Monthly Archives: June 2008

ALA On Saturday!

Hey kids,

Those of you fabulous librarians attending the annual ALA conference in Anaheim this weekend, come over and say hello!

I’ll be signing at several booths on Saturday, June 28th:

11am – 12 noon Simon & Schuster Autographing Booth #2449
1-2pm, Hyperion Autographing Booth #2555 (Giving away Masquerade AND the Revelations chapter samplers!)
2-3pm BWI/Follett Autographing Booth #2234

Then I’m waltzing off to check into the Grand Californian hotel right smack in the middle of California Adventure, and then later that evening hob-nobbing with the other fabulous Disney authors at the swanky cocktail reception and then going off to the “Family” dinner, which is for staff and authors only. Dontcha love it? I love Momma Disney. We even got one-day park hoppers to go to the Disneyland parks! Yeahhh boyyy.

So when am I going to email the chapter sneak peeks? I don’t know yet. Hyperion has not given me the go-ahead yet. But I promise to send them as soon as I get the green-light.

I’m so excited for ALA, I’ve never been, and life has been really fabulous lately. And it’s awful because I can’t blog about it because I have such a big mouth. All I’ll say is the other day I had a super-awesome lunch with a beyond fawsome celebrity, who was just as gorgeous, NICE and funny as she is on television, and it was like girls just hanging out…and then last weekend we were invited over to stay at one of my husband’s client’s vacation homes, which was like staying at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water (you know the most famous house in America. Well this is the second most famous and historical house in the country—architectural buffs can probably guess where we were). The whole thing was kind of like a dream. Everything was so perfect and beautiful, and if you had told Mike and I that our lives would be THIS fun and fabulous when we were striving over-achievers in New York twelve years ago, we would have said…

You bet your ass!

I remember when I was twenty-two and my friend Morgan and I were invited to a party thrown by his neighbors next door, and Morgan lived in an East Village tenement, and it was so funny because the people next door were in their 30s and their party was lame and lights were on, and everyone kind of had that starting-to-be-fat look. And Morgan and I were only there for the FREE DRINKS. Back then we would travel ANYWHERE for a free cocktail. I still have this mentality. I’ll look at an invite and go, “Hmm, there’s a party for some lame boutique an hour away. But I kind of want to go, for FREE COCKTAILS.” I mean, c’mon.

Anyway, Morgan and I were surreptitiously drinking all their alcohol, and we were talking about what a lovely apartment it was compared to Morgan’s light-less hovel. (I don’t even remember if his place had any windows!) And this place was triple the size of his, which made it easily one of the larger apartments we had seen in New York at that time. And Morgan said he would KILL for a place like this and would be happy if in ten years he had one of these apartments.


I mean…REALLY.

What is the point of having no life in high school so one can go to a fancy Ivy League college and then graduate so you can sweat it out at some bank while working feverishly on your novels and working all the time…just to end up THERE?

No friggin’ way.

Which doesn’t take anything away from all the fun things that are happening now, believe me I don’t take anything for granted.

So work hard, dream big, and don’t ever think that you’re not worthy of a full-service pre-war building in Manhattan. You might not end up there, but you’ll end up somewhere close.

In other starfracker news, a Beastie Boy just moved in across the street. (Mike said hi to him yesterday when they were both taking out the trash for garbage day.) And you know Captain Kirk lives up the hill yes? It’s nice here in LA-LA-LAND.


Last Day of Poetry Contest Tomorrow!

I will be accepting poems until June 20th at midnight. After that, any poems sent in will be read but not considered eligible for the contest.

Winners will be announced the week after July 4th. You’ve got to give me time to read them all! There are so many!

Also: PLEASE do not send me your stuff (novels, short stories, etc) to read. I can’t read them for legal reasons, so please don’t send them to me. Maybe one day I will teach a writing class and will invite you all to join, but that day is not today. I’m so glad so many of you want to be writers, and I ENCOURAGE you to follow your dreams and write your way to success. But I cannot provide feedback on your writing.

I will however, post all 35 winners on the blog and provide reasons on why I chose those poems!

It’s SCORCHING out here. It was 100 degrees outside. I was sweating in my own house! And we had the A/C turned up all the way to eleven. Hopefully the installation of our faaahbulous Knoll curtains on all the windows will ameliorate the situation. We practically live in a glass house there are windows everywhere. Which is kind of funny. When we lived in New York we had TWO windows for the entire apartment. And all New Yorkers craved LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT. And now in LA we have TOO MUCH light.

