Sunday, February 24

PROMO: Book Giveaway

Today we're going to have a little different kind of fun here - hopefully! - so let's get started. I'm going to go first on the topic of Jumping To Conclusions and then it'll be your turn.

I'm my most recent novel, SECRETS OF MY SUBURBAN LIFE, heroine Ren D'Arc jumps to a pretty spectacular conclusion based on what she thinks is solid evidence.

Back in August 1993, my husband and I took my mother to England after my dad died. The man that drove us in his black cab from Heathrow to the Russell Hotel was a lovely elderly gentleman by the name of Freddie. Really, he was so totally British, his full name might as well have been Freddie Crumpet, although I never did learn his last name. At any rate, as my husband and mother half-slept in the cab, Freddie and I had quite the conversation. He was a sweet and talkative man, was Freddie, he even told me about the recent death of his son and how tough the loss had been on him and the Mrs. I listened and said what I hoped were the right things. When we got to the Russell, Freddie wrote out his number for me and told me to give him a call when we needed a ride back to the airport. Since my mother worries about little details, and since I'd liked Freddie so much, I called him eight days later.

On the ride back to the airport, Freddie was just as talkative as he'd been on the ride in. And when we arrived at Heathrow, he had a present for me. It was oddly shaped and someone had obviously taken great care in trying to wrap it well. "I just wanted to give you something," Freddie said, "because you have been so kind to me."

How flattering! What a sweet man!

Inside the airport, I unwrapped the present. It turned out to be a brass and gold-plated object with a brush inside - a tool for sweeping out the fireplace.

How perfectly British! How perfectly Freddie Crumpet! How -

Hang on a second here. Could there be a bomb in this thing???

OK, I know this may sound insane, but you have to realize that this was 1993. The first bombing of the World Trade Center had already occurred. Airport security had begun to tighten up dramatically. There were signs and announcements everywhere: "Has anyone you don't know given you something today...?"

What if Freddie, sweet Freddie Crumpet, wasn't so sweet after all? I mean, I didn't really know the man. What if he'd been driven insane by the loss of his son? What if he was angry at the Crown? What if...? And how could I be so irresponsible as to board the plane with this, this, this...*chimney-sweeping* object, what if we blew up over the Atlantic - I wouldn't feel so good about that, plus I'd feel dreadfully guilty - or even if I left it behind at the airport, didn't take it on the plane, Heathrow blew up instead...

"Greg," I urgently said to my husband. "You have to show this to the policemen over there. I think it may be hiding a bomb."

My husband. My poor, poor husband.

He did take the terrifying object over to the two policemen. And then I watched the pantomime safely from afar as one of the policemen used the handle to slowly plunge the brush in and out...and then they both laughed in my poor husband's face, handed the brush back to him, laughed some more as he walked back to me. Really, it's surprising my poor husband didn't run away *from* me. I can be such a whackaloon.

OK, it wasn't a bomb. But there *could* have been a bomb hidden in there somewhere...only there wasn't.


I'll give away one signed copy of SECRETS OF MY SUBURBAN LIFE to one commenter below and we'll let the comments run through Tuesday night just to give stragglers a chance to wander in before awarding a winner. Looking forward to hearing your stories.

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Tuesday, February 19

Love is a Mix Tape

That’s the book I’m reading right now, a book I’m really enjoying so far, even though it’s breaking my heart. It’s Rob Sheffield's outpouring of music and love and loss. And it’s got so many '90s references that I am constantly grinning in recognition and singing along in my head.

I grew up with a soundtrack playing in the background. I had a TV in my room from the time I was about 10 years old (thanks, Mom and Dad!), and I did my homework to MTV, back when they showed videos. On the night of Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” video premiere, I rushed home to watch, and I’ve owned an iPod since the millisecond they were released. In short, I carry a tune in my head, in my pocket, everywhere.

My favorite “friend present” when I was in high school was The Mix Tape. I eventually graduated to mix CDs and then playlists, but I’ll never forget the long hours put into creating the perfect mix tape, with the right amounts of spacing between tracks, the perfect jumble of mellow and upbeat tunes, and choosing songs with lyrics that I thought might speak to the mix recipient.

Yes, I’ve been known to read way into mix tapes that I got from my guy friends (OMG, he put on Chris Isaac’s “Somebody’s Cryin”—he must be secretly pining for me!). Often, I was wrong—turns out boys don’t listen much to lyrics—but I still had fun dreaming.

Music has set the tone for a lot of big moments in my life, which is why I have to have tunes on while I write. The mood of a song can dictate the feeling of a scene, whether or not I mention the music in the text. I have playlists on my iPod for all my characters, and I recently created a virtual mix tape for the Violet books, which includes songs that I listened to while brainstorming, writing, revising, and thinking about who the characters really are.

I haven’t added all the songs I want to yet, and there are still some bugs, but it’s a start, and you can listen to some of Violet’s songs here.

So what songs are on the soundtrack to your life? You can create a virtual mix tape (or ipod or boombox) at, but promise to send me a link.

