Friday, June 27, 2008

The Dirt: A Woman In Hollywood

The Women

So when I saw the trailer for The Women....

I was almost as excited as when I saw the trailer for Sex And The City. The amazingly talented Diane English wrote and directed this update of the classic 1939 film. I can't wait to see this film. And, gotta' say if we (meaning us women) want to see more films about women we have to go see it. When I read by Nikki Finke (who I believe knows more about what's going on in Hollywood than any other reporter) it made me so sad. The idea that Warner Bros. would try to dump the film and not really promote it because 'women don't go to the movies'.

The marketplace drives what gets made. So looking forward to this movie.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fantastic Fiction: The Fidelity Files by Jessica Brody

The Fidelity Files by Jessica Brody

One word: Wow! I just finished The Fidelity Files by Jessica Brody and I loved it. LOVED it!

The Fidelity Files is the story of a beautiful L.A. woman who goes undercover as a “fidelity inspector,” hired by suspicious wives and girlfriends to test the faithfulness of the men in their lives. Not unlike a modern-day, female “superhero,” Jennifer Hunter is on a quest to rid the world of infidelity, one cheater at a time…until her secret alter-ego begins to cause problems in her everyday life.

I am incredibly jealous that I wasn't clever enough to think up this premise. The Fidelity Files would make a fantastic television series. Lucky for me (and you), Jessica agreed to guest blog...

The Fidelity Files
by Jessica Brody

When I tell people that I wrote a novel about a woman who tests men’s loyalty for a living, I usually get one of two reactions. The women will often smile somewhat mischievously and say things like “Ooh, that’s fun.” Or sometimes even, “I would totally hire someone like that!” While the men just look absolutely terrified. Some will even ask, with an nervous expression on their face, “Is this fiction?” As if they’re just making sure they’re not in any imminent danger. It’s actually quite comical. But the first question I’m always asked after these reactions is “How did you come up with that idea?” People usually want to know where the concept came from. So after Maggie so graciously asked me to guest blog on her site, I decided to use the time (and cyber space) to answer that question.

Although I’d like to say that my inspiration for writing this book was based on the fact that I used to be a fidelity inspector myself—that women used to hire me to test whether or not their husbands would cheat on them—unfortunately, my life is not quite that exciting. Or I guess, “fortunately” for my parents and my boyfriend. But I will say that The Fidelity Files, despite its “fiction” classification, was inspired by a very non-fiction, and very pertinent subject matter: infidelity.

There have been several instances in my past, and I think others can probably relate, in which I found myself a witness to other people’s infidelity. Whether it be friends’, co-workers’ or just casual acquaintances’. But in all of these situations, I was always plagued with the tormenting dilemma of whether or not to keep my mouth shut…because everyone else was doing just that.

The most prominent of these experiences was when I used to work in a corporate environment and attended a lot of happy hour and other after-work functions with some of my married or attached colleagues and co-workers. During those events, I observed a lot of inappropriate behavior as alcohol began to cloud people’s judgments. And I always secretly wished that someone would tell the “conveniently” absent significant others about what their husbands/wives/boyfriends/ girlfriends/fiancés really did while attending these “obligatory” and supposedly “uneventful” work functions. Because I knew that if I were the one being cheated on, I would want to know. But I was never able to actually do it. I was brave enough to think it…but not exactly brave enough to go knocking on people’s doors with bad news. You know what people tend to do to “the messenger.”

So in order to deal with the frustration I was feeling about my own lack of courage, I came up with the idea to create a character whose job and purpose in life was to do exactly what I couldn’t bring myself to do. To reveal the truth to anyone who wanted to know. To knock on all the doors that I never had the courage to knock on. An invincible superhero-esque woman whose quest is to fight against the evils of infidelity. But of course, she soon finds out…she’s not as invincible as she once thought.

