Monthly Archives: October 2008

May the Force Be With You

Today’s Revelations quote:

“Do not worry about the Conclave. This is my business. The Venators are loyal to me, are they not?” – Charles Force.

Throwing that weight around, CF!!

The book comes out October 28th! Order your copy now from B&N or Amazon!

I’m in New York. It’s noooice. But sadly too warm to wear my new fox fur!

xoxo
Mel

Star-Crossed Loff, Canadian Release Date!

Today’s Revelations quote is about Bliss and Dylan! Another pair of star-crossed loffahs…

“Before he’d left they’d had…not quite a relationship, but more than a flirtation. They’d been about to start something…She still remembered the taste of his skin, the feel of his hands…”

MWROR!!!

The book comes out October 28th! Order your copy now from B&N or Amazon!

And I also have to add: if you buy your copy from Target (my favorite store, next to Barneys) there’s a special surprise for Target customers!

Canadian readers: Revelations also comes out October 28th in Canada, not December as your bookstore might have told you. They have the wrong release date. The book will definitely be out Oct 28th up north, I have been told by Hyperion’s Canadian account rep himself! 🙂

It’s cold and overcast and autumnal in L.A. today—so noice. Isn’t October your favorite month? It’s definitely mine. Mike and I met in October, and we got married in October also. We picked our wedding date to be as close to the anniversary of our first date as possible.

On our first date Mike brought ten dollars. I brought six of my friends. Hey, I was keeping it casual! And I guess Mike was too, LOL! I got rid of my friends half-way through the date by kicking them out of the booth at Old Town tavern (it’s still there on 18th St—memories, like the corners of my mind…) by saying, “You guys can go now, I think he likes me!” when Mike went up to the bar to get us another round of pints (Ten dollars covered exactly two rounds back then!).

Well I’m leaving for Noo Yawk tomorrow, so I gotta pack! I hope it’s cold in New York because I’m bringing my new fur!

xoxo
Mel

Ah, Young Love

Today’s Revelations quote is about Schuyler. Pronounced Sky-ler, not Shoo-ler. A frequently asked question which I somehow never seem to find the time to answer in the FAQs. But there you have it.

“She wanted to run to him—to skip, giggling into his arms—but she savored the way he was looking at her.”

Who’s she running to? What’s she gigging at??? Who’s looking at her?? Only time will tell! The book comes out October 28th! Order your copy now from B&N or Amazon!

I’m in New York next week! Come see me!

Wednesday: October 15, 2008 (4:00 PM)
New York Public Library – Tompkins Square Branch
331 E 10th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 228-4747

I’ll be talking vampires, cliques, fashion and writing! Come stop by and hang!

Meanwhile, it’s a sleepy Sunday over here. We spent the morning at the Getty with the kid, having brunch at their cafe that looks over the Malibu hills, all the way to the ocean, and then wandering around all the gorgeous travertine. We were going to try and see the Bernini sculpture exhibit but that was not going to happen with Mattie, happily they had a family room where she made a mask and built a sculpture and played with the other kids. So much cheaper than Disneyland! Plus you get culture points so you don’t feel so bad when you turn on the DVD and watch Cinderella for the nth time.

xoxo
Mel

Recessionistas Unite

Today’s Revelations quote of the day comes via Mimi Force, for whom the term “recessionista” does not apply.

“She was so used to paying exorbitant prices for everything in her life, she sometimes complained when she discovered something was cheaper than she’d expected. “What do they think, that I’m poor?” she sniffed. “That I can’t afford FIJI water?”

Oh, that Mimi!

The book comes out October 28th! Order your copy now from B&N or Amazon!

But seriously, I was reading today in the Times, and when I talk of the Times, you know I only talk of the New York Times, the only “Times” that counts. As flawed as it is, it’s still the Times, love her or leave her. Anyway, today in the Times there was a story about teenagers feeling the pain of the economic crisis, and how most of you guys have never heard your parents say “no” before, and how since Mom and Dad are belt-tightening, you guys are all freaked out that you are poor.

You are not poor.