Monday, February 18

Now I like it, now I don't!

When I was five or six, my dad and I would take business trips together when I wasn't in school. We'd drive from Nashville to Ocala, Florida and on every trip, my dad would play his country tapes. Yep, that was back in the early 90's where CDs weren't out or weren't popular yet. My dad had zillions of tapes and we sang out loud for ten hours on our way south singing "Tear in my Beer" and "Achy Breaky Heart." I loved singing those songs! Our trip once took us down to Key West and we were in a restaurant when one of Dad's country songs came on. Dad told someone there I loved to sing and the manager helped me onto a table to sing! Granted, my singing voice was probably awful, but I filled a jar with tips. That clinched it--I loved Dad's country music.

But when I hit twelve or thirteen, Dad's country music became...embarrassing! I didn't like it anymore and never told any of my friends I used to like country music. I'd moved onto Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. Hardcore bubblegum pop.

Now, at 21, I can appreciate my Dad's old songs. I don't mind listening to them every so often and they always remind me of the roadtrips we'd taken. Sure, I've got BSB and *NSYNC CDs on my shelf, but I've got a couple of Dad's CDs mixed in there, too. It feels like one of those full circle moments.

So, anyone have a similar experience? Love certain music as a kid and then hit teenage years and dislike it, only to later enjoy the music as an adult?

Sunday, February 17

Music: Warren Zevon

In college I was friends with a floor full of guys.

I know that must sound odd, but I grew up with only one older brother and no sisters on a small street that had only boys for several years. This meant that in many ways, as I got older, I was often more comfortable hanging out with groups of guys than I was with girls although eventually I learned to fully enjoy the individual charms and advantages of both genders.

But as I say, back in college, at least for the first two years, there was this floor of guys in my dorm. One I was sort of going out with - he was 6'7 to my 4'11, quite a difference no matter how you try to visualize us together; one was a sort of friend from high school with whom I'd always had a twisted relationship; and the rest had a variety of odd nicknames but all were willing to play me at Killer Backgammon, which we would do at the beginning of every evening, waiting for the night proper to take over.

Those evenings together would start almost right after dinner ended, so about seven o'clock. Sometimes, one or more of my girlfriends would accompany me, particularly the closer it got to Thursday night - party time - but more often than not I went alone. So we'd play KB while having a few early beers or what-have-you, while trying to decide whether to go out or stay in and, no matter which we chose, just what sort of mischief we might like to get up to, pacing ourselves because those nights were never properly ended until at least one or more of us had seen the sun rise. OK, at least one of the sunrise watchers was almost always me. I loved those mornings when, having survived another night, I made it back to my own room in the other tower, on the top floor in the building high on a hill, and looked out my window, seeing dawn break golden across the campus.

But getting back to those nights.

In between and around whatever else we were doing, there was always a soundtrack playing. It might have been Bruce Springsteen or the Stones or Led Zeppelin, it might even have been Pat Benatar, but at least once a night one of the guys would put on Warren Zevon's "Excitable Boy" album. It was those guys who first taught me that there was a lot more to Warren Zevon than just "Werewolves of London." There was a dangerous playfulness (the eponymous "Excitable Boy"), there was a playful dangerousness ("Lawyers, Guns & Money"), there was a booming voice like no other ("When Johnny Strikes Up the Band"), there was an amazingly aching tender ballad ("Accidentally, Like a Martyr"). But the one song that always got us on our feet, no matter what else we were doing at the time, was "Roland, the Headless Thompson Gunner." Who can explain it, why a bizarre little song about a ghost mercenary combing Africa for revenge would have such a constant effect on us, would make us sway our beer mugs back and forth like we were part of some rugby team at Oxford, would make us feel more alive and at one together than anything else we ever did?

We all lived in the same dorm through my sophomore year until we scattered, mostly me, to far corners of the campus. As the years went on, I scattered further, scattered faster.

Two New Year's Eves ago, we had a party here as we almost always do. One of the people in attendance was a friend who'd recently returned from the war in Iraq. Because of his National Guard reserve status, he'd been called up to serve his country again at age 50 and had come back changed from the man we'd known before. He wore his camouflage fatigues to the party that night, even his cap, looking very much the soldier he could no longer stop being. As the night wore on I put on Warren Zevon's "Excitable Boy" - only it was a CD now and not the eight-track I'd had in college - because I knew he was a fan too. Well, we got through the first few songs normal enough, but then "Roland" came on and before I knew it, this soldier and I were in the kitchen, arms around each other's shoulders, singing so loudly about the ghost mercenary in Africa that no one else there could really talk over us until the song was done; if they wanted their voices to be heard, they would just have to join in singing.

We did that several more times that night.

I hated it when Warren Zevon died on September 7, 2003, still hate it. His music has so much been the soundtrack of my life, the thread that oftentimes binds me most tightly to other people, some of the music that most makes me feel passionate about being alive. I wish he could have lived forever.


