Hot or Not

This is probably of no interest to anyone but me… but as I have been reading about this plagiarism scandal, I thought about how every time I write a new book, I always check to make sure I haven’t plagiarized…myself!

For example, when I was writing Sun-Kissed, the third in the Au Pairs series, I was worried that I was reaching for too many of the same phrases I’d used before, like “retail therapy” and “caramel-colored tan”. I know, totally frivolous right? But I’ve noticed that in my writing, I do tend to reach for the same descriptions so I make a concerted effort to make sure each detail in each new book is new one.

But, I mean, how many ways can I describe a hot boy?? 🙂 Luckily, I got over my foggy mental block about describing hotness, and as you will see, there are three new delicious, gorgeous boys in Sun-Kissed who are hot in totally different ways. Thank god I had so many crushes on people in my youth! Thank Heaven for Hot Boys!

xoxo
Mel

Idol Mania/Scandal Nausea

How much do I love reader reviews?? LOTS!!! Especially when they are good! Here’s one I found on Sebcobooks.com (a student review site – very cool!)

Book Review: Blue Bloods
Author: Cruz, Melissa de la
“I was quite cautious when I began reading Melissa de la Cruz’s, Blue Bloods. Having been aware that the story was about vampires, I thought Blue Bloods would be your typical anti-sun, blood sucking vampire tale. Well, I was wrong. Blue Bloodsis no doubt about vampires, but Ms. de la Cruz contradicts and explains everything you have ever heard about vampires. Basically the story focuses on the lives of a few select teenagers who all happen to share a secret; they’re all part of a group of vampires called the Blue Bloods, who landed at Plymouth after voyaging on the Mayflower. Now in present day New York City, these teenagers have discovered their pasts and are facing new dangers that they never knew existed. There will be a sequel to this book that I anxiously await. This story has many twists, turns, and surprises. I’ve never really enjoyed vampires, but this book expressed a completely different view on how they live and what they’re all about. The word choice in Blue Bloods is a bit advanced and there are even some phrases in foreign languages here and there. I think because of the uniqueness and manner of Melissa de la Cruz’s story, a variety of open-minded readers (who are willing to check a few words in the dictionary) can sincerely enjoy Blue Bloods.”
–Alison Fanizzi, North Syracuse Junior High School, North Syracuse, NY

Yay! Thanks Alison!

And thanks to everyone who has emailed saying they loved the book. It really makes me happy to hear that.

Because I am soooo ill. I just have been feeling sooo sick lately. It’s so awful. I have a stomach virus I think, and ugh, it’s just been killing me.

I’m also kind of sick of the Kaayva Viswanathan/plagiarism scandal. I feel sad for her. I’m sad for Megan McCafferty too–I’m sure she feels totally violated. (How else can a writer feel when this happens?) And she’s a fellow Columbia College grad, so I am totally in her corner. (Roar Lion Roar) But I am also sad for Kaayva, of course she deserves contempt for what she has done, but also pity, I think. The pressure she must have been under–writing a novel AND doing a full load of courses at Harvard? It doesn’t excuse what she did AT ALL. When I first read about her huge advance, and her youthfulness, I thought, wow, she is superhuman! Now it comes out she is just human.

When I wrote my first novel, Cat’s Meow, I had to take three months off of work to do it. I couldn’t do it while still working, so I just could not even imagine how anyone can study for school and put a novel together.

Right now I write full time and even then, it’s never enough time to write a book…

But anyway, like I said, I’m kind of sick of the scandal. It just adds to my feeling of nausea. It’s all just so yucky and sad.

So, moving on lighter topics!!!

Check out the hooters on Katherine McPhee last night huh??? Mike and I (who are huge Taylor Hicks fans) couldn’t get over the cleavage-baring dress. Yikes! I thought there was a little more of McPhee than we should have seen–and the split up to the thigh on the gown was also distracting. (Was it just me or were buttons popping out as she walked around the stage?)

Part of me totally admired her for wearing such a sexy dress, (I LOVE the cut-down-to-there style, it’s very sexy–but I think it looks sexier on flatter ladies–more Kate Moss-y and Euro), and another part of me was totally apalled. What was she thinking? It was WAY too tight and too revealing I think.

