Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Next Big Thing: GIRLS LIKE ME

I haven’t blogged as much lately, so I was happy when my friend Sera Rivers tagged me to be a part of The Next Big Thing Blog Tour. You can check out her post about her work-in-progress — the amazingly titled POE IS ME – by clicking here.

And here are the deets about my Work-In-Progress.

What is your working title of your book?  GIRLS LIKE ME

Where did the idea come from for the book?  The idea started with a meeting I had in LA two years ago where a producer suggested that I brainstorm ideas for a modern adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN. I never managed to do this successfully, but ended up with about a dozen other ideas, one of which was GIRLS LIKE ME.

What genre does your book fall under?  Contemporary YA.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Chloe Moretz as Zoe

Bella Thorne as Nora

Dakota Fanning as Brooke

China Anne McLain as Claudia

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? When a life-changing emergency plane landing compels Zoe Marshall’s pilot father to come clean about the three illegitimate children he fathered back in his days as a ladies’ man, Zoe’s feels like her whole life’s been a lie. But things go from bad to worse when Zoe’s dad invites his long-lost daughters to spend the summer with them in New York.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  My agent is shopping it now (fingers crossed).

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  I’m trying to sell it as a partial.  I currently have 108 pages and a 30-page, chapter-by-chapter synopsis.  I think it took me about three months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  Hmmm, I can’t think of any actual books like it, but tonally, it’s Sarah Dessen meets Jay Asher.

Next up on the The Next Big Thing Blog Tour:

Tom Ryan, author of WAY TO GO (Orca Book Publishers)  www.tomwrotethat.com

Susanne Winnacker, author of The Other Life, its sequel The Life Beyond (coming March 1, 2013 from Usborne), and Impostor (coming July 11, 2013 from Razorbill/Penguin)  www.susannewinnacker.com

Julie True Kingsley, soon-to-be-published author & blogger extraordinaire. http://julietruekingsley.com

Wendy Thomas, 2012 NaNoWriMo winner, chicken goddess, and author of of the ebook:  Waste Not, Want Not – How Weighing Discarded Edible Waste for One Month Taught My Family the Value of Food http://simplethrift.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/lesson-678-the-next-big-thing/

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The Stuft Clappers and Other Fictional Bands

The Stuft Clappers, and their manager, Gus.  (Note the stage light on the left.)

As some of you know, I’m a big fan of fictional bands.  More specifically, I have a thing for bands that are simultaneously real and imaginary–like Level3, the band in my book, REUNITED.

Level3 has a website.  They have songs.  They even have a their own pop-up documentary.  But, if you’re waiting for Level3 to play at your local music venue, that’s where the reality stops.

So, when I learned that my young friend Gus was also the manager of a real-yet-not-real band, I just had to write about it.   Behold the Stuft Clappers–the most adorable, fluffy-haired boy band since One Direction!  But don’t let their soft exterior fool you.  These dudes know how to rock!

The rhythm section. Meow!

I’ve known Gus since the day he came home from the hospital. Three years ago, he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an incurable degenerative muscle disorder.  At that time, I happened to be writing the manuscript for REUNITED.  If you haven’t read the book, the whole impetus for the girls’ cross-country road-trip is centered on the band Level3 getting back together for a one-night-only reunion show.  The cause?  A benefit concert for an incurable disease that effected lead singer Travis’s brother.  At this stage in my writing, I’d considered a few different diseases to use for this purpose, but had yet to settle on one.

Then, one day, I was taking a walk with Gus’s mother, Tonya, who mentioned how important it was to raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, because awareness helped raise money for research, which, in turn, could help help lead to a cure.  So, I asked Tonya if she’d mind if I made the concert  in my book a fundraiser for DMD.  She said yes.

It’s probably barely noticeable to most reader’s, but it made me happy to know that I’d helped Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy have a more public profile, if only in this one small way.

To find out more about DMD, click here.  Or, visit the Hope for Gus Foundation (a non-profit dedicated to raising money for DMD research) where you can learn more about Gus and even make a donation.  Let’s help the Stuft Clappers rock on forever!

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What makes a great book club

Last week, I had the honor of doing my first book club visit as a published author, thanks to my friend Connie, one of my biggest cheerleaders. Though not technically young adults, Connie’s book club branched out from their typical reading fare in order to include my YA novel, REUNITED.  The afternoon started with a fun speaking event at the Westfield, MA Athenaeum,  followed by a lovely dinner with the book club gals.

Having never been to a book club other than my own, it was exciting to get a glimpse of another group’s unique combination of literature, food and friends–this special recipe being the heart and soul of the book club experience.  Plus, a good book club exposes us to ideas, authors, and cuisines that we might not have discovered to on our own.  Just like the Westfield ladies probably wouldn’t have have found my book, had it not been for Connie’s gentle prodding. 😉  Right now, my book club’s reading THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO by Junot Diaz.  What are you reading in your book club?

Books, food, and friends–a hat-trick of awesomeness.

 

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3 author visits in one day! A new personal record…

As some of you already know, I could talk about the writing process all day long.  And yesterday, I got to do just that!  HUGE THANKS to the students & teachers of Fenway High School in Boston, the Boston Public Library, and the Merrimack, NH Public Library.  And best of luck to all of the fabulous NH writers I met last night who’ve started NaNoWriMo. Now stop reading this and get typing! 😉

Oh, and I told the Fenway High School kids we’d vote on whose picture was cuter–the left side of the room, or the right side of the room.  But clearly, it’s a tie.

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