Saturday, April 28, 2007

Checked out!

Are there any sweeter words than those?

I know the term can have negative connotations. As in, "your girl is wack, she's totally checked out from reality."

Or, it can have a more mundane meaning, like someone checking out of a hotel, hospital whatever.

And we won't go there about permanently checking out as in...well, you know.

I'm talking about my book being checked out at the library.

And thanks to S.A. Harazin, I'm able to stalk So Not The Drama at about every library it's held.
Oh my god. If you thought Amazon was addicting!


Being able to tell just how many copies of your book is at a given library system in the world compared to Amazon's roller coaster ranking...puh, Amazon who?

And I'm not Amazon bashing. Not at all. But crusing library systems is so much more...gratifying.

Seeing the words "checked out" beside the book gave me goose bumples.

Lately, I've developed a creeping obsession with libraries. And S.A.'s resources pushed me over the edge. The Library Police may come knocking if anyone is tracing my internet habits.

I don't know who invented this World Cat thing, but I think I love them.

In all fairness, I've always loved libraries. So this isn't a totally new obsession.

It's just, now that I can see which libraries are carrying the book...oh, it's a whole new level of stalkerizing.

Every time I clicked on a new system's page and saw the words "checked out," I'd get this pounding ache in my heart.

I'm guessing it's a lot like how parents feel when they drop their kid off to college. They know their young adult is about to start an incredibly exciting journey. So their emotions becomes this jumbalaya of happy, sad, anxious, pride.

All I've ever wanted was my baby to find a nice home (or few thousand homes) where a reader would cherish it. And that's happening.

Today is a good author's day!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Twisted Colors Contest - Update

People, people, people.

I want someone to win this contest.

But alas, so far no one has gotten the color right.

As a recap, it's not:

Pink (DRAMA's cover is pink)

I'm accepting answers through Sunday. And darn it, I want someone to go home with one of my lovely, Got Drama? tees.

So let me give you a hint.

If you have read my blog before, I've mentioned a color I look particularly good in.

The cover of Don't Get It Twisted contains that color.

So come on, regular readers...what's that color?

Remember, I'm choosing a winner randomly from the correct guesses.

You're still in the running for this if you know what color I've said agrees well with my complexion.

Please Stay AJC Books Section

How come when money's scarce, the Arts are the first victim?

When money's tight, school's often must cut music programs, while still forcing more state testing preparation on kids.

There's a little thing called balance that gets thrown out of whack when that occurs.

Folks talk about books "going out of style," which I used to doubt would ever happen. But then, the Books section of a major daily like the Atlanta Journal Constitution gets caught in the cross-fire of budget cuts. So, I start to wonder.

I work for a small city government, I know about budget cuts all too well. My own is pretty anorexic as we draw closer to the fiscal year's end.

But dammit, stop gunning for the section that's probably already victim of the smallest budget, when money gets tight.

I know there was no special focus on kiddie lit in the AJC Books Section - but that's beside the point.

Stripping media outlets of their 30 second spotlight on literature is one step closer to minimizing the importance of books.

People who are already willing advocates of reading will not be impacted by the absence of the AJC's Books Section. Readers are going to read as long as there are books to read.

But the less access those on the fence/reluctant readers have to information on books, the less likely they are to be converted into readers.

So, if we can save the Books Section of the AJC, why not try?

Sign the petition and circulate.

Never underestimate the power of collective outcry.

Off my soap box!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stand-ing in Line

I have a TBR list that is yay long.

I had to put an unfinished Under The Rose to the side to get the third Del Rio Bay Clique book done.

Yeah, I'm one of those quirky writers that can't read in the genre I write when I'm in the middle of a project.

I'm behind on reading like you wouldn't believe.

And now, my TBR list will be even more behind. Because, yesterday, I received some mail.

Ordinarily, not a big deal.

I get mail everyday. Most of it sits on the corner of the kitchen island until I feel like going through it. When I go through it, more than half gets trashed while the other languishes until I feel like sorting bills.

Needless to say, to the hubster's dismay, there's always a messy pile of paper on the kitchen island.