We’ve all been watching Idol thinking of her as this nice-girl-from-Sherman-Oaks and then she throws the twins at us! LOL. But I thought her rendition of the Whitney Houston song was pretty good.

But like I said, we’re Taylor Hicks fans. Mike thinks there is a conspiracy on the part of Idol producers to get the audience to vote against Taylor, and I quote my husband, “They don’t want a fat, goofy, gray-haired guy to represent American Idol.” So they are pushing for the more attractive and savvy Chris Daughtry. But I disagree–I think fat, goofy and gray-haired is exactly what we want in an Idol! Don’t you think?

We were walking in The Grove (an outdoor mall in L.A. where you can find us, oh, about four out of seven days of the week. Ok! I know it’s a mall. But there are so few places you can just park and then walk around in in L.A.) about a month ago, and we were coming out of the movie theater and all the people on the street (the fake mall street) had their camera phones out and there was this HUGE buzz of excitement — I haven’t seen anything like that ever! And I thought, oh my god, it has to be a huge star–Tom Cruise?? But lo and behold, it was Taylor Hicks! He seemed really flattered by all the attention, he posed for a lot of photos and was smiling at everyone. Looked like a real nice guy.

My book party is a week and a half away, and today I promised I would try on the dresses I’d been planning to wear to the party to see if they still look as fab as I thought they would when I bought them, oh, a year ago when I finished the book!

I’ll keep you posted…

UPDATE: So I tried on the dresses. And the Marc Jacobs dress still works, but the Diane Von Furstenberg is not looking so good. Sigh. Also, the thought of changing in the middle of the party just sounds like an inconvenience. So, I have decided on a third option.

I bought this Sass & Bide mini dress which is black with yellow piping, which I have never worn, from Diavolina in L.A. about eight months ago ($590), when I was shopping with my friend Katie. I think I will wear that to the party instead of the Marc Jacobs. It’s black = goth /vampiric enough for Blue Bloods but it also has yellow and a floral pattern = sunny and summery enough for Sun-Kissed. Actually the perfect option! I will post pictures of the party so you can all see what it looked like. I think I might even wear it with my new Skinny Jeans ($68 at Urban Outfitters), and my nude YSL platforms ($149 from $395 at the outlet). That’s a fun teen look, I think… Kind of inspired by the Lindsay Lohan outfit of loose Chanel blouse, skinny jeans and platforms..

xoxo
Mel

Some Hot Reads

Just got back from Palm Springs, which was lovely. Spent Friday by the pool, sunbathing, then Saturday went to the outlet in Cabazon–Gucci, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada!

I haven’t been shopping in so long so I was soooo excited when we got there. I immediately wanted to buy everything. But in the back of my mind was our continuing house-hunt so I had to restrain myself.

In the end, I only came home with some hot nude patent-leather chunky-heel Yves Saint Laurent platforms. They are SO this season (even if they were um, last season) and I can’t wait to bust them out when I am in New York in two weeks. I always have to have new shoes for New York. What was it Joan Didion said? Something about how New York City makes the “good” clothes you’re brought from home seem suddenly really cheap. So I come armed to the city everytime I visit. As a former New Yorker, I have to pay my respects!

My only complaint about the outlet stores is that Gucci is SO picked through, and everything at Dior was sooo label-lover and very 90s. Blecch. They need to restock with some good stuff. The YSL outlet is the only one that is consistently rewarding to shop in. I hope I can get to Woodbury Commons while I am in New York — that is a GREAT outlet –Chanel, Frette, Dolce & Gabbana. Yum!

I did a lot of reading by the pool (I got brain dead from putting together those 30 pages for the ANGELS on SUNSET BOULEVARD promo) and discovered some really great books.

DOING IT by Melvin Burgess – Have you guys read this book? It is AWESOME. It is my new favorite teen book. It’s about three guys, Dino, Jonathan and Ben, and how they are obsessed with, you know, doing it. The story is really great- so funny, so real, I literally felt sick reading it because I was so jealous. It just captured that highly hormonal excitement of being a teen so well–and the lovestory between Jonathan and Deborah is SO sweet and HOT I was really into it. I really felt put to shame, something that is hard for an author to go through–who was it who said, authors read everything with either “a grinding envy or total contempt”–it’s all envy and admiration over here.

