Saturday, September 13, 2008

Moving over to Word Press

Hey folks, got a new home for my blog over on Word Press, so if you're coming here through Blogger, hope on over to this addie to find me: http://www.juliekenner.com/blog

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The things kids say ...

So, yesterday, Isabella (age 4) spent a few hours writing in her "diarrhea."

Today, she and her sister (age 6) are wrestling on the couch. Catherine: "Put up the wall of evil feet!"

'Musicals Collection' bound for DVD

'Musicals Collection' bound for DVD


I'm totally psyched about this ... but not about the price. Still ... maybe it's worth saving for as a family holiday present.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

'Peanuts' animator Bill Melendez dies

'Peanuts' animator Bill Melendez dies: "'Peanuts' animator Bill Melendez dies
Responsible for 'Charlie Brown Christmas,' 'Great Pumpkin'"

A great talent, and a great career. We'll miss you!

More on Pitching

Here's an article that came to my in-box today, with some great tips.

"13 Steps For Constructing A Strong Verbal Pitch"
By Melody Jackson, Ph.D.

You love to write, right? You wish that you could just write and have someone else do the dirty work of marketing for you, right? Most writers feel this way anyway. In fact, most professionals in every business would rather just do their business than market themselves. Dentists and chiropractors would rather fill teeth and crack backs than worry about how they're going to get their next patients. Marketing wasn't in their vision of their dream job. But it is necessary!

No matter how much you prefer writing to marketing your script, if you ever want to see your script become a movie, you have to market it.. One aspect of that oft-dreaded task of marketing is pitching. This article is meant to ease your pain.

The first way to give yourself power is to really know yourself as the Storyteller that you are! As a screenwriter, you are the modern-day incarnation of the storytellers who used to sit around the campfire and tell stories to the community. When you prepare your pitch, somehow you have to bring your story to life and captivate your audience. Pitching is an art that can be mastered. To Master anything, you must practice. Here are 13 steps to head you in the right direction.

1. Tell the minimium that you need to to get them to read your script.

Tell your story in the shortest way possible to get the job done well. Once you have gotten the exec sufficiently interested in reading it, don't tell much more. If you overtell, you oversell, and it could backfire . An exec first listens to see if they like your idea at all. Then if they do like it, they want to save themselves the trouble of reading it if it is not very good, so at that point, they are listening to see if there is anything that ruins it for them. Once they are really excited to read it, leave your script, and get out of Dodge.

2. Work out an opening that HOOKS them right from the start.


For example, open with a question that draws them in: "What if you woke up one morning and discovered that your wish had suddenly been granted, and overnight, you had changed from a 12-year-old boy in a 12-year-old body to a 12-year-old boy in a grown man's body? Can you imagine the fun you could have?!"

Or "Imagine this: You've been working at a company for 23 years. Tomorrow is your retirement party. But there's a sudden hostile take-over ... by sadistic aliens! Would you stay and help fend them off? Or would you escape through the secret trap door in the back that only you know about and let the others figure it out on their own? This is the question that Bobbie Trunkman has to face as he . . . . "

The idea is to get a visualization jumpstarted in the audience's mind. Get them to SEE your movie.


3. Set the stage, the mood, as you start to tell it

If you can create a strong hook at the beginning that sets the mood, then great. Other ways to open could be something lke: : "This is the story of Bobbie Trunkman, a middle-aged man who suddenly ..." Or make a statement that draws them in to create the mood: "When you're a teenager, everything matters. To Cher Smithers, it mattered more. At 17-years-old, Cher has just . . . ."


4. If you have a special location or time period, be sure to mention it, otherwise you may lose your listener.

Let's say you start pitching about someone living in a commune - it would be one story if it's the 1960s and a very different story if it is 2008. Same thing goes for the genre. Mention up front what the genre is. You'd be surprised how most stories could be pitched in several different genres. To test this idea, pitch your script to yourself first as a drama and then as a spoof and see what you come up with.

5. Bring your story to life by adding words that suggest taste, sight, sound, smell, touch, and feel(ings).

"When he touches her face and looks into her eyes, he is overcome with love. He reaches over and picks up a juicy red strawberry and feeds it to her. She savors the moment and the strawberry, but suddenly, a FIRE ALARM goes off. Startled, they both dash over and ...."

