boulevard near the Hollywood and Highland complex. They dress up as famous movie or television characters (in this case, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and the Hulk) and pose with tourists for pictures. They work on tips but are not allowed to solicit. They can only suggest to people that they tip them. On a good day, they might make as much as $150 bucks an hour; on a not-so-good day, maybe just one buck.

Of the 4 actors interviewed, Superman really stands out: a former meth addict, he claims to be the son of the late Sandy Dennis although her family members say they never knew this guy or even that she was pregnant. He is obsessed with Superman! His small apartment, which he shares with his now-wife (they were married during the film), is crammed with all things Super.

Wonder Woman was also a sweet girl from the south who wanted to be an actress. She came out here, got married to a guy she knew for 2 weeks, and dressed up as WW while she was trying to audition. She's a very pretty girl and I hope this movie gets her some notice for roles. She and her husband were breaking up at the end of the film but she seemed to take strength from that.

Batman, also married, had/has an anger problem and also seems to watch a LOT of movies. Much of his past appears to be appropriated from action movies, gangster films, and George Clooney, whom he sort of resembles. His own wife says she only believes 50 percent of what he says.

And then there's the Hulk, a guy who was homeless for 4 years but still managed to take auditions (reminded me of the Will Smith movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness"). He's getting roles now in small movies but best of all, he has his own apartment and seems to have a bright future.

HH was worried the movie would make him feel sad, that these actors would have really depressing stories but in truth, they are not so different from anyone else. They all seem to have love in their lives and the support of others and even if a couple might be slightly delusional, they aren't dragging anyone else down with them.

A definite recommend.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Chikezie

Again, the wrong person went home on Idol last night. Mister Chikezie has such a great voice, great personality and he really knows the right song choices for his style. He's a throwback to the days of Lionel Richie and Luther Vandross and you know what? There are millions of people who love that kind of R&B. I have no doubt that, once the tour is over, he will be making records.

As we heard Ryan say last night (and apparently he also mentioned this on Tuesday before David Cook sang) the "Billie Jean" arrangement was previously done by Chris Cornell. You may remember him best as the lead singer of Soundgarden which was a grunge band. I think he also writes movie soundtracks. Talented guy. I saw the clip of him singing the song on YouTube but I do think David Cook sounded better. Doesn't matter; just glad he was given credit (and why don't the judges mention that?).

Next week is country songs and we can pretty much guarantee that Kristy Lee, again, will not be going home. Country isn't for everyone - and I'll bet Chikezie would have done a great job with it. So who can't sing c&w? Carly? Aussie Michael? Can't you just see what David Cook will do with Garth Brooks? Perf!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

David Cook Rules!

I think, to be ultra cool, I should have spelled "rules" with a "z" as in "DAVID COOK RULZ!!!!"

To quote my friend and fellow author Paula Yoo, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE DAVID COOK! Seriously, I think I'm in love. I WAS in love with Jason Castro but that was only because he reminded me of all the guys I had crushes on in college who didn't like me back. I could never get the guys who looked like Jason to fall for me. But no matter, because now I have David Cook, who is the kind of guy most people underestimate who then KICKS BUTT!

I have mentioned this before but it's worth repeating: each week David Cook gets better and better and more impressive with his performances. His confidence is building not waning, as some others' are, and he is taking more chances with his arrangements. He was absolutely brilliant singing "Billie Jean" like that last night. I really really hope this was his own unique arrangement and not something he borrowed from someone else, like he did with Whitesnake and the Beatles.

I listened to his song twice, once with my eyes closed to see if it was something I would listen to on the radio. Yup. Oh yeah. I would download that in a heartbeat. In fact, I may just do that today if they have it up on iTunes.

One of the Cooks has got to go and it ain't gonna be this one.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Which Vee Are You?

My new book features three new characters that I hope to be able to tell you more about in books to come. Whether that means in actual book form or as part of my website, I don’t know yet. We’ll see if enough people like the first book about them!

They are The Vees: three girls whose names all begin with V.

Veronica May: the actress. Statuesque and beautiful, with a gorgeous smile and violet eyes. She’s super friendly, open and sincere. She has a big heart and a bubbly personality and wants all of her friends to be happy. But she’s uncertain about things sometimes; she worries what others will think of her. With love and success, she will begin to overcome that.

Virginia Cooper: the writer. Cute, quiet, introspective. No one ever really knows what Ginny is thinking. She always has a pad and pen in her pocket, ready to capture the moment in words. She’s a middle child in a huge family and has often been overlooked. She has a fierce love for her friends and would protect them at all costs.

