Thursday, June 28, 2007


photo for Gayle

A big HUGE thanks to MK of Popbytes who created my new Marilyn Monroe header! I wanted to have something that resembled my Hello Dollface page and he did a great job.

My dear Swirlogirl did a lot of work designing this very page and her kindness is always remembered. Hey Swirl, how are you?


Labels: , , ,

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Noah Lusky, Who's Your TV Alter Ego?

Who's Your TV Alter Ego? by Noah Lusky is a fun book chock- full of questions pertaining to almost every character from the television shows you love to watch. It's personality tests meets TV trivia. By answering entertaining questions, you will find out whether or not you are a Carrie, Miranda, Samantha or Charlotte. Maybe you thought you were a cool Jerry but you are really a neurotic George! Taking the quiz confirmed that I am a total Carrie.

I think the book is best played with friends where you can laugh, answer questions and look back fondly on all the television shows of yesterday- and today. Characters from shows like Grey's Anatomy, The Sopranos, Star Trek, Lost, Sex and the City, 24, Friends, Heroes, Project Runway, The Cosby Show, The Brady Bunch, and Gilligan's Island are in the book. I always knew I was more of a Ginger than a MaryAnn! I'd love to see a cool board game to accompany this addictive and amusing book. The perfect gift for the friend who is a TV trivia addict.

Did you watch a lot of TV as a kid? Who did you aspire to be like I thought Julie from the Love Boat was pretty spectacular and I wouldn’t have minded being a Brady kid.
I did watch a lot of TV as a kid, and being a little kid in the 1970's, it was a great time indeed! I had a special affinity for the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, especially the peripheral bionic characters such as Max the bionic dog and the Fembots.
I also loved Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island (most notably when Mr. Rourke encountered the Devil, played by Roddy McDowall), Dallas, Three's Company, Diff'rent Strokes... I could go on!

How did you do research for this book? There are a LOT of characters and questions in it!
By and large, the bulk of the research was already done by spending thirty years in front of the TV. Other than that, there were a couple of shows I needed to watch for the first time, and a few that needed to be revisited just to get the personalities of the characters down pat.
As for the questions, I tried to keep them in the spirit of each individual show ("If you were a fashion faux pas" for Ugly Better, for example).

Where did the idea come from to put together such a comprehensive group of television shows and characters?
Witching hour inspiration, largely--I realized nothing like this had ever been done before. I'm a huge fan of party games like Celebrity and Exquisite Corpse, so to make a book akin to a game that involves both psychology and TV really hit all my interests.

How did you get the book deal, was it the old fashioned way- querying a bunch of agents and praying that one sees the potential in your book? Or did you know someone in the publishing business?
I've published a few books before, so it was really just a matter of having the editor who acquired the book pitch it to the publisher as a book that would stand out from the crowd.

When you aren’t watching tv, what kinds of things do you like to do?
Reading, writing, playing games... Anything that will stave off boredom and ennui!

We’re both children of the 80’s. What are some of your favorite 80’s memories? Mine would have to be feathered hair, legwarmers, The Cosby Show, Growing Pains and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Along with the music and the cool videos that MTV used to play.
Robotech anime, all things Madonna, The Breakfast Club, hair metal, MTV in its prime... I was the last person on planet earth to have their street wired for cable, so I spent many afternoon on the floor of friends' houses watching videos, which absolutely mesmerized me!

Did you ever master the Rubik’s Cube?

No--I'm far too impatient! I did have one, though--it was on a key chain.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Anything from British pop to alternative to dance--right now I'm listening to a playlist of Mutya Buena, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, William Orbit, Nine Inch Nails, and Tori Amos.

Do you have a regular 9-5 kind of job?

No, and I hope I never do again. In the past, I've juggled up to four part-time jobs to support myself!

What kind of projects do you have in the works right now?
I'm finishing up a novel I've been writing. One of the characters is a former child star from an 1980's sitcom. See, even in my fiction I can't get away from writing about TV!!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Book to Movie news...

When I read the book years ago, I didn't think of it as movie material. However, as it happens so often, Hollywood saw the potential and the rest is history. Gorgeous Rachel Weisz is cast as the mother...

She might not be fighting mummies in the next installment of The Mummy, but Rachel Weisz has found a project that should be a little bit sweeter -- a starring role in Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller, The Lovely Bones. According to Variety, "Weisz will play the mother of a young girl who is abducted and is feared to have been murdered." I presume that means she will play Abigail Salmon, the mother of Susie, the young girl who narrates the novel from heaven. For those unfamiliar with the book, it's about the young Susie (who is raped, murdered and dismembered) in heaven, as she watches her friends and family cope with her death and go about their lives. There are no other cast for the film that DreamWorks picked up in May, but there should be more soon, as production is set to begin this October in Pennsylvania and New Zealand.

