Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tanya Lee Stone -- Carrie Bradshaw for teens (minus the shoe obsession)

Tanya Lee Stone is up next on the Girlfriend Cyber Circuit Tour. Her young adult novel A BAD BOY CAN BE GOOD FOR A GIRL sounds totally intriguing. As she puts it: Why are so many women attracted to the “bad” boy? You know him—you went to high school with one, and maybe were involved with that boy yourself. He’s the golden boy, maybe a star athlete, and always in the “in” crowd. And he is BAD with a capital B. But can being involved with the wrong guy end up being good for you?

Tanya explores this idea in her novel and takes an honest look at love and sex. A BAD BOY CAN BE GOOD FOR A GIRL is the story of three very different girls and their relationships with one bad boy.

Hmmm... if I wasn't married, I'd go out and get myself a bad boy... but since I am, I'll just have to go and get myself the book.

By the way, Tanya wrote an interesting article about sex in young adult literature. I agree with her when she says that "books are possibly the safest place for [teens] to learn about sex -- not just the physical part but also the complex web of emotions that accompanies it." I'd say that goes for grown-ups too, yes?

Tanya will be talking about sex and fiction during a Random House Teen Author Tour April 17-28. The tour stops in Chicago, Dayton, OH, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. Stone will be touring with three other authors, including fellow GCC member E. Lockhart for her new release, Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything. For event details closer to the date, check her website and hop on over to her Live Journal.

But, I know you really want to know, is she a TV watcher? Well, I made sure to ask...

I'm mainly a late-night TV watcher. I'd like to thank SoapNet for running 10 pm same-day episodes of General Hospital!

What's your favorite show ever?

Sex and the City! I also LOVE Jon Stewart's Daily Show.

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

Carrie Bradshaw, of course--minus the shoe obsession; the whole shopping gene in general passed me by, much to my sister's dismay.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

Nope--the tube doesn't make an appearance in Bad Boy.

Gee, I guess her characters must have been busy doing some other more interesting activities...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Johanna Edwards DOES watch TV and even has TiVo!

Author of YOUR BIG BREAK Johanna Edwards is my guest this week on the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit. Johanna wrote THE NEXT BIG THING, a bestselling novel about a woman who goes on a weight loss reality show. And this was before The Big Loser was ever on. I read the book, and it's lots of fun!

Her next one sounds great too. It's about a woman who "breaks people up" for money. But company rule #5 (do not get personally involved) is getting harder to obey. One of her dumpees is turning out to be the kind of guy she might just want to pick up on the rebound.

Maybe they'll make a reality show now about a woman for hire who breaks people up. Much more interesting that watching people get together, don't you think? I mean really, it's not a bad idea...

I asked Johanna my usual questions. Not surprisingly, she is no stranger to her TV set. And we definitely have similar tastes.

Are you a TV watcher?

Oh, yes, big time. I watch soooo many TV shows I'm almost ashamed to admit it! I love everything from hour-long dramas like Grey's Anatomy to reality shows like The Amazing Race. My TiVo is by best friend.

What's your favorite show ever?

Seinfeld is my favorite sitcom and Once & Again is my favorite drama. It's so hard to choose between the two!

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

I'm sure every girl around my age says this, but it would have to be Angela Chase from My So-Called Life.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

She doesn't...I guess she's totally different from me.

Hey, now that's fiction! Maybe I'll write a character who doesn't watch TV one day...

To find out more about Johanna and YOUR BIG BREAK, visit her at her website.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cindy Cruciger NOT a TV watcher

Next author up on the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit tour is Cindy Cruciger. She says her novel is "not your typical romance. This is not a romance for normal people. Revenge Gifts is a romance for the lunatic fringe."

The story?

REVENGE GIFTS takes place over thirteen days spanning a full moon. Tara Cole is an extremely powerful attractant to ghosts, specifically ghosts seeking revenge. One spirit attracted to Tara in particular is the voodoo loa Erzulie, goddess of love, envy, jealousy and revenge. In thirteen days Tara’s life is turned upside down by a Reversal of Fortune curse placed on her by an angry recipient of one of her revenge gifts.

Judging by her imagination, I don't think Cindy really needs a TV screen to take her into another dimension. So it's not surprising she doesn't indulge. I asked her my usual questions.

Are you a TV watcher?

Not really, no. But if someone in the house turns it on I will watch. Last weekend I watched "The Corpse Bride" at least three times. This complete inability of mine to watch a show once and get on with my life is why I try to avoid TV.

What's your favorite show ever?

Star Trek

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

I can't think of a single one. Weird.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

Tara hates TV. There is actually a joke in there where one of the characters (Sam) stays with Tara and freaks because she has no TV.

"Where's the TV?"
"There isn't one."
"Babe. You've got some serious issues."

People really do consider you an alien, she says, if you don't have a TV in your home.

