Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Style A to Zoe

I remember hearing about Rachel Zoe so long ago, back when she used to go by her last name of Rosenzweig. I knew of her before she was styling the likes of Jennifer Garner and Salma and Nicole and Mischa and Cameron etc. Rachel has worked herself up into being one of the most in demand fashionistas in Hollywood and everyone who is anyone has been styled by her. And now, you and I can dress like or mini Rachel's thanks to her book, Style A-Zoe, which is co written by Rose Apodaca.

The book is a lovely fashion how-to with darling illustrations, lots of photos and little tips and ideas on how to develop your own style. Rachel shares details about herself including her love of deep tans, bold jewelry and Halston. I appreciate her creativity and sense of fashion, I really love creative, visual people. Rachel also offers tidbits about entertaining, travel, hair and makeup.

I think you have to find a look that works for you and build on it. For example, my friend Stephanie can wear knee socks, a funky vintage dress, high heels, a beanie and a messenger bag and look darling while my kids ask me if I'm trying to look like a hobo if I should wear such an outfit. My other friend Heidi always wears form fitting jeans and tailored clothes that suit her tiny, petite frame. And I go for anything including jeans and vintage necklaces, leopard print shoes and tee-shirts.

If you are style-impaired and need the help of Miss Rachel Zoe or just want a peek at a fun book with some inspiring ideas, check this one out.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, October 26, 2007

Books to film, My Sisters Keeper

Jodi Picoult is the fantastic author behind the best selling novel, My Sisters Keeper. Not only is the book an amazing page turner, but the end will either leave you shocked and/or in tears.

I just read this morning that the novel will be made into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz and real life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning. Yes these little girls are years younger than the teens in the book but the kids had to be "age appropriate" to be Cameron's daughters.

Nick Cassavetes will direct and filming will begin in March. I'm very excited for Jodi Picoult. Congratulations!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Kite Runner

For the longest time I heard about The Kite Runner, many people recommended it to me. I resisted reading it because I didnt think I would like the book, Taliban and the Middle East? No thanks. Yes I prejudged it despite the fact that I never heard a negative mention. I met one of the actors who stars in the movie, Shaun Toub. The brief meeting inspired me to pick up the book and give it a try.

From page one I was hooked. The Kite Runner is a beautifully written story of young Amir and his friend, Hussan. Amir witnesses a despicable act done to Hassan but does not find the strength to help his friend for his own fear stands in his way. Amir carries the weight of his burden for many years. He feels that what he did- or didn't do- is so terrible that he cannot put it behind him. Every turn of his life is impacted in one way or the other thoughts of Hussan. Emotions run deep, problems get worse, life gets messier. The book will bring a whirlwind of emotions to the reader, I had tears in my eyes throughout and felt sad. I was compelled to sit and read and read until I finished.

The movie is coming out in the near future and I absolutely can't wait to see it. I expect this film to be worthy of many Oscar nominations. I highly, highly recommend this novel to you. Well worth your time.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Joe Vitale, The Key

I was so excited when I finished watching The Secret. Why? Because it helped me realize that I cannot have negative feelings about anything, especially in my writing career. Positive thinking is what I need. I tried to quiet that negative voice in my head especially when I sent out query letters for my latest novel. I thought about that Infinity FX 35 that I wanted to drive. I focused on the fabulous creative job in film that I've been dreaming about. I imagined myself sitting with other imaginative people discussing how we were going to make movies from great books, starting with mine of course!

But none of what I've been wanting has yet to materialize. Reading Joe Vitale's new book, The Key has given me more understanding of how to get from here- driving an old car, sitting in my home office, not earning any money- to getting what I've been desiring. It's all about not fostering any negativity, because essentially we are holding outselves back by not allowing only positive thoughts and feelings.

Joe is amazing, he has an actual empire and is enjoying the good life. So what he says and writes about must work. For the next few weeks (hopefully this will become a habit by then) I want to focus on the positive, not even say one negative thing about my goals. Let's see if in a short time I'm not announcing a book deal, a new job, a new car or something else truly fabulous ...

Something I've been wondering about for a long time is this- why do bad things happen to good people?

The first problem is judging the events as "bad." Many people gain new perspectives from events called "bad,", such as getting cancer, and end up saying these events were the best thing that ever happened to them. The second insight is that we attract everything to us on an un-conscious level, to grow in awareness. Even the "bad" is there for a good reason.

