Friday, December 27, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
|Guest blogger Yona Zeldis|
|Yona's latest novel Two of a Kind is |
Monday, July 15, 2013
*A major giveaway of Happy Any Day Now is up and running on the review site Goodreads. Click on over to Goodreads and enter to win one of twenty-five copies of the book. It's a great place to check out reader comments about all the latest releases. And you can post reviews of your favorites.
*On another front, I’m thrilled to let you know that Happy Any Day Now will be out as an audio book, produced by Tantor Media and narrated by Donna Postel. You’ll probably recognize Donna’s engagingly warm voice from the thousands of commercials she’s done and the many audio books she’s recorded. In a recent email to me, she wrote: “I finished recording today, which is normally a cause for celebration, but I just didn't want this one to end!” I can hardly wait to hear the story read aloud by this wonderful voice-over actress.
*Also, a reminder that as we head to the August 6th pub date, Happy Any Day Now is currently available for pre-order at online booksellers (there are hotlinks to a slew of them on my website 's homepage) and in traditional “brick and mortar” bookstores. Readers can choose from a smorgasbord of formats: trade paperback for those of us who still like to turn pages, electronically for e-readers such as Kindle and Nook, plus the aforementioned audio book, and in MP3 for download. Whatever the device, there should be version designed for it.
*My heartfelt thanks to Romantic Times for awarding Happy Any Day Now four stars in its "mainstream fiction" category. RT's advance review says, “This humorous tale of love and life...will have you laughing one minute and tearing up the next.” And no, HADN is not a romance novel, but love always plays an important role in my characters’ lives, and with two flawed but fascinating men vying for her attention, Judith Soo Jin Raphael gets caught up in a sizzling triangle that rewrites her past and threatens her future.
*Sometimes you need to take a break from writing and move to something that's also creatively satisfying, but high in calories. My most recent bout of cooking fever was inspired by two books. Last January, I fell in love with and blogged about Erica Bauermeister's The School of Essential Ingredients http://midlifepassions.blogspot.com/2013_01_01_archive.html Now, its luscious sequel, The Lost Art of Mixing, propelled me back into the kitchen, and Nancy Baggett's All-American Dessert Book provided the recipe for a summer fruit cobbler (visit Nancy's blog http://www.kitchenlane.com/)that was a sweet hit at a dinner party this weekend.
*Finally, I love talking about Happy Any Day Now--the book's characters, plot and themes, how I came to write the story (a grandmother I never met and a cousin I hardly knew were major inspirations), and the joy and pain associated with creating a novel. My calendar is starting to fill, so if you're interested in having me speak to your organization, book club or group, drop me a line at email@example.com.
And I always enjoy hearing from you and about you on this blog.
Monday, June 10, 2013
In the name of full disclosure, I should tell you that in junior high school I was awarded first place in a public speaking contest for my rendition of Lewis Carroll's poem, "Father William." To this day, I have friends who might not remember what they ate for breakfast, but still vividly recall my stroking an imaginary beard as I intoned, “’In my youth,’ said the sage...” Worse still: in high school I was voted a Senior Celeb. Not "Class Cutie" or "Girl Most Likely to Succeed," but "Class Orator." The only thing that saved me from terminal geekiness was that I was also an Erasmus Hall Booster, the equivalent of cheerleader, probably because my voice had been groomed to booming by my reading bible verses aloud on stage every Friday at chapel (my public school had been founded by the Dutch Reformed Church and did its own thing).
Saturday, March 16, 2013
And now, although I’ve never been taller than 5‘ 3” in my life, it’s my turn to be The Next Big Thing!
|Seeing Midlife Crisis on the bookstore shelf|
for the first time was a major thrill!
1. What is the working title of your book?
One strong thread of that plot came from a different direction. Having people from high school and college find me on Facebook and other sources online, sparked the theme of loss and return. What happens when important figures from your past suddenly barge into your present to make mischief? I had fun exploring that theme and constructing the narrative around it.