Well, no judgments here... but considering Cindy does manage to resist TV like her main character, maybe we should investigate whether she has an actual birth certificate or not. She does have a website and you can find out more about here there. And while you're on her website, I dare you not to play with the fish!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

They'll always have Paris

Well, according to -- "Middle Tennessee's #1 Online News Source" -- Travis and Sarah were never able to get things going again after returning from Paris, so it's official. The ring he gave her to wear as a necklace will never make it to her finger. And I suppose they realized what many of us viewers already knew: we are boring together. Travis makes excuses about the time they spent apart making them grow apart because it was so unnatural. But perhaps even more true is that the time they spent together in Paris was unnatural and made everything seem more exciting than it really was. I think he should give Moana a call. Or maybe Jehan. Did it really matter that she'd been married once before?

This is my new fantasy "After the Show" show: Bachelor realizes the error of his ways and seeks out Bachelorette he rejected. She gives him a hard time at first, but then forgives him. They get married, do The Amazing Race together, have kids and eventually end up on Wifeswap.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Author Michelle Richmond keeps her TV hidden and has TIVO!

Next up on the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit is Michelle Richmond. She grew up in Alabama but now lives in my hometown San Francisco, where she publishes the online literary journal Fiction Attic.

Her novel DREAM OF A BLUE ROOM is about 32-year-old Jenny, who finds herself sitting on the deck of a Chinese cruise ship and on her lap is a tin containing the ashes of her best friend, Amanda Ruth, mysteriously murdered fourteen years earlier in a small Alabama town. As the ship moves slowly up the Yangtze River from one abandoned village to another, Jenny confronts her haunted past and journeys deeper into her own guilt and eroticism.

I haven't read it yet, but sounds fascinating!

I asked Michelle my usual TV questions. Interestingly, she is the second of my interviewees who seems to be channeling Samantha Stephens from Bewitched. Are we ALL closet witches here?

Are you a TV watcher?

Yes! I live in San Francisco, which means I know a lot of people who say with obvious and somewhat overstretched pride, "I don't own a TV!" But I do own one, and it's big (although I hate the look of a television in a room, so it's hidden behind closed doors in a piece of furniture that looks nothing like a TV cabinet), and I even have TIVO.

What's your favorite show ever?

Hmmm, ever? That would be a toss-up between Northern Exposure and Bewitched. But my current favorites have both been ditched by their networks--Arrested Development and The Office. These are the only shows I regularly tune into aside from Project Runway.

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

Samantha Stephens, Bewitched. Okay, I know she didn't have a job or anything, but she deserves some credit for being, you know, immortal. I liked her sass.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?


You mean they don't have TV on the Yangtzee River?

For more about Michelle check out her website. And you can read an excerpt from Dream of the Blue Room in USA Today.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

So many finales, so little time

Fans of The Bachelor are wondering if Travis Stork and Sarah from Nashville are still together. Did the proposal mean anything? Was Travis ever really excited about the girl from down the street? Rumor has it that they’ve already broken up. And there doesn’t seem to be any “After the Show” show with them appearing happily together.

And then there’s Skating with Celebrities. Where Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler REALLY ARE having an affair. (Well, at least, according to Star and People.) After seeing them tonight on Skating with Celebrities, I have to believe they are. Everything the judges and hosts said seemed to have relationship innuendo in it. And their body language. All the hugs and kisses. Kristy Swanson in tears. Lloyd Eisner saying she gave him back his chance. They sure seemed like a couple. Which makes the show so much better, doesn’t it? Now that’s Reality TV.

Jillian Barberie and John Zimmerman were anticlimactic after that act. They looked gorgeous in their ice blue outfits and they skated really great as usual, but unfortunately Jill fell while attempting a jump.

Though I might ask: Why did Kristy and Lloyd have to dance to Superfreak? Was that really the best choice? We wanted something romantic! (Like the Faith Hill song that Jill and John skated to.)

Because the thing about The Bachelor is that we (women) WANT to think that the falling love part is really happening. Witness how Sarah and Moana both proclaimed that they were “head over the heels in love” (Moana) and “ready to spend the rest of my life with him” (Sarah). Travis never said anything like that that I can remember. He said Sarah made him “happy,” and that’s about it. I don’t think he ever said he was in love with her. And I don’t think he ever had as much invested in the whole process as they did. It seems like the women forgot that it’s, like, a TV show and manufactured circumstances. I can only recall one second place bachelorette NOT crying in the limo, and the was Tina Fabulous. (What ever happened to her?) I mean, you’d think they would be prepared, at this point, to realize that they have been involved in a fiction. Moana seemed to have forgotten he was dating another woman the whole time. And she proclaimed how they always knew each others thoughts just by looking at each other, and he understood her like no one else… She was lost in her own fiction.

And Kristy and Lloyd seem to be lost in the romantic fiction of their dance partnership. But at least they both agree on the fiction. That's true love, isn't it? When both believe the fiction?

No surprise that Kristy and Lloyd won the competition.

Perhaps the most surprising thing of the week for me, though, is that I am now rooting for Santino Rice on Project Runway. How can this be? I’ve hated him all the way through and wanted him to be voted off every week. But when they showed his snapshots from childhood and we got to know him and saw how he has totally devoted his whole life to being a designer, I felt sympathy for him. Also, from what I could see, his collection looked gorgeous and much better than the other two.

But can you believe Chloe Dao has SEVEN SISTERS!!!????

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