You mention that the universe likes speed, I'd love to know why then I've been working for six years at getting a literary agent and it's yet to happen. At the same time, others have been working towards their own personal goals and it's not happening for them either. Why?

The block is in you, not the outer world. Some part of you may not believe you truly deserve an agent. Some part of you may believe you will not succeed. This is the point of my book, The Key: There are counter-intentions within you causing what you experience. Get clear of them and you will attract what you want, or something even better.

What is the time frame for the universe delivering our wishes/intentions/goals?

It's up to your beliefs. Do you believe it will take long? Then it will. Beliefs create reality.

So, let's say we state our goals or wishes or desires for a new car/ new job etc. What is the next step? Are we supposed to pray and think about it every day?

The next step is take inspired action. Do what you feel nudged to do. Don't just sit there and wait for the car or job to show up. Go looking for it. You only need to pray or focus on the goal again if it feels like fun to do so.

Do you really think the key to success is to not attach a single negative emotion to what we want? I cannot tell you how frustrated/upset/sad/distressed I am that I have not reached my goals. By having these feelings, am I slowing down the process?

Exactly. Those negative feelings attract negative experiences.

I want to hear about how you were once homeless…and now are such a big success! What was the turning point for you to go from being penniless to having everything you could dream of?

I did it all, not just one thing. I read, worked on myself, took action, cleared limiting beliefs, and kept following my passion. I still work on myself today. There's always more awareness to expand into.

What is your definition of happiness?

Being satisfied with this moment.

How has your life changed since The Secret came out? How were you approached to be a part of it?

Rhonda Byrne read my book The Attractor Factor and contacted me, saying she wanted me in her movie. Being in the movie has made my name more known to people in other circles besides the Internet.

Do you think religion can be integrated with the premise of The Key?

Absolutely. But a better answer is to say spirituality can be integrated, as religion is more organized and political.

Is there ever a time when you aren't thinking and planning and working? What do you do when you have free time?

I am never thinking and planning. I am following my passion. I work on my tan by pool, spend time in the hot tub every night, drive my Panoz cars for leisure, and smoke a cigar now and then. All while still writing books, traveling, speaking and more.

What do you want to be doing five years from now?

Whatever I want. :)

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Five minutes with Maggie...Throw Like A Girl

Throw like a Girl by Jean Thompson

Short stories seem to be the most difficult form of writing to execute. In only a few short pages – less than a novel's chapter length – the writer must create a character, set a scene, pose and resolve a conflict. In her collection of short stories, Jean Thompson masterfully delivers on all those levels and more. The collection captures the lives of woman in different stages of their lives. From the angst-ridden teenager to aging mistresses and wives, Thompson's characters evoke an emotional resonance that will be familiar to all women.

The casual, conversational language makes these stories pass by too quickly. Thompson creates a world, a life, or a personal revelation that is both powerful and moving, even though most stories are only a dozen pages long. -Maggie Marton


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dr. Jeannette Graf- Stop Aging, Start Living

Dr. Jeannette Graf is a well known dermatologist who is frequently cited in beauty magazines and her book Stop Aging, Start Living is a must read for those of us who care about health and beauty. Dr. Graf is a stunning lady who is not only beautiful but very smart too! She is clearly doing something right.

This is a fantasic book with straightforward advice on how to take care of yourself from the inside out and slow the aging process. She talks a lot about ph levels, acids and alkalines and their impact on your health. Dr. Graf offers nutritional and practical advice that is easy to follow.
I read Stop Aging, Start Living quickly and keep referring back to it. It's a book I will keep for reference and pull it out when I need to fix my diet and modify my eating habits.

If you were going on a trip but could only take six beauty items, what would you pack?

Pre-moistened make-up removal pads
Microdermabrasion scrub (which I would use on my face and body)
Eye cream
Hydrating moisturizer for night with retinol
SPF and anti-oxidant cream for day
Thick, rich body cream

I was on an Extra Virgin Coconut Oil kick for a while because I read there were tons of benefits to this particular oil. What are your thoughts on Coconut Oil as a supplement?
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has a number of health benefits and has been used for centuries in many countries. Coconut oil contains anti-bacterial lipids which are beneficial for the immune system and medium chain triglycerides which are healthier than long chain triglycerides found in many seeds and vegetable oils.

Apple Cider Vinegar is also supposed to be really beneficial. What is with the vinegar being so healthful?

Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar has a number of health benefits including a cleansing effect. It is rich in minerals including calcium and potassium, as well as folic acids.