Valeria Maria Carmellita Padilla y Lopez: the model. A stunning Latina, former teen pageant queen. She loves flash – spangly clothes and spiky heels. All the guys notice Val; she can’t help it! Although she’s aware of her beauty, she doesn’t flaunt it with the Vees and in fact, she sometimes feels inferior to them, as if she’s not as smart as they are.

There used to be a fourth Vee, Vivian Reed, who moved to LA and changed her name to just Reed. She was once a close friend to all of them but now she’s become hugely competitive with Veronica, going so far as to sabotage her auditions and her relationship with the cute guy at the coffee shop. It takes Veronica a while to realize just how toxic her old friend has become.

Of all the Vees, I hope you’re not a Vivian Reed. {shudder}

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pushy Characters

Talk to any writer and she’ll probably tell you her characters speak to her all the time, even when she’s not writing. Some writers insist they do nothing but listen to what their characters are saying or doing and just write it all down, sort of like transcription. Definitely, when I’m in the zone, I’ll hear them discussing things and I don’t feel like I’m forcing them to say or do what I want them to. It’s when I do force them that I run into problems and the writing is stiff and bland or plot-heavy.

I have to tell you about a current situation I am in, one which I haven’t ever experienced before. I do believe you can’t write a story before it’s ready to be told. I mean, you certainly can but it won’t be good. Sometimes I think I’m ready to tell a story, then I get about 100 pages in and I stop. I HATE that so much! This is why I will wait a good long while for the characters to form in my head, for situations to develop, for a beginning, middle and end to construct itself. That way, when I finally sit down to write, I have no question in my mind that it’s the story I want to tell. And I actually look forward to writing, to getting up every morning and attacking my computer.

So…a few weeks ago I started a new story. I had a solid outline, characters I loved whose voices I could hear, and I was excited to work on it, even though it was complex and somewhat difficult. I was eager to write my pages.

And then, something happened. Another character with her own story came waltzing into my head, tapped on my cerebellum and said, “Hey, write me.” I ignored her for a little while but she wouldn’t go away. So I said, fine, I’ll write your outline and some character names and when I have time I’ll come back to you.

And still, she wouldn’t go away. “Tell my story NOW,” she insisted. I sighed. Okay, I would write a couple pages, maybe a first chapter but no more. I had another story I was working on, after all, one that came first.

But oh no, that wasn’t good enough for her. She kept pushing herself into my writing time when I was with the other story. She’d poke at me with phrases and bits of dialogue and emotions that I just couldn’t ignore. So eventually, I caved. I put aside the other story and began work on hers. I hope she can tell me her story really quickly because I want to get back to the other story soon.

Sheesh! Don't you just hate pushy characters?

Friday, March 21, 2008

At least my Thursdays are free for a while...

Two dates now loom on my calendar for April: April 10th which you know is the release date fore ALL ABOUT VEE and LOVE, MEG in paperback, and now April 24th which is the date LOST returns.

I loved seeing the Michael story last night! There were some very important clues given to us by Mr. Friendly: the Island won't let people die and certain people can leave the Island and return (and of course, he's gay but I figured that out a while ago when he told Kate she wasn't his type). Now, why and how won't the Island let people die? It's obviously not strictly people who were born there because Michael crash landed on it. This could also give us a clue as to why Charlie is alive in the Hurley flash forward.

As for leaving the Island, Miles indicated Ben might have some other way of getting the money when he laughed at Sawyer's naivete about Ben being able to get the $3 million. Obviously there are ways on and off the Island and Ben knows how to use them. And this is indeed a war, as Ben pointed out to Michael in his flashback: Carl and Rousseau have bit the dust thanks to Ben sending them off on a wild goose chase.

Now, I was a little bit peeved by the fact that we were told several things we knew already: Michael was the operative on the boat and the footage of the crash was staged. We knew this! Why are we wasting film time telling other people these things? In soap operas, there is usually one day every 2 weeks where a character sits down over a cup of coffee and tells another charatcer everything that's been going on: it's a shortcut to catching up the audience who may have missed an episode or 2. But this is not a soap and the audience is watching every single minute. There is no way we need catching up. Please don't waste our time with this when there are so many other things we need to know.