Speaking of ‘ameliorate’ I got a snotty email from a disgruntled dude who’d stumbled on my books in the library, read them, and wanted to let me know he thought I was showing off my vocabulary by putting words like “ameliorate” in my books. Showing off my vocabulary??? Is all I do!!! I distinctly remember when I LEARNED the word “ameliorate” which means to IMPROVE OR RESOLVE things. I just liked that word a lot. And I put it in all my books. I also like the phrase “well-appointed home”. I think I also put THAT in all my books. All the rooms in my books are well-appointed. LOL.

It’s kind of funny to be dinged on my vocab, since in person, I’m just like, you know, talking like this all the time and incredibly casual. I never use big words. EVER. Mostly because I didn’t grow up here, so I don’t know how most words are SUPPOSED to sound. And I ALWAYS say them wrong. For instance, I say “woooned” for “wound” and pronounce the “L” in “almond” and “salmon”. And kind of end up looking like an idiot like that Nomi in Showgirls who says “Ver-says.” I never seem simply FOREIGN, like quirky cute French people because I have an American accent so people assume I should know better. There are tons more words I mispronounce. To the amusement of first, my college friends, and now, my husband. I also say stuff like “Open the TV!” and “Close the light!” which really bugs him. He thinks our daughter will grow up talking like a fracking foreigner but really, she will grow up correcting her mother like my siblings and I did for our parents and laughing in their (my) face.

Anyway. A reader in Shaghai just emailed me my favorite new word; Fahhwwwsome – a combination of Fabulous and Awesome. Which are two of my favorite words! Hey, that is simply, fawsome!


Welcome Turkey and Inspiring Quotes of the Day

Welcome Turkish Blue Bloods!

I just learned that a Turkish publisher has just picked up the rights to publish Blue Bloods and Masquerade in Turkey! Hooray!

The books are also published in France and Germany. (The Au Pair is published in ten countries. So those other seven, what are you guys waiting for? LOL.)

Things are good over here. I finally FINALLY ***FINALLY!!!!!!*** finished REVELATIONS. Sent the copyedit and all the additions and fixes off to my editor today. Excuse me while I collapse.


I have a good feeling about this book. But you know, I have a good feeling about ALL my books. I stand behind each one. I do the best I can, I push myself as hard as I can, and as much effort goes into the books that have not sold as well (I’m looking at YOU, How to become Famous and Fresh off the Boat) as the books that sell like gang-busters (The Au Pairs and Blue Bloods series).

I just hope you all enjoy it. And I have sneaky feeling you will, because *I* very MUCH enjoyed writing it. Although it was much much harder to write than Masquerade. Revelations is my FOURTEENTH novel. Isn’t that crazy? You would HOPE I get better with each one. And I would hope that you are right.

Anyway, your poems are awesome pawsome. And I’ve gotten requests to SHARE the poems I wrote when I was a teenager, so I hunted down my old journals in my library. And I found one from my senior year in high school. All I can say is: YIKES!!! Do you really REALLY want me to share?? I felt SICK with embarrassment reading them. I don’t know if I’m ready!

But I thought I would share some of the “inspirational” quotes I found written in the inside of the cover. When I was seventeen I was BIG on inspirational quotes.

“Writers read everything with a grinding envy or a weary contempt.”  – John D. Macdonald—> I like this quote a lot. I think it explains a lot about writers. You either wish you’d written it, or you totally dismiss it ‘cos it’s terrible. Writers: we are not nice people.

Anyway, here are some quotes about writing poetry:

“True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance,
‘Tis not enough no harshness give offense,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.”
-Alexander Pope

(This quote was from my Freshman English poetry book called “Sound and Sense”. Do you guys still use this in high school? My copy is so marked up.)

And another quote about poetry:

“A poem should be equal to,
Not true.
For all the history of grief,
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.
For love,
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea,
A poem should not mean
But be.”

-Archibald MacLeish

The above was my favorite FAVORITE poem when I was seventeen. I always loved those images of the empty doorway as a sign for grief and the leaning grasses signifying love. Sigh.

But here’s my favorite quote inscribed in my journal from 1989:

“People are so sodding thick and selfish. I’m selfish, but at least I admit it.” – Ian McCulloch

Ian was (is?) the lead singer of my favorite favorite FAVORITE band when I was seventeen: Echo and the Bunnymen. I saw the Bunnymen in concert when I was 15. I swooned. I love the quote because I am still like that. I’M SELFISH. BUT AT LEAST I ADMIT IT!  LOL.