Hey, he knew what he was getting when he married me. Domestivity ain't my thing.

Anyway, but in yesterday's mail came this very large package from Doubleday book club. Not just the regular Doubleday Book Club - but the Stephen King book club.

Yes, I'm such a King Geek that I signed up to get a book every six weeks. All books I've read, of course, but books I didn't have in my personal library already because I borrowed them from the public library.

All total, I think I'm to get about eight books. The rest I either had or didn't want (not a big fan of the Dark Tower series).

This month's King treat was The Stand. The uncut version.

Adding that it's the uncut version is important. Readers of King know that The Stand was already a hella long book. Well, the uncut version is hella, hella long!

This baby bears out at 1153 pages.

Yeah, you heard me right - one thousand, one hundred fifty-three pages!

Now, you've heard me complain about my book deadline. My lack of time to do much else beside work, write, promote and breathe. Oh and eat. I always find time to eat.

So if you're thinking - I know this chick is not going to take time to re-read this book.

Uhhh...yeah, I am.

I know, I know, how dare I re-read a book that has 400 additional pages than the original when I have a pile of very good books just waiting on me.

It could be my huge author crush on King.

It could be that The Stand, is just that good.

It could be I'm crazy.

Not doubting any of those things.

But mostly, it's that I'm near the point of burn out. Rising with the sun to write before getting Princess Bea ready for school and then myself off to work, can do that to a person.

Vacation is still two months away (I can't wait!) and May promises to be a month of non-stop promotion on the weekends.

I'm going to read The Stand, because reading adult fiction by my favorite authors relaxes me.

Yes, I'm so quirky that I can't even read new adult fiction when I'm in the middle of a deadline.

Look, it's a long story. But it has something to do with comfort zone. I want to turn my brain off over something that's vaguely familiar to me, even if it's only that I've been reading this particular author for years.

So I'm tackling The Stand, because it's the closest I'm going to get to taking time off while not giving up one single thing on my schedule. Because reading King doesn't make my mind wonder if things within (style or voice or writing devices) are things I should attempt to use to picque the interest of young readers.

Now, in all honesty, I may not finish The Stand.

Hell, I know I won't. Did I mention it's 1,153 pages long?

But for now, it's my mini-vacation from the world as I slug along polishing That's What's Up! for my eddy.

You know, only in P's world could reading a thousand page book be considered relaxation/vacation.

Ten Questions That Rock: GCC Style - Lauren Barnholdt

This is Lauren Barnholdt's second round in the Clique Lounge. Shhh, I think she may be stalking me.

No, seriously, Lauren Barnholdt is back and this time with a little something for the t(w)een readers. The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney is out, out, out.

So go get it, get it, get it!

Lauren, ready to rock?

TCL: What protag would you want on your Celeb Deathmatch tag team and why?

LB: Anne from Anne of Green Gables. She’s definitely scrappy enough to take on anyone in Deathmatch.

TCL: Shoes say a lot about a person, what type of shoe are you?

LB: Flip flops or cute sandals.

TCL: What type of writer are you: plot-driven or character-driven?

LB: Definitely character-driven.

TCL says: Me too! All hail to the character chicks.

TCL: Word association time. What do you think when I say:

Chick-lit Favorite

Best seller Shopaholic

Best Band Ever Matchbox Twenty

Most rockin’ author
Meg Cabot

LB: Damn. I just realized I kind of want to go back and change some of those. But I won’t, because that ruins the question, right? Well, maybe just one. No, I won’t. La, la, la. No, seriously. I didn’t change anything, I swear.

TCL says: Me thinks Lauren made some changes.

TCL: Name the Top 3 books on your To Be Read (TBR) List

LB: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Pretty Little Liars, and How To Be Popular

TCL: If you had anything to do with it, what would the next hot lit trend be?

LB: I like the way YA is exploding, and I really hope it DOESN’T turn out to be a trend. So I guess I would have to say that I hope YA continues to be “trendy” and that teens continue to read and that the YA sections of bookstores continue to expand.

TCL: What celeb would you love to see play your MC on the big or small screen and why?

