Monthly Archives: April 2012

My Simon & Schuster author video

It’s official.  I am in the Simon & Schuster “Author Portal.”  (At least the link works on AOL.)  And I love how much Level3 footage they used!

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, favorite books, friendship, friendship break-ups, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, writing, young adult

World Book Night (at the Merrimack-Nashua JV lacrosse game)

World Book Night was a great success!  Since my sleepy, little New Hampshire town shuts down by 7:00pm, I handed out my copies of Peace Like A River a tad early, at my nephew’s JV lacrosse game.  What a joy it was to give away one of my very favorite books.

The Merrimack - Nashua boys JV lacrosse game.

Yes folks, it's true. I am the half-time show.

She was glad for the rainy weather, since it meant more reading time.

The score Merrimack 8, Nashua 5. But the readers are the real winners. 😉

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Writing for a Genre That Doesn’t Exist (Yet)

Aspiring writers, fans of Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat!, and enhanced e-book enthusiasts should check out my blog post on today:  Writing for a Genre That Doesn’t Exist (Yet).

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Why I Write

Head on over to Tangled Up in Words and learn the answer…

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But How Many Words Per Minute?

A great YouTube find!  I am hoping for a typolution myself at the moment. 😉 –Hilary

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The Last Seven Books I Bought

Yesterday, on Presenting Lenore, the lovely and talented Lenore Appelhans revealed the last seven books she’d bought, and to my delight, REUNITED was on the list (as a pre-order, of course)!  So, I’ve decided to join in the fun and do it, too.  This was actually a bit harder than I thought, since I’ve been trying not to spend so much money on books.  Plus, I’ve been reading lots of ARCs lately, and my mom just passed along the incredible yet emotionally traumatizing Sarah’s Key (my current read), but here goes.

1) Croak by Gina Damico (well, technically, I haven’t bought it yet, but I will at her book party (woo hoo!) at the Burlington, MA Barnes & Noble next week).  I am soooooooo excited to read this!

2) Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty  At the suggestion of a friend, I bought this at Longfellow Books in Portland, ME two weeks ago.  It’s in the line-up on my nightstand, but I haven’t read it yet.

3) The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay My sister said it was a must-read & she was absolutely right.  What an incredible book.  Bryce Courtney is a genius.

4) An Abundance of Katherines by John Green  After reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I needed more John Green.  It’s in the line-up.

5) Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, David Levithan  LOVED it! This is a book I want everyone to read, especially high school kids.

6) Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen A.C. Gaughen is such an amazing writer and even though I’d already read the ARC on Netgalley, I just had to own a copy myself.  In my humble opinion, Scarlet is one of the best female characters in all of YA lit.  I adore this book!

7) SWELL by Corwin Ericson.  Another one in the line-up.  (Plus, I bought two additional copies as gifts.) Cory is my friend Bethany’s brother & his book is getting lots of great buzz, especially around Boston.

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Start with Failure: The Advice No Aspiring Writer Ever Wants to Hear

I was 23-years-old when I made my first feature film. It took me a year to write the script, six months to raise the money, two weeks to shoot it, and three months of editing. The following two years were spent trying to find a distributor and crying myself to sleep each night I failed to do so…  Check out the full story over at the Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing blog.

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Household Hints from Hilary

If you’re a slob like me, it’s hard to find the time to clean house after a long day’s work.  Or ever.  And even with a semi-regular housekeeper on the payroll, the mess can pile up quickly (ususally from fifteen minutes after said housekeeper leaves up until the next time she comes).

Except for that one special day each month when I’m driven to scrubbing my faucet fixtures with a toothbrush, I don’t clean very well or very often.  I can’t be bothered to wipe that blob of hair gel off the bathroom mirror, even though I know I caused it.  I don’t sweep or dust regularly, and the noise of the vacuum frightens me, like a house cat.  Even when I come home with a pristine new piece of technology, promising myself that this time, I will honor the sleek and unblemished beauty of my new iPod, or Apple keyboard, one month later, its formerly infinitesimal crevices are bursting with stray hairs and food crumbs.  (Sorry, SJ.  RIP.)

So, how can a Messy Marvin like me give household advice to a bunch of neatniks?   (And by neatniks, I’m mean those of you who clean your fridge more frequently than on presidential election years.)  Well, as they say, out of chaos comes order.

