Friday, May 18, 2007

Love Me, Hate Me, Review Me!

First, I am absolutely BLOWN away that there are people in the world (actually lots and lots of people) that I don't personally know who are reading Hollywood Girls Club. I am amazed that these fantastic women that I wrote about are now a part of others people's lives. So a big Thank You for everyone who buys Hollywood Girls Club and reads Hollywood Girls Club because although HGC is a super-fast super-fun read it is an investment of your time to read a book. Second, I want to know. I want to know if you love the book, if you hate the book, if you can't wait for the sequel (which I am STILL editing). I want to know what characters resonate with you and why. I want to know if you have questions about these fantastic women and their lives. I, like most writers, want to know what you, the reader, thinks. So in my ongoing quest to know I am asking for a review! After you read Hollywood Girls Club, please take a minute and post a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Or if you don't want to go public with your thoughts, shoot me an email at Can't wait to hear from you! And again, thank you for reading Hollywood Girls Club.
xo Maggie

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Book Tour Schedule

Big news, big news! So I am, with the help of the AMAZING publicist Leslie Ferguson (actually Leslie is doing all the work) finalizing the details for my very first book tour! So exciting...I almost can't stand it. First up is Book Expo America in New York City! New York, New York (sing it with me)Start spreading the news... I arrive in NYC on Thursday May 30th and will be there until Sunday June 3rd. I will be signing at BEA for all you New Yorkers, Long Islanders, New Jersey..uh...ers? On Saturday, June 2nd from 10:30 to 11 at table 25. Next stop on the tour is Springfield, Illinois Barnes and Noble...still tentative...Monday, June 4th. Then onto the home of my high school alma mater Bloomington, Illinois..then Rockford, Joliet, Chicago Tribune Printer's Row Book Fair, Indianapolis, and Kansas City...woohooo! Wow that is a whole lotta miles in a whole little time! If you want specifics please go to the events page on my website
More later
xo Maggie

Thursday, May 10, 2007

For All The Mothers

Aaah...Mothers. So much to blog about and so little time. As all Mother's know time is the most precious of commodities. Once you become a Mom, well you never seem to have enough time. But my own eloquence is completely eclipsed by the amazing Anna Quindlen (please tell me who she doesn't eclipse?). The following article We Are The Experts on Parenting (which always makes me cry) is perfect for Mother's Day and makes a great statement about time. So I am going to use my excellent skills of cutting and pasting to include it on my blog. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom...(because there is a PRIZE for those that do!)

"We are the Experts on Parenting"

By Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author

If not for the photographs, I might have a hard time believing they ever existed. The pensive infant with the swipe of
dark bangs and the black button eyes of a Raggedy Andy doll. The placid baby with the yellow ringlets and the high
piping voice. The sturdy toddler with the lower lip that curled into an apostrophe above her chin.

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what
I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more
than I like.

Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach, T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.

What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations--what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.

When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing.

Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, "Remember- When- Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply
grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be.

The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense,matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it
all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts are. now that I've had a really good is the PRIZE! In honor of Mother's Day and all the wonderful women in my life, I am giving away 3 signed copies of Hollywood Girls Club to the first 3 people who email me at and give me a quick story about what Mom means to them.

Happy Mother's Day!

xo Maggie