LB: Hmm. I guess maybe Dakota Fanning? She’s the right age, and I think she’s an amazing actress.

TCL: Whether it’s because you admire their work or adore them, who’s your author crush?

LB: Sarah Mlynowski. She’s so talented, and just a really nice person.

TCL: What TV show do you watch that you’re ashamed to admit liking?

LB: I’m not ashamed of any TV show I watch! Bring on the trashy tv is what I say. Laguna Beach, The Hills, American Idol, I watch it all.

TCL says: Lauren and I are kindred spirits. Trashy TV rocks!

TCL: SSP: Tell the cliquesters why your book should be in their TBR list.

LB: Because it’s cute and funny. And it’s only 5.99.

Now, you know P does not like to play favorites. But if The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney is as much fun as Lauren's debut, Reality Chick...well, you know the drill. Go cop it!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Promotion Trail Vol. 1

If you speak to an empty room, does that actually count as a promotional event?

I kid. I kid.

I spoke about writing for Teens today at the 5th Annual African American Lit Conference. There were about 10-12 people there, including the Hubster who is becoming quite the Lit Manager/Advisor.

I was actually pleased to see that many people there because...

* My workshop was a last minute addition (it did manage to make the conference program, thankfully)

* It was at 10:00 a.m. and the very first activity of the day

* 10:00 a.m. on a college campus on a Saturday is called "wake-up" time

* The conference itself went on until 6 p.m. So I figured people would be straggling in throughout the entire day. It was a crap shoot who might wander in that early.

I'm glad I accepted the invitation. It gave me an opportunity to check out this annual event for myself. I'd do it again next year, perhaps during one of the mid-day slots to ensure a little more traffic. I understand it draws hundreds over the course of the eight hours.

It also gave me the chance to get on to University of Maryland's campus, for the first time in years. The campus is lovely, by the way.

I wanted to attend Univ. of Maryland. My parents thought it was too big and sent me packing to the 'Burg - Harrisonburg, that is.

Glad they did. But still, the College Park campus holds a special place in my heart.

I am following several unofficial P-enforced laws as I promote So Not the Drama:

1) Thou shalt neither break the bank to promote or stretch thoust self too thin

I'm spending promo dollars as wisely and trying to keep myself to no more than 2 weekend events per month (if I can get week day visits in, cool) so that I don't have Authors Promo Regret later. Many authors, upon their second book, seem to see the "Light" when it comes to promotion and usually it's the realization that they spent either too much time or money on promo.

2) Thou shalt evaluate every promo opportunity carefully and assess its worthiness based on budget, time and exposure.

Today's event cost me nothing except the time, which I had. And while there were only 15 people in the room by the time I fnished, that's 14 more people who knew about the book than did before. And two of those 14 actually bought a copy.

3) Thou shalt always attempt to break even at the end of an event

By selling two books, I at least paid for the gas it cost to get up there. That's a win-win, for the day.

Thanks to the coordinator and Associate Director of the Nyumburu Multi-Cultural Center, Anne Carswell for inviting me.

Hey, don't forget to enter the Twisted Colors contest. You have until April 29th!

Friday, April 20, 2007

CONTEST: Twisted Colors

Eenie, Meenie, Miney...Blue?

It's contest time, boys and girls. P has received the cover for Don't Get It Twisted, hot off the presses. It's so pur-rrty!

And I'm going to share it with you. But what fun is a reveal without a little build up?

Here's the deal. Guess what color dominates the cover of Don't Get It Twisted and I'll send you one of my cool, Got Drama? baby doll tees. It's pink and cute and girly, and all yours if you think you have a little psychic in ya'.

I'll accept entries until April 29th then choose randomly (sorry, just one winn-ah) from those guessing correctly.

Here's how:
Send an email with the Contest Code: Twisted Colors in the subject line to Uhh...don't forget to include your color guess!

Here's one hint:
It's the same design concept as So Not The Drama - one color, two shades

Ready? Set...guess!

P.S. Hey t(w)eens, if you're under the age of 14 get the 'rents permission to email me. Parent drama is so uncool.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bad Dreamz

On behalf of Dreamz, on Survivor, I'd like to apologize to cheer coaches world over. He is making us look dumb as dirt!