Which brings me to the next book I read:

LUNAR PARK by Bret Easton Ellis — I’ve been a huge fan of Bret Easton Ellis. Him and Jay McInerney and Tama Janowitz were the writers I read when I was in high school, and their books made me want to move to New York and become a writer. (Even if Less Than Zero is set in L.A.) All I can say is WOW! This was a GREAT book. The writing was hysterical, it was really inspiring. And the ending is everything they said–so moving and deeply felt. It was a total pleasure to read–I love how MEAN and FUNNY he is… something you don’t get as much anymore. The book is about a character named “Bret Easton Ellis” – a famous writer who moves to the suburbs with his movie star wife. It’s a horror story – like a Stephen King book, but also filled with satire and sex and insidery things about publishing. I couldn’t put it down. I was really inspired by how this is his sixth book or something, and it’s definitely his best. (So maybe we writers get better as we age? Hopefully!) If you like mean, funny books that are also sad and moving, read this book!

Some books I wasn’t so hot for:

The Wonder Spot by Melissa Banks. Eh. I kept waiting for the book to take off and it never did. The main character was so annoying. It’s interesting that I really liked the mean/deplorable/druggie character of “Bret” in Lunar Park and yet I couldn’t bring myself to like Sophie Applebaum who’s supposed to be “just like us” at all. I thought the book was boring and not particularly well-written or observant.

The Shadow of the Wind: Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I bought this book under the recommendation of a good friend who is a manager at Border’s. She RAVED about this book and I was so excited to read it. There are like pages and pages of raves from all the book establishment papers–The NY Times, Washington Post, etc. And what is it? Just an overhyped Spanish soap opera. I mean, puhleeze! I really thought it was just cheesy trash hidden underneath this so-called “lyrical” prose. Blecch. I was definitely underwhelmed.

Like most avid readers, I always have to finish a book even if it’s bad. There are very few books I haven’t finished, it just seems such a waste not to finish them. Did anyone read The Historian that Dracula book that came out last year? Hated that. It was SO BORING. Dracula only appears in like, the last twenty pages, and hello, didn’t we all put together that Helen was related to Dracula like, four hundred pages before it is “revealed”?

I buy most of my books from this great used bookstore in Cleveland (I know, how weird right?) Mike and I go home to Cleveland where his parents live twice a year, and I buy like, fifty to sixty books every time we go. I only buy new books that I really want from Barnes and Noble and Borders if I *must* have them and will then pay full price. Like, I just bought Zadie Smith’s On Beauty and Joe Keenan’s My Lucky Star. And I get some free books from my publishers once in a while, although I tend not to read YA books so much because I just don’t want to get too influenced by other writers.

What else I’ve been reading:

Ooh, in my stack from Cleveland I found The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet. I’ve never read any Hammet so I read it, and I REALLY enjoyed it. So I went and bought The Thin Man too- the one with Nick and Nora Charles, the fabulous detectives. The Hammet books are so fun because there’s all this great cocktail drinking in it and I love all the “hard-boiled” dialogue. Like Sam Spade calls all the chicks ‘babe’ and ‘sweetheart’ and it’s so retro macho.

Anyway, we’re getting ready for our Open House now so I should go. I have to put together some pages of Blue Bloods 2 Masquerade for my editor before we see each other in New York, so I need to work on that now.

xoxo
Mel

Another great review!

More great reviews of Blue Bloods!

This one is from Booklist…yay Booklist! Thank you!!

