New Moon

So today Twilight: New Moon releases (as if you didn't know that.) And according to the online ticket service Fandango, already it has outsold the biggest pre-sale ticket sales to date - Star Wars Phantom Menance.

I have a confession. I haven't seen the original Twilight movie. I've read the book, of course, but for some reason I just haven't had the desire to see the movie. The reviews I've heard are all over the spectrum with some friends telling me it was so awful and cheesy while others were so obsessed they were known to sneak into the back room at work just to watch a few scenes (you know who you are!) And some of these squealing fans are grown women - grandmothers!! But that Edward just got under their skin.

So I probably won't see New Moon. But I love what Stephanie Meyers has done - created a huge empire from a book. Anything that promotes reading is a winner with me.

THE ESPRESSOLOGIST

Today on the blog tour I'll be interviewing Kristina Springer, author of THE ESPRESSOLOGIST


About The Espressologist
What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

About Kristina Springer
Kristina Springer has a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Illinois State University and a Master of Arts in Writing from DePaul University. Her first novel, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, was published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on October 27, 2009. Her second novel, MY FAKE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS, also from FSG, will be published in the fall of 2010. She lives in a suburb of Chicago, IL with her husband Athens and their four small children Teegan, Maya, London, and Gavin.

Me Hi, Welcome! thanks for stopping in to chat with us! What competes for your time and how do you manage to give writing the appropriate amount of time it requires?

Kristina My family. :-) I have four kids ages 1, 3, 5, and 6. And they've got lots of activities. I write in the evenings or on the weekends.

Me Whew, I thought I was busy! What is your writing routine? Do you outline or write as you go? Do you fully sketch and develop your main character initially, or get to know him/her as you write?

Kristina Before I sold I wrote as I went along. But somewhere along the way I switched to writing full outlines. I still like to get to know my characters as I go along though. I tried doing one of those huge character charts once but it took too long and didn't really help me when it came time to write the book.

Me What do you particularly love about the setting you portray in your book?

Kristina I loooooove the coffee shop setting! Coffee shops are a great place for characters to hang out and drama to ensue.

Me Agreed! What actor or actress do you imagine playing your main character in a movie or T.V. version of your book?

Kristina Hmm...maybe Vanessa Hudgens?

Me Great! thanks for stopping in! This really is a cute read, I know it'll do great! Congratulations on your debut!

Additional Details

o Author Web site: http://kristinaspringer.com/

o Bookstore links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Espressologist-Kristina-Springer/dp/0374322287/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255842033&sr=1-1
Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780374322281

the Debs!

The past three months have been a whirlwind! I've travelled quite a bit for different book signings or promotional events for LIPSTICK APOLOGY and all of the sudden I've turned around and now it's November. How did that happen? I had my final scheduled event last weekend and just when I thought I'd get a breather, now we're rolling into holiday season. and we're having Thanksgiving at my house this year and Hello I've never cooked a turkey!

One week ago I attended the national conference for school librarians in Charlotte, NC and what made this event most exciting was that I actually got to meet some of The Debs in person. The 2009 Debutantes are an online group of debut authors (these are the books I've been blogging about on my blog tour). It's an amazing group of about forty of us just navigating this crazy publishing world together. It's an amazing support system and I really feel like many of these people are my friends. But we all live scattered across the US and while several of them have met up at events in NY or CA, I've never had an opportunity to meet any of them until now.

We all come from different locations, different backgrounds and careers but there is an unmistakable bond as we've all shared this unique experience of writing a novel, getting published and attempting to promote our books together. Writing can be so rewarding but it can also be a solitary act and I think we all appreciate the outlet to socialize and vent with each other. Here we are holding our books at the conference.

(no subject)

Today on the blog tour I'll be interviewing L.K. Madigan, author of FLASH BURNOUT.
 

About Flash Burnout

Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who's a girl. One of them loves him, the other one needs him.

 

When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa's long-lost meth addicted mom.

 

In a tangle of life, death, and love, Blake will emerge with a more sharply defined snapshot of loyalty.

 

About L.K. Madigan

L.K. Madigan is a writer living in Portland, Oregon, who finds it odd to speak in the third person. Therefore:

 

Hi. I am married with one son, two big black dogs, hundreds of books, and a couple of beaters, I mean vintage cars.

Me: Hi, welcome.  Thanks for stopping in to chat with us.  Tell me, what competes for your time and how do you manage to give writing the appropriate amount of time it requires?

LK Writing is a solitary and obsessive act, so I think time away from it is always healthy. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel guilty every time I take a break. (See definition of ‘obsessive.’)

The usual banquet of family, friends, housework, yard work, dogs, books, movies, TV, and simple lethargy compete for my writing time. And my day job, of course!

Me What is your writing routine? Do you outline or write as you go? Do you fully sketch and develop your main character initially, or get to know him/her as you write?

LK What is this “routine” you speak of?

Me *laughing*

LK I don’t outline my books, although once I step into the murky middle of a work-in-progress, I create a document that synopsizes each chapter, including first and last lines. (I think it’s called a story ladder?) That helps me see patterns and weak spots. And since I often don’t know where I’m going when I’m trudging through The Middle, consulting this document helps get me back on track.