So I set out to write The Fidelity Files. And in doing so I hoped to explore some of the common fears about infidelity that I think all of us experience in our lives on at least some level. But at the same time, I also wanted to offer a message of hope despite of those fears. Because if someone who makes their living as a fidelity inspector can believe in love after everything she’s seen, it shouldn’t be that hard for the rest of us.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Questions to Ask Before Marrying by Melissa Senate

I am so so so excited to have as a guest today fellow GCC member Melissa Senate. Her latest book Questions to Ask Before Marrying came out June 1.

Great cover!

Melissa was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the book.

Tell us about your latest book.

Questions To Ask Before Marrying is the sometimes very funny, sometimes very poignant story of very different twin sisters on a long and bumpy road trip from Maine to Las Vegas, where one may or may not marry her fiance. Stella, a professional muse and “face reader” has three thousand miles to convince Ruby, a conservative Maine school teacher, that her buttoned-up fiance is not the man for her. Meanwhile, Stella is searching for the father of her baby—whose name she doesn’t even know. At its heart, the book is about what they learn—about themselves, each other, and love.

What pulled you into this story, and as a writer made you think ‘I have to write this’?

I am fascinated (okay, obsessed) by the relationship between sisters, especially sisters who aren’t close. I love to put estranged sisters together and watch what happens until they eventually become sisters: best friends.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline or are you more organic?

How I love the outline! I keep thinking that one day, one book, I’ll just . . . write, but I’m working on my 8th book and my trusty synopsis, which I then break down into chapters and then into scenes, is always up on my bulletin board! What I do is this: an idea overtakes me, usually a broad idea (for instance, for my next next book, I’ve already been gripped by the idea of four friends and a cooking class, though this might not keep hold, and then the theme of the novel works its way into my heart, mind and soul. From there, I wake up every morning with bits and pieces or sometimes big chunks of how the story works and comes together, and the main character(s) and her plight suddely starts making emotional sense for me. Then I sit down and write a synopsis of the story, then figure a week or two of more waking up with the flesh and bones of the plot and how everything connects. I’ve never been able to write any differently, so I guess this is my process! Basically, I let my sleeping brain, which is apparently awake and writing, do most of my work of me.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

This has been a tough year because I’m a single mom with a child in half-day kindergarten, so I’ve been writing at night once he’s asleep and on weekends. Come the fall, I get SIX FREE HOURS to write my heart out for the next 12 years!

If you could only own and read 5 books for the rest of your life, (excluding your own) what five books would you choose?

The Old Testament; Anne of Green Gables; Little Women; The Accidental Tourist; The Portable Dorothy Parker

What do you love about being an author?

A wise editor once told me that the most wonderful thing about writing fiction is that you can fix whatever you want, make it turn out however you want. I think she’s right.

What’s next for you?

I’m a month from deadline on my next YA for Delacorte and just sold my next two adult novel to Pocket Books, the first of which is tentatively titled The Love Bus, also about sisters—about a unmoored New Yorker who discovers she has a half sister she never knew existed. The half-sister lives in a small town in Maine, where our intrepid heroine starts a whole new life. Hmmm

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

WIP FINISHED! (well kinda')

I apologize for my low level of blogging the past week. I haven't been ill. No instead I've been so very busy completing my latest manuscript, I just couldn't blog. What an excuse right? Really, I wanted so badly to finish this story. It had to get out! That the only thing I've done for the last 8 days is write...well and go to BEA. Which was super fun...wish I'd taken photos. I signed books at BEA which I love doing. I think because I spend so much time alone at my computer that when I have an opportunity to meet people and especially all the bibliophiles that Book Expo brings out, I get super excited. So update on the WIP (work in progress) the manuscript is now with the Agent. And a couple of my most trusted readers...a couple family members, a couple friends, a couple writers, people I know will give me the REAL DEAL on the story. So next up? Finish Screenplay! I have two managers and two agents requesting that I please please please finish the screenplay I've been promising them for oh say the last six months. Sigh...back to work.