Monthly Archives: July 2008

Bring Home “Bringing Home the Birkin”!

Only about sixty more poems left to be read! Whoo…powering through.

I’m sorry it’s taking so long, but I’m also trying to finish two books, write a new TV pitch, and raise a kid…

I know things are overwhelming when all I do is tune out and obsess over a new handbag!

That’s right. Still in the clutches of Birkin fever. Yesterday I devoured “Bringing Home the Birkin” by Michael Tonnello. Two manicured thumbs up!! Hilarious, gossipy, bitchy and insider-y. Michael figured out “the formula” to buying a Birkin. Basically you just need to be a SERIOUS buyer. Show them you mean business and that you’re a regular customer. He would buy a thousand dollars worth of Hermes trinkets, then CASUALLY ask if they had any Birkins. Every time I have gone in to ask about the Birkin, I have no intention of buying it right then. I just want to SEE one. But now I am ready. The husband has given the go-ahead. Birkin greenlight! Of course, Mike reminded me that he’d already agreed to buy me a Birkin two years ago, but I decided it was just to gross to spend that much on a handbag.

But now, I really, really, really want one.

So off to Beverly Hills I go…

This blog has become a Birklog, hasn’t it? Sigh.

Other shopping updates: I finally bought one of those maxi dresses. You know, the spaghetti-strap dress that goes all the way to the floor. Very hippie 70s Cali beach chic. I finally found one that DID NOT MAKE ME LOOK PREGNANT. Joie. $325. Bloomingdale’s. Tres comfy. I also bought a crisp white Diane Von Furstenberg shirt dress. ($149 from $400!) And a James Perse t-shirt ($39). I’m not a t-shirt girl. I think to be a t-shirt girl you need to be the thin-upper-arms-and-protruding-collarbone girl. I am not that girl. I am the no-butt-and-skinny-legs girl. You only get to be one kind of girl. (Although I guess supermodels gets to be both, but they are a different species.) Normal girls either look thin on top or on the bottom. It’s taken me thirty-six years but I finally realize I cannot do every trend and should just highlight the assets and hide the “problem areas”. (I still remember the Beverly Hills 90210 episode where Kelly and Donna talk about their problem areas and it was the first time I thought, oh my god, I HAVE PROBLEM AREAS???)

But a Birkin looks good on everyone.



Fortune, Fame, Poetry and Books You Should Read

Last night Mike and I hit a couple of parties—there was a party at a fancy furniture store where we admired furniture and sipped champagne and then we went to go celebrate Jasmin Rosemberg’s new book HOW THE OTHER HALF HAMPTONS at the swanky Sofitel hotel. I really enjoyed this book, and I think all those Au Pairs fans out there will too. It’s about three girls who go to the Hamptons and live in a “share house” – or as Jasmin says, “imagine a very very crowded elevator”. It’s a perfect summer beach read: lots of hot-tub hookups and girl bonding! Anyway, the party was much fun and reminded me of hanging out a nightclubs because the drinks were served bottle-service style: a bottle of Krol vodka, glasses, ice and chasers on the table and then you had to mix your own drinks. Jasmin was gorgeous in a hot pink dress, and all the young people (talk about making me feel old!) were very cute in that cast-of-the-Hills way: everyone in little cocktail dresses with long, blown-out hair and great tans.

Another book I’ve been meaning to blog about is Terri Brown’s Read my Lips – about a deaf girl who becomes the school’s hottest gossipeuse. A fun and fab page-turner with a twist! I did a guest-blog for her launch on June 11th, and if you scroll up and down you’ll see other fab g-blogges like Ellen Hopkins, Scott Westerfeld and Lisa McCann.

In other news, I have read about two hundred of your poems and I am really blown away. It just thrills me to find so much love for the characters. Very, very, very cool. I’m sorry it’s taking longer than expected to figure out the winners. I had no idea we would get so many poems! But yes, I will post them here and explain why I picked them.