Dreamz has never been the sharpest tool in the shed. He'll likely go down in Survivor history for having as "colorful" a vocabulary as Jade on America's Next Top Model. Who can forget when he said, "See no one else made a Sherlingua, Shaliqua... Sherlinda."

And no I did not make that quote up.

The word he was so bravely striving for, was "soliloqy."

Vocabulary isn't his only challenge. He seems unable to truly meld with anyone. When he'd finally found a group to call home, they dogged him by waiting too long to let him in on their immunity idol secret.

In his defense, that caused some trust issues. And rightfully so. But, then Dreamz proved them right by blabbing the secret to everyone and ping ponging back and forth between alliances.

His second alliance dogged him, as well, leading him to believe they were voting one way when they were actually going to go another.

Now he's ass out of alliances (I assume) since it's pretty obvious to his original alliance that he back stabbed them.

Dreamz exhausts me.

He's honest to a fault, which only has room in Survivor if you're a truly cunning player.

He isn't.

And in trying to play two alliances, he managed only to prove he's not savvy enough to be a true swing vote.

Bone headed play, Dreamz.

The first rule in being sneaky is to not be so obvious that you're trying to be sneaky.


I'm on Tour!

Hey, I'm touring this week with the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit (GCC). Some really great authors will be featuring me on their sites.

What's awesome about this is:

1) I don't have to leave my house. Which means...

2) I won't spend a lot of money on mindless souvenirs for the Princesses.

3) I won't be tempted to order room service because...after all, if I don't have to cook, I may as well spoil myself.

4) I'm less than one degree separated from some cool author chicks like Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Lauren Barnholdt, and Tanya Lee Stone.

There are over 30 Girlfriends on tour. And not like I'd ever encourage anyone to take time out of their day to read blogs or anything. But, check out a few of the sites - including the links above - because some of the questions thrown at me were super fun.

Karin Gillespie, the GCC's esteemed leader gets into my head and pulls out why I chose this profession.

E. Lockhart somehow gets me to reveal what guys would turn me into a total groupie chick. E, you tricky chickie you.

Joshilyn Jackson had so many good questions to choose from, I couldn't decide. But I did eventually. And I liked the ones I chose. I really did...hey, Joshilyn, is it too late for me to pick another three?

Lara Zeises helps me get my Jeopardy on. And just know I would ROCK at these categories...'cause, well I made them up.

And Kelly Parra dives into a typical day for P. Let the reader beware when stepping into my cluttered life.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Ooh Oprah you done, done it now.

You've opened the floodgates and started ::gasp:: dialogue!!


Seriously, thanks to Imus and Oprah, there is genuine dialogue between media outlets and the Hip Hop community.

Sorry, but poo-poo on those whose ire is up because the dialogue was refreshed because of Imus.

Honestly, can we never be satisfed?!

Are we seriously saying we refuse to dialogue simply because it didn't take place, in earnest, the first time it was brought up when rap music took the turn down Misogyny Lane?

For all those who feel this way, you're free to leave the building. If you're going to grouse about how the dialogue was started versus eye-balling some solutions, we don't need ya' at the table.

For the rest of us...this morning, Russell Simmons was on 92Q and boy was he mad. He and Mark Clark, the host of the Big Phat Morning Show, were battling to be heard. It was pretty tense. But, at the end, it was a healthy discussion with both sides airing their opinions and offering the olive branch of working together on a solution.

Which seems to be a common message - that finger pointing time is over and colloborating on solutions should begin.


Much respect to Russell Simmons. But one of the things he did this morning, as well as on Oprah the other day, was downplay the derogatory language by pointing out the circumstances many rappers come from. The argument goes sort of like this:

The images depicted by the "poets" (Russell's words for rap artists) are systemic in nature, rooted in poverty and what these artists see on a daily basis. Images that are largely ignored by the politicos and unreported by the mainstream media.

It got to the point where Oprah asked - So do we have to solve poverty before rappers stop using derogatory language against women?