My family has been the victim of many economic crises—the one in the 80s felled the Philippine economy and my dad’s investment bank (he owned it) and sent us scrambling to American shores to be new immigrants, the one in the 90s saw my Mom hocking her diamonds and emeralds for cash to pay for our Ivy League tuitions (she later got the jewels back, thank god, so we can still inherit them), the one in the 2000s after 9/11 and the dot-com bust was the year Mike and I were laid-off six times between the two of us, and it seemed we were unemployed every other month.

And yes, when the first crisis hit, and I suddenly went from spoiled brat to a scholarship student working at my family’s Sears employees cafeteria, I was numb. And I thought I was po’.

But you see my chickens, like you, I was not po’. Not if you have a family, and friends, and love. I know it’s corny but it’s true.

Besides, being po’ is a bonding experience. One day you will be proud of having survived being po’. If you have everything you’ve ever wanted in life, how can you ever joke around with your friends about having to wear the WRONG jeans (the ones without that ever-important Guess question-mark) or how funny it was that when your dad used to rattle up to your snooty private school in the Dodge Ram Van, you died a little inside, and your Dad would make a joke of halting to a screech by the curb, throwing open the car door, and yelling at you and your sister to get in for your “getaway” before anyone could see you didn’t drive a Mercedes or BMW like everyone else. Ask anyone I know: I have the BEST stories of growing up. If anything, you grow up to be more interesting, more aware about the realities of life, sharper about the brutal ways of the world.

There is a bright side to economic disaster, it might not be that fun, but it’s good to learn the value of work, even the most TEDIOUS jobs in the world can teach you something. I’ve been working since I was fourteen. In high school during the school year I worked as an after-school aide at the day-care at my snooty private school, taking care of pampered little monsters like I used to be, and then during the summer I worked at my parents’ cafeterias in the back of the Sears and JC Penney stores. (To this day I still feel a nostalgic fondness for Sears and JC Penney—those salespeople who were our customers were very, very kind to us.) Then in college I worked in every library position at Columbia because I kept getting fired—I used to work “The Stacks” which meant I had to dig out the books people requested from the underground stacks, take this creaky elevator like, fifty floors down in Butler, in the dark, all by myself. I finally couldn’t stand it anymore—it was SERIOUSLY frightening and DUSTY, and I passive-aggressively didn’t show up so I finally got fired. Finally I settled upon data entry at the Art History library, logging hours just typing in book cards into the computer (they were digitalizing the system).

I’ve worked as a temp where all I had to do was “process” invoices, which meant a huge amount of stapling. It was deadening, boring, minimum-wage (like all the other jobs I mentioned). It would take FOREVER, like a whole SUMMER, just to make enough money to buy one Benetton blazer.

And you know what that taught me?? That I NEVER wanted to be STUCK in that kind of position—that there was “work” to be had out there, but it was BORING and LOW-PAYING and if I didn’t get my act together and get my education in gear, I might be stuck there forever.

Of course, I didn’t believe that would ever be a possibility, but it scared me enough to really try to succeed.

And everything I’ve mentioned above became material for my books: my family’s story for Fresh off the Boat, the Repository of History in Blue Bloods is straight from my experience working the Stacks, and the spoiled brats found new life in The Au Pairs. See what I mean by interesting?

So. Be glad to have this experience. It will teach you things you will most definitely not appreciate today (if you told me at fourteen that I would look back fondly on wearing K-Mart at some point in my life, I would have slapped you upside the head) but you will appreciate it one day, and for the rest of your life.

xoxo
Mel

Lots of Big Pimpin’ Today: Angels, Nick & Norah

Here’s the Revvy quote of the day:

“As the attack on the Repository has shown, the Silver Bloods are no longer a myth we can choose to ignore. We must act quickly. Corcovado must hold.” – Lawrence Van Alen

EEEE!!!! The book comes out October 28th! Order your copy now from B&N or Amazon!

I can’t believe we are so close to pub! And yes, all those who are attending SCIBA – the SoCal Indie Booksellers Assosh, I will be signing and giving out early copies of the book! Exciting!

I just got a huge box of Revelations books—they look gorgeous!!!

