Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Straight, No Chaser...Linda Gerber

Thanks to the internet, I have a lot of writer friends. Most I've never actually met in person. But my girl, Gerb, is among the few I've met. We hung out at, could it really be that was nearly three years ago?! I guess it was.

She's a good friend who invites me to her cyber launches, even though I'm the perpetual fashionably late gal. Now it's my turn to host her on my blog.

Her Death By... series is a hoot and her latest, Death by Latte sounds like what's going to happen to me if I don't kick this Starbucks habit and fast!

Welcome, Gerb. Domo, for hanging out!

Which cliché best describes you as an author?

LG: Romance Lite Meg Cabot - with a gun

Complete this sentence: I'm a total….from my BLANK to my BLANK, I could write the book on being BLANK

LG: I'm a total procrastinator. From last-minute weight loss plans to frantic writing deadlines, I could write the book on putting things off until the last moment.

Using either television, film or literary references, give us the one or two sentence pitch you'd give film agents:

LG: My Death By series is Veronica Mars meets 24.

If you did an informercial for your book, who would be the perfect celeb to serve as the pitch guy or gal? And why?

LG: Emma Roberts's about the same age as Aphra and she played a sleuth in Nancy Drew.

Complete this sentence: It's a good thing I'm not a stalker or else INSERT NAME OF CELEB MINOR OR MAJOR would be in trouble because

LG: It's a good thing I'm not a stalker or else Tommy O'Haver would be in trouble because I would hunt him down and make him explain how he could ruin a fabulous book like Ella Enchanted by making it into such an asinine movie.

A lot of times, authors start a book with one concept in mind (especially us pantsters) and end up with a totally different story. For your most current book tell us where you story started and ultimately ended.

LG: I had taken a cruise up the inner passage in Alaska and imagined a chase scene down the river in the Denali National Park , but when I started Aphra out in Seattle , she just sort of stayed there. I did get my river scene, but it takes place in the Cascades instead.

You're on a desert island with a cell phone. Miraculously it has two bars and enough battery life to make one three minute call. Who do you call?

LG: Verizon Wireless, but only if they bring all their network guys like on TV. One of them has got to know a way off the island.

TLC Says: LMAO!!

Which celebrity would you like to see put on a bus and dropped in the desert? And why?

LG: Ha! I've never thought about that… maybe Paris Hilton because she's annoying.

TLC Says: So what, I'm the only person who thinks about this constantly? Calling Dr. Phil!

Monday, September 08, 2008

VMA's Not Hot

As a pop cultist, I've had long love affairs with various shows, even when it's become obvious they've jumped the shark. Last year VMA's disappointed to levels that astounded from the what were they thinking unshown performances to the agressive directive to get fans to also watch the show online. Yeah, because we pay $160 a month for cable to have an online experience.

This year, I returned in hopes they redeemed themselves. That in their effort to remain ahead of the curve, MTV would realize that, even without overhauling, the VMAs have always been ahead of the curve in comparison to other award shows, simply because it remained true to the original formula - lots of performances, spontaneous moments likely elicited from the attendees alcohol excess and excited musicians aware that the Moonman's prestige was tied to its counterculture symbolism.

Last night was as boring and tame as a Grammy's show. OMG, have the VMAs become the Grammys?

Maybe, because MTV doesn't seem to get get it. This year's VMA performances were over produced. True to its Hollywood location, the performances were heavy on sound stage theatrics instead of live band purities.

The Jonas Brothers looked like they were performing on Sesame Street. T.I. nearly got lost in his performance because there were so many extras and rooms to go through. I guess Rihanna's opening was okay, though admiteddly I'm a bit tired of her.

This year's show, as last year's, once again rewarded the studio audience with side performances, that the viewing audiences received only peeks of.

Hey MTV - why on earth wouldn't the viewers like to see full-on performances by Katy Perry who has one of the hottest songs out right now? Or Lupe Fiasco who is changing hip hop with his skater boy style and lyrics? I don't get it.

The biggest 'huh?!' for me was MTV pushing Britany Spears as if she were truly significant any longer beyond her ability to generate tab headlines. Three? Three Moonmen?!

Video of the year?!

Is it 1998 or 2008?