And that's the thing. Although, this morning, Russell was a bit more definitive in his argument he's got to realize that there's no real defense for a woman to be called a "ho" in a casual manner.
Our screwy institutionalized processes may have made it easier for some women to become trifling, money-grubbing [choose your own name]. But name calling isn't going to change the system.

The flip side of that?

There are some women who this shoe fits. I think the rapper's defense is "these" are the women they're talking about. Not their mama, or sister or auntie.


All I know is, the dialogue is sometimes loud. Many times angry. But it's happening and that's a start.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm Psychic!!

Oprah did a two-day summit on the issue of misogyny in rap music.

I caught day two, earlier this evening.

Among the panelists, Kevin Lyle, President at Warner Music.

Coincidence that Oprah does this show after I pointed out the time was ripe for this discussion? And that label execs should be among her guests?

I think not!

O, are you reading my blog, girl?

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Mighty O

I doubt it was a coincidence that Imus was fired, only minutes AFTER Oprah had the Rutger's women basketball team on her show. They were only on there a short time but...well, it is Oprah.

Before more advertisers could call CBS to cancel their spots, Les Moonves, CBS Head, pulled the plug, himself.

No one wants The Mighty O on their bad side. Got that?

In a related, but not yet discussed twist, the irony is that O has also blasted Hip Hop for its use of "ho" and other derogatory terms against women. She's made no bones about seeing no need to give credence to the genre's success by having Hip Hop artists on her show.

Her verbal barbs and outright disdain for some of the music, however, did not negatively impact Hip Hop music sales.

Not a real head scratcher. Oprah's audience members are, I'm guessing Adult Contemporary fans, not Hip Hop.

But, I think it's time for her to touch on this issue again. The time is ripe. The right type of show, with the right guests on both sides of the issue may be necessary to bring about a solution to the misogyny in rap culture.

An article in today's, Baltimore Sun, "Remark renews old hip-hop debate," jump starts the topic.

Some of the article I flat out disagree with.

Especially this comment by author, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting: "Hip-hop gave Imus the language. He wouldn't have known what a 'ho' was if it weren't for rap records."

That's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard in MY LIFE!

So dumb, it's got me exxagerating.

Do you really think Don Imus listened to Hip Hop on the regular other than snippets from news bits about some of the music's misogyny?

And please, let's continue to use the word "some." Because ALL rap music is not created equal. And all rap artists aren't misogynistic.

We can start the discussion, in earnest, by leveling all of the broadbased, generalizations.

Being that the term existed long before the popularity of rap, I hardly think rap music taught Imus the word "ho." He's an old bird from way back.

I would't even blame 70's blaxploitation movies for the term going mainstream.

What would that say? That the mainstream's ears were virgin until a movie or song taught us naughty words?


However, most of the article I agree with.

Like this quote, where Ms. Sharlpley-Whiting redeems her former remark: "The sad thing is that there seems to be no moral authority in the hip-hop community. We are creating the soundtrack to our own opression."

And, especially this: "Eventually the powerful white guys who bankroll these misogynistic rap albums may think twice about the lyrics."

Here is where the rubber of this entire discussion meets the road!

It's about the green, the cheese, the scrilla, the cream! The money. It's about the money.

One of the reasons CBS took a "wait and see" approach on Imus' firing was because they needed to do a quick P&L to decide if he'd earn them more money than he'd lose.

Guessing here, but once GM, Proctor & Gamble and American Express pulled out, those numbers quickly went from black to red.

Same with Hip-Hop. It's earning major record labels billons. What's a little "ho" between friends when you're laughing all the way to your swiss bank account?

When the label executives decide to wield their power over creative artistry, it'll only be after the P&L numbers turn red.

As an author, I'm not thrilled about the powers-that-be telling someone what they can and can't say creatively. But rap music wasn't always misogynistic and plenty of contemporary hip hoppers still manage to produce good music without being so.

So it's possible.

Note to rappers: Misogyny is NOT creativity!

Still, it's not Fifty Cent or Jay-Z that needs to be on Oprah's couch being grilled about lyrics. It's the head of Sony, Universal or Def Jam (oh wait...that is Jay-Z).

