Monthly Archives: March 2008

Four Books Before June. In Space No One Can Hear You Scream.

I have four books due by June 1st.


Yup. Four. All in various stages of done-ness. It’s funny because I’m in each book at a different stage, lucky me, I can experience all the phases of writing ALL AT ONCE!

Let’s go through them shall we?

The Ashleys IV: Lipgloss Jungle: Final-Final Draft Revision: In the almost-to-the-finish-line, omigod, I am so sick of this book stage.

Blue Bloods III: Revelations: Almost Final Draft Revision: In the roller-coaster, some days I hate it-some days I love it—omigod I can’t believe I’m still writing this book stage.

Angels on Sunset Boulevard II: The Strip: First Draft: In the hmm…that sounds interesting, why don’t we add that and see where it goes, early-middle stage.

JUICY (first book in the Formerly titled “Social Life” series. The series is now tentatively called JUICY): First Draft: Squarely in the honeymoon, Oh my god I love my book so much, it can do me no wrong, this is fun fun fun stage.

It’s like a conveyor belt over here. I am going to collapse in July. Don’t talk to me until September.


Happy Jealous? Pub Day

The Ashleys: Jealous? is out today!

Celebrate by calling your crush and asking him EXACTLY what he thinks of you on a scale of 1-10 in looks, intelligence and sense of humor!

Haha. Just kidding. Don’t do it. You’ll be in your 20s and in therapy asking Why Why Why did Giancarlo Pertutti give you a seven! A seven?? I was at least a solid 8!

In JEALOUS? The girls are all in a fit because of a new site called ASHLEYRANK that ranks all the girls in class according to style, social presence, smarts and smile.

Oh yes, my dears, my friends and I used to play this game. I still remember I got a “four” for “funny”. FOUR??  A FRACKING FOUR FOR MY SENSE OF HUMOR??

Well, who’s laffing now, I ask you.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses their self-esteem. Haha!

Children, I kid. I kid. But you know, you’re only young and stupid once. One day you’ll grow up and realize how great it is to be your own bad self. But I remember being in seventh grade, and wanting so much to know what other people thought about ME. Is that so wrong?

Anyway, today I visited a wonderful book group made up of fabulous women in their 60s, who were so wonderful and inspiring. It was such a pleasure to meet a group of culturally involved, interesting readers (they read my book Fresh off the Boat). These were not the bake-cookies-grandmas. (Even though some of them probably were, but you know what I mean.) It was so nice to learn that life doesn’t end at 50 or 60 or 70. It just means there are even more things to look forward to! They were all so fashionable and funny and cool…I can’t wait to be a great dame like them one day!


Pradaaaah Partay


Last night Mike and I were invited to the Prada store for a party. I was pretty psyched because while we used to do this thing so often in New York, that I actually SAID to my husband that “I was so tired of the glamour and the going-out” that I was ready to leave the city, thinking that, oh OF COURSE we would still have our frenetic social life in Los Angeles just, you know, “toned down”—-only to realize that living in the “burbs” which is what I call L.A. – it’s a suburb of New York, the glamour and the beautiful people are something I SORELY MISS and I can’t even imagine what led me to say such a thing five years ago. Me? Tired of glamour? AS IF!

Anyway, it was faaaahbulous. The Prada store in Beverly Hills is kind more like a cool architectural experience than a store. There are these huge steps that lead to the second floor in the front and back of the store, and then you’re kind of precariously balanced in the middle, and then all the clothes and stuff are shoved to the side. It was cool to sit on the steps and just people-watch. We saw Nicky Hilton arrive, and I just realized that I have been seeing Nicky in parties since she was fifteen! I remember when she shot to fame and the New York Times party pages by wearing a white Oxford shirt and a tiny Dolce and Gabbanna sequined miniskirt. She was adorable then and she’s just simply STUNNING. Some people are just made for the spotlight. She is so tall and blonde and slim, and her hair was purrrfect. Her makeup was divine. I mean, I love seeing pretty girls and she is just one of those girls you just look at and sigh. Anyway, she was wearing a short white mini-dress that was NOT at all poufy for bubble-y. It was kind of slouchy and sexy, and it sparkled, and opaque black tights and those insane Christian Louboutin spiked platforms in white! I have been lusting about the black version and now I think I might have to buy white because Nicky made them look so good.