And I still also love THIS quote which reminds me of how YOUNG I was:

“Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” – The Joker, “Batman” the Movie—-> This is exactly how I wrote it in my journal. I find this terribly, terribly hilarious. Because, I mean, what a corny line, right? And it’s from some big Hollywood movie! But you know, if I were a teenager today, I think the line I would inscribe in my journal is “Go get ‘em Tiger!” – Mary-Ann, “Spiderman 2” the Movie. (I mean, wasn’t that an AWESOME thing for her to say? I LOVED that. And there’s something about this quote about Batman that I like, about dancing with the devil, and the pale moonlight. I dunno. I still like it.

And what’s wrong with Hollywood movies? Hollywood movies are awesome. I loved loved LOVED Sex and the City, Iron Man and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. Indiana Jones was lame.

Here’s one that also shows how young I was:

“I’ll make your heart smile” – Depeche Mode, “Strangelove”

You know how I always have quotes in front of my books? It’s because when I grew up I read a lot of Stephen King and he ALWAYS put song quotes as epigraphs. And it was so cool, because he wouldn’t quote from boring old texts, but rather from pop songs. I really loved that about his books.

Because there is NOTHING worse than being a culture snob.

Anyway, one more week left in the poetry contest! I hope my quotes have inspired you!


The Pressure

I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. It’s because I’m STILL writing REVELATIONS. And it comes out in October? Uh. Yeah! There’s so much MAJOR stuff going on and I just want to make sure I get it right, so I’m just sweating out the last hundred pages to make sure it all hangs together.

The other day we had brunch with our favorite TV writer friends, and they were talking about THE PRESSURE of making sure your script is all right. And I thought, oh, that must be really hard. Because I don’t feel that pressure really. And then I thought WHAT THE FRACK AM I TALKING ABOUT? OF COURSE I FEEL PRESSURE. I FEEL SO MUCH PRESSURE I HAVE GAINED TEN POUNDS AND AM BREAKING OUT!

And all the pressure comes from me. You know how when you raise kids, you’re supposed to try and get them to ACHIEVE stuff so that in the end, they’re working hard not to please their parents, but to PLEASE THEMSELVES? So yeah, I guess my parents did a really good job because all the pressure I feel is FROM ME.

The thing is, I reject stress. I think of writing as easy, and la-di-dah, who cares what anyone thinks about my writing, zoom zoom zoom. Not caring what anyone thinks is a great way to function. Because it allows you to be free.

But I forgot that I really care what *I* think.

And the book just isn’t up to MY STANDARDS yet.

Hence the last-minute rewrites. And the hair-pulling. And the sleepless nights.

When I was a club kid, dancing at 6am at the Sound Factory (um yeah, I used to get up at five in the morning to GO CLUBBING. Now that was the WAY TO LIVE, my friends) we use to dance to this song called “THE PRESSURE”. And it had this gospel beat and this hypnotic techno-umsk, umsk, umsk thing and when they put on THE PRESSURE everyone would RUN to the dancefloor and GO WILD. It was really fun. So now this song is the sound track to this book..

(Okaaay. How much do I love the Internet? I have been looking for this song to re-live my clubbing days and here it is: The Pressure by Sounds of Blackness, Junior (“If Madonna Calls”) Vasquez remix!!! Yeaaah boyyy!!!)

“My back is against the wall,
more bills than money can pay (sing it, sistah!)
but I know just who to call (Madonna?)
when I gotta fight..
Umsk, Umsk, Umsk,

Wow. That was really fun. For a second there it was 1991 and I was in a wifebeater tanktop with ropes of fake pearls and cutoff shorts and fishnets and Doc Martens dancing in the middle of sweaty club with my gays and we were so young and fabulous and fee-yerce. (By the way I love that fashion line Young, Broke and Fabulous. Says it all!)

You know what else is fun? YOUR POEMS. Oh mah gawd. You guys are beyond awesome. And yes, I will share my juvenellia (spelling?)—I just found my journal from high school. Lots of mawkish poetry. Good times.

And in other news, I just finished LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH by Emily Giffin. I heart Emily Giffin. There is just something about her books that are so great. I think it’s because she really gets you into the mindset of the character. And she just gets so many details right—like how people act and where they shop and how they talk. Good stuff.