I'm not sure why the media thinks we still care about Britany. Don't get me wrong, if she makes a hot song right now I'll nod to it. But until she does, I could care less about what she's doing and at this point in her career I'm baffled at three awards - not with pop music competition as tight as it is.

Not sure if the open bar at these shows have been banned, but they need to be brought back. The audience looked as bored as I felt. As they did last year. At least if they were sauced, they'd make some excitement.

Last, I'm not a fan of having it in Hollywood. Leave Hollywood to the film and TV stars. New York is music! Apparently when things are held in Hollywood the production becomes more about, well production - about making a spectacle of red carpet entrances and making use of Hollywood sound stages.

When it's in New York, the limited space means it has to be about what happens inside the show. It has to be about music, not celebrities. It has to be about live performances, not lip synching.

I felt like I was looking at a very bad, low-budget version of The Grammy's last night. And that could be an insult to the Grammy's as they've tried their best in the last few years to get a little swag.

MTV, you've tried it for two years and it hasn't worked. When bloggers are using words like "tame" to describe the show, that's a problem.

Go back to the original formula:
New York + Open bar+Performances focused on music not props+Courting today's hottest artists (not yesterday's) = Hot VMAs.

Go back about three years (oh, but not the year it was in South Beach) and simply repeat.

And just in case my pop culture addiction isn't enough cred to make my opinion important to the ever-youthful network, I watched the VMAs with my 14 year old and she willingly went to bed in the middle of the show.

Proof enough?!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Straight, No Chaser - Melissa Walker

It's Friday. It's Friday. It's Fr-fr-fr-fr-FRIDAY!!!

OMG, can you tell I'm excited that it's Friday?! And it's been a short week, yet still I'm ecstatic.

Tonight is high school football night. Princess A is a JV cheerleader. Yes, I'm quite the proud hen having my baby chick follow in my cheer foot steps. All the cheer haters watch your mouths! Cheerleaders will cut you.

And tomorrow, the U plays the Florida Gators. Go 'Canes!!!

I'm just full of football spirit and ready to watch some hot young guys trounce on other hot young guys. Wooh! NFL spirit...meh, catch me later in the season, closer to Super Bowl.

Speaking of hot people, today's feature is Melissa Walker's Violet in Private . Now you know your girl P is totally addicted to shows about fashion, including the ultimate crack, America's Next Top Model. So I am loving, loving the cover of the first book in the series Violet on the Runway and am not hating the model pose on the latest. And even though Melissa froze like a new model on the catwalk during the Desert Island questions, she was a good sport and played along for the rest.

The buzz on the Violet series:

"Take a peek into a model's life with this hip novel!"
--Teen Magazine

"I couldn't put it down! You're kind of rooting for her to make it big, and kind of rooting for her to just go home before the biz ruins her."

The runway, err, floor is your's Melissa:

Which cliché best describes you as an author?

MW: With the Violet books, I'd say Candace Bushnell Zeitgeist

Complete this sentence: I’m a total….from my BLANK to my BLANK, I could write the book on being BLANK

MW: I'm a total small-town-girl-in-awe-of-NYC. From my missteps with high heels in subway grates to my search for the perfect signature cocktail, I could write the book on being a little fish in a big pond (with big dreams).

Pop Culture References

MW: The Violet series is America 's Next Top Model meets Judy Blume.

If you did an informercial for your book, who would be the perfect celeb to serve as the pitch guy or gal? And why?

MW: Blake Lively from GOSSIP GIRL and SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS would be the perfect Violet pitch girl--she's both down-to-earth real and intensely fabulous.


MW: It's a good thing I'm not a stalker or else Tim Riggins from FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS would be in trouble because I'd follow him around just watching those full lips and soulful eyes brood.

History Lesson

MW: My book started out about a real girl in a glamorous and dark world ended up swirling around a romance between Violet and her best friend from home. He was just too great to resist!

Those Crazy Desert Island Questions

MW: I am HORRIBLE at desert island questions. I think I just can't face choices like that. I'm sorry!

TCL Says: No problem, Melissa. Though the chance to throw an annoying celeb in the middle of nowhere is usually too hard for most to pass up. LOL