Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Such a Tease

If you've seen me smiling a little brighter recently it's because....I'M GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR.


Been waiting to get that out of my system for awhile. 

I'm so excited to be a part of the HarperImpulse team. For those of you who don't know, they are part of the HarperCollins family and publish fabulous romantic fiction. I signed with them over the summer and have been BURSTING to tell all of you. 

Oh? You didn't know I wrote a book? Actually, there are three. I know, I know....show off. I wrote them more as a challenge to myself to see if I could do it. My inspiration came from a 2006 trip to Glasgow. Anyone who knows me well knows how much I heart anything British. So yeah, the trilogy takes place in the UK and here in the States.

I've never written anything professionally before, aside from TV news stories and radio copy, so this is as exciting as it gets.

It's so surreal to say that "my debut novel" will be released soon. You'll all get to meet the characters that have been so near and dear to me since they invaded my head in the spring of 2011. They're a vocal bunch, trust me.

In any case, the first chapter of my book is included in HarperImpulse's free sampler for New Year's. You can meet my characters along with others from eight of my fellow authors. 

I keep having to pinch myself. Can't wait until I can share the cover and release date for my debut novel....... =) 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dream Team

While I sat in the car yesterday for hours and hours and hours and hours (driving to and from Yosemite), my brain kept drifting to a couple things: how the hell I'm going to finish my next book and the casting announcement for Fifty Shades of Grey. Random thoughts, I know. 

I would be lying if I said I had no actor/actress in mind for the unlikely film adaptation of my trilogy. I have a secret Pinterest board with all of them in full color. Wishful thinking at its finest. But as an avid reader I often found myself averse to having a book turned into a movie. My imagination is so vivid I like to create my own version of the world an author puts on a page. There have been many times I've seen the movie version of a book I loved and was totally disappointed by casting decisions or the director's vision or what have you. Yes, movies are awesome and who wouldn't want to see their world interpreted on screen? The thing is....a reader's mind is so subjective *nobody* will ever be good enough to match who they pictured as the main hero or heroine. Even the actors I chose for my "dream team" cast on my secret Pinterest page don't completely embody the hero and heroine I created. Okay, one of them does but that's besides the point. 

The backlash I saw online yesterday about the decision to cast Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey was horrid. Grown women were throwing fits because their version of a fictional character wasn't cast. Someone even tweeted to the producer that she hated him. Hate is a strong word. It's only a movie. There are numerous factors that go into casting a role. I do not envy casting directors, although I think their job is pretty cool. 

As a new author with high hopes and all sorts of aspirations for the books I'm writing, reactions like that scare me. Obviously, not every book is made into a movie or TV show so I'll probably just stare at my Pinterest board forever. 

I mean, honestly, is Charlie really that bad?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Road Tripping. (Or, just tripping)

For anyone who hasn't driven across the country, the idea sounds so epic and adventurous, right? To a certain extent, yes. I did it once with a good friend when we snuck out of Los Angeles in the wee hours of the morning to drive back to Massachusetts. But I was only 22 and everything was fun back then. (Even driving through Kansas at night and inhaling cow manure the entire time. No, wait. That wasn't fun either).

Flash forward to January 2013. A cross-country trip back to California. Another adventure. Will it still be just as fun?

1. Everything is enjoyable for the first 20 minutes.
The car is packed, good-byes are said and then *poof*....nothing but open road. Oh, and screaming cats. Seriously. 

Yes, they're in a doggie crate. It was huge, but they chose to smush 
themselves in the corner closest to me.

For the record, Brady meowed from Rhode Island to Ohio. No joke. 

2. Once you get past Chicago, don't expect to see ANYTHING of interest.
Aside from experiencing the enigma that is "lake effect snow," driving west through the Northeast is enjoyable. There are mountains, cities, lots of rest areas, etc. You know, civilization. Once you leave Chicago, everything disappears. That includes Dunkin Donuts. (What I wouldn't give for a French Vanilla Iced Coffee...) Be prepared for flat land, straight roads and hours upon hours of nothing.

