Sad News, Good News, Update on Book Schedule

Hello, I am still here. No, Masquerade is not yet done. But it will be SOON. I can almost TASTE it.

The sad news is that my wonderful editor, Helen Perelman, who has been the book’s biggest cheerleader, fairy godmother and close reader, is leaving Hyperion. WAH! I knew Helen was a kindred spirit from the beginning because her favorite character is the bitchy Mimi. (My theory is that in life, as in Sound of Music, you are either for Maria or the Baroness Schraeder, and I’ve always been a Baroness girl. Hello-a nun?? Not! I love when she tells Captain Von Trapp, “I’ll just go back to my little circle in Vienna, where I belong” letting him know that he is going to MISS OUT on the most glamorous life evah! And hey, the Baroness also has the best couturier in Vienna…that’s gotta count for somethin’! So she doesn’t get the guy. His loss!!)

But the good news is that my new editor, Jennifer Besser, is also wonderful, and that is Jen’s beautiful neck on the cover of Blue Bloods!! Isn’t that great karma? It’s like destiny. I’m looking forward to working with Jen!

I’m also in the midst of rewriting Angels on Sunset Boulevard, so with the vampires and the missing rockstars, I’m really busy. I also want to give a shout-out to my ultra-fabulous editor at S&S, Emily Meehan, who really understood what I was trying to do with this book and has helped me find the essence of the story and hone in on it. What is a writer without her editors?

And on top of that, me and my dear friend Tom Dolby are editing our anthology GIRLS WHO LIKE BOYS WHO LIKE BOYS for the awesome Trena Keating at Dutton. It’s about the friendship, love and lust that exists between gay men and straight women, and we just have some wonderful writers on board – Simon Doonan, Cindy Chupack, Ayelet Waldman, Andrew Solomon, and tons more… Some of the stories will make you laugh, others will make you cry (god I sound sooo cheesy!) but really, this is a GREAT book and Tom and I are so proud of it! It comes out June 2007, just in time for Gay Pride!

I once marched in the Gay Pride parade in New York City with my (now-ex) best friend Morgan (who is gay- and a man- some readers have asked if Morgan is a girl, he is not). We marched with GMHC, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, where we were both volunteers. And it was really fun, marching up and down Fifth Avenue holding up the GMHC sign and chanting “G!M!H!C! Safer Sex for You And Me!” (What is ironic about this is that when we marched, we were about 21 years old and both of us were still virgins at the time. Yes, we were very late bloomers. We were practicing the safest sex possible!)

The best part was when we got booed by the religous right freaks who were protesting the parade. And we chanted back “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho! Your homophobia’s got to go!” It was really thrilling and empowering, because we were SO much louder and stronger than they. And as my mom would say, of course you were louder–you have a REALLY loud voice. Yes, I am the girl in the restaurant with the loud laugh. It sometimes embarasses my husband. But what can I say? I come from a line of loud-mouthed ladies. (My mom is also really loud. I think it is because we are both a little deaf. Whaatt?)

I also just wanted to let my readers (and yes, I know I have been slack with my emails. I’m so sorry – I promise to respond as soon as I meet all my deadlines) know the following, since you guys seem to be most concerned with:

1) Will there be an Au Pairs 4? YES! It will most likely come out in May or June of next year. But I do not know yet what the book will be about, since that’s next in line AFTER I turn in BB2: MASQ and ANGELS and GIRLS WHO LIKE BOYS WLB.

2) When is the sequel to Blue Bloods coming out? Next April. And it is called MASQUERADE. And it is hot, hot, hot. Lots of Sacred Kissing and cute undead boys and intrigue…

And I know I have promised writing tips and all that, I will be updating my website with all the new info as soon as… say it with me, “My deadlines are done”.

Life really goes on hold when you have book deadlines.

The other sad news is that I won’t be able to go to Saint-Tropez this summer like I had planned. This was where I was going to set the first book of my new series SOCIAL LIFE, but with the new schedule of Au Pairs 4 being a reality, S&S and I have decided to push back SOCIAL LIFE for now until 2008. I just can’t handle it all! I wish I could, but with another series debuting next year (THE ASHLEY FILES) which comes out in October 2007, my plate is heaping and full. So Saint-Tropez will have to wait till next summer.

And as my agent says, “Don’t even talk to us about Au Pairs 5!” Although of course, you know, I would love to write it. I can’t seem to get those girls out of my head!

Other good stuff coming down the pike: MISTLETOE which is out in October, and 21 PROMS, out in February. Both are from Scholastic, and I have a story in each book. The one in Mistletoe is fiction, the one in 21 PROMS is the true story of my high school senior prom.

And the other day, Mike and I were at the Barnes & Noble at the Grove, and we found Sun-Kissed face-out in the new teen books section. So cool! The other week, they had NO copies of ANY of my books and I was CONVINCED my career was over. Yes, I take the temperature of my career by how many books B&N stocks. But then we went back a week later, and they had stacks of Skinny-Dipping, Sun-Kissed and Blue Bloods! So I asked the B&N lady how the books were doing and she said they had SOLD OUT of everything the other week and had to ORDER MORE. They were down to the LAST copy of The Au Pairs, even.

Which is what an author who just bought a 4 BR house in the Hollywood Hills likes to hear. (We closed escrow today and get the keys tomorrow- yippee! But don’t even talk to me about moving. I can’t focus on anything till the books are DONE.)

Earlier in my career, re-orders would have been UNHEARD of, I always assumed that my books were not on the shelves because they had been RETURNED. As in, pulped, remaindered, going to that book cemetery in the sky. You really only have about a month to “prove” yourself in the bookstores. If they don’t sell, back to your publisher they go AFTER A MONTH!

But now they are being RE-ORDERED. And really, it is thanks to all you wonderful readers out there, who have turned your friends on to my books, who buy anthing with my name on it, and keep telling me you want more. I aim to please!

I hope you guys like ANGELS ON SUNSET BOULEVARD. It’s a little like Blue Bloods but it also has that upstairs/downstairs quality of The Au Pairs, because the girl is from the wrong side of the tracks and the hot boy is from Bel-Air. There’s a cool mystery in it too…

Anyway, I have babbled on long enough. It’s back for work for me.