Take, for example, my innovative approach to Car Fresheners.  Unlike store-bought fresheners, my innovative Tangerine-Scented Car Potpourri is up-cycled, organic, and fully compostable.  Just eat a tangerine while driving, throw the carcass on the floor, and voila–citrusy freshness that will last for days! (or until it starts to mold over).

Mmmm, tangerine-y.

Or what about Sock Mopping?  (Patent pending.) Who hasn’t wished there was a way to clean up those trouble spots on the kitchen floor without the hassle of dragging out the mop and  bucket?  Now there is!  Simply step in the water you’ve just spilled (and if you’re like me, you’re pretty much always spilling water) then use the toe of your sock to rub away the sticky spots.  Sure, your sock will be a little damp and dirty afterwards, but suck it up, wuss.  You want to see damp and dirty?  Try hanging out in an underwater Vietnamese prison, like these guys.

Waah, your sock is damp.

My third helpful hint is called Godfathering, inspired by Francis Ford Coppola’s classic film.  Having a problem with household pests?  Why waste all the effort it takes to walk all the way to your bathroom to flush a squished fly down the toilet, when you could just leave him there and send  a message to his friends?  I don’t think the other flies will be too keen on buzzing around your desk lamp when they take a gander at their pal’s corpse in the windowsill.

This fly's decaying corpse is also a "teachable moment" for the children.

The last cleaning innovation isn’t mine, but if it were real, I would definitely buy it.  The one and only  Swiffer Sleepers, by the geniuses at SNL.  Seriously, someone should sell these.

"Not recommended for children with allergies."

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Spring Broken

Check out the guest blog I did on Book Sp(l)ot’s Spring Break Blog Spectacular 


I never did the Spring Break thing in college. At least not the kind you see in the movies. Sure, there was the time I road-tripped from San Francisco to Disneyland with my roommates sophomore year. But there were no raunchy wet T-shirt contests or indiscriminate hook-ups on our trip. And not once did a group of drunken frat guys impel us to “chug!”  To read more about my misadventures with Drunky McGee’s Spring Break Travel Company, CLICK HERE

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Fiction and Movies and Blogs, Oh My!

Just got back from a whirlwind trip to NYC for Teen Book Fest, (where my speaking engagement didn’t exactly go as planned) then Portland, Maine for the Chidlren’s Film Festival (where my speaking engagement went better than planned).  But both trips were full of unexpected book & movie-related delights along the way.

Delight #1 – A visit with my publisher.  Once again, my lovely editor, Alexandra Cooper, gave me the official Simon & Schuster tour, where I got to meet all of the people in Sales, Marketing, and Publicity who are working hard to make REUNITED a success (presumably, they’re publishing other titles, too).

When I got off the elevator at Simon & Schuster, there was this. Not bad company, eh? Though I hear they gave Whaley champagne. 😉

Delight #2 – Authors & BBQ – Though our Teen Author Fest event didn’t exactly go as planned (insert loud throat-clearing here) I did get to enjoy a wonderful lunch with a gang of great authors including:   Leanna Renee Hieber (author of DARKER STILL), Lauren McLaughlin (author of SCORED and the CYCLER series), Kody Keplinger (author of THE DUFF and SHUT OUT), PG Kain, (author of the COMMERCIAL BREAKS series) and Gwendolyn Heasley (author of WHERE I BELONG and the forthcoming A LONG WAY FROM YOU).  A definite highlight of my trip!

Leanna Renee Hieber, Lauren McLaughlin, and I visit the lovely teen room at the Hamilton Grange Branch of the NY Public Library.

Delight #3 – While in the East Village with my friend Chuck, we walked by the inspiring & hilarious Janeane Garofalo, who was rocking red leggings and combat boots, like a total bad-ass.  No photo, but you get the picture.

Delight #4 – In Portland, ME we always stay with my sister & her family.  Recently, my eight-year-old niece created her own in-house library, complete with official library cards, a reference section, and a wide selection of books and videos available for loan.  A family library card cost 35 cents.  Also, there’s a tip jar.

My niece's library, where we took out a Muppets Movie and a Calvin & Hobbes book.

Delight #5 – This is me, leading a filmmaking workshop at the Children’s Film Fest in Portland, ME.  Great kids, well-attended, and I was sooooo happy to see so many girls interested in making movies!

Raise your hand if you want to overthrow the patriarchy.

Delight #6 – Kirsten Cappy of Curious City is also based out of Portland, ME and we spent the afternoon eating sushi & scheming with the uber-cool librarian and all-around Renaissance man Michael Whitaker.  You can see some of our plans for REUNITED here:

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