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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Breaking Dawn versus Sisters of Misery--It's ON!

I've only recently started the annoying writer habit of checking my Amazon.com rankings incessantly. I was warned that it might happen. I've known writers that have become OBSESSED with it. But I never thought it would happen to me. I've been pretty good about not checking it every five minutes (maybe every five hours or so). Yet, my husband has become obsessed enough for both of us. And that's not a good thing. He can't check my ranking at work, so he calls me to find out what the number is.

I've stopped answering his calls.

The first thing he asks when he walks through the door isn't "How was your day?" "How's Piper?" No, it's "What's the number?"

Perhaps it's because he works in the financial world where he deals with numbers all day long. Perhaps he's just a caring husband who is trying to support me and my career by showing interest.....lots of interest.

Whatever the case, it's starting to get to me. A little.

I've now started comparing my book, SISTERS OF MISERY, to the most popular YA novel series ever written (next to Harry Potter, of course.) Is it really fair that Stephenie Meyer's BREAKING DAWN resides in Amazon.com's highly coveted #1 spot and it hasn't even been released yet? Or that she has not one, not two, but four spots in the top 10? And six in the top 20? Is this the ONLY book that people want to read? I, myself, am a huge fan of Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight series, and I'm definitely going to buy Breaking Dawn when it comes out and (of course) see the movie Twilight.

I'm all about the Bella and Edward and Jacob love triangle. I get it. I like it. It's great. But really? Four spots in the top 10?

Am I jealous? Yes, of course. Anyone who says they aren't is lying. But these Amazon rankings are seriously driving me nuts. Especially now that my husband has gotten into it, it's really annoying.

So in closing, as of July 30th, 2008:

Breaking Dawn = #1 Amazon
Sisters of Misery - #147,967 Amazon

And my book is out! It's been out for two days!!

All I can say is, watch your back, Meyer. I'm creeping up on you.

Animated E-Card for SISTERS OF MISERY....part deux



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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

GCC Tours More Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet by Lola Douglas


Lola Douglas's latest novel, More Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet, is a sequel to True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet, which has been turned into a Lifetime movie airing August 9th, at 9 p.m. Lola (or Lara as she is also known) will be blogging LIVE during the premiere of the Lifetime movie on 8/9 at 9 p.m. Definitely check it out!

Here's a quick summary of her newest book:

Just when Morgan Carter was falling in love with the simple life she'd built in Fort Wayne, Indiana, her true identity as an infamous Hollywood starlet was exposed. Now Morgan has a choice to make: return to her glamorous movie star existence--or stick with the wholesome life, and the new love, she's found in the Midwest. In this sequel to True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet, Lola Douglas's heartfelt prose and headstrong heroine return to delight readers.



Lola was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer some quick questions for me as part of the Girlfriend Cyber Circuit (GCC) tour:


__________________________________________


In my debut novel, SISTERS OF MISERY, the main group of mean girls call themselves the Sisters of Misery since they take part in orientation rituals on Misery Island. Here are some questions for you about your own cliques (hopefully they aren’t as mean as the ones in my story!)


Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it’s completed?

I’ve been fortunate to be part of two very wonderful – and very different – writing groups. The first consisted of classmates from the MFA program at Emerson College. Four out of five of us sold our first novels within a year of each other. The fifth member sold his after taking a hiatus to be a stay-at-home dad.

That group disbanded after a couple of years, mostly because all of us were on different pub schedules and had different needs. Now I work with a group of talented women locally. They actually all started as writing students of mine at a YMCA class. That was five years ago. Back then, I couldn’t get them to commit to writing three paragraphs for homework. These days they’re all working on novels. We call ourselves the WIPs, for Works In Progress.


I’m not private about first drafts, but I’m not eager to have a lot of eyes on them, either. My mom doesn’t get to read my stuff until the galley stage. My fiancĂ© waits until publication.


What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?

