Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What Happens Here by Tara Altebrando

Wow, so I am incredibly honored to have Tara Altebrando as my guest blogger this week.

Her new book, What Happens Here came out May 6th and I have to say that I am loving this book!

Welcome Tara!

Steal this Title
by Tara Altebrando

I got a haircut over the weekend and I had a new stylist because apparently the last one had been fired or quit. So we got to chatting, me and lovely Melissa, and she asked what I did for a living. I told her I wrote young adult novels and she said, “Anything I’d know? I’ve read some of the MTV Books.”

I got sort of excited since I’m actually published by MTV Books. I said, “Well, my first book was ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’.” In the mirror, I saw her stop and stare and I thought, “How cool. My new hairdresser read my book!” But then she said, “Like the movie?”

Well, uh, no.


When “The Pursuit of Happiness” was published, the Will Smith movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” came out the same month and I confess to being a bit annoyed by the whole thing. Tons of people who visited my website and Amazon page ended up there by accident, Will went on Oprah and I didn’t, and I guess having this big-deal movie out there with the same name as my book made my book feel somehow, I don’t know, small? Don’t get me wrong. The response to the book was great. It just wasn’t BIG. Not Hollywood big, anyway.

But soon Will’s movie was no longer in theaters, everyone moved on, and I wrote a new book—”What Happens Here”— which came out this week. Just last week my husband and I were talking about how a movie version of the book, should there ever be one, would have to be structurally different and who might star in it and so on and so forth. [This is just something novelists do, I think. Fantasize about their book being made into a film.] So you can imagine my annoyance when, this past Friday night, in the the middle of one of the TV shows I watch regularly, I saw a pop-up ad appear at the bottom of the screen...for a movie called “What Happens in Vegas.” Starring a few actors you might have heard of... Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz? It’s not exactly the same, but still!

Why won’t the title gods leave me alone?!?!?!?!?

And it’s not just titles either. Under my maiden name I’m the author of a novel called “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” about a female pair of teenage pops stars. It was being shopped around Hollywood about a millisecond after the Farrelly brothers announced that they’d be making a movie called “Stuck on You,” in which Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear would play conjoined twins. No one thought the world needed two conjoined twin movies. And you can’t even begin to imagine the number of emails I got when, several years later, people started hearing about a film called “Brothers of the Head”—about a male pair of Siamese rock stars.


Maybe one of these days someone will actually make a movie of one of my books. Until then I guess I have to pat myself on the back for coming up with good book titles and maybe having my finger on the pulse of...well, something. It’s part of the reason I haven’t really been talking about the book I’m working on now at all. In fact I might have to keep the whole thing—title, concept, everything—top secret until the day it’s actually published. Unless, of course, some folks in Hollywood want to read it before then and make a movie out of it. I’ve got some good casting ideas, and a couple of back-up titles—just in case.


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