Let's make them all squirm and admit, publicly, that as long as they're making green they could care less what their rappers spit. They don't care how those lyrics depict women or the number of young listeners that may take the lyrics to heart.

At least then, the entire issue could be laid to rest in a sense. It's sort of like a parent saying, "You can't have that because I said so. Now that's that."

Because we can debate the good, bad and ugly of rap's bad side all day long. But to cut down rap's lyrical content while ignoring the fact that label executives green light CDs jam packed with negative, downright ugly lyrics, every day, makes about as much sense as Imus learning the word "ho" from a rap song.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is it possible...

That Rakim is the sexiest knucka on earth?!

Do not get it twisted, the pic on All Music does not even come close to this brother's hotness. BTW, he's the shorter one for the Rakim uninitiated.

I especially love the bald look on the V-spot!

With hair, without...whatever, man. Ra is the man!!!

Even if his dark chocolate skin and deep bedroom eyes don't get you, his gruff rap style, laced with just thismuch smoothness will!

My favorite line, "Could you massage my intellect and take away the pain."

Ra, knows the ladies love a little emotional stimulation.

Rakim, where ya' at baby boy? Bless us with more of that sexi rap!!

Ten Questions That Rock: GCC Style - Sara Rosett

Today's tour is Sara Rosett, a fellow Kensington author, and author of Staying Home is a Killer. Sara writes mom lit mysteries. I'm envisioning the madness that accompanies my telecommute days when I'm home with Princess Bea - the mystery of mom's missing sanity.

Motherhood is murder.

But who knows that better than Sara?

Sara, you're on....

TCL: What protag would you want on your Celeb Deathmatch tag team and why?

SR: I'd pick Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody from her Egyptian mystery series because nothing phases Amelia.

TCL: Shoes say a lot about a person, what type of shoe are you?

SR: Okay, I'll admit it. I'm cheap when it comes to shoes. I'd be a budget flat. Mostly because I haven't worn heels since I stopped working in an office. The dress-code is one of the fringe benefits of being a writer!

TCL: What type of writer are you: plot-driven or character-driven?

SR: I write mysteries, so I have to think about plot. That's where the story starts for me. I have to know who the murderer is, who the victim is, and how the murder was committed. I work from there, kind of from the inside out, exploring who else would want the murdered person dead or who else would seem to want the person dead.

TCL: Word association time. What do you think when I say:

Chick-lit: pink cover.
Best seller: airport book racks because that's where I've seen those little signs about best seller # 1 and on down the line.
Best Band Ever: Kate Spade. Love the purses!
TCL says: Err...Sara, we said band, not brand...but I love Kate Spade too. So it's all good!

Most rockin' author: Mary Stewart, my favorite, she hooked me on writing

TCL: Name the Top books on your To Be Read (TBR) List

Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella
Death on the Family Tree by Patricia Sprinkle

TCL: If you had anything to do with it, what would the next hot lit trend be?

SR: Umm. mom lit mysteries. Can't hurt to wish, right?

TCL: What celeb would you love to see play your MC on the big or smallscreen and why?

SR: I've been asked this question before and it's really hard to answer. (TCL says: me too. I feel your pain) I know some writers think of actors as they write, but I don't usually work that way. Anyway, I'll give it a shot. I think Sandra Bullock could play Ellie. She's funny and could handle all the crazy things that happen to a young momand she'd make them funny. And she'd also be believable in the more serious times, too.

TCL: Whether it's because you admire their work or adore them, who's yourauthor crush?

SR: I admire Sue Grafton because she's taken a series character and spun out a storyline that's made me want to keep reading over twenty-something books. That's an accomplishment!

TCL: What TV show do you watch that you're ashamed to admit liking?

SR: I've tapered off lately, but I've watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition since it was first on the air. The tear-jerking is pretty extreme.

TCL: SSP: Tell the cliquesters why the chance to read your book is among the top ten reasons for young readers to look ahead to reading up.

SR: In Staying Home is a Killer, I write about the world of young motherhood with all it's joys and frustrations. Someday, it'll be great to know that other moms are going through the same things you are and they survived!