de la Cruz, Melissa. Blue Bloods. May 2006. 298p. Hyperion, $15.99 (0-7868-3892-2).
Gr.
912. Like the power brokers that are their parents and ancestors, members of the popular clique at New York’s Duchesne School are Blue Bloods, continually reincarnated vampires endowed with preternatural beauty, charisma, and strength. The plot revolves around several teens, unaware of their heritage, who begin to manifest their true natures during a terrifying spate of vampire-to-vampire violence. At book’s end, nonconformist Schuyler has emerged as heroine, having discovered a rift in Blue Blood history that lays the groundwork for forthcoming books. Grafting the chick-lit sensibility of her Au Pairs books onto horror themes, de la Cruz introduces a conception of vampires far different from stake-fleeing demons in traditional horror fiction, coupling sly humor (What, the Committee was just a front for a bunch of blood-sucking B-movie monsters?) with the gauzier trappings of being fanged and fabulous as well as bundant references to the taboo-laden taking of human familiars, a procedure with overtly sexual overtones. Although the novel isn’t sure quite what it wants to be (Satire? Beach read? Gothic saga?), many teens will savor the thrilling sense of being initiated into an exclusive secret society. Jennifer Mattson

In answer, the book is a satiric gothic beach read. LOL. I totally get what the reviewer is saying though, point well taken!

So excited for the book’s release! Here’s what I was thinking about when I was writing Blue Bloods, and if you like these books (and um, some TV characters and celebrities), you will like Blue Bloods too…

VC Andrew’s Flowers in the Attic
Donna Tartt’s The Secret History
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter
THE OC’s Adam Brody
Mary Kate Olsen
Sex and The City

All those things went into the blender, and wrrrrrr…out came Blue Bloods!

Here’s what I am thinking when I am writing Blue Bloods 2:

Man, I need a nap.

This is always what I am thinking when I work. That I should be napping. And when I nap, what I think is, damn, I need to work. It never ends…

Did you order your copy yet?? Not that there’s ANY pressure at all. 🙂

xoxo
Mel

Blue Bloods is out! (At B&N.com)

The other day I received a wonderful present in the mail–the final, hardcover copies of my new book BLUE BLOODS. There is really nothing that warms an author’s heart as much as seeing a new book in print. And just like a proud parent, I thought, they’re GORGEOUS!!!

You can’t tell from the pic of the book cover I have posted on my profile page, but the vampire bites on the girl’s neck are actually embedded, there’s a deep puncuture on the cover, so that they feel REAL. It’s so massively cool. And I love the New York skyline with my name in silver foil. WOW! Craziness.

I’m actually re-reading my book right now as I’m writing the sequel, just to make sure I know exactly where I left off. The weird thing about Blue Bloods is that I have almost no memory of writing it, I’m like, damn, when did THAT get done? It always feels like my books are put together by accident, I always work at odd hours, and just here and there, bits and pieces (although now that memory serves I do remember slaving away at the computer for days at a time at a writer’s office that I go to).

The final book has a different ending (just a fuller one, not a different outcome) than the galley, so if you guys have read the galley, the final book is actually much richer and I urge you to reread it if you can stand it. 🙂 I think the final book has 20 more pages than the galley.

I have noticed you can buy Blue Bloods at B&N.com now, but not yet on Amazon. I haven’t been to a bookstore in a while, so I don’t know if it’s out there yet. The publishing date is May 1st, so it might be a few weeks yet till it hits the stores.

The book is a little different from my Au Pairs books but I have heard from several readers who love the Au Pairs that they love Blue Bloods even more–so please give it a try even if vampires aren’t your thing. It’s a story about some really beautiful girls and yummy boys who just happen to be immortal.

In other news, I put together the first 30 pages of Angels on Sunset Boulevard because my awesome publisher S&S is going to print a little promo copy to put in the giftbags of the book party coming up. So those of you who make it to the party will get a sneak peek of my new book that’s coming out in December!

Mike and I are off to Palm Springs for the rest of the week, I can’t wait to hit the OUTLET stores–they have a Yves Saint Laurent outlet there–maybe they’ll have the Muse bags?? Mike has some work in Palm Springs and I get to go along with my computer and write by the pool…

I feel slightly guilty for blogging when I have books due so I will sign off now. The sequel to Blue Bloods awaits, as does ANGELS.

xoxo
Mel

Friends with Money?

So Mike and I are selling our condo, which means that during Open Houses, when the public is invited to view our apartment to see if they would like to buy it, Mike and I have to make ourselves scarce.