I cant stop drinking coffee although most times its decaf and I drink a lot of water and green tea as well. What are some of the foods/beverages you consume even though they might not be ideal?

Well, I love having coffee in the morning and sometimes in the late afternoon. I also love wine with dinner and it’s hard for me to say no to crème brulee. The key is that I thoroughly enjoy them understanding that I will not permit myself to feel guilt – and I will have an extra scoop or two of alkalinizing powder in my cocktail.

Lets say you are out and about, running errands and are suddenly overcome with terrible hunger. What is a good on the road pick-me-up that won't cause a spike then dip in energy?

Fortunately, more and more places are offering some healthier alternatives. If this ‘dip’ is not unusual for you than it is a good idea to carry healthy snack bars from the health food stores (be careful of the sugar content). If you are at a Starbucks or other type place – get the fruit and yogurt parfaits since the fruit and granola will give natural sugar and fiber while the protein will sustain you and lessen hunger.
Other alternatives which can be found in airports, mini-marts, etc include raw unsalted almonds or cashews and raisins, wheat-thins, fruit, string cheese.

What are a few items that we should definitely have *stocked in our pantry/fridge at all times?

There are a number of non-perishable items which are always good to have on hand and stocked. Keep raw nuts and seeds stocked as well as baked potato chips, organic dried fruit including raisins, apricots and apples. Extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and/or apple cider vinegar. Whole grain pastas, brown rice, spices including cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and sea salt.
(*I have all these in my cupboards! I'm healthier than I thought.)

Taking the time to laugh and relax and have fun are key components to the anti-aging plan. What makes you laugh? What is your favorite way to relax?

I love watching Mel Brooks movies and watching episodes of The Simpsons and Family Guy with my kids. They are actually the funniest people I know and I love to joke around with them. Dancing and spinning (I dance on my spin bike) relax me. I smile a lot and just love spending time with my two dogs and two cats.

What do you think of Botox shots? This makes no sense to me- poison injection into the face and it needs to be redone in months anyway.

As with any and all cosmetic procedures – they are strictly a matter of personal preference and one should be absolutely comfortable with the procedure and doctor performing it. I do think that Botox is extremely safe, painless and when performed by a properly trained cosmetic physician can make a huge improvement in helping frown lines as well as other problems.
It is expensive and it is up to the patient to decide whether they love their results enough to keep getting it.

Tell me again why eating fruit on an empty stomach is healthier than combining with a meal? Speaking of combining, do you eat your fats/protein together and carbs separately? When is the best time to eat vegetables?

Eating fruit on an empty stomach or prior to a meal is advisable since fruit empties out of the stomach faster than other foods. If fruit is eaten after a meal or after protein and/or fats, it will sit in the stomach until the other foods empty out and ferment in the meantime.
Vegetables can be eaten after fruit and/or with protein; they do not travel as quickly as fruit and don’t ferment the way fruit does.

I rather have salty chips or a bagel or bread and butter than ice cream or cookies any day. What is a satisfying way to stave off the carb craving? I know I'm not alone in my carb love!
The best way to stave off the carb craving is to do what you can to keep blood sugar stabilized. This includes eating more frequent small meals or healthy snacks with foods that have a low glycemic index since they do not cause the fluctuations in blood sugar which lead to carb cravings. Also, having an alkalinizing cocktail and taking spirulina in powder form (if you like) or tablets (my personal preference) has a great effect in stabilizing blood sugar and carb cravings.

Any plans to write another book? I really enjoyed this one.

Thanks so much for the kind feedback – that is a very good question. I’m still recovering from this one.

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Jacqueline Sheehan, Lost and Found

I became aware of this book when I read about the movie deal with Katherine Heigl's new production company. You know I love to hear book to movie news and try to stay on top of it. Naturally I had to get my hands on a copy of Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan. Not only did I feel inspired by the movie news but the premise of the book appealed to me. A happily married woman's life changes in an instant when her husband dies. She leaves her old life behind to start over and ends up in a small island off the coast of Maine where she becomes the Animal Warden. Into Rocky's life walks Lloyd, a friendly Lab who has been struck with an arrow. Rocky and Lloyd form a deep connection, each depending on the other for love, comfort, friendship. I don't want to give too much away, I want you to read this book.