That being said, I'm still excited about the rest of the season. The EPs promised there would be more answers in the second half of the season so I hope they keep their word.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Nines

This was a small, independently made film with a great cast: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa McCarthy and Hope Davis. Each of them plays three different roles in the film, which was written and directed by John August, a big-time screenwriter better known for his work with Tim Burton. And watching this, you can see how he and Burton would have gotten along, although August is far more existential in his approach to his own material than he is with Burton’s.

The story, as best I can sum up, concerns a guy played by Reynolds, who is first an actor who goes crazy and ends up under house arrest where he meets McCarthy, a publicist, and Davis, a neighbor. Next he is a TV writer with a pilot and McCarthy plays herself while Davis is a TV executive helping Reynolds with his show. And third, he is the main character of the show he was writing, McCarthy is the character she was playing in the show he wrote, and Davis is a random hippie chick he meets in the woods.

I cannot adequately describe this movie except to say that all three storylines overlap and intertwine and you will recognize bits and pieces from each. It’s very well-written, expertly acted and directed, and leaves you feeling uplifted and inspired. I really enjoyed this movie; it’s one of the few I have seen recently that has stayed with me and made me think. HH and I disagreed on the ending but now that I have spent some time away from it, I think he was right.

The best of all possible worlds. You wish that someone would love you enough to make that happen for you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Beatles Night Take 2

Once again, I was impressed with David Cook and his rendition of "Daytripper." I completely disagree with Simon that he was predictable. Of all of the performers last night, David C and possibly Syesha both understood the emotion behind the songs they sang. Syesha's "Yesterday" was not bad but then again, it's such a wonderful song, it's kind of hard to screw up.

Not so for Michael Johns (who continues to choose my very favorite Beatles songs and then screws them up!) and Brooke White, both of whom just sang the words and disregarded what was meant behind them. Does anyone think George Harrison was really singing about the joys of the sun? He was singing about love!

I really have no idea what Chikizie was trying to do with the harmonica but I liked him until he began to use it...fortunately he chose a song that was not well-known so there wasn't much to compare it to. As for the rest, I really didn't remember them and that's not good. Carly's "Blackbird" was okay but I'm not really a fan although I do dig the tattoos.

And I totally agree with Simon about Jason's performance: if it had been on the radio, I would have turned it off. He had absolutely no connection to that song. But because he's a charming cutie, he can get away with it.

I think bottom 3 tonight will be Kristy Lee, Ramiele, and Chikezie (just because the judges didn't get his perf). But I gotta say, I won't be surprised if Michael Johns is there. Sorry, mate.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Little Willow Likes Vee!

Well, now, who wouldn’t like Vee? I certainly do!

Yesterday Little Willow posted a beautiful review of ALL ABOUT VEE on her Bildungsroman website. Take a read here.

I love that she put the book on her new list, “But I DO Want to Be Famous!” This is a selection of terrific books about characters who seek fame and fortune in the arts. Vee is in great company: E. Lockhart’s “Dramarama,” Lola Douglas’ “Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet,” and my friend Liane Bonin’s FANTASTIC, “Celebrity Skin,” which I highly recommend to anyone who likes any of the other books on this list.

Little Willow previously created a list called, “But I Don’t Want to Be Famous,” which is another great collection of stories about characters who are pushed into the media spotlight and don’t necessarily want to be there. Rachel Cohn’s “Pop Princess” is on this list – a fave of mine.

As always happens with me, I will start looking around LW’s site and get distracted for an HOUR! And the list of new books I want/need/must read grows and grows and makes me think of even more books and then absolutely no work gets accomplished.

Thank you for the mention (and the distraction), Little Willow!

xoxo leigh

Monday, March 17, 2008

Underrated and Overlooked

It seems to me many of the things – movies, actors, books, television – that interest me are those that have been underrated by the general public. I love to discover writers who may have been overlooked because some massively popular author was publishing at the same time, or perhaps a screenwriter or director whose smaller movie was similar to a blockbuster with big stars that got more attention.

Case in point: While I really enjoyed “Minority Report,” a giant film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, based on a Philip K. Dick story, another, smaller movie came out around the same time that was similar in tone and also based on a Dick short. It was called “The Impostor” and it starred Gary Sinise, directed by Gary Fleder. A wonderful film, possibly better told than the bigger film – tighter in its execution. But because it was released in early 2002, not long before “Report,” it was overshadowed and never got the acclaim it deserved.

Case in point: Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” was a major, MAJOR bestseller, spawning all sorts of film and book franchises, spin-offs and heck, possibly action figures, who knows…but fifteen years earlier, the Italian writer Umberto Eco published a densely-packed novel titled “Foucault’s Pendulum” with many of the same themes and “codes.” It’s not an easy book to read, not like Brown’s page-turner, but it’s just as much of a mystery, far better-written and much more clever.