We also saw Nicole Richie looking SO pretty, her hair was pulled back and she had two braids that were threaded into the bun and she looked gorgeous. SO tan and her hair color was as caramel-y delicious as her skin. She was wearing a sexy-floaty sleeveless black dress and very cool kind of gladiator-y black sandals. I thought we’d see more celebs but after those two all we saw was “Cojo” – you know, Steven Cojocaru, the fashion guy from E! or Access Hollywood. Oh yeah we also saw Isaiah Washington from Grey’s Anatomy, and we kind of sniffed since we don’t think gay jokes are funny at all. Anyway, he looked shorter than he is on TV.

It was fun to be back in the fashion-swim and see all the outfits. A lot of people were wearing the new blossoms—lots of spring-y yellow flowers (have you bought YOUR yellow dress yet??) and lots of handsome guys in sleek Prada suits (my hubby included). I wore my go-to Marni silk dress and Marni acid-yellow and pink and green coat, which is kind of fashion-laide, you know jolie-laide, except in fashion. It’s too cool to be ugly yet not quite pretty, which is why I like it. We did a few laps and chatted with some stylists that I knew and then we went home to to the baby.

And this morning had breakfast with the awesome Jenny Han, author of Shug, who’s in LA for the Buffy reunion. I never watched Buffy, so I couldn’t share in the enthusiasm, but I love a fellow fan-girl. Jenny was so cute and I loved her outfit- a printed top, gray vest, over shorts, and a short trenchcoat over it. We gossiped a little about authors and how LA is different from New York and I hope I made a new recruit. I’m always trying to get people to move here!

Allright, I think this will be the last post in awhile. I’m trying to power through to finish Revelations by next week. The wolves are at the door, arrrgh!


Missed its Target

I just wanted to say a few words about the new Target collection from Jovovich-Hawk. I was very excited for this collection since I own several of the designer’s high-end pieces, which are really quirky and cool and “insider”-fashion-y and cost like, $800 for a dress. So you can imagine how excited I was to buy stuff at $40 a pop. But I am really disappointed by the new stuff. Everything is a big sack (and we KNOW bubble dresses and babydolls and sacks are OUT OUT OUT) or just fit really weird. Sigh. I also didn’t like their floral prints. They looked cheap. And everything felt scratchy.

I was also disappointed in the new Loeffler-Randall collection at Tar-jay as well. The ballerina flats were so “over”. And I liked the handbags but I couldn’t bring myself to buy one. Maybe because they were pleather. Eeks.

Still, I’m looking forward to the new Botkier collection from the store. Here’s hoping there’s something in it worth buying!


Pulse Blogfest!

I keep forgetting to mention that my lovely publisher, Simon & Schuster is running a cool program called PULSE BLOGFEST where way too many of your favorite authors are blogging about what inspires them, what character they would like come to life (for some reason I wasn’t sure if it pertained to my books – so I hedged and named them all since I like all my characters and then chose one from J.K. Rowling’s books – I’d love to hang out with Hermione Granger since she just reminds me so much of my sister and my best friends, who were all the smarty-smart girls who raised their hands way too much in class, and are bossy know-it-alls who are always correcting everyone and then grew up to be fabulous strong women who now run their own companies or have amazingly brilliant children).

Anyway, check out Pulse Blogfest: Rachel Cohn! Scott Westerfeld! Susan Cooper! Annette Curtis Klause! And many many many more…


Festival Fun!


Okay. There it is. I have to start every blog with that since I still get so many emails and comments about this. Yes there is a sequel! I am writing it now and it ROCKS! I will share the first chapter as soon as it’s ready in its fact-checked and copy-edited perfection.

The Southwest Florida Book Festival was a blast!! Thank you so much to everyone who came out! I think the Blue Bloods fans are the CUTEST ever and their MOMS were so cool too! Mike and I met lots of moms who were eagerly anticipating the sequel as much as their daughters (and some sons!) And hellooo to all the super-cute ASHLEYS fans who came out too!

JEALOUS? – the second book in the ASHLEYS series is out March 25! I think Amazon and B&N are shipping them out now and I hear they are trickling into stores.