Books often surprise me. Whoever said you can't judge a book by its cover was spot-on. From the cover you think this is going to be a funny little chick-lit kind of book but it goes deeper than that. It's not humorous and it's not light. Lost & Found is well written with characters that I can easily envision on the big screen. I sincerely hope that Katherine Heigl stars in this movie adaptation because she would be brilliant in the role of Rocky. As for the role of Lloyd, may I suggest my dog Lola? She's a black Great Dane but is ready to pursue a challenging movie role, perhaps that of a male Labrador?

Have you ever had a pet that you depended on like Rocky with Lloyd in the book?

My golden retriever, Poncho, was my companion in Chicago, my running and hiking partner in Oregon, and in his old age, my pal for exploring the high desert arroyos of New Mexico. He was an extraordinarily friendly dog who greeted almost everyone like a long lost relative, so I would occasionally forget that I was his to protect when he judged situations to be dangerous. When we lived in Oregon, a good friend of mine died suddenly from an aneurysm; I was completely shaken by her death and initially I couldn’t talk about it with other people. So I packed up Poncho and drove to the Oregon Dunes, hiked into the wilderness area for several miles and camped for three days. I intentionally picked the most isolated area.

On the third day, a man drove by in a jeep and spotted my tent nestled between several dunes. He walked up and said to me, “I see you are all alone here,” which was a sketchy thing to say and Poncho knew it before I could respond. The dog rose up like a dragon, lifting every hair on his body, exposed every one of his impressive fangs and then began to bark in the most serious manner, closing in on the guy like a laser. The man understood instantly and cleared out without saying another word to me. There were only two other occasions when Poncho did this, and both times he did not negotiate.

With some dogs, there is a powerful sense of interdependence in the relationship, a sense of “we’re in this together.” And some dogs have a personality that is heroic.

Why did you choose archery as a sport for Rocky?

I have been fascinated with archery for a long time. It is elegant, elemental, and it requires an understanding of becoming still in the core; one must have a full connection with the body, the ability to relax the body in some places so that other muscles can have maximum focus. And it is also an incredibly difficult sport that requires robust upper body strength.

When Rocky is thrown from her foundation by Bob’s death, she loses connection with her core self, her body, even her own breath. So archery provided the perfect sport (or art) for Rocky to learn if she was ever going to recover. And Rocky is a competitive person, which added enough fuel to get her started.

I took a few archery lessons while doing research for this book. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life and it gave me even more respect for archers.

When I played sports, I played soccer, which I learned as an adult. I played for several years and loved everything about it. I loved the constant pace of it and the sheer exhilaration of running. Later I coached my daughter’s soccer teams until 7th grade, and then I was sort of fired when real soccer players were needed for coaching. It is the main sport that I watch; I understand it.

First book about Sojourner Truth….difference between fiction and non-fiction.

Both of my novels are fiction. The first book, Truth, was a re-imagining of Sojourner Truth’s life. I did years of research to discover the culture of the early 19th Century, but all of the thoughts and conversations were fictional. I wanted to understand something about her and the only way I could do it was to write this story. I wanted to know why her spirit wasn’t broken by slavery, by being sold from her parents, and not allowed to choose her own husband. And I took a psychological look at her abuse, and how it would affect her as an adult.

What is your favorite way to relax?

I just can’t say enough good things about naps. I’ll often take a 20-30 minute nap and pose a question about a character that I’m writing. Taking a nap relaxes my brain and lets more creative ideas come forward. I also take very long walks for exactly the same reason. I have written many complete stories in my head while taking walks for 4 or 5 miles.

For full out relaxations, I kayak on the Connecticut River. For indulgent relaxing, I take a bag of Frito Lay potato chips with me into my hammock. Heaven.

How has life changed since publishing L&F?

The success of Lost and Found made it so much easier to get a contract for my next book. I have one of the smartest agents around, in fact I just renamed her The Best Ever Agent, (aka, Jenny Bent), and she has really guided me through the world of publishing.

The biggest change is having so much contact with my readers. I get emails everyday from readers who share their stories of grief, or their stories about powerful relationships with dogs. It is unbelievably gratifying when a reader tells me that reading my book felt like someone else understood their experience of loss and hope.

What will I find you doing on a Saturday night?

The range is pretty broad, from nothing to too much. This Saturday night, I’ve got two choices and I don’t want to pick; I want both. I’m going to a reunion of writers who met at a writing retreat in Wales. There will be one playwright, one poet, and three fiction writers. We’re all bringing something to read that we’ve been working on since Wales. But the second option is an eclectic bonfire, music and road-kill roast.
I’ve been assured that the road kill part is only opportunistic and road kill must be very, very fresh. I’m hesitant but fascinated. But in the hills of western Massachusetts, where we are filled with wild turkeys, deer, and bear, the chances are quite high. In reality, we’ll probably roast something nicely wrapped by the local super market.