The bear was bored, too

3. Driving through time zones is a torturous, slow form of jet-lag.
Your body will be extremely confused, slightly angry and definitely cursing your very existence. The Central time zone isn't that bad, it's the Mountain one that starts to wreak havoc. 

Chasing the sun. Why can't I catch you?!?!?

4. Living in hotels with cats.
This needs its own blog. Between the two of us struggling to get the travel cage out of the car without it opening and unleashing the furry beasts to pushing it through the lobby on a luggage-transport-thingy as quickly as possible because Brady is screaming bloody murder, traveling with pets is a special type of insanity. 

5. Keeping up appearances
Highway travel should have its own reality show. Dazed travelers! Tired truck drivers! Generic service areas! Filthy cars! It's almost, *almost* like The Walking Dead, without the flesh eating zombies.

Don't look directly at the filthy beast

6. Other-worldly scenery
Parts of Utah were covered in so much snow and ice, I thought I was approaching The Wall in Game of Thrones.


7. It gets better....
If you survive driving through the "fly-over states" you'll be rewarded. Just when you've reached the edge of sanity and can't bring yourself to look at another farm or cow or amber wave of grain, you see it looming the distance. A mountain. A change of scenery. A curve in the road. Is it real? For the sake of cramped leg muscles and stale conversation, it better be.

They do exist!

8. A collective sigh
Civilization. People. Other cars besides massive tractor-trailers. The destination is within reach. At this point in the journey, you're just so happy to almost be done with it that genuine excitement makes an appearance. Translated: GET ME OUT OF THIS CAR!!!!

So close, yet still two hours away.

9. The pay-off
Spending five days trapped in a car with another person does something to the human psyche. It re-balances it. It also makes you want to spend a month in a cabin, alone. Maybe that's just me. In any case, once we reached our final destination, we did the unthinkable. We got back in the car and explored our new home*. It'll do, for now.

DISCLAIMER: I enjoy traveling as much as the next person, probably more. I think everyone should experience what it's like to drive across these United States.  

* I used the word home loosely. San Francisco is not home. Boston is home and I miss it terribly. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You Can Take the Girl Out of New England.....

"After all, things change, so do cities." 

Life according to Sex and the City. I used to watch that show ad nauseam and can probably quote every single episode if you asked me to. I started watching it again on the Style Network at Christmas. For some reason, reliving my late twenties and early thirties has been joyfully cathartic. For those who are curious, I'm a Charlotte, and always will be.

I do have a point with all this. It's not just about the TV show.

In a few days, I'm moving to northern California, near San Francisco. The old me would be leaping for joy at the thought of a new adventure. I'm not shy when it comes to traveling. Over the past decade, I've been to Iceland, England, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas. I've lived in several cities in these United States as well; Los Angeles, Orlando and Boston. 

Boston is home. Technically, Rhode Island is "home." Okay fine, New England is home. When I left the sweltering, oppressive heat of Orlando and moved back here in 2004 I vowed this is where I'd stay. Why would I want to leave again? I love the cold and snow, I love Boston, I love the Patriots. What else do I need? The only other city I ever wanted to live in was London, and that's still on my list of things to do before I turn 80.

Why northern California?

The Dane got an awesome job at Google. As much as I wish the office were located down the street in Cambridge, it's not. It's in Mountain View. I don't want this to come out the wrong way, but I've never had a desire to go to northern California. I liked Los Angeles, but that was about it. Believe me, I've had people coming at me from all directions telling me how great it's going to be, how much I'm going to love it there, how fabulous the vineyards are, etc., etc., etc. 

I get it. 

I'm getting excited. It's taken me a few months, but I'm getting excited. We're driving across the country starting next Monday. Me, the Dane and my two cats. I'm bringing my digital camera and this laptop to document the tomfoolery that is bound to take place as I leave....

...and make my way towards.....

By all means, follow along on this adventure. I promise it'll be entertaining.

"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  - Henry Miller