Sunday, August 27, 2006

LAGUNA COVE featured in Justine magazine!

LAGUNA COVE is featured in the Aug/Sept issue of Justine magazine's Page Turners-- "New reads that'll make you want to finish your homework."

On newsstands now!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why are flight attendants always so__________? (Fill in the blank)

As a person who spent over a decade clad in blue polyester, support hose, and bunion inducing, pointy toed pumps, this is the question I get the most: Why are flight attendants always so- bitchy, grouchy, hostile, mean- fill in the blank.

Well, having been one, it’s hard for me to see them like that. I know them as my hardworking, hilarious, former coworkers who can take the worst hell trip and make it, well, a little less hellish. Though if by chance, you do come across someone intent on wrecking your flight, it may have something to do with this:

Sent to me last week by a flight attendant friend(who shall remain nameless),and picked up today by the Today show (I swear Matt Lauer looked truly disturbed), it seems the good people at Northwest Airlines, in yet another ill-advised act of nincompoop employee relations distributed a booklet of money saving tips to workers whose jobs will likely be cut the second the airline can outsource them.

The booklet, meant to encourage employees to “manage their money better” and “prepare for financial emergencies,” included the following helpful tips:

Instead of dining out at an overpriced restaurant, or spending your hard earned dough on popcorn and a movie, why not take “a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods.” - Yes, in the woods, where no one can hear you scream.

Tip #48: “Move to a less expensive place to live.” --Gee, I never thought of that!

Tip #59- “Never grocery shop hungry.” --Thanks mom!

But the best, most helpful tip of all urges one to not be “shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.”

A Northwest spokesman agrees that “some” of the suggestions “were a bit insensitive” and has removed the helpful tips from the booklet and their employee website.

I don’t know about you, but reading that sure made me a bit cranky, annoyed, grouchy, _____________ (fill in the blank).

Monday, August 21, 2006

Super Model

Recently my husband and I toured some model homes in one of the new Orange County developments. Not that we don’t love where we live, but sometimes you need to see all of your options to prove that you’re happy.

Also, I love to peek into those perfectly decorated, color-coordinated, pristine spaces, while trying to imagine some of my fictional families taking up residence. Which room would Alex pick? Would Rio really go for that silver framed puppy poster hanging on the far wall in the designated, upstairs, “teenage daughter” room?

In one house, we wandered into the great room (with optional stone fireplace), only to interrupt a large group of friends, lounging on the overstuffed sofas and chairs, doling out juice boxes to bored toddlers, and breastfeeding newborns, while extolling the virtues of plan 3 with the Tuscan elevation. Where they actors, hired for their ability to add a little “reality” to an otherwise artificial space? (They're doing this now, I read about it in the LA Times). Or have model homes become the new meet cute spot for the “play date” set?

But it was Residence B (total living area 4,073 square feet, with optional loft) that really left me gobsmacked. As after touring countless homes with their ubiquitous pink, teen dream rooms, it wasn’t until this particular one that I found a copy of “Faking 19,” placed on the nightstand, next to the lamp. And after jumping in glee, waving it around, and announcing to everyone browsing the second floor that I was the author, I put it back, careful to angle it in just the right way, while wondering if it was included because of the content, or, more likely, because the cover matched the color scheme.

Either way, it didn’t matter. Because seeing my book among all those carefully chosen, teenage artifacts, made it feel like home.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

As someone who spent the last eleven years employed as a flight attendant for a major airline (actually twelve, if you count last year when I was still on the books, yet never once donned the blue polyester suit), I will state now, and for the record, that I have never, ever seen a snake on a plane.
Cockroaches? Yup.
Mice? Check.
Extremely bad, snake-like, venomous behavior by VFP’s (very famous people)? You bet.
But snakes? Not so much.
Although I did serve Samuel L. Jackson a bottle of water once, and I’m happy to report that he behaved very well.

