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Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Contest! And It's Not Mine!

From Lauren Barnholdt's Blog




(1) Your choice of either an iPod Shuffle, OR a fifty dollar Amazon.com gift certificate
(2) An autographed copy of REALITY CHICK by Lauren Barnholdt
(3) A copy of the August issue of Teen People, which lists REALITY CHICK as a Can't-Miss Pick for August
(4) Free tuition to a session of Lauren's YA writing class


STEP ONE: Simply copy and paste this whole message (including the info about the contest) into any blog, message board, email list, myspace bulletin, or anywhere a lot of people will see it!

REALITY CHICK by Lauren Barnholdt is NOW IN STORES!

Going away to college means total independence and freedom. Unless of
course your freshman year is taped and televised for all the world to
watch. On uncensored cable.

Sweet and normal Ally Cavanaugh is one of five freshpeople shacking up
on In the House, a reality show filmed on her college campus. (As if
school isn't panic-inducing enough!) The cameras stalk her like
paparazzi, but they also capture the fun that is new friends, old
crushes, and learning to live on your own.

Sure, the camera adds ten pounds, but with the freshman fifteen a given anyway, who cares?
Ally's got bigger issues -- like how her long-distance bf can watch her
loopy late-night "episode" with a certain housemate...

Freshman year on film.
It's outrageous.
It's juicy.
And like all good reality TV, it's impossible to turn off.


Check out Lauren on the web at www.laurenbarnholdt.com or on her myspace at www.myspace.com/laurenbarnholdt

STEP TWO -- Email Lauren at lauren (at) laurenbarnholdt.com and let her know you've posted about the contest and the book, and you'll be entered to win the prize pack! The winner will be picked at random on September 1st. The more places you post, the more entries you get. Have fun and good luck!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dang. Now THAT'S a Conference!

This past Thursday through Sunday morning, I was in NYC for the Backspace Conference. And holy crap, was it AMAZING.

First, the arrival. The Algonquin Hotel is simply magnificent. No, it's not as posh as a five-star Hilton. But it nearly hums with character. You have to wait forever for the elevators, which is probably why the wallpaper in the lobby has thousands of literary cartoons on it. And any hotel that has Matilda II the cat greeting you by the door, well, how could that be anything but cool? There's a literary history to the Algonquin (which I don't know/remember -- I read about it on one of their complimentary bottles of water), so it's the perfect hotel for this conference.

On Thursday night, a number of attendees hung out in the hotel lobby, just schmoozing, breaking the ice (but not the wine glasses), experiencing the "Holy cow, you're a real person!" thing. It was a lovely unofficial beginning to the conference. (Smooches to Heather, Brian, Keith, Lori, Deborah, Harry (heh, and Blondie, while I'm at it), Karen, Lynn, Deanna...whew, and everyone I'm missing!

Friday, Day One. Two panels at the same time, what to do? Heh. Actually, I really liked that there were two tracks -- and I think there was only one time that I really had to flip a coin to see which one to go to, because I couldn't clone myself (I left the machine back home; it didn't fit in my carry-on). The Agents Panel included Jeff Kleinman, Kristin Nelson, Laura Mennert and Randi Murray, and it was fabulous. Karen's a hell of a moderator, and the panelists were terrific.

Next for me was the Children's & Young Adult authors panel, with authors Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier, agent Laura Rennert, and Toran Isom, whom I want to say is a staunch supporter of YA and literacy, and I think she's a reviewer, but I'm blanking on the affiliation. She has a lovely Southern US accent and swigs cold medicine straight from the bottle. Another terrific panel, moderated by the lovely Lynn Sinclair, whose book RETURN TO ATEN is sitting on my desk, waiting to be read.