The more you can use words that stimulate the senses without being mechanical, the more you will create the picture and the experience in your listener's world.

6. Use short, simple sentences.

You're not writing a literary piece here. Your telling a campfire story. Being too literary will distract from your writing. Don't use too many big words in your scene descriptions. Don't use complex academic sentence structure that you can prove is grammatically correct from rules in "Strunk & White." Use simple sentences. Ones people can grasp quickly. Easily.

7. Warm it up with guttural kinds of words, not concepts.

Stay away from psychological terms and labels, and instead show it in the actions of the character. For example, "Sally Bally is co-dependent and this has been hurting her in her life with her friends,' is psychological. Instead, more on the court would be, "Sally Bally cannot stop herself from trying to do things for everyone around her, and it is driving them crazy."

In the second example, you get the visual of how it plays out literallly in her life. It's not just an assessment.

8. Tell your story basically in the order it shows up on the pages of your script, using connector words to dramatize selected moments and to keep your story flowing.

This rule of thumb helps you to organize your pitch because writers sometimes go all over the place with their pitches. As you craft it and choose certain parts to tell, first tell things in the order they happen on your pages. After that, you can craft and tweak the pitch to dramatize the story.

Use connector words like "and then," or "meanwhile," and "but finally," or "However, back at ..." to keep your story flowing and building from point-to-point .

9. Know your story inside and out.

Know your story well so you don't get lost in the middle of your pitch. If they ask you questions, you must have answers. If you prepared your pitch a long time ago or haven't read your script for a while, get it out and read it again. Then practice your pitch to make it fresh.

10. Keep in mind that when you are on the phone, they cannot see you, so your voice inflection becomes ultra-critical.


If you manage to get yourself the opportunity to pitch to someone, remember there are hundreds of different things they could be looking at while you are pitching, and they may be doing two or three other things. They are distracted from the getgo and can easily be further distracted, so you must do all you can to engage them. It may be a big moment in your life when you get a Hollywood agent on the phone to hear your pitch, but they are basically looking for a reason to hang up on you. But knowing this, you can go in armed with a mesmerizing pitch that you have perfected the telling of.

11. Speak to them intimately - not at them. Listen to them listening to you.

Don't talk at people. Speak to them in a conversational tone. Not too softly, not too loudly. Match the other person's level to a degree. Try to connect with them energetically.

Think of it this way: Is it just me, or have you ever been talking to someone on the phone and gotten the distinct feeling they are not listening to you? That's what I'm talking about. Listen to them as you pitch -- it is an art to be able to do it. When you are speaking with an exec, you are listening for them listening to you. If you think they aren't paying attention, you have to change it up to get them to listen again. How you do that is a whole other discussion on communication, but you can start by listening for their listening.

12. Be careful about comparing your script to other films and mentioning actors that could be right for your movie.


Comparisons can have positive and negative connotations, not to mention they can seem pompous and naive. Being a marketer myself, I love "postioning" things for the market, meaning telling the buyer how something fits into the marketplace and what it is "like." However, if you do it with your script, you have to have a very strong sense of how things will occur to your listener.

I've heard more than one writer say, "My script will be bigger than Titanic." As soon as those words fell out of their mouths, they lost credibility. Even though it may prove to be true, saying it shows a lack of savvy and it shows that you don't understand the audience you are pitching to. A producer doesn't want to hear you say that about your own script. It's not that you can't compare your script to other successful films or suggest actors who would be right for it, but you need to tread those waters very lightly and carefully because of the implications. If in doubt, leave it out.

13. Practice, practice, practice, and practice.

Write out your pitch. Read it out loud. Rewrite it. Practice it over and over. Keep doing that till you have nailed just what you want to say. Then practice your pitch in the mirror like the person in the mirror is your audience! Record yourself and see what you think. Practice with a friend till they say, "Wow, that sounds really good."

If you haven't done much pitching or verbal storytelling, it may be a challenge at first. But just keep at it. Practice your storytelling skills by dramatizing every anecdote you tell. If you go to the store and someone almost hits you backing out, go tell someone about it and dramatize it. Make it entertaining. Make it interesting. Paint a picture for them. See what they respond to. Have fun with it. Then practice with your script story, and you'll get better and better. And at some point, we'll never be able to shut you up. And that's what we want. Kind of.