Monday, April 09, 2007

You know what I wonder?

1) How come rapper, Jim Jones, turns me off so much that he turns me on?

He's one of those dudes you'd totally regret going out with then turn around and do it again when he called you.

2) Why my muse flees when I'm p.o'ed?

Seems like extreme emotion would be good fodder for fiction. Turns out, not so much.

3) The magic formula for netting a six-fig advance?

4) Can I still suffer for my art and make millons?

If so, I'm totally down with that.

5) Why I'm still watching Idol even though none of the contestants do it for me.

Oh, except Blake. Vocally, he's just aiight. But he has mad unique style.

6) In that old schoool New Edition joint, Mr. Telephone Man, when Ricky Bell sings "Saying please hang up and place your call, again, baby" does he mean the operator called him "baby"? Or, is the word baby like the musical period at the end of the line?

7) To the woman driving the Expedition, who decided to speed up and squeeze in front of me as we were both coming off a bridge at high speed in the pouring rain, when there was a four car length gap between me and the car behind me...WHY?!

8) Did Gwen Stefani really need to "feature" Akon on Sweet Escape?

Seriously, have you heard his part? You have, you just don't know it. It's that minuscule! His career continues to astound me.

9) Is New York ready for me?

I'm coming back in June for BEA!

10) How is it that I have this much time to ponder when I'm on deadline?!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Smells like Progress

Strolling through the 'net, I stopped by Cush City to browse their YA selection.

What I found was a page with So Not The Drama listed among a six-pack of books for young readers of color.

How nice was it to see these six books - all contemporary, all featuring an African American lead and all seemingly absent of the heavy "I smell an award because this is so depressing" feel that books for young black readers usually have?


I'm proud to have So Not The Drama among the Cush City Six-Pack.

And what's best is that it's also home among any contemporary YAs about the trials and tribs of high school life.

If I didn't know any better, I'd say this smells like progress.

Mmmm...sweet indeed.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Ten Questions That Rock: GCC Style - Fringe Girl In Love

Err...I've been on a blogging hiatus. And totally forgot that it was GCC Tour time.

Sorry Valerie!!

Author of Fringe Girl In Love, Valerie Frankel hangs out in the Clique Lounge with me today. You guys talk amongst yourselves while I go stand in the Time Out corner.

Val, you're on!

TCL: If you could enter your MC into a MTV-style Celebrity Deathmatch, what protagonist would you challenge and why?

VF: Dora Benet, my main character, is a non-violent person. She wouldn't stand to participate in such a thing. Instead, she'd be making cynical, sarcastic comments on the sidelines.

TCL: Shoes say a lot about a person, what type of shoe are you?

VF: I wear my clogs nearly every day. If not them, New Balance sneaks.

TCL: What type of writer are you: plot-driven or character-driven?

VF: Character driven, with a fast-paced plot.

TCL: Word association time. What do you think when I say:

Chick-lit: pink
Best seller: Nora Roberts
Best Band Ever: Green Day
Most rockin' author: Huh?

TCL: Name the Top 3 books on your To Be Read (TBR) List

You Don't Love me Yet, Jonathan Lethem
Jen Lancaster's Bitter Is the New Black
Undead and Unappreciated, Mary Janice Davidson

TCL: If you had anything to do with it, what would the next hot lit trend be?

VF: Erotic PI mystery novels

TCL says: Erotic, huh? Quick, kiddies, close your ears! I mean your eyes.

TCL: What celeb would you love to see play your MC on the big or small screen and why?

Jo Jo. She has a bit of an edge, and seems thoughtful.

TCL: Whether it's because you admire their work or adore them, who's your author crush?

Jennifer Crusie does an awfully fine job with contemporary romance.

TCL: What TV show do you watch that you're ashamed to admit liking?

VF: Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.

TCL: SSP: Tell the cliquesters why your book should be in their TBR list.

VF: Fringe Girl in Love is for readers who love to laugh, like tracking the ups and downs of a conflicted relationships and adore their friends, never more so than when things go wrong.