Fellow GCC’er Laurie Stolarz and I started out in YA around the same time at Emerson College. I feel like we grew up together, at least in terms of this genre and this business. My second novel, CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE, is dedicated to her and our grad school mentor, Lisa Jahn-Clough. Liz Gallagher is another student of Lisa’s who Lisa introduced me to over e-mail. Her parents lived near mine, so one Christmas when she was home for a visit we grabbed lunch. We quickly became good friends because we’re so much alike and have followed similar paths. Finally, another GCC’er, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, is my pop culture soul sister. We keep in touch mostly through our blogs, but seriously – the two of us could throw the most kick-ass slumber party ever.


Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?

My Lola books have been compared to Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series, I guess because they’re funny and laden with pop culture references. Also, because of the subject matter, they’re often grouped with other books having to do with celebrity culture.


What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).

I’d want Sarah Dessen, E. Lockhart, and Meg Cabot, no question. Also Megan McCafferty, Jennifer Weiner, and Janet Evanovich. I know that last one seems a little out of place but every woman in my life is addicted to the Stephanie Plum series, and I got indoctrinated last spring. They are hilarious! Total mind candy.


Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I’d want to pick it for my own book club.

MORE CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD STARLET is my second installment in a series about Morgan Carter, who's loosely based on a young Drew Barrymore (and not Lindsay Lohan, as most readers assume). At 16, Morgan OD's outside of L.A.'s notorious viper room and almost dies. So her mother and agent ship her off to rehab for six months. When she emerges, she can't get any work. So her agent cooks up this scheme in which Morgan will go live with a family friend in Indiana and attend high school undercover, then emerge a year later and write a tell-all novel that will re-launch her career. This is all in the first book, TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD STARLET, which was adapted into a TV movie that premiers on Lifetime August 9th at 9 p.m.


So MORE CONFESSIONS picks up a month after Morgan's been outed and has decided to stay in Indiana to finish out her school year. Only instead of constantly worrying about her secret identity getting exposed, now she's faced with a whole new set of problems: the paparazzi stalking her on school grounds, her love interest feeling insecure now that he knows he's involved with a famous actress, her mother pressuring her to lose weight and clean up her image, and an old co-star claiming to be involved with her because it makes for good press.


I've been a fan of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series since its inception, and I'd really wanted to try my hand at a diary format novel. So I tried to think of whose diary I'd want to read. Drew was the first person who popped into my mind. I chose Fort Wayne as the setting because I lived there for several months after college and it was a total culture shock. I thought, what better way to throw a teen starlet out of her element than to send her to a mostly land-locked state that's a good three-hour drive from the nearest big city?


Both books are fun summer reads – you can even buy TRUE CONFESSIONS in a splash-proof paperback version!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SISTERS OF MISERY IS ON SALE TODAY!!!!

Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day!Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day!Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day!Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day!Today's the day! Today's the day!Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day!Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day!Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day!



What are you still doing here reading this post? Go out and buy a copy of SISTERS OF MISERY at your local bookstore!! (Or at least make sure that they have some in stock!) Come on, where's the love? Where's the support? It takes a village, right? So get on out there. Make me proud!!

:)

sigh.....too much coffee...not enough sleep....too much coffee...not enough sleep....



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More thanks to bloggers!

Thanks to more bloggers for their wonderfully kind reviews for SISTERS OF MISERY:

Amateur De Livre Weblog

No More Grumpy Bookseller (who will also be posting her review on BookBitch later on this month.)

This weekend I'm going to attend the highly anticipated launch party for Brunonia Barry's THE LACE READER. I can't wait to catch up with her. Haven't seen her since BEA this past June. This summer must be an absolute whirlwind for her. The party is taking place on the Friendship in Salem, MA and will most likely be a blast. Just hope the weather cooperates. It's been pretty stormy lately, so I'm hoping for sunny weather. However, it is New England. So you never know...

Sisters of Misery will officially be coming out next week and I'm beyond excited. I'll keep everyone posted.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My animated e-card.




I know...it's not really working like it's supposed to. I need to look into this a little more...check back later...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Book Bloggers Rock!

Just want to give a quick shout out to the ultra-fabulous book bloggers: J. Kaye Oldner's Book Blog and Bookluver-Carol's Reviews for their wonderful early reviews on Sisters of Misery. I believe that J. Kaye is currently holding a contest for her copy of Sisters of Misery. Thank you so much for helping spread the word on my debut novel. You've made a debut novelist feel very, very honored and beyond happy. Thank you!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another mention of SISTERS OF MISERY!