On a totally DIFFERENT note I also devoured Elizabeth Scott’s LIVING DEAD GIRL, which was harrowing, wrenching, disturbing and unputdownable. Really dark, awful stuff but written so beautifully. You must read this book also. It comes out in September. I really believe in evil in this world, that it is a real thing you have to watch out for, all the time. My husband says I am neurotic and paranoid, but as they say, Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

I am the type who RUNS home from the cab to the front door anytime I got home late, or even starts RUNNING down the street even if no one is chasing me. Right now we have this super-maximum burglar alarm that will emit a decibel-blasting SHRIEK if any of our motion-detectors are set off. When I lived in New York I never took the subway at night alone. I had five locks on my door. Now I always valet at the mall because of parking-lot kidnapping. I *ALWAYS* believe the worst is around the corner, and that a happy safe life comes from VIGILANCE. My husband (a confident American who grew up in a family that NEVER LOCKED THEIR DOORS. They DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE THE KEY IS. I mean, the first time I slept in their house I was convinced axe murderers were coming to get me), anyway, he thinks I live in fear. And you know what? I do. But it’s not a crippling fear. I mean, I fly, I go out at night, I do stuff. But I try to do it in a way that won’t make anyone ever think that I am a target. I believe that bad things happen. And that’s why Elizabeth’s book is so scary. Because very very bad things happen. So you must do everything you can do to make sure they don’t happen to you.

Oh man, sober note to end this blog!

And I was just dancing around to THE PRESSURE and missing my old friends. Anyway, back to work.


You are all Winners

Woo! Poems are flooding in—so much fun to see! I’m not going to read any until the last day of the contest (June 20th!) since I want to read them all at the same time and make my decisions then.

And because EVERYONE is a winner in MY books, even if you don’t get to win the chapter sampler, if you simply entered the contest we will send you something good. No one writes a poem for nothing! 🙂

In answer to a commenter’s question -yes, even if you are in a foreign country you are free to join the contest! We ship airmail over here at the Meldlc offices.

I wrote a long and detailed BEA blog but I mistakenly closed that window before saving it. Ugh! So now you are getting the short version. Kathleen Duey! Elizabeth Scott! Neil Gaiman! I wore a Balenciaga floral dress and Louboutin glitter heels on Friday and a Trina Turk mod tunic and Proenza for Target white pants on Sunday.

Send in your poems!

Blue Bloods Poetry Contest!

Hi all,

I’ve got good news and bad news.  The bad news is that the Blue Bloods: Revelations sneak-peeks haven’t arrived in your In-Box. I’m sorry!!!! It turns out I spoke too soon—I found out there are some clearances my publisher still needs to secure before I can send. Hopefully we will be able to send soon, I’ll keep you posted!

But the GOOD news is that I have about THIRTY-FIVE of the printed four-chapter samplers that we gave away yesterday at BEA – it was soooo awesome to meet all the girls from the Blue Bloods message boards: Team Fabulous: Amanda, Rhiannon, Alyssa and Kady, and I also loved meeting Brittany, Alyssa, Patricia, and all the girls who got their families to fly or drive them all the way to see me!! It was so so SO much fun to meet all of you.

So I have all these copies of Revelations: The First Four Chapters to give out. How can you get your hot little hands on them? By entering the BLUE BLOODS POETRY CONTEST!

Here are the rules:

1. You can enter as many poems as possible, but can only win ONCE.

2. Poems can be in any form: free verse, haiku, villanelle, epic, Dr. Seuss-style, whathaveyou.

3. Poems should be spell-checked. If your words are spelled correctly that gives you huge ups. I don’t mind misuse of capitalization so much—e.e. cummings never capitalized and did niFTy things like THis. But I do have to say, it is easier to read correctly capitalized verse. So, up to you.

4. Poems should be about the Blue Bloods universe. Or in the voice of a Blue Bloods character. Up to you. You could pen a poem about Jack’s hotness, Mimi’s bitchiness, a ballad to Schuyler and Oliver, or about Michael and Gabrielle, anything you can come up with. Or you could write a poem in the voice of a character. (Just make a note of who is supposed to be speaking.)

5. I’m looking for creativity and polish, but also humor and originality. I was a huge poetry-entrant when I was in high school (and won a bunch), so I think this is a fun experiment.

6. We’ll post the best poems on the site of course. We will have a grand prize, a first runner-up and a third-runner up, who will receive goodie-bags from my vast goodie-bag closet as well as the chapter samplers.

7. Poems are due by June 20th.

8. Poems should be e-mailed to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with the subject header: POETRY CONTEST.

Good luck! I can’t wait to read what you come up with!

And just to answer future questions: YES, I WILL send the sneak-peeks before the book comes out, I just don’t know WHEN yet. I’m really sorry about getting everyone’s hopes up. But I do hope to fix this situation SOON.