That’s as close as I can get to the source of the book’s origin. I try not to over-analyze the creative process. It’s like sleight-of-hand. You don’t want to look too closely. My theory is: don’t mess with the magic.
It’s difficult to cast Judith and Grace because there are few Asian-American actors in the spotlight. Shame. But Lucy Liu would be perfect for Judith Soo Jin Raphael. Kathy Bates has Grace’s build and sly sense of humor. I think Daniel Crag would be spot-on as Geoff, Judith’s big, bluff Australian boyfriend. And for Charlie, the judge who resurfaces to shake-up her life, Bradley Cooper, but aged by ten years with some laugh lines and a little gray in the hair. He’s got to lose the beard, though—Charles Evans Pruitt would only wear a beard if he broke the hand that held his razor. Cooper’s got the elegance, the intelligence, and Charlie’s electric blue eyes that Judith finds so hypnotic. Also, as her father, that rascal Irwin—Richard Drayfuss.
I have had an agent for my past two books—a wonderful one, Elaine English. She handles only women’s fiction and is currently not taking on new clients. She’s been more than an agent really; she she’s been a mentor and a friend.
Happy Any Day Now and the book to follow will be published by Penguin/New American Library. Pub date for Happy Any Day Now is scheduled for this coming August. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon right now.
I’m already working on the next novel a stand-alone with a whole new cast, fresh settings, and different challenges. It’s been fun writing so far.
Almost a year. But that was the first draft. There were four or five more. I kept coming up with ways to sharpen a plot point, add nuance to a character, prune extraneous material. I know writers who disparage the editing process. But that’s where the story really comes to life, in the editing. It’s the polishing that makes it shine.
I can’t distance myself far enough to make that kind of judgment. The story is still too fresh and the characters too present. Ask me again in five years when I hope to have a grander perspective.
On a more personal level, when things get tough in my life, especially in the writing aspect, I look to my daughter—my greatest accomplishment—whose confidence in me never falters. “Just a speed bump” she tells me, when I hit one with teeth-rattling force. Kids and grandkids are inspiring. You want to make them proud, and you want to serve as an example that creative expression is an essential part of a rich life.
Coming Up On Next Big Thing! Alan Zendell writes that he has been a physicist, engineer, and software developer. Later in life, he turned to writing fiction. His name is attached to three novels, a number of short stories, and an epic novel which is currently being serialized. His first love is science fiction, but he has a soft spot for romance and marriage which manages to peek out of everything he writes. Alan will discuss his well-reviewed novel, The Portal, next Friday at http://www.goodreads.com/
In the meantime, I'd love to hear questions or comments about my Next Big Thing! interview.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
|Have something sweet on Valentine's Day. The recipe for |
these cookies is on Nancy Baggett's delicious website
Share the love by posting comments about Valentine’s Day, love found, lost and misplaced, the best and worst of it. One response will receive an inscribed copy of My Favorite Midlife Crisis (Yet), a story of love, laughter, revenge and redemption. Winner of our last contest is Binnie Syril Braunstein for her chicken soup recipe. A copy of my new novel Happy Any Day Now (Penguin/NAL) will be on its way to Binnie at pub date in August.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
We would love to read your comments on the joys of cooking—or not cooking—at midife. And please share your favorite recipes. One will win for its author an inscribed copy of my next novel, Happy Any Day Now, coming out this summer.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
I cleared my throat to tell him what. In spades. But his wife beat me to it. She rolled her eyes, reached over and applied a very expert Three Stooges noogie to his balding pate before proceeding to explain in a barely controlled vibrato, “The woman has flown almost a million miles in the last four years. Do you know what an airplane's re-circulated air does to hair? Turns it to straw.”
It had come to this. Men commenting on Hillary’s hair. Okay, Rush Limbaugh gagging over an unfortunate upsweep do of Hillary’s and posting a Bride of Frankenstein doctored photo on his website. Rush, I can understand. But normal men?