Hyperion is doing a really fun contest to promote Revelations—will let you know the details as soon as I know, but the grand prize is a shopping spree and lunch with me in your hometown! Yes, that’s right, I’m coming to YOU if you win! I’ll let you know how to enter as soon as I know myself. 🙂

Anyway, speaking of poetry, I was reading a really interesting article on John Keats the poet (Ode to a Grecian Urn, etc.) in the New Yorker. I had no idea he died so young (but then isn’t that the case with poets? Don’t they all die young? Rilke did too). What I found so interesting was how the article talked about Keats’ burning AMBITION to be a poet, and to be immortalized through his writing, and how tragic it was that he died before he ever reaped the benefits of fame and adulation especially since “no writer ever yearned for fame more ardently than Keats.” While he was alive, his poems were badly-reviewed and he was dismissed as a writer. But now he’s considered one of English literature’s greatest poets. Anyway, there was a quote that I thought I would share with all of you: Keats wrote “I should write from the mere yearning and fondness I have for the Beautiful even if my night’s labours should be burnt every morning and no eye ever shine upon them.”

And then I read this article about Ricky Gervais in Salon. (He’s the guy who played the British boss in the British office, which is one of the funniest things you will ever see in your life, although I think you all need to be much older and have experience working in a boring office to really appreciate it. You simply have no idea what mind-numbing means until you’ve worked for a big corporation.) Anyway, Ricky Gervais is very famous now, and he says, “I get very excited about creating stuff just from scratch. You’ve got to be in this work for the right reasons—being rich and famous ultimately doesn’t mean anything.”


What Keats and Ricky Gervais are saying is that it’s really just the writing—the work—that gives the most satisfaction. Of course, Keats never experienced fortune and fame, and Gervais has. But I’m sure Keats would have come to the same conclusion even if he had.

Because ultimately, it’s not about the book tours, or bestseller lists, or all the fun perks that come with being an author that make you want to be an author. It’s about being able to think up stuff from scratch and cackle at your desk and enjoy moving your characters around. And then make a living from it! That’s what’s most amazing to me. Yeah, there will be days when writing sucks and it’s work and you hit a wall and wish you’d never even thought up this stupid book. But even on the worst writing days, it’s still good to write.  It’s just fun. Writing is fun.

And that’s why I’m so glad you all wrote poems, and who cares who wins—because you all won already—you know? And yeah, I realize I don’t think I would be this optimistic and rosy-eyed if I was still a struggling writer. You know before I published my first book I would go to bookstores and be so ENVIOUS I would feel SICK TO MY STOMACH that I couldn’t even READ any more books because the thought that I might not be a writer was too depressing for me.

But now that I’m on this side of the fence, I have to say: it’s the work that matters, not what comes with it. And that’s why you do it. Because if you wanted to be rich and famous there are a lot more ways to go about it that are probably much easier and less stressful. (But here again a caveat: Really? Because from my experience and what I’ve seen from successful people—everyone has to work really really hard for every penny. There is no such thing as easy money. Seriously. Sure some people are born wealthy, with a head start but that comes with its own set of worries. No one has a perfect life. We’re all just trying to make our way in this cold cold world.)

I thought it was so interesting how one of the reasons Keats’ ambition was so strong was because he didn’t come from nobility like Lord Byron or was rich like Shelley and he knew “how precarious his fortunes really were.” That maybe he wouldn’t even get a CHANCE to be a poet because he came from a working-class family.

Anyway, those are the thoughts of the day. Funnily enough I’ve never been big on Keats. My favorite poets are Yeats, Rilke, Sharon Olds and James Merrill. In my other life, I used to want to be a poet. (Yeah, I KNOW!) But now I’ve decided to give him another chance.

Have a great day everyone!

You are All Winners—Really and Truly!

I hope everyone had a happy Fourth. I spent my holiday weekend at the fabulous Estancia resort in beautiful La Jolla (or as my sister and I have called it the whole time leading up to our vacation: Essstannnsssiaaahhhhhh!!!). Don’t I sound like the Price is Right announcer? “And in THIS showcase, a week at the FABULOUS Estancia resort in BEAUTIFUL La Jolla!! This could all be yours…if the price is right!”) I’ll bid ten thousand, Bob! I actually KNOW someone who went on the Price is Right and WON. I think he won a dishwasher and a trip somewhere. Isn’t that great?