My main character almost always arrives fully formed, like Athena from the forehead of Zeus, so I just start writing down his or her story. Of course, I love the moment when my character surprises me during the writing process.

Me What do you particularly love about the setting you portray in your book?

LK Setting does not play a big role in FLASH BURNOUT, although technically it takes place in Portland, Oregon, my home town. But it could be set in any medium-sized West Coast city.

My second book, however, has a very evocative setting – a beach town in northern California, with lots of surfers and sand and cold water! I worked hard to make that setting as real and tangible as possible, so that even someone who’s never seen the ocean would get a feel for it.

Me  What actor or actress do you imagine playing your main character in a movie or T.V. version of your book?

LK I picture Blake looking like a young James Franco – from the “Freaks and Geeks” era.

Me Oh, great choice. Thanks for stopping by and best of luck with your debut!

 

Additional Details

 

o Author Web site: http://www.lkmadigan.com

Bookstore links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Flash-Burnout-L-K-Madigan/dp/0547194897/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255841483&sr=1-1
Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780547194899



MY INVENTED LIFE

Today on the blog tour I'll be interviewing Lauren Bjorkman, author of MY INVENTED LIFE.
 

About My Invented Life
Roz and Eva are sisters, close friends, and fierce rivals. Roz fantasizes about snagging the lead in the school play and sexy skate god Bryan as her boyfriend. Sadly a few obstacles stand between her and her dreams. For one, Eva is the more talented actress. And Bryan happens to be Eva’s boyfriend. But is Eva having a secret love affair with a girl? Enquiring minds need to know.

Roz prides herself on random acts of insanity. In one such act, she invents a girlfriend of her own to encourage Eva to open up. The plan backfires, and Roz finds herself neck deep in her invented life. When Roz meets a mercurial boy with a big problem, she begins to understand the complex feelings beneath the labels. And she gets a second chance to earn Eva’s trust.

My Invented Life is set in a small California high school during rehearsals for a Shakespeare comedy.

About Lauren Bjorkman
I grew up on a sailboat, sharing the tiny forecastle with my sister and the sail bags. We are still friends. Visiting exotic lands continues to be a big part of my life. I once learned how to make bread in Yemen Bedouin style. I’ve played Hacky Sack with children in Thailand. My passion for travel is second only to my love for books because take me to every world imaginable. I live in Taos, New Mexico with my husband, two sons, a cat that thinks he’s a dog, and another cat that thinks he’s a rabbit.

Me: Hi! Welcome.  Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.  What competes for your time and how do you manage to give writing the appropriate amount of time it requires?

Lauren: My children, my husband, and my friends. I like to spend time with them, and it hurts to shut myself away to write. I never feel guilty about undone dishes and dirty floors, though =D

Me: What is your writing routine? Do you outline or write as you go? Do you fully sketch and develop your main character initially, or get to know him/her as you write?

Lauren: I start with one or two characters and a premise. After I pound the keys for awhile, the plot and the other characters emerge. Outlines don't work for me. I've also tried to write detailed sketches for each character before starting on a novel. Unfortunately, so much changes as I go along, that it's not worth it. So I've switched to writing rough character sketches in advance.

Me: What do you particularly love about the setting you portray in your book?

Lauren: I based the fictional town of Yolo Bluffs on a rural town in Northern California. For me, it's fun to create the details rather than describe an existing place. And I wanted a small town with nasty winter weather because my main character, Roz, is in a fog of her own making for most of the story. I love to use weather as a metaphor.

Me: What actor or actress do you imagine playing your main character in a movie or T.V. version of your book?

Lauren: Ack! I never know how to answer this question. I'd fail as a casting director. How about the singer Pink when she was a teen?

Me: Thanks for stopping in and good luck with your debut!

Additional Details

o Author Web site: http://laurenbjorkman.com/

o Bookstore links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/My-Invented-Life-Lauren-Bjorkman/dp/0805089500/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251760019&sr=1-1
Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780805089509


Pumpkins and pictures

I love this time of year - the crisp mornings and evenings, the vibrant colors painting the leaves and stacks of pumpkins decorating front porches. Looking at the painted pumpkins arranged on my kitchen table reminds me of one of my favorite scenes in LIPSTICK APOLOGY - the Halloween party where the stack of illuminated jack-o-lanterns explodes.

It's funny how many times readers have asked me if that really happened to me. The answer is no, this was a creation of my imagination. I loved the idea of a pyramid of pumpkins - it's so visual and festive - and the idea of candle light sparkling from a pumpkin creates a unique romantic ambiance for a roof top party. But of course when I'm creating scenes in my mind and I want to create drama, I always ask myself what's the worst thing that could happen? And somehow I envisioned this beautiful arrangement of pumpkins exploding everywhere, sticky orange pulp flying and flames of fire erupting. What a way to interrupt a kiss, right?

I think a lot of people assume that authors write scenes from their life, and maybe some do, but maybe my life is just a little dull :) Thank goodness I have an over active imagination.