JEALOUS? is my favorite book in the series so far—there’s SO MUCH that happens – including a notorious “Seven” party and a reality show called “Pre-Teen Queen”. Everytime I re-read JEALOUS? I cackle, which is a good sign.

At the book festival, we met Joe Hill, who is the very cool and very handsome and bearded son of Stephen King. We were tres tres excited to meet him, especially since Mike and I were HUGE Stephen King fans growing up. One of the reasons why we are married to each other is that we both love THE STAND, so much that we had read the SPECIAL EDITION, extra 200 pages version! We met Stephen King once at a New York book festival, and Joe was just like him—very laconic, a great storyteller, just very comfortable in their own skin and able to command an audience. We bought his books HEART-SHAPED BOX and TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY GHOSTS and Mike is almost done with HSB so I’m eager to grab it as soon as it’s done. Mike says the book is GREAT. I can’t wait!

We also met Lisa Lutz, awesome author of THE SPELLMAN FILES. Lisa was kind enough to give us a ride to the Author Dinner when we missed the shuttle from the hotel. The shuttle was supposed to leave at 6:30 but when we got down to the lobby it was 6:29 and it was GONE. Grrr. Anyway, I read Lisa’s book on the plane ride back to LA and it is HILARIOUS. I am going to go get the sequel THE CURSE OF THE SPELLMANS right now.

The big keynote speaker was STUART WOODS, who writes crime thrillers, (my dad is a big Stuart Woods fan), and he was this white-haired, blazer-wearing dapper gent who just LOOKED like he wrote crime thrillers. He was very funny and told a story about how he wanted to call his new novel “HARD-WORKING BITCH” and even got it in the contract. But finally, all his publishers wore him down, until the head of HarperCollins told him ok, you can call it that, but you won’t get the promotion you’re used to. Stuart said he “folded like a fan” (LOL!) and the book was titled ORCHID BEACH, which meant he then had to come up with all things orchid for the next titles in the series, which was a huge pain.

There were not a lot of YA authors in attendance, in fact I think I was the only one.

While most of the authors we met were fun, genial and the kind of people you would want to have a drink with, there were SOME authors who shall remain UNNAMED who were NOT. I did meet some OLD AND CRANKY BIYATCHES. Whooo! Don’t go near those gals! One of them, in the shuttle back from the festival, was practically SNARLING when the nice young manga people talked about how hard it was to get publisher support—they had a big launch for their first title and then not so much for the second and third. I sympathized. It’s hard at the beginning of one’s career to get a lot of ballast. But OLDANDCRANKYBIYOTCH said “Huh! I never waited for publishers to do anything, I did it all myself!” And while we ALL agree one must be a self-promoter, it just seemed like such a nasty comment to make, since the young manga authors were very hard-working and did a lot for themselves too, they were just saying it would be nice if they had more corporate help. I’m sure OLD AND CRANKY thinks all her NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SUCCESS didn’t come from a MAJOR push from her publisher – co-op buys, advertising, etc. No, SHE DID IT ALL HERSELF. Ugh!

I should point out this author thinks of herself as LITERARY. Which is probably why she’s such an unpleasant person.

Oh I’m sure there are a lot of very nice literary types I’d like to have a Cosmo with*, but I hardly ever meet any.

Instead, all the genre (YA, horror, crime, chicklit, etc) writers ROCK and all the sniffy uptight MY BOOK WAS INSPIRED BY THE STORY BEHIND VAN GOGH’S SUNFLOWERS OR WHATEVER HIGH-FALUTING TWADDLE THEY’RE PUBLISHING NOW people can all just take the short bus to Nowhere.

Anyway, even apart from that (and I like getting good stuff to gossip about so it was actually a perverse thrill to have met Old and Cranky), the festival was FABULOUS! Thanks again to Karen Sloan and everyone at the festival for inviting me!

And now I must go back to my regularly scheduled writing day.

*My favorite “literary” authors are Kate Christensen and Cheryl Mendelson. Go get THE GREAT MAN and ANYTHING FOR JANE immediately!

Books for the Teenage!