This place where I have lunch—the Farmer’s Market at the Grove, is next to the studios where they tape the show, and you’d always see all these old ladies with “Barker’s Beauties” t-shirts on them. Old ladies and young college kids are the PIR audience. Love it!

Anyway, had a lovely time tanning in our private cabaaanahhh…and then took the kids to Sea World the next day. Which was EXHAUSTING with our one and a half year old. Is it just me or does the dolphin show suck now? I remember going to Sea World and thinking it was beyond awesome—but this time it felt like the dolphins weren’t COORDINATED. Let’s get those dolphins jumping higher! All together now! A lot of the show is just devoted to splashing the folks in the “Soak Zone”. It appears an authentic Sea World experience entails being soaked to the skin by a rampaging dolphin and or killer whale.

Unfortunately we did not even get to see the star of Sea World, Shamu, since Mattie squirmed so much at the dolphin show we had to leave halfway. But we did see some penguins, polar bears and white whales, which was nifty. Then we all went back to our hotel room and collapsed.

Today I worked on my new GIRL book (it’s my new Au Pairs-like series and the first book is called GIRL STAYS IN THE PICTURE). And my new TV pilot. (Which is still super-secret but I love kind-of talking about it.) My TV project is an original idea and not based on my books. I’m sorry I have no news on my books that have been optioned, but i hope you like the TV show if it gets picked up.

And I’ve also begun to read all your fantastic, amazing, awesome poems. I’m really TOUCHED by all your talent and how much you love the Blue Bloods books. Some of the poems have made me laugh out loud (in a good way – they were meant to be funny), some of them left me speechless with awe, and all of them made me think of how cooool and smart you guys are. I love each and every one of them because I knew there was effort put into every one. I’ve read a hundred poems so far and it’s been a really, really interesting and overwhelming experience.

And the good news is—YOU ARE ALL WINNERS!

I told Hyperion how over three hundred of you entered the contest – and they are PRINTING UP THREE HUNDRED COPIES OF THE CHAPTER SAMPLERS SO EVERYONE GETS ONE!!!

How cool is that???

(And talk about burying the lead in this blog!)

But I still want to honor the Top 35 with a special prize, and extra special prizes will go to the Top Three poems.

And yes, I’ve asked again about when I can release the chapter samplers to my newsletter subscribers- they are still checking – so I’m sorry I have no new news on that. BUT, here’s a sneaky suggestion—the first chapter of Revelations is in the paperback release of Masquerade, which I believe is shipping from Amazon and Barnes and Noble right now. So that’s one way to see it! You can just go to your bookstore and read it. (I won’t tell.) Or better yet BUY a copy. I know some of you have been waiting patiently for the paperback so here’s your chance!

More good news – Hyperion and Simon & Schuster are sending me on tour in October to promote my various releases—Revelations and the fourth Ashleys book: Lipgloss Jungle. I’ll post the tour schedule as soon as I know where they’re sending me.

And congrats to everyone who entered the contest! You will be notified by email to send your address to us so we can send you a hot little chapter sampler. And I’ll be sharing the winners very soon—hopefully this week if my work allows it.


Birkin Nation

Yesterday I went shopping. Oh yeah, shopping is GOOD right now. Everything is on sale!!! They’re practically GIVING Lanvin bags away at Barneys. Well, not really, since a thousand bucks for a handbag is still insanely overpriced considering those SAME bags used to be seven hundred dollars (which was the top price for Prada bowling bag in the mid-90s) but because of the crazy exchange rate, now bags start out at stratospheric prices (three thousand? Are they serious? And that’s not even for Chanel or Hermes!) that when they go on sale, they are still in the are-you-kidding rate.