We were supposed to go to Brentwood to go look at some houses but Mike felt too tired after cleaning the whole place (our cleaning lady couldn’t come this week, but Mike actually cleans better than she does–ladies, take it from me, marry a man who cleans!! You know how they say women marry men like their fathers? Well my dad is also a cleaning freak. My mom hates to clean, so my dad cleans (AND irons!). He used to be a big time investment banker, my dad, but now he works from home, so he is the house husband and he cleans. Mike and my dad joke that they will have a cleaning contest one day to see who cleans better. Both of them swear they are the Mr. Clean Champ!)

This whole tangent makes me realize the reason I can’t relate to all those new books out about housework and how women hate it, (like that new Caitlin Flanagan book) because in our house the point is moot. Mike cleans. I don’t. Am I the luckiest wife in the world? Possibly!

Anyway, so we left the apartment and went to the Grove, where we saw Friends with Money. I knew the moment we bought our tickets that Mike was going to hate the movie. He hates all talky movies, but I was curious about it and I’d read so many reviews and the article in Salon where the reviewer says he not only felt for the characters, he was worried about them, and he saw himself in them. I usually love movies about angsty urban people and their tiny, tiny, tiny little problems so I went.

So we settled in, and at first, I was totally entertained. I loved the ambiguously gay husband, who reminded me of Simon Doonan (so cute) and I loved that the screenwriter couple were building an addition to their house, and all the cozy dinners they go to with friends. But then, the movie just started to get kind of annoying… like Jennifer Aniston can’t get a date? Puhleeze. And the couple played by Catherine Keener and the guy who looks like Timothy Dalton but isn’t, how we’re supposed to sympathize with her because her husband is a jerk? I actually was rooting for the husband. I thought her character was SO annoying. Like, puh-leeze, you knew you were going to block your neighbor’s view with that ugly addition! Don’t act like you di’int!

And since Mike’s an architect who practices in LA, he pointed out all the incorrect things in the movie, like how the architect tells them they need a “special permit.” There’s no such thing. And no one can just put up an addition like that, you need to get a variance from the city, which involves a public hearing, where anyone in the neighborhood can protest it. It’s just absurd, Mike says, that they would just build it without one.

I really am not one of those people who are smarter than the movie. It’s just, I’m married to an architect.

And really, I go to the movies to get entertained, not annoyed. I guess I should have known. I usually keep away from things that will annoy me, like some people, who are annoyed by stories of girls partying in the Hamptons should keep away from my books.

I *like* the fantasy Hollywood romantic comedies… with the fabulous production values and everyone looking so gorgeous, like Must Love Dogs and that one with Uma Thurman where she dates the young guy, I can’t remember what it was called right now–I loved those. Everyone in this movie looks awful. It was just hard to watch.

And ok, so back to Catherine Keener’s character’s jerky husband. She is basically divorcing him because he never asks her if she is “Ok” after she hurts herself–like when she burns her hand, or bumps into a table. And she confronts him, and he says, well, why don’t you just say you’re OK? “You’re OK, right?” And she says, that’s not the point. And I just sat there and thought, WHINER! I told Mike the reason I rooted for the jerky husband was because he reminded me a lot of him—Mike. Mike NEVER asks me if I’m OK after I bang my foot or whatever, and he never says God Bless You when I sneeze.

Now, if I were a character in a movie, like say, “Singles” that Cameron Crowe movie where the girl is really mad at her boyfriend for never saying God Bless You when she sneezes, I would think Mike is a jerk. But Mike is NOT a jerk. Some people just don’t do that, some guys don’t do that, and life and relationships are just not that simple and black and white.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because we are basically happy people. I was lucky enough to come from a happy family, and while we have had some sadness in our lives (illnesses, immigration issues, etc) we always looked on the bright side of things. We are a positive people. So I guess I just don’t relate to all the angsty whining in movies like Friends with Money.

I was just thinking of how Woody Allen’s movies are about angsty urban people and their tiny tiny problems, and how I love those–because the NYC apartments they show are just sooo drool-worthy–and hello, did you not love Match Point and that gorgeous London flat? And the family estate’s library where everyone sits around and drinks G&Ts? Swooon.

Friends with Money had none of that–nothing to aspire to, nothing to emulate. Nothing that really showed the fun side of life. Oh, except for that one scene where the ambiguously gay husband has lunch with his new ambiguously gay friend in the friend’s house, which had a fabulous pool and garden. (During this point in the movie, Mike and I turned to each other and said, “Oooh. We want that! How much do you think it is?”)

