Monthly Archives: October 2011

What do Usher and Matt Lauer have in common?

Answer:  They both make celebrity appearances in my new book.

First off, let me say that the “book” is not technically a book yet, since I’m only on page 56.  But it’s the first time I’ve written something that dictates the presence of real celebrities interacting (albeit fleetingly) with my characters.  Usher and Matt Lauer are part of the world I’m building, the result of my protagonist’s dad’s sudden fame.

But bringing celebs into my story gave me pause: was it okay to use these famous names, or have I become a literary name-dropper?   Even worse, am I using these people?  The answer I came up with is no.  Just like my book mentions Starbucks or the name of a certain Lady Gaga song, celebrities are part of our cultural landscape, relevant details that ground us in the present.  If I were to make up a universally beloved pop singer instead of using Usher, my realistic contemporary world would feel phony and strange.

The fact of the matter is that there is often good reason for famous people to populate our fictional worlds (and no, I’m not talking about my prolonged 1986-88 fantasies of hooking up with Michael J. Fox).   Woody Allen did it in MIDNIGHT in PARIS, where the appearance of famous figures from the past (Hemingway, F.Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein etc.) was the film’s main conceit.   Brett Easton Ellis did it in GLAMORAMA.  But you knew Brett Easton Ellis would make the list, didn’t you?

And most recently, Tom Perotta did it in THE LEFOTVERS, his amazing new novel about a Rapture-like event which causes millions of people on earth to mysteriously disappear, the following celebrities among them:  John Mellencamp and Jennifer Lopez, Shaq and Adam Sandler, Miss Texas and Greta Van Susteren, Vladimir Putin and the Pope.

For some reason, I am in love with this list and I crack up every time I think of Perotta at his computer trying to come up with the perfect combination of famous names to disappear.  (I think he succeeded.)  Oh, how we would miss you, J-Lo.

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Less Stuff, More Happiness

Check out Graham Hill’s TED talk:  Less Stuff, More Happiness



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Waiting On Wednesday: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen






“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This Week I am waiting on: SCARLET by A.C. Gaughen


SYNOPSIS:  Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Too bad we have to wait until February 14th until SCARLET releases.  But at least I know what I’ll be doing this Valentine’s Day. 😉

SCARLET on Goodreads

Pre-order SCARLET on B&N




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My Tribute to Andy Rooney

In addition to this video tribute, I’ve also honored Andy Rooney’s legacy by not having my eyebrows waxed for the past month.  And even if you weren’t a fan, you have to agree that Andy Rooney brought unabashed crankiness to an art form.  Now we just need some ladies to get out there & break the curmudgeonly glass ceiling.


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