Twitter Contest, or a Twontest!

Hey all!

I am having a contest over on Twitter. It’s open to those in the NY/NJ/CT area only, or those willing to travel to NYC Sept 30th. The winner gets an invitation good for two people to the fahhhhbulous book launch party my publisher is throwing for me on September 30th in New York City. (If you are under-age, you will have to bring an adult to accompany you.) 5 runners-up will receive a spanking-new copy of The Van Alen Legacy, and that’s open to everyone. We will ship internationally!

Okay. So what are the rules? Well, it’s on Twitter, so you need to follow me there. Okay, it is no longer on Twitter, which has all these crazy rules, but I still like calling it a Twontest, so email me at melissadlcoffice (at) gmail (dot) com subject line TWONTEST : Tell me in 140 characters or less, what fahhhbulous NYC place/restaurant/whatever should be featured in the newest Blue Bloods book that I am writing now MISGUIDED ANGEL. If I like it, I might include it in the book!

Contest is open now, and winners will be announced Sept 20th on Twitter.

What else is happening? Oh, the final version of the Van Alen Legacy synopsis is now up on the site. Go here to see it.

And we are really slow on the emails lately. I’m sorry – my assistants are on vacation, dang them! I can say that because they’re both related to me. 🙂

So, yeah. Van Alen comes out like, really soon, huh? Kind of freaky. I’m so excited for you guys to read this book. Don’t forget, if you buy your books from Target, you’ll get a sticker on your book with the secret password that will access a deleted chapter from the book, posted online. The deleted chapter/ short story (“The Venator’s Tale”) will be available to EVERYONE after three months. I will post it on my site after three months. But because Target has the exclusive promotion (and it was their idea for me to write extra stories or show off my deleted chapters) they have the story for that first brief period. Okay? Okay! I’m sorry if you don’t live near a Target. They ASSURE me if you buy it online from them your book will also have a sticker on it. And international readers—I do apologize that you won’t be able to order from Target since they don’t ship internationally.

Also, I’ll be visiting some fan sites.

I’ll be at the Blue Bloods message boards on Sept 20th, at 3pm PST/ 6pm EST. And at the Blue Bloods Secret on Sept 21st at 3pm PST / 6pm EST. So go join those fan sites or go there on those dates if you want to chat with me and see exclusive sneaks.

If you run a fan site and my assistants have not contacted you, please contact them at melissadlcoffice (at) gmail (dot) com. I know some of them they were not able to find a contact information for the fans running them.

I’ll be posting twit-peeks on Twitter starting Sept 6th.

And we’ll debut the ROCKIN!!! trailer around that time too (we’re shooting for the 6th).

Hope those of you who are back to school are having a fun time. I always loved back to school even if I hated school. Here’s the thing, I was a nerd. I loved school, I loved the books and the classrooms, and I dunno, all that learning I guess. But I hated the social aspect of it. I just loathed it. I just remember dreading school for that reason too. So if you’re going back to school with that knot of dread in your stomach, don’t feel bad. I did too. I felt like throwing up all the time. But you know what, I toughed it out, and you know, as they say, look at the byatch now. I would never wish it on any child, that fear and dread and loathing. But do know that you will survive it and that life gets so much better after high school. And middle school. And elementary school. Really pre-school and college are the only good school-schools aren’t they? Anyway, I have digressed. Have a great back to school.

And lately there has been a lot of talk about having kids read books that they want and teaching those books in the classrooms. I do agree it’s a great idea for kids who don’t want to read, but I also think it’s a bad idea for kids who need to be challenged. I was smart and lazy in school. I was the definition of cruising. I would procrastinate and write all my papers the night before and still make all A’s on all my AP and Honors classes. (Especially once I was a senior and didn’t have to take math ever again!) School for me, at least the achievement-and-accomplishment-resume-building that lands you in the meritocracy and the Ivy League, all of that was easy for me.

This is why when you go to college, and take Logic and Rhetoric, the mandatory freshman writing class, they “shock” you with a C’s. In a room full of valedictorians, no one in the class had ever gotten C’s before. And it’s shocking to find how lazy you have become intellectually. I also think it’s more a psychological trick than anything, since at the end of the semester, we would all magically “improve” to B+s and A-‘s. Except I have to say, my L&R teacher, who said I would have gotten an “A” in the class, except he thought I was a lazy writer. I didn’t try hard enough. He said I had talent, but not diligence, and I was arrogant and clever. And so: B+! I kind of hated him for that. But it did make me wake up. I am not so lazy these days.

Anyway, what I want to say is, for you smart and lazy kids out there: you should be reading The Scarlet Letter and Old Man and the Sea and all those “boring” books that “turn off” people from reading. I did snooze through the Old Man and the Sea but I also loved Kafka’s The Trial, which we read sophomore year, and Camus’ The Stranger, and Grapes of Wrath. How can you not fall in love with Grapes of Wrath? And we read Dubliners our senior year—Dubliners by James Joyce! Some of the most beautiful writing, and when you read it in high school, when you’re still young and impressionable, it’s a wonderful thing. Don’t just read my books, read all the difficult books too. I took a class at Columbia that was basically called “In Praise of the Difficult” and the professor’s idea was that we shouldn’t just try to make everything easier, that we should read difficult texts, complicated texts, to challenge us and to make us think and if it is hard, when you finally ‘get’ it, the appreciation of it is sweeter too.