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is, take a guy who cleans over a guy who says Gesundheit anyday…

I just remembered what else I wanted to share, so, I’m writing Blue Bloods 2: Masquerade… and the other night we happened to catch Phantom of the Opera the movie on cable. So now everytime I write my book, I sing gleefully to myself…

“MASQUERAAAAAADE…Paper faces on Paraaaade….MASQUERADE…Every face a different shade..MASQUERAAADE….”

And then I giggle madly. Like I’m doing now.

It’s so cheesy! And now Mike says I should change the title of my book. But we’ll see. I kind of like it even if it reminds me of that song…

Happy Easter everyone!
xoxo
Mel

Skinny Jeans!

Yesterday I went to Urban Outfitters for the first time in, I would say, about four years. I used to live near an UO in the West Village, and every time I walked home from the subway, I would stop by and buy something. Everything from Urban Outfitters seems to be priced around $40-$60, and if it’s on sale, even cheaper, so I would stock up on ski sweaters, fur-trimmed tank tops, artfully torn vintage t-shirts, and the like.

But there comes a time when you realize you have become TOO OLD to wear clothes from Urban Outfitters. It happens when you look in the mirror and you realize are no longer the 22 year old urban hipster chick and cannot pull off the tight tank top, checkered punk pants, thirty butterfly pins in your deliberately dirty hair, black Converse sneakers and blue nailpolish look anymore but rather a 30ish chick who looks better in designer clothes because they are cut roomier (an undisputed fact–one of the reasons designer clothes are more expensive is that they actually have more material to them) and after a certain age, dirty hair just looks gross and it becomes necessary to pay $60 a pop for a blowout before an event.

But I always feel fond of Urban Outfitters. For a long time, even though I shopped there, I always thought that store was just for posers–for people who didn’t know how to shop at thriftshops and the Salvation Army, and wanted that grungy look without having to dig through discount bins to find it. Was I a self-hating shopper? Possibly.

Nowadays I just think it’s a convenient place to find the latest trends without paying through the nose for them–like the SKINNY JEANS phase that is so hot right now. I have been meaning to buy a pair of Earnest Sewn or those Tsubi jeans everyone is talking about. I also wish I still had my black straight Gap jeans from 1989 that were totally skinny and stretchy in my closet. Yet I sold it to a girlfriend back in college when I needed cash. I was always broke in those days, and people always coveted my clothes, so when I needed a little money, I would sell the clothes off my back. (I sold the jeans for $40, $10 more than I paid for them. In my other life, I am a stylist!)

But there was no need to buy the $300 skinny designer jeans after all, because they have a very decent version at Urban Outfitters for $68. I think they’re just the house label, they don’t even have any label on it that I can find. And once the skinny jeans trend passes (which it will, eventually), at least I’ll have only spent less than $100 on it…

So can I still get away with wearing skinny jeans? I could be a grown up and just wear some “flattering” jeans for my “shape” as the fashion magazines advise us to, but I say, to hell with that kind of thinking!

I remember when I was covering Fashion Week in New York, the coolest chick there was a British fashion editor in her 50s (or possibly 60s) who dressed like the coolest teen–she always wore the destroyed t-shirts, artfully deconstructed denim, and wore her hair in a shag. She certainly didn’t dress her age.

Dressing one’s age–where’s the fun in that? Bring on the skinny jeans!

The Sting

Jared was set up!

After reading all the news in the New York Times, The Daily News, ABC, Gawker, and all the sundry links to other media pundits, I’m so officially sick of this story. I’m pulling for Jared. He’s a friend, and a good guy. And as the story comes out, it looks more and more like entrapment. People make mistakes, and there’s a lot of gleeful ‘dancing on the grave of Page Six’ right now, but this will all come to naught. I’m just so tired of the blatant schadenfreude in the Daily News, and the subtle and insidious scadenfreude in the New York Times. Enough! The guy hasn’t been arrested, and it sounds like he never will be–leave him alone.

Anyway, party prep is going along! Invites are finally in and will be sent out by the end of the week!