Halloween was great, even though it rained :(
Here's my dragon and giraffe:

the dragon at preschool:

a view from behind of the all important wings and tails:

cute as a button:

Borders signing in Bridgewater, NJ

It was pouring rain, there were several local Halloween parties and school sporting events and yet I was fortunate to have so many friends, family and even strangers come out to support me at my book signing in my hometown of Bridgewater, New Jersey. Thanks to everyone for braving the elements and especially to those friends who drove distances (one friend who drove three hours - thanks, Denny!)

Of course I'm terrible at remembering to take pictures, but I do have a few to share:





Here with great friends and neighbors from my old block, Kim and Christine:


With friends from high school: Jill, me, Lisa and Jen


Me with my best friend and sister, Jackie


Me with good friend, Katy


With awesome friend, Colleen, and her two adorable girls


My dad and Grandmother


And yes, for anyone who noticed, I seem to have a trend going. For all my book signings I've worn pink. It wasn't intentional, I swear, but after the first event everyone kept saying, 'oh, you match your book cover', and I guess I thought that was cool :) They HAVE been different shades, though! And next week in Charlotte, I think I'll bust out some purple, just to spice it up.

Thanks again to everyone for coming out to support me, helping me sell 45 copies! And thanks to the fabulous staff at Borders!

Paybacks

I wrote about how Sam spent several hours playing a fighter jet pilot video game at Chuck E. Cheese a few weeks ago. Well now, apparently, he thinks that qualifies him to fly a plane.

Tomorrow I leave with my two kids to fly to New Jersey to visit my family and do a book signing. And as if I wasn't stressed enough about flying alone with the kids (my husband is staying home) now Sam is declaring that he's going to go up to the crockpit (not a typo that's what he calls it) and help the pilot fly the plane.  Oh, we can wave hello to the pilot! I say enthusiastically, but no, he insists he's going into the crockpit - maybe even to sit on the pilot's lap.

This is paybacks, I'm sure.  I wrote a book about a plane crash and now I'm destined to have stressful air travel for the rest of my life.

So wish me luck and if you're in New Jersey - please stop by:
Saturday, October 24th 4pm
Borders
Bridgewater, NJ
(across from the Commons mall)

CANDOR by Pam Bachorz

Today on the blog tour I'll be interviewing Pam Bachorz, author of CANDOR.

 

About Candor

Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he’s found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He’s got them all fooled: Oscar’s the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he’s made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar falls in love. He must choose whether to let Nia be lost to brainwashing—or to sacrifice himself.

About Pam Bachorz

Pam Bachorz grew up in a small town in the Adirondack foothills, where she participated in every possible performance group and assiduously avoided any threat of athletic activity. Pam attended college in Boston and finally decided she was finished after earning four degrees. Her mother is not happy that Pam’s degrees are stored under her bed.

Pam lives just outside Washington, DC with her husband and their son. She likes to read books not aimed at her age group, go to museums and theater performances, and watch far too much television. She even goes jogging. Reluctantly.

As far as she knows, Pam has never been brainwashed. Or maybe that’s just what she’s supposed to say.

Me: Hi Pam, Welcome.  Thanks for stopping in to chat.  Tell us, what competes for your time and how do you manage to give writing the appropriate amount of time it requires?

Pam:I work another full-time job, and I have a wonderful family--and a 1937 house that always presents delightful little maintenance surprises (but we love it!). I schedule my writing each week and set goals too (such as, I'm going to write 20 pages this week). I post my schedule and my goals on my study door, and do my best to stick to them. 

Me: What is your writing routine? Do you outline or write as you go? Do you fully sketch and develop your main character initially, or get to know him/her as you write?

Pam I like to outline before I go, and I always want to know my major plot points before I start. But things definitely change as I draft the story. And then in revision I find the things that really matter.
I get to know my characters as I write--leaving much more room for them to develop than my plot. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I should spend more time on character development up front, but I get stir-crazy when I try to fill out questionnaires and do detailed character studies. I do freewrite about them, though, when I want to think about specific aspects of the character and how it intersects with the plot. 

Me: What do you particularly love about the setting you portray in your book?

Pam:The setting was inspired by the 6 years I lived in a planned community in central Florida, so I love reading my book and seeing the places that remind me of my old home and the friends who still live there. Although one of my favorite settings--a little lean-to in the woods--doesn't exist in real life, as far as I know. But I can imagine it out there! 

Me: yes, the setting in your book is very intriguing... :)  What actor or actress do you imagine playing your main character in a movie or T.V. version of your book?

Pam: I honestly haven't seen an actor who personifies Oscar for me. But I would love to see Neal McDonough, from Desperate Housewives, play my MC's father. He manages to combine creepy, controlling and compelling all at once.

Me: Great. Thanks, Pam and best of luck with CANDOR!


Additional Details

o Author Web site: http://www.pambachorz.com/

o Bookstore links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Candor-Pam-Bachorz/dp/1606840126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251759032&sr=1-1
IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781606840122