I’ve debated penning a blog that is devoted to the underrated and overlooked (for personal reasons, I must admit) but I’m willing to bet, just like everything on the internet, there are probably dozens of sites already up that deal with the same thing. Maybe I will…I seem to be moving in that direction on a personal level, if not necessarily a professional one (yet).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Deja Vu

Yet another underrated movie. This time with one of my very favorite actors, Denzel Washington. I have loved DW in pretty much anything he has ever done, even the really bad movies where nothing else is good but him. I have especially liked him in movies where he plays against type, like in "Training Day." An excellent perf.

"Deja Vu" got a lot of flak for being confusing when it was out in the theaters last year and I can understand that. It begins as a fairly straightforward terrorist/murder story that ATF agent Denzel has to solve. Then it turns into something more when Val Kilmer introduces him to a technology that reconstructs the past in a continuing flow of visual images somehow based on satellites. Our man is skeptical but goes along with it until finally, he figures out it's an actual link to the past. The question remains: can he/they make enough changes in the past to alter the outcome of the future? Is the past fixed? Are there alternate timelines or a single one and what happens if you can change something in the past?

It's all fascinating and very well-done. I didn't need to pause and ask HH for his input or rewind to see or hear something again. I appreciated that there were no red herrings in terms of the murder suspect, nothing that would be a "whoa" moment in terms of the people we were getting to know. I do wish we had gotten to know DW's partner better, if we had seen him in a scene or two before he died so we could feel more for him when that does happen - and to empathize with Denzel when he realizes it doesn't matter what he does, the man will perish anyway. I wanted to feel more of his sense of futility and renewed determination to save someone.

Kudos to Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio on the script and of course, to Denzel for bringing the character to life.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Someone explain to me...

...if that was a combination flashback and flash forward in LOST last night. Would they have done that? HH says yes, that they were deliberately confusing us by making us think Jin was on his way to see Sun have her baby and then find out he's actually dead in the future and this was him in the past. The hint being that he told a nurse he had only been married for two months.

If they did that, the flashback was a waste of film and served no purpose other than to mislead the viewer into thinking Jin was alive after the rescue.

If they did not do it that way, was it possible this was indeed a flash forward and we are looking at 2 alternate universes? Is that too complicated? Too much wishful thinking?

As for the spy on the boat, of course it had to be Michael. As many others have pointed out, Ben would not have simply let him leave the island with Walt without agreeing to sell his soul. Whether that's a good thing or not -being a spy, that is - we don't know yet. A promo for next week shows Sayid attacking Michael.

I'm glad Sun has her baby but darn it, I'm confused about Jin! Help me understand your world, Carlton and Damon!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Again, I am proven wrong by Idol. I really thought I had Syesha pegged as a total diva during her auditions and the early rounds in Hollywood but I had her all wrong. She was gracious and humble when she learned she was in the bottom 3 last night: no tears, no whining, no pouty face. I don't think she thought she was going home, tho, so possibly that helped.

How Kristy managed to survive another round is truly beyond me. That song on Tuesday night was an abomination. Not that she's not a great singer (honestly, everyone at this stage of the game is a great singer and it's strictly a matter of song choice and presentation that makes or breaks them), but that was seriously a crime against the Beatles to sing "8 Days a Week" as a hoedown.

And what of David Hernandez? Rumor has it he has already been eyed for a recording contract with a major label so he has to know he's got a future beyond pizza. He does have a terrific voice - I've always admired that - but he needs...a makeover. Not for his appearance but for his image. Someone needs to do some damage control on his past - or somehow use it to his advantage. Depending on what the record producer sees him as, his somewhat unsavory past could be used to great effect.

Another week of Lennon/McCartney songs...I would have loved this until I saw what horrible things can be done to the beloved Beatles. Time to move on to Broadway or Reggae or whatever song style is next on the list.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Your Top 12, America

I think what I like most about Idol is how your perception about people changes so much from audition through final performances. Some people you thought were totally gonna rock the house become skittish on stage and fold under the pressure. Some of them are one-note singers who can't handle different styles of music. And some blossom under the hot lights and applause.

And let me state the obvious...when Paula Abdul is telling you that she didn't "get" your perf, that is a VERY bad sign.

I thought Ramiele was a big winner when I first saw her and now, eh. Not so much. On the other hand, I was not a fan of David Cook and he totally won me over last night.