I haven’t seen the movie. And I’ll be honest and say that I probably never will. Flight Attendant’s are unusually harsh critics of airplane movies. “They just never get it right,” we whine. Though all too often it’s true. The flight attendants are always portrayed as unbelievably ditzy, the pilots are cast as overwhelmingly sexy (as if), and the passengers are all well meaning, understanding, and far to willing to roll up their sleeves and help out (this rarely happens, I assure you). Besides, I’ve got plenty of my own airplane horror stories to last me a lifetime. Though unlike my friend and fellow scribe, Lori Jakiela- (if you haven’t read Miss New York has Everything, go get it, now!)- I was never licked by a passenger. Although I was tripped (on purpose), barfed on (may have been an accident, I’m still not sure), solicited (definitely sure on this one), screamed at by a VFP (I still won’t watch her show), and had a very finicky first class passenger demand that I obtain some “palate cleansing sorbet” immediately. I was used to the occasional odd request, all flight attendants are, but at 30,000 feet, flying over the middle of the Atlantic, in the middle of the night, well, it’s sort of awkward to just pop out and head over to the local market.

And even though the days were excruciatingly long, and even though my feet hurt for eleven years straight, and even though the majority of my layovers weren’t at all glamorous, I wouldn’t trade those memories for nothin’. I may have been encased in blue polyester for a good deal of the time, but I met some amazing people, worked with the best crews, and saw the world (for free!).

Though never once did I see a snake.

FLY ME TO THE MOON, my first adult novel, is about a 28 year-old flight attendant living in New York City. It will be released on Dec. 26, 2006.

Friday, August 04, 2006

This book made possible by. . .

One of my favorite parts of novel writing is crafting the acknowledgments page. Partly because I save it for last, just after having crawled out of my (cave) office, squinting into the sun, and surveying the wreckage, seeing who amongst all my friends and loved ones is still with me, having withstood my latest bout of phone avoiding, door closing, and overall fun shunning.

Acknowledgements rock. It’s a chance to (apologize, make amends), thank all the people I really care about, and show how much they mean to me by adding cryptic prose and inside jokes that only we understand. I like to think of it as an amazing dessert, the kind that hopefully follows one of those “I know it’s good for me but that doesn’t mean I have to like it” kinds of meals. And not to take away from, or in any way diminish the contribution made by those who truly do help keep me going and make it all possible, the truth is, if I were to write a real acknowledgements page, well, it would probably look like something like this:

I’d like to thank the good people at the Monarch Beach Starbucks for the friendly smiles, excellent service, and allowing me to invade that little round table in the corner, where I poached electricity and muttered under my breath for a full ten days last winter, when the FLY ME TO THE MOON deadline just happened to fall the exact same week the roofers showed up to reshingle my house.

Thank you to the makers of Proactive for saving my (life, chin, self-esteem, T-zone), skin. I mean, just because I write teen fiction, doesn’t mean I want to revisit my teen acne. And now, thanks to Proactive, I can concentrate less on zits and more on words. Are you listening Rodan & Fields? I am endorsing your product! For free even! Which is about two gazillion dollars less than what Jessica Simpson charged.

Muchos gracias to my good friends at the Dana Point, Ocean Ranch, Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt for providing a healthy, tasty, sugar rush, that has never let me down, and has helped me beat many a pending deadline.

I’m completely indebted to The Gap for creating the world’s best, most versatile, navy blue sweatpants. The one’s that take me from bed to chair to Starbucks to Golden Spoon to chair to couch and back to bed again in absolute comfort and style.

Also, thank you to Ugg, who probably without even realizing it, somehow managed to create the perfect pair of slippers to go with the aforementioned sweatpants.

And of course, huge thanks go out to Meg Cabot. Yes, that Meg Cabot. And even though we’ve never met, and even though I’m sure she has no idea who I am, I just couldn’t have done it without her. Seriously. Every time I feel like throwing it down and heading for the beach, I force myself to glance at my copy of ALL AMERICAN GIRL and think: What would Meg do? Would Meg be packing her beach bag when she had a book due? And even though I can’t say for sure, I like to think that she absolutely would not. I mean, you don’t get to publish a bazillion books a year by slacking off and hanging on the beach. So, yeah, thank you Meg.

But most of all thank you to the World Wide Web. Without you, I could never waste so much time, spend so much money, and learn so much useless information and actually call it research. That’s right, Defamer,, Daily Candy- I’m thanking you, for getting me through the day, and providing the laughs, insight, and credit card debt I so require to keep it going.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Win a new wardrobe!! (and a copy of my book!)

So, Laguna Cove was officially released last Tuesday, and today Alloy has started an awesome sweepstakes! Just go to: click on "Win" then click on "Laguna Cove" for your chance to win a $100 Alloy gift certificate and a copy of Laguna Cove!
Good luck everyone!