Which makes you (or um, me) just want to go ahead and get that Birkin…because if prices are insane, why not not just have the insane handbag? Loyal readers know I have been obsessing about this bag for decades. On the one hand, you can buy a SmartCar for the same money. (I kind of want a SmartCar in the same way I want a new handbag. They’re SO cute! But I know I’ll be tired of it after a season.) On the other hand…can you really pass down a SmartCar to your grandchildren? Yes, Birkins are that beloved. I was just at a baby shower, and when the expectant mom arrived, none of us wanted to hear about how the pregnancy was going, instead, rumor had it our friend had just Birkined, so it was all “SHOW US THE BIRKIN!” I can report it was caramel with gold hardware and oh-so-yummy. Then another dear friend confessed the other night at dinner that she also, had just Birkined. Black with silver hardware. All us girls at the table demanded she bring it next time for the famous Birkin viewing.

So apparently, the waitlist is bogus. What one must to to acquire one of these bags is to hit the Hermes store everyday when it opens and ask them, casually, if they MIGHT have any Birkins lying around. And perhaps you will be LUCKY enough to be ALLOWED to buy one. Can you imagine? And yet, it makes the Birkinization even more sweet, doesn’t it?

In other news, my new book GIRL STAYS IN THE PICTURE, is my new Au Pairs-like series and it is so yummy and delicious. Champagne showers in St. Tropez anyone? Bring your Birkins!


Worship Me, I am A Star and My Books Rock

I have books due, of course, but feel like blogging…so here I am. I just read some librarian’s blog that said “Melissa de la Cruz was nothing like I imagined her to be.”

And then there was nothing else.

It’s driving me crazy! (Thanks a LOT GoogleAlerts!) Did she mean, “She was nothing like I imagined her to be, SHE WAS SO MUCH NICER.” Or “She was nothing like I imagined her to be, SHE WAS SO MUCH PRETTIER THAN HER PICTURES” Or “She was nothing like I imagined her to be SHE LOOKED NOTHING LIKE HER PICTURES” (I’ve gotten that. Hey: it’s photoshop. Kimora Lee Simmons looks nothing like her pics either! LOL.) 

Mike says I am too nice and that I have to be more of a “star”. More of an “OF COURSE YOU WORSHIP ME, I AM A STAR AND MY BOOKS ROCK.”

Which seriously, some of the authors do really well—it’s not even snobbily. Just as their due.

Alas I am not like that. In fact, I am so so so thankful that I have this job and that people want their books signed and like the books so much—that if I could give everyone a big hug I would. I blame my parents. I come from some very sweet people.

Oh well. I’m going to work on the star persona.

Your comments will now be answered by a bevy of assistants.

Can you FEEL the ICE?????


Novel Realizations

ALA was fun! Thanks for all the awesome librarians who stopped by and said hello! I think I have recovered now from signing so many books. The first time I ever got carpal tunnel syndrome was when I wrote the first Au Pairs book. Motha-fracking hand HURT after that—I think I was writing so fast, and it was the first time I had to turn in a book in three month’s time. Funnily enough, that was the first and last time it happened—I think my muscles just got used to the strain. Because they don’t throb now.

Anyway, speaking of things that throb—Mo Willems is the heart-throb rockstar of the Library Convention! I mean, librarians were SWOONING over him. And seriously, when I saw him at the Hyperion cocktail party I was like, “Who is that guy? He looks like McDreamy!” No, he is Mo Dreamy! And who is he you ask? Well, if you are under the age of five, you know the answer to that. He’s like the uber-bestselling award-winning writer of all things Pigeon and Knuffle Bunny and Elephant and Piggie. Anyway, he’s also really nice. And his line (of people who wanted his autograph) put all the other author’s lines TO SHAME. And he was signing T-shirts! (One librarian came up to my line afterwards and was like, “He signed my shirt! Sigh…” as if he were Jon Bon Jovi and he’d just John Hancocked her chest!) If you click on the link and look at the pics, they do not do the Mo justice, btw.

Mo was my biggest star sighting, next to Jon Scieszka (Stinky Cheese Man, Smash Crash) who also has that rockstar sheen at ALA—it’s all about the length of your LINE man, and these two dudes were like the biggest stars at the convention. I loved it.