Story on!


Republished with permission per: Melody Jackson, Ph.D., publishes "Plugged in Hollywood," the Bi-weekly E-zine on Marketing for Screenwriters. She has helped thousands of screenwriters polish their scripts and get them read by top agents and producers in Hollywood. If you are ready to jump-start your career, finalize your script for marketing, and have more fun pursuing Hollywood success, get your free subscription now at www.SmartGirlsProductions.com.

© 2008 Smart Girls Productions, Melody Jackson, Ph.D.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nine months later ...

No, I'm not having a baby! But my baby did just take her last 17 ML of the meds that she's been on for the last nine months.

Yay! Whoo hoo! Release the balloons!!!!!!

We're all very happy here.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Stepping into Hollywoodland ...

Lately, I've been working on some screenplays in addition to my novels
and I'm excited to say that one has so far won two "hook" contests! (Thus ends the self-congratulatory portion of today's blog.)

Anyhoo, I've been reading a lot of screenwriting blogs, and finding lots of interesting tidbits that apply across the board. After all, good storytelling is good storytelling.

Here's something that's useful for screenwriters and novelists, too. A video of a pitch workshop (RWA attendees, are you watching, too?)

Tori and The Great Google Ad Experiment

Well, folks, I guess it's true. There is a dearth -- an absolute vacuum -- of folks out in the cyber-world advertising demon extermination services.

Tori sent this email to my gmail account: Julie, per our discussion on your blog post yesterday, I was wondering if you had any good tips on killing demons. We seem to have an infestation here. And nothing I try gets rid of them! ;)


And what did I see where the ads usually run? Nada. Zip. Not one thing!

Clearly, Kate needs to run some ads. Actually, that's not a bad promo idea! Whadda y'all think?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Google's Ads ... just a teeeeensy bit scary

So, I've switched a number of my emails to Gmail, primarily because of it's kick-butt spam filter, but also because that ensures that emails from my husband, critique partners, editors and agents go to one input place (Outlook) and everything else goes to another place (gmail).

It's working great, and I'm actually staying more on top of my email than before (yes, there is a backlog, but I'm working on it. Honest!)

But here's the thing: I think Big Brother is watching. The other day, a fan sent me an email mentioning my daughter's cleft palate. The ads down the side ... all about Smile Train and cleft palate and orthodontia and plastic surgery.

Today, I emailed a hair salon to cancel an upcoming appointment ... the ads down the side? Hair color, hair extensions, salons.

I realize it's little bots doing all of that, but, hey, I'm not crazy about bots reading my email!

I'm not sure I'm weirded out enough to switch back to a POP account, but it does hammer home something I know, but sometimes forget: There ain't no secrets on the Internet. None at all.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Teach what you hate!

Okay, maybe hate is too strong a word, but I strongly dislike writing synopses.

I like the exercise of getting my story down, but me being me, I usually end up at about 15-20 single spaced pages. Which is, um, a little too long. And then you have to enter The Cutting Zone.

If it were just for me ... a narrative roadmap ... I'd be a happy camper. But this sucker's a marketing tool and needs to rock.

And so I end up spending geegobs of time on it. Time I wish was writing a book!

Alas, that is the way of things.

And today, I'm giving a workshop on writing synopses. The good thing about that: Every time I give this talk, I learn a little bit more about my own process and how to write a kick-ass synopsis.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dear Author: Reviews, Commentary and Industry News

Dear Author: Reviews, Commentary and Industry News: "For anyone who is a long time reader of Dear Author, you’ll know that Julie Kenner is one of Jayne’s favorite authors. Ironically ..."

My First Sale story is up at DearAuthor.com. Check it out!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

DEJA DEMON - interview! Listen here ...