It’s a month away! Do you know what you’re going to wear yet???

xoxo
Mel

Why is there not a German word for feeling sad when friends are in trouble?

Those of you who read Gawker saw the item on Jared Paul Stern today. The Page Six reporter and editor of the Sunday Book Review at the New York Post is under investigation by the FBI for extorting 220k from Beverly Hills billioniare Ron Burkle. The Daily News had the full story, including the transcript where Jared supposedly asks point-blank for the money.

Mike and I are just totally, totally shocked, jaw-droppingly shocked. Jared has been a colleague of mine since the days when we both wrote for the New York Press. He’s always been a great supporter of my books, and we have kept in friendly contact over the years. He’s definitely a character, but also a really interesting, smart guy, kind of shy actually. Although he definitely cultivates the gangsta pose (see the Black Table interview) in public.

Jared is one of those quintessentially New York people–I remember about ten years ago, Mike and I were walking back from a party in the East Village at around three in the morning, and this cab pulled up and all these beautiful, achingly glamorous people came out of it–the women dressed in long gowns and the men in three-piece suits, and they all looked out of a 1920s fabulous Fred Astaire movie, and then we realized it was Jared and his friends. And we were like, just so awed and a bit dazed by the sight of them–it was like Bright Young Things come to life–and Jared waved at us cheerfully and invited us to join the revelry.

We have always thought fondly of him since then. Some people live in a fantasy world, and I always admired that about him. No doubt, there is a lot of Schadenfreude in New York right now, but here in LA we are just shocked and sad.

Afternoon TV is Illuminating

There’s another article about those "racy, racy books" (like mine!) in Newsday today.  Link to Article

It’s interesting how MTV is elbowing into the literary market that they feel they ‘created’. If I can just add my two cents, it’s not just about putting sex scenes together and throwing brand names around, whenever I write a love scene, I always ‘feel’ it as much as the characters do, and I *believe* their emotions and their excitement, to me, it’s very real, which I think is why readers like my books… And I do such a huge fashion edit on my books to make sure everything is the hottest and coolest and something I own/wear or my fabulous friends own/wear.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a funny story… yesterday morning, Mike and I were watching TV, and the preview ad for Oprah came on… she had Terry McMillan on, the writer who wrote "How Stella Got her Groove back" whose husband (who was the inspiration for the guy who gave her her groove back) came out recently as gay. It was a big scandal, and she was very humiliated.

Anyway, the ad showed Oprah, looking all mad and stern, saying, "How could you keep this a SECRET from your wife??? How could you do this??" and then the camera pans to Terry McMillan, looking SO PISSED OFF, and totally indignant, saying "How could you KEEP this from me???"

And then, the camera pans to the ex-husband…. WHO IS THE GAYEST GUY I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!!!

Mike and i just doubled up in laughter. I mean, what secret was he keeping??? Anyone who saw this guy would think he was gay in a nanosecond!!

It was just truly hilarious….

Oprah and Terry McMillan just looked so ridiculous.

I mean, it was like if the camera panned to…Carson Kressley being accused of keeping his gayness secret! I’m sorry, but he was just that gay.

I don’t mean to belittle McMillan’s pain, at all–I can imagine how hurtful that would be. But sometimes, people, you just need a CLUE!

I have BEEN there. I was once so IN LOVE with my gay best friend I couldn’t see straight. (Pun definitely intended.) And all my girlfriends were like, "But Mel, he’s… gay!!" (He wasn’t out yet then.) I just refused to see what was right in front of me…

I think perhaps Ms. McMillan did the same… so I am sad for her, that she went through the whole relationship and divorce and heartache…

So many of my best friends are gay, and they were even the ones who told me the guy I was in love with was gay, but I refused to believe them…

But at least, for me, I didn’t lose my marriage, or money, just a few years of college, which are wasted anyway right?

And yes, the guy I was in love with came out the day before graduation, and we remained friends for a long time after that.

Maybe McMillan’s ex is more flamboyant now, or more "out" but..there was just something about the fraudulence of it–the stern indignation of Oprah and McMillan that just looked so off-base.

There’s keeping secrets, and there’s determined blindness.

Let’s keep our eyes open! Have a great day everyone.

xoxo
Mel