Oh, and did you know the paperback of Angels on Sunset Boulevard is out? It’s an LA-noir story featuring sexy missing rockstars, cute preppie boys and cool skater girls. Order on Amazon or B&N!

And I’ve been meaning to gush, gush, gush about the Nick and Norah movie. You HAVE seen it, right?? If not, get thee to a movie theater immediatement! It’s fah-boo-lous, and so real and gritty and swoony and just like the book. Congrats to Rachel and David!!! It’s so great to see a movie that captures the spirit of the book, just like the LOTR movies. I mean, it is THAT good. And Michael Cera, Can you even?? And Kat Dennings—sooo beautiful.

I also wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all my non-Angry Mom supporters out there. The Cool Moms. You guys rule. And everyone who emailed to show their support. I heart you all. And I’m cool, nothing really bothers me too much. The best thing to happen to your career? Bad, Bad, Bad reviews, Career-Killing reviews on your first book. Seriously. Because once you’ve been through the fire, you can handle anything and you KNOW the only way to win is to keep writing and keep publishing. So. I am Teflon Author. I’ve been grilled and roasted and predicted to fail. But who’s laughing now? BWAH HA HA HA…

Okay I am really not that psycho.

I’ve got to go take the kid to Mommy & Me. It’s been Nanny & Me for her for the last six weeks. I think I should show my face, don’t you think?

xoxo
Mel

Random Revelations Quote of the Day!

It’s T-minus 19! We are 19 days away from the release of REVELATIONS!!!!!! AAAHHH!!!!

So to celebrate I will be releasing a random quote from the book every day.

“No one has done a five-star New York bonding in decades.”

Oooh!!!

Hehe. This is fun. The book comes out October 28th! Order your copy now from B&N or Amazon!

Right now I am in two different places in book process. On the one hand, I am in the final stretch on GIRL STAYS IN THE PICTURE, where suddenly the whole book SNAPS into focus and I start cutting, editing, revising to make the book work. It’s weird when this happens, because you kind of toodle along, writing hundreds of pages, knowing subconsciously things are not really working, and then you suddenly realize BAM! I DO NEED TO CUT THAT OUT AND REVISE THAT AND CHANGE THAT AND SNAP SNAP SNAP and it comes into clear focus for the first time. I guess this is what they mean by the “Process”. You have to get on the ride, it doesn’t just come immediately. It’s a nice groove to be in, but it’s hard work too because you kind of have to really THINK about the book for the first time even though you’ve been working on it for months.

And on the other hand, I’m in outline stage for BLUE BLOODS 4 and it’s still clear sailing, and everything seems so fun because nothing has been tested yet. In the outline stage I put in EVERYTHING and then later I cut, cut, cut.

I get a lot of emails asking how to keep working on a book, how to get the story down. Really, the answer is: keep working. If you keep working on it it will come to you. The other part of the advice is: take breaks. I need a restorative break between my books so I can have enough juice in the tank for the next one. You need those times where you are NOT thinking to help you think when the time comes.

What have I bought lately? Lots of Marni, basic tops to get me through the season in rich jeweled colors, this gorgeous gray silk Marni coat with three-quarter sleeves, a new Chanel bag (the classic tote in chocolate brown) and an insane fur vest with a jaguar print. I’m contemplating the peep-toe boots – either the high Marni ones or the Chloe ones with the wrap-around thing going on so it looks kind of fashion pirate-y. I always like a new boot for the season.

xoxo
Mel

Get It Or Get Off the Bus

Events page is updated with my tour appearances! Come see me! I’ll have Revelations tattoos and Blue Bloods t-shirts! Oh—-wait – for the NYC library I might not have the T-shirts yet. Spoke too soon. Hopefully I will have them for the rest of the tour. Eeep! So much to do…so much to do…

Today I share with you two reviews that I thought were interesting. One is about Blue Bloods, where the reviewer likened my style to Bret Easton Ellis’s (in a good way, she’s a fan of Ellis too). I just glowed when I read this. I looooove Ellis. In fact, I wanted to be a writer because of Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City and Ellis’s Less Than Zero. I was a suburban kid who dreamed of being glamorous and tragic. I despair that I am too cheerful to ever really achieve that level of langour and cool. Also, I get slammed a lot by the non-fashionable for writing about designer labels in my books. And it’s nice to see someone who gets it.