Hey folks ... Wow, it's been a long time since I posted. I just did a really fun interview with DallasBookDiva.com -- you can read the review and listen to the interview here: http://www.dallasbookdiva.com





And remember, DEJA DEMON is on shelves now! Snatch up your copy and let me know what you think! Hope you enjoy Kate's continuing adventures!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME by Lisa Daily

Got the book and the press material on this first novel by columnist and dating coach Lisa Daily, and although I haven't finished it yet, I can already tell it's going to be a fun read! Looks like the press agrees, too:

USA WEEKEND columnist Dennie Hughes said, "I laughed, I cried, I cringed, I cheered. Fifteen Minutes of Shame is a dream of a read."

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY said,"delivers some surprising depth and a heroine with heart to root for."

PINK MAGAZINE said, "memorable and wickedly funny"


Click Here To Order

Here's a bit about Lisa: Lisa Daily is a real-life TV dating expert on DAYTIME, a nationally-syndicated morning show, and bestselling author of Stop Getting Dumped!She's a syndicated relationships columist, popular media guest seen everywhere from Entertainment Tonight to iVillage Live and quoted everywhere from USA Today to Cosmopolitan, and appears as a real-life "date doctor" on the HITCH movie DVD starring Will Smith. For more information on Lisa, www.lisadaily.com





As for the book ...


What happens when America’s favorite dating expert finds out on national television that her husband is cheating on her? Darby Vaughn’s fifteen minutes of fame quickly becomes fifteen minutes of shame when the story of her divorce is splashed across supermarket tabloids. If Darby takes her philandering husband back, her career will be over. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose the only man she’s ever loved. As she rebuilds her life with help from her girlfriends, Darby has to make some tough choices, but she stays true to her heart every step of the way.



And Lisa was kind enough to answer my "touring author questions" -

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL “WRITING DAY”?

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I usually had down to Siesta Key beach with my laptop and work until my battery dies. I’m hoping the Law of Attraction will kick in soon and I’ll be able to afford a house on one of the Keys. I am grateful that I get to write at the beach…The rest of the week, I start writing at 9 (after the kids go to school,) and I’m done by 3 (when it’s time to pick up the kids.) On Fridays I do the TV show, so I usually don’t get much writing done. If I were a hermit, I’d work all night and sleep till noon.


DO YOU RECALL THE KERNEL OF INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOOK?

When my dating advice book, STOP GETTING DUMPED was released, a really prominent dating expert was going through a nasty divorce, and she was just getting creamed in the media. I was both terrified and completely sympathetic – I kept thinking how awful it would be to go through the worst time of your life with everyone in the world watching, commenting, laughing as you go down. I also thought it would make an interesting novel.


PICK A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK AND TELL US WHAT TRAIT YOU SHARE (OR COME CLOSEST TO SHARING) WITH THAT CHARACTER. I’m a lot like Darby, the main character. She’s a funny, somewhat klutzy dating expert who wants to see everybody get a little piece of happily ever after. The trait we share is that we both tend to trust our brains over our hearts.


IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND, WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE A MAGICAL TRUNK THAT GAVE YOU LIMITLESS BOOKS TO READ, OR A LIMITLESS SUPPLY OF PAPER ON WHICH TO WRITE?


Tough choice. Paper (as long as I had something to write with) but it would break my heart not to have any books.


If you could throw in a cabana boy, a lounge chair and a magic daiquiri machine, I might change my answer.



BEER OR WINE? Wine. Champagne always feels like a celebration.


CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Chocolate, baby. With chocolate sauce and chocolate chips and chocolate sprinkles.


WHAT’S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOK?

So many, so many. I love different writers for different things. My favorite book of all time would be Pat Conroy’s Beach Music.





Happy reading!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm on the radio right now!

I've been unable to access my blog prior to now, so I apologize for the late notice, but I'm on the radio right now, and until about 11 CST.

check here: http://www.internetvoicesradio.com

Monday, March 24, 2008

Check out Julie Leto's chapters on Plot Monkey!!!!

My friend Julie Leto is giving quite a present to readers! SIX chapters from her new release, PHANTOM PLEASURES. Be sure to check it out ... AND check out the dateline. Austin, Texas. I mean, hey. YA gotta go give it a looksee!!!!

Plot Monkeys: "Hello, Plotmonkey readers! And to all the new readers linking here from the sites and blogs of my generous friends, WELCOME! It’s a party in the jungle!