What famous, or not so famous, person would you like to meet?

Harper Lee. I hate to say that because I think she has been hounded to death by so many people about a book that she wrote 47 years ago, and she deserves peace and quiet. But I think that To Kill a Mockingbird is nearly a perfect book and I am floored every time I read it.

If you won the lottery, how would you spend your millions?

I’d buy a summer cottage in Vermont where I could host writing retreats for my good writing buddies. We’d need a lake too for swimming.

How did you learn about Katherine Heigl’s interest in the book?

I learned about it through my agent. There were two groups interested in optioning the book for film and after reading more about Katherine, I really wanted her to be the one to work with the film. I think she is talented, smart, and she makes good choices. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with her. I was so stunned that my lips vibrated for an entire day.

What do you think is the key to happiness?

I’m also a psychologist, so this is a question that I think about a lot because people come to me precisely because they are unhappy. There will always be hard struggles in life: sadness, losses, tragedies, and abuses. But those things do not completely define who we are, but they are a part of our history. Being happy means being aware and available for moments of joy when they come our way. The key is being available. If you are no longer available to feel gratitude for the small, everyday joys in life, you will be unhappy no matter how much material wealth you acquire.

And being passionate about work and love. If you have that, you’ve got the whole package.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Its National Coming Out Day!

Happy National Coming Out Day! A day to boldly step out of the closet and not be ashamed of who you are. The gay community has always been so kind to me, it's heartbreaking to think there are people in our society who don't or won't accept others for who and what they are.

So today and all the days to follow, be proud of yourself for the person you are! For more information on National Coming Out Day, please go to the Human Rights Campaign website.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl

A few years ago my friend told me about the Mayan calender which ends on December 21, 2012. Of course I freaked out and started reading up on this which scared me even more. Eventually, I let it go and tried not to think of that date or the possibility that I simply won't wake up on that date in the not so distant future.

Since then, people have been bringing this up in conversation and it's quite a hot topic. I plan to disregard pretty much everything and believe that instead of some horrible apocalyptic event, maybe our collective conscious will swing in a more positive direction beginning in that year. And if you have a comment about this, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. I don't want to be scared, I want to live in love and peace not in fear. I went to chat with my friends pastor about 2012 and felt comforted and got a new look on the situation.

I received 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck and decided to read it out of curiosity. Here is the summery from the publisher:

The acclaimed metaphysical epic that binds together the cosmological phenomena of our time, ranging from crop circles to quantum theory to the resurgence of psychedelic drugs, to support the contention of the Mayan calendar that the year 2012 portends a global shift-in consciousness, culture, and way of living-of unprecedented consequence.

Daniel is an interesting fellow and the book reads like you are privy to his psychedelic drug induced trips. He writes about things from eastern philosophy to quantum physics to monogamy and crop circles. I'd say keep an open mind when you read this one. Amazon link.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 05, 2007

Monkey Star, Brenda Scott Royce

Last week I was at the West Hollywood Book Fair where I didn't know a soul although I ended up meeting some really cool people. One person I got to meet was Brenda Scott Royce. Brenda and I have been exchanging messages back and forth so it was fun to meet her in person. I love meeting other writers and creative people and Brenda is super nice and sweet.

I received Monkey Star along with the first book of the series, Monkey Love. I was in the mood for a fun novel and what's more fun than a novel with a naughty monkey? I chose to read the second book, Monkey Star, first because it features the main character of Holly, doing a stint in Hollywood. I just can't not read a book about a girl from the east coast and her adventures in Hollywood.

Holly is employed as a general girl Friday, if you will. Need an odd job done? Call Holly. When her best friend Carter goes into labor in where else- Hollywood- Holly flies out to be with her. Carter's actor husband Danny takes Holly to work on a film set where by a stroke of luck, she gets a job as an animal trainer. Good thing she has experience with a mischievous little monkey back home...

Holly jumps into her role as animal trainer while she trades flirtations with a hunky leading man. Complications arise of course, as she tries to sort out her feelings about her boyfriend, family issues and whether or not to make California her permanent home.

Monkey Star is an easy, quick read that flows well. All the elements of the book come together in the end which is nicely concluded and I adore happy endings in books. I must go back and read Monkey Love now. I'm looking forward to seeing what else Brenda is going to come up with! How often do you get to read about monkeys in women's fiction? Not very!