I am sure that I will venture to the theater when it comes out. And I am really happy for Alice Sebold the author of The Lovely Bones. Did she ever expect the book to shoot to best seller status and become a film? Her book Lucky is equally good, if not better than The Lovely Bones. I'm so happy and excited for the author when the fruits of their labor is put on the big screen. Way to go Alice!

Labels: ,

Calling all avid book readers....

I was overwhelmed (in a good way), by all the responses from people wanting to help me read the fabulous novels that come my way. I'm still reading all the emails!

How about this, if you read a great book, something you think is a must-read, why don't you shoot me an email and perhaps I will post your review (I reserve the right to edit) along with your name (email me at

I am opening this up to everyone in the world who loves a good book. No negative reviews, please just positive reviews about books you enjoyed. There is no deadline or time limit, email me a couple of paragraphs and maybe a link. I always like to see what other people are reading, it would be great to share. Don't be shy. Just write why you enjoyed the book, what did you like about it etc. Maybe we could even start up a book club where we exchange books, hmmmm?

And that book up there? That's mine. Have you read it yet? I'm working on the sequel right this minute...

I can't wait to hear what everyone is reading.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Jen Lancaster Interview

I wasn't sure when I posted my review below if Jen would have time to answer my interview questions, after all she is in demand. Book signings! Tours! Shopping! But lo and behold, The Bright Lights, Big Ass interview is here. Have you bought the book yet? Well what are you waiting for?

Jen, have you kept up with the workout routine and trainer? Are you doing a thousand squats a day and sporting buns of steel rather than cinnamon buns?

Yes and no. I thought I’d recommitted myself to health and fitness after the second book, but as it turns out, not so much. For my third book I’ve pledged to lose 50 pounds by any means necessary and now I’m training 3-4 times a week combine with a stringent eating program and it is TORTURE. (So please don’t mention melty, oozy, delicious cinnamon buns or I will cry.)

What are the latest tunes downloaded onto your ipod? Extra points if you know songs by Foghat and Golden Earring.

Between his night on American Idol and the opening theme to Deadliest Catch, Bon Jovi has finally won me over after 20 years and I just downloaded Wanted Dead or Alive, Blaze of Glory, Livin’ on a Prayer, and You Give Love a Bad Name. I also bought some more Creedence Clearwater Revival and Guns ‘N Roses. (But Foghat and Golden Earring are excellent suggestions…)

What is the last book you read? What is your literary taste?

I just finished reading And Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris and I absolutely loved it. He did something I’ve never seen before by telling the story in a first person plural narrative. My socks? Totally knocked off. As for my taste, it’s all over the place.
There are genres I wouldn’t normally buy, e.g. paranormal romances and science fiction, and yet authors like Mary Janice Davidson and Douglas Adams are among my favorites. Most of what I purchase is chick lit and women’s fiction but I guess I like anyone who tells a great story or has a distinctive voice.

You and Fletch make the perfect couple. Is it a case of opposites attracting or are the two of you a lot alike? How did you meet, was it love at first site?

Hey, thanks! For us, we had a lot of similarities when we met, but over the past eleven years we’ve merged together into one super-entity, with snarky retorts faster than a speeding bullet and able to quaff tall martinis in a single gulp. What’s funny is we had the same extended group of friends for a number of years and hung out in all the same places but we never actually met until we got jobs at a new restaurant together. Maybe it was kismet, or maybe West Lafayette, IN is just a really small town.

"That's nuckin' futs!" name the movie. You seem to be a big movie buff. And The Apple Dumpling Gang? Totally. What movies are your all time favorites?

OK, I cheated and had to Google the phrase, but I did actually see Dickie Roberts (in the theater, no less) so I should get partial credit. I’m probably most partial to smart comedies like The Big Lebowski and tend to favor stuff according to whoever directed it, such as anything by the Coen brothers, Judd Apatow, old Tarantino stuff – that is, before he lost his damn mind, ditto on Kevin Smith, etc.
If you want to get down to the granular level, how about my favorite scenes from my favorite movies, e.g. in Almost Famous when they’re singing Tiny Dancer on the bus or when John Cusack’s character holds the jambox up in front of Ione Skye’s window? Classic stuff here, people.

If you could sit Lindsay Lohan down and offer words of wisdom, what would you say? Jen, she –plus Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton- needs a friend- someone full of knowledge and good taste who knows how to consume a meal and keep it down, how about it?