Michael Johns was also on my top 6 list until "Across the Universe" which HH liked but I hated. That is one of my very favorite Beatles songs and I just disliked his performance of it intensely. I think I just didn't like that he misinterpreted it so much. I'm sorry, Michael, I've loved everything up until now.

Some others fell flat last night and maybe this was just the music. The Beatles songs are deceptively simple and I think people think they can do things to them to make them better or more complicated but really they're foolproof if you sing them as written. It's like wearing a designer gown: it's definitely gonna improve your looks just by throwing it on over your head. David A, Syesha, Amanda, David H, and Kristy Lee....what did she do to "8 Days a Week"?

So tonight I think we'll see the bottom three are Kristy Lee, David H, and Ramiele.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Another underrated movie starring another underrated actor.

Chris Cooper received a well-deserved Oscar for “Adaptation” but before that he was in John Sayles’ amazing “Lone Star,” as well as “American Beauty” and “October Sky.”

“Breach” is the story of how FBI agent and traitor Robert Hanssen was caught by his own employers. Ryan Philippe is Eric O’Neil, the man the FBI used to gain Hanssen’s trust and eventually bring him down. We know from the outset that they are going to capture him and we know that he was convicted as a traitor to the US so the film’s taut storyline concerns how he’s caught. Cooper is brilliant as Hanssen, paranoid and egotistical yet highly moral. He is able to balance both sides of the man’s complex personality perfectly.

I think the film would have been a bigger hit if there had been more action. People might have been expecting lots of gunplay a la “Bourne,” which Cooper was also in.

And of course, this movie also has Laura Linney and Dennis Haysbert, both of whom are fantastic in anything they do.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Let the Countdown Begin…

Only one month until my new book is released! Whoo-hoo! On April 10th, ALL ABOUT VEE will be available in your local bookstores.

And extra double bonus! LOVE, MEG will be out in paperback, too, in case you want to get a copy for your friends or for your mom (makes a great Mother’s Day gift! Or Father’s Day gift!), or if you want to leave the signed hardcover copy at home while you take the soft cover to the beach with you.

If you order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble online, I think you might even get your copy before everyone else. That’s what happened last summer with MEG – some people told me they received their pre-ordered copies days before the stores had them.

And remember, if you’re in the LA area and plan to attend the LA Times Festival of Books, I will be signing at the Book Soup booth, #329, at 2PM on Sunday, April 27th, at the UCLA campus in Brentwood. Come on down! I’d love to see you!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Juicy Television

Lately, Thursdays have been the best TV night ever. First we have the Idol results show, followed by LOST, and then Eli Stone, which is...not bad. I don't always watch the last show because sometimes HH and I are much too engrossed in discussions about the first two.

I was totally shocked America sent Danny home. I really think it should have been David Cook instead. (Luke was pretty much a given after that horrendous WHAM! cover.) The faux rocker did the Lionel Richie tune which made me think of numerous 80s movies, and not in a good way at all. I don't care that the judges called it daring or whatever. I cringed. And even though I wasn't much of a fan of Danny's "Tainted Love" I thought he was pretty interesting to have around as a contestant/cast member because come on, these people are all cast.

On the girls' side, Kady had to know she was going home last night based on the reaction she had to not going home last week. She is cute and talented but for some reason, she doesn't do anything with it. She's got charm and personality but this was her week to step up and show it off and she didn't. As for Asiah'h being sent packing, that was a shocker too. She will have a great career, though, you just know it. She's got a fantastic voice and she will land in front of a mic somewhere.

But question here...why didn't anyone sing Yaz? I would have paid money for that.

And then there was...LOST. Biggest unanswered question: to what lengths did Ben go to get Juliet on the island? Kill her ex-husband? Cure her sister of cancer? Devise a way to make all the pregnant women on the island die just so she can come study them? And why? Harper said she so obviously looked like someone. Who was it? Mother? The girl who gave him the doll? And of course, there was the presence of Harper herself in the middle of the jungle, suddenly there to give Juliet information about Faraday and Lewis and what they were doing. She could not have "have come from Ben" since Ben was in the basement of Locke's house. She said he was exactly where he wanted to be. Did she mean physically? Or just that he was with Locke and his crew instead of Jack's group?

And...did anyone else notice that there was only the tape in the safe when Locke looked but then when Ben walked over to it, he withdrew a red folder? There was NO red folder in the safe. It was a white safe and we would have noticed that. So how did Ben do that? Can he stop time, go do something and then start time again? Can the island read his thoughts and make them materialize?