I also got my first Angry Mom email about The Ashleys. I guess I should be glad it’s just the first one. Angry Mom finished the book and concluded that I was pushing “superficial values” (you know, because of the brand-name dropping), blah blah blah, and challenged me—as a MOM, to write a better book. She says she never censored her daughter’s books before, and she picked up the Ashleys because she was curious about what her daughter was reading, and she was horrified, HORRIFIED. Ah well. I have to say right now: some people get you and some people don’t. Angry Mom does not get me. She did not find my book funny. Or a fantasy. Or a satire.

I do not know what to do with these people. All I can say is MY mom let me read whatever I wanted. And sure, sometimes she looked at my books and had a concerned look on her face.

My mom (picking up my book Flowers in The Attic, which I was reading in sixth grade (in which a mom poisons her four children and two of them become um, romantically involved with each other, Eep!): “Is this for your age?”
Me: “Uh-huh. Everyone in school is reading it.”
My mom: “Oh, ok.”

My mom (picking up my book Princess Daisy which I was reading in seventh grade (in which a brother and sister become um, romantically involved with each other, Eep!). “Is this for your age?”
Me: “Uh-huh. Everyone in school is reading. it”
My mom: “Oh, ok.”

She never took a book out of my hands. And yes, she TOLD me not to read their books—my mom and dad had a huge library of books, and they read for pleasure – there was lots of Harold Robbins and Sidney Sheldon on those shelves. And Jackie Collins too. Yes, they had the classics as well, but I was drawn to the ones with the lurid covers of women wearing leaopard-print coats and obviously nothing underneath. So of course, I snuck them out and read them. But I have to say: I was eleven, and I read The Carpetbaggers, and though I understood it was dirty, I didn’t even really get it. I didn’t understand it and it went over my head, so I stopped reading Harold Robbins.

And did I think romantic relationships with one’s relatives was a good thing after reading V.C. Andrews and Judith Krantz?? What do you think? LOL!

Well. Maybe Angry Mom was right. My mom was wrong to let me read whatever, because I grew up to write superficial books! SNARF!

Anyway, here’s a mom who does get it. She reviewed my book on Amazon and here’s what she has to say:

“The Ashleys Birthday Vicious reminds me of 18th and 19th-century comedies of manners by Sheridan, Somerset Maugham, Moliere and Oscar Wilde. Smart teens will probably recognize it for the fantasy it is—-and maybe parents and teachers can point them to its earlier literary models.”

Yeahhh, boy!!! Moliere, Wide, Maugham and Sheridan!! Woo-hoo!

Some people get you or they don’t. The people that get you compare you to your idols, the greats. The people that don’t think you are trash.

I have always been a “divisive” author. I learned this early in my career. I am not a one-author-for-everyone kind of flavor. You gotta get me to like my stuff.

Kind of like Rachel Zoe, whom the Times called “a pox of humanity”—I mean, c’mon! Why are fashion people slammed so nastily? Really? A Pox on humanity? Like the Nazis? Rachel Zoe? URGH! I mean, so she shops a lot and spends too much money and re-did the furniture in her house for a shoot (um, Fendi Casa was a sponsor – which meant she did not pay for those new couches. Puh-leeze. It was a stunt for the show. Hello.) I think Rachel Zoe is funny and cute and fashion-mad. I love all the fur and the gold jewelry and the hilarious assistants. Can I get hair like Tay’s? I also love Brad’s preppie look. Of course I have a fag hag crush on him. I gotta love someone while Ryan from Flipping Out is off the tube!! Ryan: Call me: I lofff you.

The article also intimated that we can’t celebrate shopping or glamour because of dire economic times. Which I think is all B.S. Now more than ever we need our escape, our trivia, to be amused by the very, very small problems of very, very rich people. Sure, maybe some want the Sturm & Drang but as for me, I think of Fred and Ginger and all those beautiful ballgowns and those insane penthouses and how they lifted everyone during the Great Depression.