This week starts something very exciting…every day, I will be posting a chapter from my book PHANTOM PLEASURES, which is officially released next week on April 1. That’s seven chapters! (Okay, six chapters and a prologue…but let’s not quibble.)"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Just melting your heart!

So we're at dinner, and Isabella keeps asking "why" (the universal curse of four year olds). After answering approximately 9 billion "why" questions, I finally said, "Is 'why' your favorite word?"

"No, Mommy."

"No? Well, what is?"

"I love you."

Let's all say it together .... awwwwwwwww

Monday, March 17, 2008

Nice new Carpe Demon Review!

Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom Book 1 | Kelley: "Classic Kenner humor is evident on every page in Kate’s sassy personality. I’ve come to enjoy that facet of much of Julie’s work and always look forward to what direction it will go in each book."


Yes, I've been MIA these last few weeks (dual spring breaks here -- one for dh and one for the kids; even with homeschooling, the Kiddo-In-Speech has break!). This was a nice thing to open my email to.

In other news, I'm hard at work on TAINTED. Counting down to the release in 2009, marking the start of a whole new series. I love Lily, and I think those of you who love Kate will love her, too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

February in Texas

We went to The Domain today -- an outdoor mall that transports you to LA or NYC with Michael Kors, Barneys, Juicy Couture ... and apparently beach weather.

Yupper, it's the middle of winter, and here's what the girls begged to do while we were at the mall:


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beach Read!

Order here!

This just in ....

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR STOMPING was chosen as a SOUTH
JERSEY MOM's Chick Lit Pick 2008 Beach Read.


How cool is that?

Three fun stories from me, Jade Lee & Marianne Mancusi. Mine is a Protector story (i.e., the superheroes from the Aphrodite series)!


AND THIS JUST IN .... THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR STOMPING was chosen to be a Fresh Pick
at Fresh Fiction. WHOO HOO!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

Love and kisses to all!

Check out the sweet cards the girls made for the various grandparents. (The fingers are bent into the ASL sign for "I love you.") And, um, Isabella's hand isn't really that elongated, but she was VERY proud of herself for tracing her own hand.

LWB Fundraiser - Update



Just got word that one of the kiddoes that the 2006 fundraiser is not only doing great, but he's found his family! Hopefully the process will go smoothly and he'll be home soon. Here are some pics ... isn't he a cutie?





And here's some more news about another little boy who is "in foster care and apparently is thriving in his family. He is described as energetic and outgoing. He can walk and call to his "Nai Nai". He likes to visit the neighbors and to say goodbye when people are leaving the house." He sounds (and looks) so precious!

Monday, February 11, 2008

From Russia With Love ...





Oh yeah! Got a box from my agent today, and in it I found the Russian edition of The Prada Paradox (thus completing my set), along with a cool red cover with a devious-looking black cat. Took me a minute to realize it's Carpe Demon. Looks sweet!

I love foreign editions. Wish I could read 'em!

GCC Tour: Don’t Get It Twisted by Paula Chase

Click Here To Order

Meet Paula Chase -- this week's GCC touring author!

“So, wait…this writing thing actually doesn’t get easier?” author Paula Chase asks. “If I’d known that I would have taken up a much easier profession like shark wrestling.” {{Oh, yes! I'm so with Paula on that ... }} And compared to living in the minds of a clique of six teenagers, shark wrestling really may be easier.

In Don’t Get It Twisted, the sequel to her debut, So Not The Drama, Chase gives readers a peek into the Del Rio Bay clique’s foray into dating, while also dipping her toe into the issue of student athletics and cheating. Using humor and earnest insight, Chase continues the story of Mina Mooney and her mixed bag of friends.