I’d tell the girls there’s a time and a place for this behavior and it’s called college. (Nothing you do while enrolled in classes actually counts against you and in addition, when you’re a student, you are surrounded by an invincibility bubble. Drink for three days? Cross the street against traffic? Random hook-ups? Yes! Have at it!)
Sure, they’re idiots doing a lot of self-destructive stuff, but except for the whole no-underpants business, they haven’t done that much worse than many kids I knew in school and they all turned out fine. I think it boils down to a decision – do these girls want to be famous or do they want to have a good time while flying under the radar for the next few years? Because you can’t have both. Seriously, the paparazzi seems to leave celebs alone while they matriculate (e.g. Jodi Foster, Claire Danes, Natalie Portman, etc.) and there are worse things they could do than end up with a Philosophy degree, you know?

Bright Lights, Big Ass and Bitter is the New Black are great titles plus the cover art on both books is very eye catching. I'm expecting a twin set on the next book cover. What will your next book be about and what titles are you tossing around?

I couldn’t be happier about the covers I have on my books right now; the designers really knocked them both out of the park. I’m perpetually excited to see them displayed together because it’s starting to create a brand. The next one will also have an iconic cover and I’m interested to see where the art department goes with it. Number three, coming out May 2008, is called Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big; Or, Why Pie Is Not the Answer and it’s about the aforementioned 50-pound weight loss. As long as they don’t put a giant butt on the cover, I’ll be happy.

Thanks to your book I learned a new phrase which prompted me to head over to Urban Dictionary and pick up some fresh lingo. Have you ever been given the cold nose treatment?
Ugh, and unfortunately, yes. (And I had to look it up, too.) I love my dogs, but damn, they are horrible sometimes.

What are you working on now? Can you finally quit temping?

I’ve got another couple of months to finish writing Pretty Fat and lose 25 more pounds which I’m doing while promoting Bright Lights, Big Ass. Essentially these tasks have taken over my entire life and my house is a wreck and I have 10,000 unanswered emails and my family hasn’t seen me in ages. But I’ve got to say I’m really thankful to my publisher and to the fans because I’ve finally been able to stop temping. I’ll take a blank page and a deadline over collating any day of the week.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Planet Hiltron

No one loves silly spoofs more than I do. I love to laugh and frequently check this Planet Hiltron and I urge to you visit this newly launched site. A fresh spin on celeb photos. Check out it!


Bright Lights, Big Ass

Underneath that Mossimo sweater beats the heart of a Ralph Lauren twinset- loving, pearl- adorned Republican with a taste for Charles Shaw wine and container gardens. I'm talking about Jen Lancaster.

I imagine her to be the kind of girl that would guffaw as you fell down a flight of stairs but after she helped you up, would offer you a glass of wine or whiskey and launch into some juicy gossip about a neighbor.

I’m sure you’ve read Bitter is the New Black, Jen's hilarious account of being taken down from high class, six- figure earning exec who loved spending cash in flashy department stores to a poor temp who had to downgrade her expensive taste to fit inside a red cart at Target.

Bright Lights, Big Ass is the follow up to Bitter is the New Black and everyone I know is reading it. When I put the call out for readers to help me get through books to be reviewed, nearly everyone responded with "I just finished Bright Lights, Big Ass." And that? Is true.

This a must-read if you are a fan of sarcastic, well written, non- fiction (I am). I adore Jen and always read her website, Jennsylvania. I can't wait to see if there is a third book in the works from Jen. Maybe a little fiction? Or another memoir so she can neatly shelve the trilogy of her life? I can't wait to see what's next.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Your Big Break, Johanna Edwards

One of my goals is to take fabulous books and turn them into movies. How, I don’t exactly know, do you have any ideas for me? I'd love a job that would allow me to pitch novels to studios for development. I’d love to see more female oriented, fun films that are lighthearted and leave you walking out of the theater with a smile on your face.

I would start with Johanna Edwards novel, Your Big Break because it’s fresh and humorous and the story line is unique and I could so clearly see this being a movie all my girlfriends would love. Girls night out movie with drinks to follow. Starring Rachel McAdams but probably not Lindsay Lohan because, OMG did you see the cover of People magazine this week?

Your Big Break is about Dani Myers who works for a company that specializes in helping couples break up. Too nervous to tell your boyfriend that you’ve had it with him? Are you better off as friends? Call Dani Myers to do the dirty work for you. She will even make a breakup kit for your ex, so he or she can get over you. There are some plot twists, interesting characters and a nice ending which is my favorite way to tie up a story- happily.

Johanna is such a talented author and I’m looking forward to her next book, How to Be Cool, which is due in stores on June 5th. Check out her blog and her website. Read her books including her debut novel, The Next Big Thing.

Labels: ,