Summer means book shilling-and-signing, which is a terribly exciting prospect, but an exhausting one for an introvert. Just like teaching! Introverts who toil in a profession that favors extroverts need downtime to recover. While writing is a very introverted activity, selling is not. So I have taken on a passel of extrovert interns for the summer to "pinch blog" for me when I am in recovery mode.
Dedicated or intermittent readers (or late arrivals who have surfed the categories) will recognize these faces...
Intern Bruce: Though he is in Budapest, Hungary filming his latest Die Hard flick, "A Good Day to Die Hard," (the title is enough to make one swoon in the stacks) he eagerly agreed to contribute posts... something about lots of downtime waiting for the cinematographer and gaffers and best boys to get their, er, stuff together. Don't laugh! He's surprisingly erudite for an action hero. And he has already contributed a post, History of Hair: Part I, on The Mullet, a 'do which he swears he's never worn... and I confess I have been unable to find any photographic evidence to the contrary.
Intern George: Although he is in the middle of a European tour re-imagining his hits with the assistance of a full orchestra, writing new songs, and soon to enter rehearsals as one of the acts in the Closing Ceremonies for the August 2012 Olympics in London, he graciously offered to pen a few posts. The man is simply indefatigable!
50 Shades of Gosling
Intern Ryan: the Librarian's favorite pin-up volunteered to whip up some new memes, although I told him that cat-centric submissions would be perfectly acceptable. Ryan has been dashing around his native Canada lately, visiting Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, last week to see his mother, Donna, graduate with a bachelor's in education. He also visited Niagara Falls (on the Canadian side) with gal pal Eva Mendes. He promises to send a post with pix on his "Ya-hey-der" adventures.
I tried to coax James Franco into contributing a few poems, but unfortunately he feels that he is just too over-committed to do right by the task, as he is finishing up some short stories, directing dance pieces and exhibiting multimedia art, including an exhibition this month at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles called "Rebel," based on the James Dean movie Rebel Without a Cause, all while working on degrees from Columbia and Yale. I'm exhausted just contemplating that schedule!
I'm with the band... in Tel Aviv.
Madonna volunteered to scribble a few posts (most likely driven by self-interest in promoting her MDNA tour), but I turned her down... alas, one diva is more than enough for this blog.
Amanda Knox, convicted murderer, whose conviction was later overturned by an Italian appeals court, just signed a $4 million dollar deal with Harper Collins. Earlier this week, Italian prosecutors asked the country's highest criminal
court to reinstate the murder convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. Prosecutor Giovanni Galati said he is "very convinced" that Sollecito and Knox were responsible for the Nov. 1, 2007, stabbing death of British student Meredith Kercher, who shared an apartment with Knox in Perugia, Italy.
One hopes the public will stay away from this stinkhole and spend their money on something more deserving of their time and hard-earned cash... it's the only way that publishers will stop bending over for "celebrity" authors.
Prediction: Casey Anthony and Drew Peterson will soon enjoy similar rewards...
A few days ago, the Remainders 4-Ever bookstore hosted a celebrity authors panel, bringing together 5 diverse women to discuss their recently published works and the mysteries of the writing process. The following is a transcript of the lively conversation.
Moderator: Welcome, ladies. First of all, the hot burning question on everyone's mind: you have all achieved a level of fame and/or notoriety in our popular culture to the degree that you belong to the pantheon of stars known by a single name. So why go into writing, a traditionally solitary pursuit conducted outside of the spotlight?
Tyra: It's all about the brand.
Moderator: The brand?
Tyra: Yes, the Brand. My brand. Expanding the brand into new markets. Look, I'm a model, a reality-TV show star, a successful entrepreneur. But that leaves a lot of world still to be conquered. The YA market is booming. I figured it was the perfect opportunity to expand my empire. Model Land, my YA novel, is the result.
Hilary: (after consulting with a pale woman sitting behind her) I am so down with that.
Moderator: May I ask, Hilary, who is that person sitting behind you?
Hilary: What person?
Moderator: The woman sitting behind you.
Hilary: There's a person sitting behind me? (looks furtively) Oh, that person. That's just Elise.
Hilary: All right, I confess. She's my ghost speaker.
Moderator: Don't you mean 'ghostwriter?'