The Buzz on Don’t Get It Twisted & The Del Rio Bay Clique Series

“Surprisingly real and deep…well worth reading.” – Teens Read Too

“Excellent for showing friendship that crosses racial and social boundaries.” – YA Books Central

“Don’t Get It Twisted, is another winner.” – Urban Reviews


About Paula
Author, Paula Chase has written for Girls Life, Sweet 16 and Baltimore Magazine, among others. In addition to her background in corporate communications and public relations, she founded the Committed Black Women, a youth mentoring program for 14-17 year old girls. Her Del Rio Bay Clique series helped launch Kensington Books YA line and joins a burgeoning number of YA books targeted to multi-culti suburbanite teens. Chase calls her brand of teen literature, Hip Lit, a nod to the diversity spawned by the MTV-watching, 106 & Park-ing, pop culture hungry hip hop generation. The author lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters. Learn more about the series and author at www.paulachasehyman.com

Paula's answers to my GCC Questions:


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL “WRITING DAY”? It changes with every single book. This time around, it’s writing around 8 or 9 on the lap top surrounded by my family interrupting every few minutes. They did that anyway when I went into the office so I’m just saving them the trouble. My goal is to write two hours a day, that way anything I write beyond that is gravy.

DO YOU RECALL THE KERNEL OF INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOOK? I actually wrote it immediately after the first book – five years ago. So not really. I just remember that the story was still flowing, in my mind, once I closed out book #1 so I started Don’t Get It Twisted.

PICK A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK AND TELL US WHAT TRAIT YOU SHARE (OR COME CLOSEST TO SHARING) WITH THAT CHARACTER. My main character Mina has the interest of two guys in this book. And it pretty much makes her a basket case. That is so me! When I was a teenager and even in my 20’s I was never good at dating more than one guy. Every time I’d try the casual, seeing more than one guy thing it blew up in my face. I’m simply unable to switch that quickly emotionally. So I’d be with guy #1 and we’d be having a good time. Then guy #2 might call later and I’d snap at him, annoyed because I hadn’t flicked the lever to be in the mood to talk to him. It’s like I’d pick a fight, not purposely, but it ended up that way. Juggling guys never worked out for me.

IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND , WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE A MAGICAL TRUNK THAT GAVE YOU LIMITLESS BOOKS TO READ, OR A LIMITLESS SUPPLY OF PAPER ON WHICH TO WRITE? If I also have a couple of pens on hand, I’ll choose the paper. I get so frustrated when a story idea comes to me and I can’t capture it. I mean, I get seriously irritated and snappy. I don’t want anyone talking to me until I’ve written down at least the concept. So I can imagine being on this island with no paper and simply spiraling into madness.

BEER OR WINE? Wine. I’m a Merlot gal.

CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Vanilla. That’s so plain Jane isn’t it? But vanilla has lots of flavor.

WHAT’S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOK? I’m prone to “obsessions.” There’s no one favorite anything for me. Instead, I go through bouts of obsession with one book, movie, song or another. Today, my all-time favorite book is Time Line by Michael Crichton. That book really swept me into it. Now, ask me this same question tomorrow and the answer will be completely different.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Chocolate: It's a Good Thing

You haven't lived until you watch a four year old enjoy her very first chocolate milkshake.

Trust me on that:

video

When we first adopted Isabella, she disdained both chocolate and ice cream. Ah, how things can change in a year!

And if the vid doesn't show up, it's also available here: http://gallery.mac.com/juliekenner#gallery

Shark Bait -- trying again

Well, dang, and double dang. Apparently, some folks can see the picture and some can't.

I uploaded it to my web gallery, so if you're dying to know what I saw when I got home (look in the water), visit here, then click the image to make it bigger:

http://gallery.mac.com/juliekenner#100008

Shark Bait?




Took the kidlets to Disneyland, the beach, LA and the San Bernadino mountains over Christmas (more stories to come), but when I got back home I noticed something ...

There I was, snapping photos of the kids romping in the surf, and I never noticed a thing. Not until I came home and made this picture my screensaver. Click on it and make it bigger. Do you see what I see?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

GCC Tour - EARTHLY PLEASURES by Karen Neches

”Karen Neches' Earthly Pleasures is a rare treat. I laughed from the first page and cried in all the right places. Do yourself a favor and curl up with this book. Heaven knows, you won't be sorry!" -- Julie Kenner




I'm so excited to be touring Karen and her book, EARTHLY PLEASURES, as I had the supreme privilege of reading it back when it was still in galleys. Loved it, and I'm sure you will too! Check it out.

In Earthly Pleasures (Simon and Schuster, February 2008, $14) great love can transcend the dimensions, narrowing the vast difference between Heaven and Earth.