Next: Understanding the Editorial Mind, with Jerry Gross. The man is inspirational, passionate, and dedicated. It's so refreshing to hear about editors who, you know, edit. :-)

Then I had to eat, so I missed both the author spotlight with Caprice Crane and Jenny Bent, as well as Deborah Serra's screenwriting workshop. Ugh! I should have ordered a pizza and had it delivered. Next time... I met Deborah the night before, and she's FABULOUS.

Next, the "Buy this Book!" workshop, with Jeff K. moderating and Kristin as the publisher. Holy cow, people, even if you're already published, you really should experience this. It was fun, educational, a bit intense, and ended too soon (and that's with it going for two hours). Do this workshop. Really, really. (Unfortunately, I missed the thriller author's panel and Richard Curtis's keynote address. UGH. Next time, I will bring the cloning machine.) ((And no, Jeff, I am NOT being a kissass--I really dug the workshop!))

The mixer was wonderful. Who knew writers could talk so much? There was a table outside one of the two conference rooms that was used for promotional items. I realized, duh, put your book covers here! So I did.

Is next: Editor's panel, which had four editors talk about life on that side of the fence. Very cool, very interesting...but WAH, I missed Cornelia Read's author spotlight. (But hey, I DID get her to sign my copy of A FIELD OF DARKNESS.)

Then there was a cocktail hour. Authors + booze = The Stuff of Blackmail.

That night, there was an awards ceremony and banquet. Food was meh, but the people were terrific. Backspace Member of the Year was awarded to the sexy Comma Boy, and the Bob Kellogg Award went to Joe Konrath. Amazing writers, both of them -- and amazing people. Huge hugs to both of you.

Day Two. (Yes, there was some sleep beforehand.)

For me, the day opened with the amazing marketing panel, with MJ Rose and Susan Schwartzman. Oh. My. Goodness, this was AMAZING. I took four pages of notes. Terrific panel; I learned a lot. I've been on the fence about whether or not I should get an independent publicist, and this panel helped me quite a bit. I came up with a marketing strategy (a huge thanks to Renee Rosen for her input!), and I'm eager to hop on the promoting bandwagon!

After spending the next half hour talking to Susan, Heather, Lynn, Kim Reid and I skipped out for breakfast, and then Heather and I did some NYC shopping...including a marvelous trip to the NYC public library on Fifth Ave and 42nd. Alas, I missed a few panels -- and I heard they were terrific (literary fiction panel, literary fiction editors panel, Randi Murray's workshop, Hallie Ephron's workshop, Kristin's how-to-get-out-of-the-slush-pile workshop).

But then came Douglas Wright's keynote address. Folks, this alone was worth the trip. Utterly amazing.

Next for me: the women's fiction panel, moderated by the lovely Lauren Baratz-Logsted. Chick lit's not dead, it's just sleeping! (Kidding.)

During the afternoon mixer, I schmoozed with roughly a million people, including the marvelous Jeff Cohen, author of the Aaron Tucker Mystery series and Berkley's upcoming Comedy Tonight series, with his lead SOME LIKE IT HOT-BUTTERED. He's a fabulous guy -- smart, witty, damn funny, and so very generous with his time. I even had a few minutes with Joe Konrath, and had the chance to ask him some burning questions, like "500 bookstores in two minutes? How?" (Answer: That damn clone machine that I left home.)

The final panel for the conference was the Humor in Mystery panel, moderated by yours truly. The panelists -- Cornelia Read, Joe Konrath, Jeff Cohen, and Hallie Ephron -- were fabulous. (I was worried that I was going to vomit on my shoes. Which would have been particularly bad, as I was wearing open-toe sandals. Ick.) Me, I'm thankful that there was a stool behind the podium -- sitting on it, I was taller than if I would have been standing! Woot! I think the panel went well, but I'm rather biased. At the end, bestselling author Barry Eisler came up to shake my hand and thank me for calling on him to ask a question to the panel. (Oh man, did I blush like crazy!)