Mike and I had a blast. I had my hair blown out for the first time in months (oh the days in New York when it happened every day) and my hair right now is BLONDE. Kind of scary. I didn’t plan on being blonde, but my stylist got a little excited (he was also doing Kimora Lee Simmons’ hair that day—she’s REALLY tall) and put in way too many highlights. So now I’m a California blonde. Then I wore a cute little Jane Mayle dress and my new backwards Marc Jacobs heels – you know, the one where the heel is at the bottom of the toe facing the wrong way, so the shoe kind of hangs in the air, it’s such a Dada shoe, more a sculpture than footwear really—j’adore. Mine are the brown suede with orange leather piping, not the shoe in the link. I can’t find a picture of my shoes, but they ROCK. Mike wore his new Helmut Lang suit and looked so handsome. (Mike Dreamy? I have to, right?) Not many guys can pull off the Helmut. You have to have the skinny artsy Euro look, it’s basically MADE for architects.

At one point I was seated across the people who wrote “Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!” and they also had the mega-line. My editor explained that they had just won a little something called The Caldecott. (Which is the huge best-book medal given to kids books.)

I’m not an awards-whore. Which is lucky for me, since my books are not the awards-type. In fact, while it is gratifying that the Blue Bloods books have been lauded so much (someone at the convention told me it was on the Nevada Best Books list—yay), it’s just icing. I’ve never liked the Academy Award movies (Atonement—argh—that movie blew! puh-leeze!) or the books we’re all supposed to be reading that win all those literary prizes (Although I do love Jhumpha Lahiri and Junot Diaz). In fact just the word “literary” makes my skin crawl, because it’s just rooted in this cultural snobbishness that dismisses so much of what I like, like Bridget Jones or um…novelizations.

‘Cause you know, you’re not supposed to like things that actually give you pleasure and make you turn the pages. And you’re REALLY not supposed to like books that are total whore-products as in, let’s suck-out-every-last-dime-from-this-stupid-consumer. Like Star Wars novelizations. But I was a kid and I didn’t have that mindset, and I really, really enjoyed them. (The first one is even written by George Lucas himself! And if I remember correctly gives us a lot of info on Wedge Antilles, Luke’s friend, who ends up to be a tiny character in the movies but had a bigger role in the novel. Really cool.) I even bought the awful Phantom Menace novelization when it came out – big mistake. (Not all novelizations are equal.) I also used to read the Star Wars book series, but haven’t picked it up in a long time (because one has to have time to have a life!!). But the other day I saw the new one: Star Wars: Revelation (coincidence?? I think not! LOL) and read the back and read about Darth Cadeus, who is apparently Jacen Solo, the son of Han and Leia who ends up on the Dark Side.  And I was SORELY tempted to get sucked back into the galaxy far, far away. I mean, DARTH CADEAUS!!! How can you resist?

And speaking of novelizations, my FAVORITE one ever was Robotech End of the Circle. It is actually one of my favorite books of all time. Oh yeah, when people ask me what my favorite book is I’ll say War and Peace. Because W&P is actually one of my favorites and it sounds better to say Tolstoy is your favorite rather than reveal that one’s favorite book is Robotech: End of the Circle, a book that is a novelization of a cartoon.

That’s right. A novelization of a cartoon.

But it was anime! I’ll protest. LOL.

This is a book that was most likely written by a humble ghostwriter toiling for a “despised” book packager. But it is well-written and awesome pawsome. Good writing comes in many shapes and forms. You should check out all the Robotech novelizations too. They rock. And how great that they are bringing Robotech to the big screen??? I can’t wait!

Am I your Internet Best Friend? By that, do you know more about my life than those of your real friends? That’s okay. I have lots of Internet Best Friends too. This guy is my new IBFF: And here’s his blog on why cultural snobbishness sucks. And I love that his name is Prince.

Anyway, I have fun surprises and announcements coming up vis a vis the poetry contest and Revelations publication. So tune in, Tokyo!