It was fun meeting you at the West Hollywood book fair. I was so nervous that day. How do you feel about doing book fairs, festivals, panels and having to speak in front of people?

I especially enjoy book fairs and festivals because when I’m not signing my own books, I can slip away to meet other authors and pick up their books. As for public speaking, for me it’s like a rollercoaster ride—exciting, exhilarating, and when it’s over I feel like throwing up.

What were you like when you were a little girl? What were your hopes, dreams and aspirations?

Picture a bedroom covered with photos and posters of monkeys and apes. Propped in one corner would be my unicycle, stilts, and pogo stick. My tap shoes are under the bed, plays and books on acting piled high on the dresser. I had three main career goals, all wildly impractical—Olympic gymnast, famous novelist, movie star, and primatologist (a la Jane Goodall). I can’t do back flips anymore, and I never could act, but my early aspirations to write and work with primates have both persisted.

If you could hang out with any five people-dead or alive- in the entire world, who would you chose and why?
Off the top of my head (besides my family, of course): Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall, Katharine Hepburn, Jane Austen, and Stephen Colbert. What a fun cocktail party we could have!

Did you grow up in the Los Angeles area?
No. I spent the first half of my childhood in upstate New York. The town we lived in the longest was Queensbury, outside of Glens Falls. When I was thirteen, we moved to Venice, Florida. I’ve been in L.A. for about fifteen years now, and I love it.

What is your dream vacation?

An African safari, or a cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Or really, one week in my own house, alone … all alone … with no alarm clocks or telephones, and no one to challenge me for the remote control. Oh, and there’d be room service, housekeeping, and the occasional visit from a masseuse.

Were you inspired in any way by Ross on Friends when he had a pet monkey? You’ve worked with monkeys before- what do you think of people who want one as a pet?

Marcel the monkey in “Friends” is the same type of monkey as Tallulah (a capuchin), but I wasn’t inspired by the show. When I started writing Monkey Love, I was working as a chimpanzee caregiver at a wildlife sanctuary. I initially considered incorporating a chimp into the plot of my book, but I thought a monkey would be more manageable in a Manhattan apartment.
I totally understand the desire to have a pet monkey—in fact I begged my mother for years to let me get one. Now I’m glad she said no. Anyone who wants a pet monkey really needs to know all the issues involved and understand what they’re getting into. It’s like living with a toddler who never outgrows the terrible twos.

Are you planning on writing more books about Holly? She is a fun character but I’m partial to Tallulah the monkey!
I’d like to do a third Monkey book, but it’s not in the works yet. Right now, I’m working on a more serious (but still quirky) novel. I’m also writing for a children’s television series, which is loads of fun. But rest assured, if there’s a third Holly book, Tallulah will once again steal the show!

What else do you do besides write? What is a typical day for you?
I have a full-time job at the Los Angeles Zoo! I’m the editor of the zoo magazine—the perfect job for a lifelong animal lover. Typically I get up before six to get my 3½-year-old son ready for preschool (or Grandma’s house, depending on what day it is), drop him and (again, depending on the day) my stepsons off at their various schools, and drive in to the Zoo.
After a full day at the zoo, I pick up the aforementioned kid(s) and go home to dinner, thankfully usually prepared by my husband (his job as a college professor means he gets home hours before me). In the evenings, I try to devote my attention to the family, but deadlines often get in the way. Most nights I skitter between kids, husband, laundry, and computer.

What is your five year plan?

My dog ate my five-year plan. They’re almost as bad as monkeys.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Five Minutes With Maggie...

Man of the Month Club by Jackie Clune

Immediately after her 39th birthday celebration, luxury baby goods designer Amy Stokes faces a breakdown. She accidentally runs over her little dog, discovers an abandoned baby on the steps of her shop, and her three best friends announce that they're pregnant. Though she never cooed over the infants coming in and out of her shop, she suddenly craves motherhood. Like the successful entrepreneur she has become, she instantly formulates a plan: meet a successful or handsome or intelligent man, conduct a brief affair, and then have a fabulous baby. Not in her plan, though, is getting stood up, dumped, or stumbling across the perfect guy… who already has children.

Though the plot of Jackie Clune's novel is somewhat predictable, the humor carries the story. As Amy's series of dates, mishaps, and frustrations unfold, you can't help but root for her to succeed. The novel is extremely well-written so that each time Amy failed, I found myself cheering for her to try again! --Maggie Marton

Labels: ,