I just heard that The Au Pairs: Crazy Hot and Blue Bloods: Masquerade have both been listed in this year’s New York Public Library Books for the Teenage!
This is a very important list of YA books as a lot of other libraries use it to order books, and also, it makes editors and publishers happy. And authors too. I’m totally psyched. There’s a party and everything (maybe red-carpet? A girl can hope!) But I won’t be in NYC to partake in the celebration. Oh well! I will just celebrate here on my own.
Champagne kisses and caviar dreams, everyone!

Knockoff Queen?

Somedays I TRY my friends, I TRY, to be the kind of person who is more than happy with $150 Balenciaga gladiator sandal knock-offs. Yes, they are everywhere now—you can find a good copy from Dolce Vita or Mystique and they are very cute. I had one in hand today and I thought “they look JUST like them. Won’t I be happy with these?” And the answer, my friends, is NO.


It’s so hard when you’re a fashion victim. Fashionista. Whatever. I’ve been both at many times in my life, and the heart of the matter is, if I buy the $695 Balenciaga camouflague gladiators, every time I wear them, I will feel a secret thrill, a smugness, and a confidence, that says “I’m wearing THE SANDALS OF THE SEASON lalalala…” And if I buy the cheapo knockoffs, I will just feel lame. (By the way, the knockoffs are just in basic colors of black, brown or beige. They don’t come in the special gladiator blue-and-green that’s made only by Balenciaga. At least, not yet. I’m sure that knockoff is on its way to the stores now.)

I can’t change who I am, and I don’t think a lot of my fashionbrethren would disagree with me. We are the label-lovahs and we derive self-esteem from such stupid things as the red-soles on our shoes. (Red-soles are Louboutins, of course. But I didn’t have to tell you that, did I?)

Part of me is happy with my latest purchases: a lot of practical, I’ll-wear-them-all-the-time drapey jersey tops from Jigsaw (tops were $68 each and a silk crinkle ankle-length skirt was $150) and I bough this insane See by Chloe silk shift dress ($350) in yellow with a fiiiyyyerce jungle pattern (homage to Christian who just won Project Runway). But another part just got invited to the Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, and Balenciaga trunk shows at Barneys. You know, where you order the clothes for next season (in this case, for fall) and spend thousands of dollars on like, a shirt. And I know I’ll be there sipping champagne and oohing over the samples with all the other Beverly Hills biatches.

But another part of me does love Forever 21. I just bought a great knockoff of a Mike & Chris sweat-shirt top for $19. Can’t beat that!


I’m going to Florida!

I’m going to be at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival!

MARCH 15, 2008
Southwest Florida Reading Festival
2345 Union Street
Fort Myers, Florida 33901
(239) 461-2900
I will be doing a discussion on the TEEN STAGE at CENTENNIAL PARK at 12 noon.
I’ll be talking about my life, my books, and answering lots of questions! Come stop by!
Afterwards I’ll be signing books at the Books-a-Million tent.

I’m totally psyched! Woohoo!


So Ugly

Omigawd, I’m SO ugly. I have this HUGE zit on the side of my cheek. Like crater gater. And my nails are chipped. My hair is scraggly. (No Warren-Tricomi in the last two months! Arg!) Highlights? I laff in your face.

The only reason I’m not throwing myself in the mercy of dozens of beauticians right now is that the uglier I get, the better REVELATIONS is. I mean to say, I have no time to do anything like beautify because I am SO SO SO into writing this book. I can’t write it fast enough. It’s writing itself. You know that Piers Anthony book, A Spell for Chameleon? It’s always been one of my favorites because Chameleon changes her looks every month, and the uglier she gets, the smarter she is, and the prettier she is, the dumber she is. It’s awesome. And of course, her husband likes her the most when she’s moderately pretty and smart, natch.

I kind of feel like super-ugly yet super-smart Chameleon right now.

You know things are going well with my books when I start getting acne. Because it means I’m so stressed out about the story I can’t concentrate on anything else. Yoiks.

Anyway, I thought maybe I should just write “YES I AM WRITING A SEQUEL TO BLUE BLOODS AND MASQUERADE, IT IS CALLED REVELATIONS AND IT COMES OUT IN DECEMBER” on top of every post since I get so many emails and comments asking this question. Dudes, of course I’m writing a sequel. I won’t leave you hanging will I?