Hilary: Well, that, too.
Moderator: So you are willing to admit that you didn't write your young adult novel, Elixir?
Hilary: (whispering with Elise) Well, I'm a horrible speller. I can't spell a lick. When we were working on the title, I was sure it was spelled 'h-e-l-i-c-k-s-h-e-r.'
Moderator: Have you ever heard of the spellcheck feature in your word processing program?
Hilary: (whispering with Elise) Well, sure, that's a tremendous help. But I'm a little weak on the keyboarding as well. (giggles) But I can text. I'm all thumbs! (whispers with Elise) Look, I had an idea and she fleshed it out. Like, totally. She's an awesome writer.
Moderator: But that's your name on the cover.
Hilary: Well, like Tyra said, I've got the brand. Actress, singer, perfume designer, I mean, people know my name. Teens and tweens know my name. I sell.
Moderator: So, in other words, if the novel had been published under Elise's name, it wouldn't have sold? On its own merits?
Hilary: (whispering to Elise, who begins to weep silently) Whatever...
Moderator: Snooki, let me ask you, was your brand on your mind when you wrote A Shore Thing?
Moderator: Your brand? Was it on your mind?
Snooki: No, I was thinking about a nice juiced hot tanned guido.
Moderator: So A Shore Thing, which you must admit, did not sell very well considering all the publicity surrounding it's publication, so it was a roman a clef?
Snooki: Huh? What the #$%!&*$% are you sayin'?
Moderator: Roman a clef. It's a literary... thing.
Snooki: Yo, I don't read books. I don't write books. But I can sign my name on the back of a check. And that's what school's done for me. Cursive writing in the 3rd grade got me where I am today.
Tyra: Now see, this is what I'm talking about. You think I was gonna hold back from expanding my brand when an empty-headed, fake-ass tanorexic like that is getting a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster? I am absolutely more fabulous-than-thou, fierce as they come, and my tan is real. I have a bod for sin and a brain for business.
Moderator: Isn't that a line from some movie?
Tyra: Do I look like I care, honey? Do you think that these tweens and teens really care? I mean, they ate up that crap that Stephenie Meyer was serving. I mean, that crap was like Uncle Ben's Instant is to real Rice. That's a joke, get it? See I know my literary stuff, too. Anne Rice? Interview with the frickin' Vampire?
Moderator: Yes, well, moving on to you, Nicole. In your memoir - er - novel, The Thing About Diamonds, the plot centers around Chloe, a beautiful girl adopted by a famous singer who grows up in the hard-partying world of Hollywood night clubs. So, where did you get your ideas?
Nicole: (giggling) You know what they say, write about what you know.
Moderator: Paris, in your book Confessions of an Heiress, did you follow that advice as well?
Paris: I don't listen to a word Miss Thing says anymore.
Moderator: Well, it's not Nicole's advice. It's advice given to writers just...
Lauren: Look, you know, it's all about the fame.
Moderator: Hmmm, isn't that one of Lady Gaga's--
Lauren: Oh, please, who's original anymore? I've been on two, that's right, Snooki, two reality-TV shows. And it's the name that counts. Didn't you see that video of the two guidettes who actually bought Spray-tan's book? They told the reporter they weren't even planning to read the thing. They just wanted it cuz of the name attached.
Tyra: Fame is the name of the game.
Moderator: (audible sigh) More plagiarism. Don't you ladies have any original thoughts in your brains?
Hilary: (as Elise whispers in her ear) All my thoughts are original.
Tyra: Honey, originality is highly over-rated. Why do you think every other book in the store is a flippin' paranormal romance right now? They want more where that came from. They want to know who else you're like ...not if you have an original voice.
Snooki: (being restrained from commiting a violent act by a security guard) Well, ain't no one like me! I am the original guidette!
Moderator: (wiping brow) Thank god for small favors.
Tyra: Don't believe it. She's a dime a dozen. That's the problem. Too many bubble-heads with brands.
Snooki: (being hauled away by security guard) Look b*%$^!h, I'm gonna use my brand for good. After I run for president, I would get $h!t done in this country. The economy would rise, everyone would be tan, and all the radios would play house music.
Moderator: That's really all the discussion that we have time for... time to sell and sign!
To find out more about me, click on the Not Your Average Jo tab.