I wish I knew Carlton Cuse personally so I could pull a Locke on him and MAKE him tell me what's happening.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I recently finished reading my friend Paula’s new book, GOOD ENOUGH, and have to recommend it to everyone I know! It’s warm and funny and just a touch bittersweet and I loved all of the cultural details. Paula is a Korean American and this book is chock full of all sorts of tidbits like Spam recipes (you’ll have to read to understand why she’s included those) and mini-Korean lessons (her character doesn’t speak the language fluently so she explains to us what little she understands). I have a very good friend who is Korean American and I just know she will love this book – and will probably recognize a lot of the material from her own life!

GOOD ENOUGH tells the story of Patti Yoon, an accomplished violinist who is a senior in high school and who studies constantly! Her parents are pushing her to go to HYP (that’s Harvard, Yale, or Princeton) because they believe that’s the only way to assure success and financial stability. They will accept nothing less than perfection from their only child. Patti is chasing this dream as well but she also has a passion for music and part of her would really like to attend Juilliard instead but her parents would never allow that. When she falls in love with Ben, a gorgeous trumpet player who asks her to jam with him, her studies fall to the wayside and she begins to seriously consider applying to Juilliard.

Paula is about to set out on a whirlwind tour of appearances for her book so if you’re in any of the areas where she will be, definitely check her out. If you’re lucky, she’ll play a little violin! Visit her webpage or her MySpace page for more info. And more good news for her: her book has been nominated for the ALA's 2009 Best Books for Young Adults list! How amazing for her!

Go, Paula!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Yet More Book Stuff!

Everything has an exclamation point this week if you haven’t noticed the trend.

For everyone who’s going to the LA Times Festival of Books this year, I will be signing copies of ALL ABOUT VEE and LOVE, MEG at the Book Soup booth –whoo-hoo! We love Book Soup. They are the hippest, coolest, most Sunset Strippiest bookstore around and I am thrilled and honored to have been asked to participate this year. Wowsa!

It’s like going into a library and seeing your book on the shelf or watching someone perusing your book at a store. You think, “That’s what I usually do! That’s me looking at someone else’s work!” The concept of your own work being considered in the same way is just…strange. The very idea that I would be a person at a book festival, signing books and answering questions, is wild to me!

I’ll post day, time and location as soon as I have it. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

LOVE, MEG in Audio!

More book news…you can now download an audio copy of LOVE, MEG through and iTunes. Before you buy, you can sample it too, which is just the most amazing and cool thing to me – hearing my book read by someone other than myself!

The narrator is a woman named Jill Apple who also narrated Kieran Scott’s “I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader.” She sounds wonderful! I haven’t heard the whole thing yet but just a sample of it made me swoon – she was doing Meg’s voice!

So very cool…check it out here.


Monday, March 3, 2008

VEE Winner! Yay, Heidi!

Congratulations to Heidi Kukta of Utah who is the winner of a signed galley of ALL ABOUT VEE, my brand new book that won’t be available to the rest of the world until April 10! And thanks to which hosted the February contest on their website! I’ll be sending it out to Heidi very, very soon and I hope she will honor me with an email or comment on the book when she’s finished reading it.

(P.S. to Heidi - Because I was born in Gernmany, my dad wanted to name me Heidi. I would have been Heidi Leigh Purtill. Not bad, eh?)

And stay tuned at my website for brand new stuff relating to VEE! Ninja Webmaster and I are working on some way cool things…


Saturday, March 1, 2008

RIP Wm. F. Buckley

This week saw the passing of the famed conservative writer, William F. Buckley. He was a familiar face to people of my parents' generation because of appearances as the host of Firing Line. Erudite, charming, to the manner borne, Buckley was known as an intellectual whose famous book, "God and Man at Yale," a critique on Yale University (which he attended and where he was a member of the secret society Skull and Bones, of which George Bush was also a member) zoomed him into the consciousness of the American intelligentsia.

I discovered Buckley in my teens when I was reading all sorts of spy novels. Buckley wrote a series of books with a CIA agent, Blackford Oakes, as the main character. They were fun and smart and tongue-in-cheek and I can recall my parents' horror when they found out I was reading this incredibly conservative man's books. I had no idea! I just liked the adventures! I later read "God and Man" and was disappointed by Buckley's politics; nevertheless, I appreciated his immense talent.

His death makes me want to re-read the Oakes novels. Looks like there may have been one or 2 I missed.