And...then it was over. About 15 of us went out for dinner that night...Heather, Rebecca, Numa, Brian, Lynn, Deanna, Karen, Marlys and her husband and son, Renee, Karen C., Rich...oh, gosh, many more, and I'm blanking on them! Wah! Short-term memory loss!

I had the pleasure to meet so many Backspace people, and they really were the ones who made the entire event as special as it was. I find the community to be very, very supportive and helpful, and I can't recommend it enough.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

New York City and Backspace!

I'm off to NYC and the Backspace Conference! I'll be back late Sunday.

Be good, kids. And if you're evil, don't get caught.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I'm thrilled to announce that my Brand! Spanking! New! website is live!

Jackie's Website

Monday, July 17, 2006

Coming soon...

...my website. :-)

Soon, soon, soon.

Me so excited!

Coming sooner: the 2006 Backspace Conference! This Friday and Saturday! WOOT!

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's The New Meez!

So, what do you think? (Shrink her down about five inches, add glasses, and show that she, you know, diggie the chocolate.)

Uber thanks to the lovely Heather Brewer (again!) for the Meez idea!

Sorry to do this, folks, but now comment moderation and proof of non-spambottage is in effect. (Drat those spam bots!)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Is Next...

So here I am, waiting for my trusted Beta Reader to finish reading THE ROAD TO HELL. It's a nice break away from the Jesseverse, and I'm absolutely not tweaking it. At all. Well, not much. Any more. While I wait. So, what to do?

Answer: Be productive.

I'm poring through Wild Child Publishing submissions, finally getting back to those wonderful souls who have been so terribly patient with me. Pretty sure I'll be accepting two rewrites today. Hooray!

Also, I've been asked to moderate a panel at next week's long-awaited Backspace Conference. The panel is about "Humor in Mystery." Mystery? Well, I know mystery meat very well. That works, right? Actually, I'm thrilled about this opportunity. The four panelists are all uber-talented authors, and I'm looking forward to meeting them, asking them questions, and concentrating on not vomiting on their shoes out of nerves. (Me and public speaking...er, got to work on that.) So I'm reading their books and going over the questions I'll be asking.

As per the lovely Heather Brewer, I should also, you know, be packing for the trip. ((Eyes outfits)) I should also stop eating for the next week.

I've started kicking around ideas for the next HELL book: HOTTER THAN HELL. Nothing solid yet; just mental flotsam. I bought a spiffy journal with the words PUBLISH OR PERISH stamped on the front; I'll plop my ideas down on those pages.

I wrote the dedication and acknowledgment pages for HB. Reviewing it tomorrow, then sending along to my editor.

My web designer is slaving away on the next round of mockups for my upcoming site. I've started drafting content.

So...what to do with ALL my free time?


THE MAGIC BRIGADE is back, peeps. Gonna finish that baby.

Heh. Why the Hell not?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Nooo! My Eyes!

My eyes hurt. Me, I'm blaming a bestselling author for it.

No, not the reason you're probably thinking. It's not eyestrain from reading way, way, waywayway past my bedtime because the book was Just That Good.

It's from all the damn eye rolling.

By page 9, I'd rolled my eyes more than ten times. The last three times were within a one-minute period.

And it wasn't from the HORRIFIC typos -- two -- that I'd caught so far (one was a punctuation slip, which I can forgive; the other, on page 3, was a stupid misspelling that even a brain-dead flea should have noticed).

It was from how damn unsympathetic the main character was. And by page 9, I officially had enough. So I skipped to the last chapter, learned how the book ends, and I realized that while I wasted an obscene amount of money buying this book (even a dollar would have been too much for it, it my most humble opinion) I was happy that now I won't be wasting an obscene amount of time suffering through the story.

My eyes are thanking me.

Moving on. Currently reading Cornelia Read's gripping A FIELD OF DARKNESS. Worlds better than the Unnamed Horror That Hurt My Eyes. Some of the lines are utterly brilliant. I can't wait to start quoting them to my friends.