I want more feathers and sequins and frivolity! Bring it!!

xoxo
Mel

Celeb Spotting at the Kids Store, Why Are They So Tiny?

I am about to go into a meeting so this is going to be short. This weekend: Nicole Richie at the Pottery Barn Kids at the Grove! With Joel Madden! Exciting. They were picking out lamps with her mom. The funniest thing was the salesclerk who said in a very loud whisper. “Yeah, that’s PARIS HILTON. She comes in here ALL TIME TIME.” I was like, hello???? That’s NICOLE!! You have your Simple Life castmates wrong! Nicole has a baby and is shopping for kidstuf!!! Actually I overheard that they were shopping from Xtina Aguilerra’s registry.

Nicole was very LA-chic in a sheer drapey sweater, sheer scarf wrapped around her neck, and long t-shirt over skinny-skinny jeans and flats. She looked great and tiny but not scary-tiny. More like celebrity tiny. Celebs are always mini-sized. You have to be, because the camera adds ten thousand pounds! But WHY ARE those 90210 girls so tiny? The Gossip Girls look slender and healthy. I also think the main actress Shanae—don’t you love creative spellings of creative names??—looks WAY too old to play a high-schooler. I was seriously watching my first episode and I was like—wait—why is that guy talking to her that way, like she’s a child—-she’s the MOM right—no WAIT—she’s the daughter!! Yikes!! But how awesome to see Kelly and Brenda back on the screen. Boo hiss for not paying Tori enough to come back too.

I am obsessed with the Rachel Zoe show. I die, I die. Didn’t you love when she spent like the equivalent of her husband’s car in half an hour at the vintage store??? I’ll blog more about this later since I have to go or I’ll miss my meeting, but hope everyone is out there shopping. Your economy needs you more now than ever!!

Yours in Chanel,
xoxo
Mel

Come See Me in New York!

I’m going on tour for Blue Bloods III: Revelations and Ashleys IV: Lipgloss Jungle this October/November. I’m going to be in a few cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Phoenix. I’m sorry if I’m not hitting your town this time around. I try not to be away too much from the baby, plus I have Blue Bloods 4: The Van Alen Legacy due, like, tomorrow!

I’ll be in New York City fete-ing my book at bookseller and press luncheons and librarian conferences but I do have one public event I can invite you all to and would love it if you’d come and hang and we can talk vampires and fashion and whatever else you want to talk about. Writing? Oh yeah. We can def talk about that too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
4:00 PM
Library Visit
New York Public Library – Tompkins Square Branch
331 E 10th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 228-4747

Hope to see you! And check out the events page for updates on the tour schedule!

xoxo
Mel

Page Six-Six-Six Love and FRONTRUNNERS, a can’t-miss fim this election season

You know it’s a Page Six morning when your phone rings at 7AM and again at 7:15 and both callers want to talk about your newest Page Six mention! One to let you know you made the paper and the other to ask IS IT TRUE??? 🙂 Yes, Tom and I are thrilled that our book Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys is becoming one of those addictive reality series on Bravo.

And Blue Bloods III: Revelations also got a nice mention in the Page Six magazine. I want to add, I was LAUGHING when I said “You never hear of a fat vampire!” I mean, really…do you? All the vampires I loved growing up (Lestat, Louis, etc) were rockstar-skinny and fabulous.

Being an ex-NYC journo and a friend to many current and ex-Sixers, it’s always a thrill to find my name in the boldface type. This is what I went to New York for, after all!

Also more news: My dear friend Caroline Suh’s awesome, thought-provoking and inspiring new film FRONTRUNNERS is coming out next month! It’s about the student body election at NYC’s brainaic Stuyvessant High School. Caroline would like to invite student journalists to press screenings, so please email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), with your name and your school’s name and school’s newspaper’s name and she will hook you up with press passes. Right now it’s going to be showing in NYC, LA, Boston, Berkeley, San Francisco, Denver and Philly.

xoxo
Mel