I'm not sure if this is only running on Publisher's Weekly online, or if it also going to be in the print version, but here is an article about SISTERS OF MISERY and Kensington Publishing.
Here's the link:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6576982.html?nid=2788


"A novel (Danielle) Chiotti believes will “provide a solid cornerstone for this imprint” is Megan Kelley Hall’s Sisters of Misery, which involves witchcraft, runic mythology, the supernatural, family ties and an ominous high-school clique. Due next month, this first novel is set in a Massachusetts town with echoes of Salem (of witchcraft trials fame) and introduces three generations of women. “What appealed to me when I first read this manuscript was the novel’s voice as well as its subject matter,” says the editor. “I was drawn in by this heroine who is plunged into the scary high school world and wants so desperately to fit in. It is a story about choosing paths and dealing with the consequences and it is very compelling.”

Hall, who founded a literary publicity company (Kelley and Hall Book PR) with her mother and sister in 2005, had penned numerous magazine articles before realizing her dream of becoming a novelist. Two years ago, at age 32, she had open heart surgery after suffering a series of strokes and was housebound for four months while recuperating. “I took a negative situation and turned it into a positive,” she says, explaining that she focused her recovery time on writing her novel. “Within a year I had finished the book, found a literary agent and landed a book deal. I realized that if I wanted to do this, it was the time to do it. I seized the day.'"

Now I don't remember saying "I seized the day," although that would be very Dead Poet's Society of me. (I probably did say it. I'm terrible in interviews. My mouth just keeps going and going and I have no idea what will come out. I'm great at coaching people for interviews, or talking other author's books up, but when it comes to talking about myself or my own work, I just freak and blurt whatever comes into my head at that moment.) But Danielle, my brilliant, amazing, lovely editor said some really wonderful things about SISTERS OF MISERY (thank you, Danielle! You're a rock star!) I couldn't have asked for a better editor going through this crazy process of having a debut book published. She's gone above and WAY beyond and I'm forever indebted to her for that.

So anyway, Carpe Diem! ha ha!

Good luck comes in threes and so do articles (it seems for me at least) and the Boston Magazine article will be running in August about witchy Salem trends in publishing. Who knew I'd be a trendsetter? Not me, that's for sure. I'll keep you posted on that piece when it comes out.

Now I have to go back to writing my second book in the series....The Lost Sister.

I'll blog more about my writing process in my next post. It's very low-key and laid back and completely haphazard. There really is no process. That's the scariest part. I'm hoping to channel some of that creepy inspiration for my next book (I'm already 50 pages in and I know what's going to happen, but when I start writing, things can change and go in a different direction on the fly.) I'll go into more detail about that later. I know how some authors say that the characters whisper into their ear, but that just doesn't happen--at least not to me. And believe me, I've waited and listened. But no voices are in my head (and that's a good thing, I would think. If Kate or Cordelia or Maddie started whispering in my ear, I'd be in a lot more trouble than just being behind on a deadline.)

By the way, I wanted to give a shout out to The Story Siren Blog for doing a contest and giving away a copy of SISTERS OF MISERY. Thanks so much for including me in your July giveaway. I love your blog and I'm so excited to do a guest blog on July 24th.

See you there!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

USA TODAY!!!!!

USA TODAY!!!!

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2008-07-09-salem-novels_N.htm

I'm in shock. I'm totally indebted to my insanely talented and unbelievably magical literary publicity company, Kelley and Hall Book PR. They pitched a piece for USA Today that included my book with two of the top books of the summer and the amazing Carol Memmott ran with it and made a debut author's dream come true!!! She even used MY cover as the lead cover for the piece.

There really is magic in Salem (or at least in the town of Marblehead next door where Kelley and Hall is based). They are truly miracle workers (and I know I'm biased because I'm related, but so what!)

I can't say thank you enough!

But I'll try...

Thank you, Kelley and Hall Literary Publicity! Thank you, Carol Memmott!! Thank you, USA Today! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I sound like an Alanis Morrisette song...