Advance Praise for Earthly Pleasures:

"What a treat! Earthly Pleasures more than lives up to its name. I was glued to the pages of this delightful little gem of a novel, and wish it could have been twice as long!"
-- Megan Crane, author of Frenemies


”Karen Neches' Earthly Pleasures is a rare treat. I laughed from the first page and cried in all the right places. Do yourself a favor and curl up with this book. Heaven knows, you won't be sorry!"
--Julie Kenner, author of Demons Are Forever

"Equally hilarious and poignant, Earthly Pleasures is a little powerhouse of a novel about love, life...and what comes next."
--Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date and Love You to Death
"Karen Neches’s novel is an intriguing love story with a rare combination of both wit and depth. In her fresh voice Neches gives us an innovative version of heaven where the one true thing still remains: love that transcends both time and space."

--Patti Callahan Henry, National bestselling novelist of Between the Tides

“Earthly Pleasures is more than just a novel. It's a dream, a calling, a divine trip from which you won't want to come home. I loved it!—Valerie Frankel, author of I Take This Man and Hex and the Single Girl.


About the Author




Karen Neches was single for over twenty years. She used to tell people she was in the “hospice stage” of being single as she never expected to recover. Then at the age of forty-three she finally met her soul mate. Earthly Pleasures is dedicated to him. She maintains a web site at www.karenneches.com
Neches also writes under the name Karin Gillespie and is the nationally bestselling author of The Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big-Ass Novel with Jill Conner Browne and three novels in the critically acclaimed Bottom Dollar Girl series. She’s founder of the virtual tour The Girlfriend Circuit as well as the grog for Southern authors A Good Blog is Hard to Find. She is a former lifestyle columnist for the Augusta Chronicle.

Here are Karen's answers to my GCC questions!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL “WRITING DAY”?

Type a sentence, check email, eat chocolate, repeat

DO YOU RECALL THE KERNEL OF INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOOK?

I had this sudden thought: Lovely Bones meets Bridget Jones. , I was so excited, I felt like I’d discovered how to turn rocks into gold. Then I spoke with a publicist who said, “What a horrific notion.” Too late. I was already 70,000 words in. My agent hated it. My editor wanted to use it for kindling. I almost gave up on it. I cursed the novel many times but now it’s my favorite.

PICK A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK AND TELL US WHAT TRAIT YOU SHARE (OR COME CLOSEST TO SHARING) WITH THAT CHARACTER.
My character, Skyem who is a greeter in Heaven, longs for a deep connection with people and I could say the same about myself.

IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND, WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE A MAGICAL TRUNK THAT GAVE YOU LIMITLESS BOOKS TO READ, OR A LIMITLESS SUPPLY OF PAPER ON WHICH TO WRITE?
Limitless paper.


BEER OR WINE?

wine

CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?

chocolate

WHAT’S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOK?
The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Monday, February 4, 2008

MY NEW WEBSITE!




Oh yeah! Oh yeah! I got a new website, and it's soooo pretty!

Go give it a look-see!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I've joined the Kindle Klub ...

Well, folks. I did it. I bought a Kindle (paying a premium since those puppies aren't shipping). My review: worth every penny. Already, I'm able to read more than I have before (I don't think it's just the newness!) Plus, I'm reading more new (NYT blog and the WSJ).

I uploaded an audiobook, but haven't tried it out (other than to test it), but the book reading is great. I still wish it had a built in light -- would love to read in bed, and the recommended book light is too bulky for a small purse.



The cover gets bad reviews on Amazon, but I think it's perfect.

Another nice feature for v. 2 would be a button to put it into screensaver mode, so that you can close and strap the book cover w/o accidentally hitting the next page bar. {edited: ha! there is such a button. Good job Kindle dudes.}

But all minor things.

I love the KindleNowNow feature: send a question and they send back an answer. Pretty cool stuff!

And I've downloaded a billion books (give or take) from ManyBooks.net, which has put Gutenburg.org books in Kindle format.

5 enthusiastic novels from me!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Isn't he a cutie!


Here's a photo of Qiao, one of the kids being helped by the money we raised with the 2006 Love Without Boundaries auction I organized. Thanks everyone for helping!