Be well. Don't forget to write.

Saturday, February 16


I revisited an old favorite recently...MERMAIDS, with Cher, Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci. It had been years since I'd watched this movie and now that I write YA, it was great to watch the story line as a writer.

The story takes place in 1963 in Massachusetts, when single mothers are looked down upon and President Kennedy is assassinated.

Cher is the abrasive, independent mother, who picks up and moves from state to state whenever life gets too tough. The latest move occurs after having an affair with her married boss. She doesn't let anyone get emotionally close to her or her girls, but enjoys male companionship.

Charlotte, the 18-year-old daugther who refers to her mother as Mrs. Flax, is embarrassed by her mother's actions. She doesn't want to turn out like Mrs. Flax and dives head first into the Catholic religion, vowing to become a nun (even though they are Jewish). With every "unholy" and natural attraction to an older man, she prays to God in humorous monologues. And while it's usually the mother who ends up in the wrong relationships, it's Charlotte who falls in love and doesn't understand her feelings. Even going as far as believing she becomes pregnant by a kiss!

The littlest one is Kate (Christina Ricci at a young age), a talented swimmer whose father was an Olympic swimmer, and Mrs. Flax and Charlotte dote on her. She is the bond that holds the the trio together.

Each character hits rock bottom with a terrible accident, and the viewer watches as they ultimately reveal their hidden truths and hopefully mend the family's hurt feelings again.

This movie has great family drama mixed with humor. You should definitely revisit this one or pick it up for the first time. :)

Wednesday, February 13

Netflix, Baby!

I’m late to the Netflix game. My husband and I decided to stick with Blockbuster for two reasons, one, my husband doesn’t like anything new and two, our son and his friend would usually walk the six mile round trip trek to blockbuster, thus ensuring he would continue to get exercise.

But now that we have it, we’re never going back. The ease of it all! The convenience! It’s almost as good as getting your groceries delivered. (Which is something I have yet to do, but I continue to dream.)

Because my son knows the Netflix password, I’m often treated to movies I might not have chosen from Blockbuster. It’s widened my horizons, so to speak. Here are a few films I’ve seen lately that I probably wouldn’t have picked up while browsing:

Perfume: Story of a Murderer

What can I say about this disturbing, visually sumptuous film? When my son told me several months ago that I had to see it, I shuddered and said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” After all, a guy kills women to make perfume out of them. Gross. But when an author I know and respect said the same thing, I began to wonder. She said this movie will help me think about scent in a whole different way and make me want to use it more creatively in my writing. What made it more palatable than even the superb acting, amazing screen play, and jaw-droppingly beautiful cinematography, is the fact that this is a period film. Warning, this film should NOT be seen by the younger set. I had nightmares and I’m in my forties!

Notes on a Scandal:

Another one for older teens and adults. This is one that I wanted to see and my eighteen year old son did not. But somehow, while he was playing on the computer, he got sucked in. The plot is a bit creepy, but honestly wouldn’t have been anything wildly unique if not for the stupendous acting performances by Dame Judi Dench (Who played such a creeper!) and Cate Blanchett. I can’t even describe how amazing they are in this film.

Jeeves and Wooster:

Anyone who likes House might want to check out this early BBC offering starring Hugh Laurie. He really gets to show his comic chops in this series. So very funny.

What about you? Has Netflix widened your viewing horizons?

Monday, February 11

Favorite Recent Movie: JUNO!

I love quirky movies. Movies that make you laugh, wonder what in the heck the writer/director/producer/actor/dog was thinking, and keep your interest even after the credits roll. I was lucky enough to steal away with a good friend of mine a few weeks ago, right when "Juno" was released in theaters. It had received great reviews but no one I knew had seen it. I was very pleasanly surprised, and since then, I've been recommending it to all my friends.

Why did I like this movie? First off, I adored the character Juno MacGuff, played perfectly by Ellen Page. Despite her age (16, junior in high school) and her perdicament (pregnant), she radiates confidence. She never sugar-coats anything, whether she's speaking to a popular kid in her school, an adult she's just met, or her father when she's announcing her pregnancy. She's cute, sassy, smart, matter-of-fact, and has an offbeat sense of humor. She talks on a hamburger phone, plasters her bedroom walls with posters, pours her Slurpee in her step-mom's vase, and has an (odd, IMHO) infatuation with guys in nylon running shorts and cult horror flicks. I fell instantly in love with Juno from the opening scene, where she's downing a bottle of Sunny D en route to the neighborhood drug store to do yet another pregnancy test.

The two quotes (I'm doing this from memory, so please don't quote my quotes, haha!) I loved most are: "He's good in chair." (The baby was made in a chair, not in a bed.) and "I don't know what kind of girl I am." (After her dad said, "I thought you were the kind of girl who knew when to say when.")

There are so many funny bits, some very sad/touching parts, and there's even some romance sprinkled in. It deals with a very touchy subject, teenage pregnancy, in a very unique way. From the writing and photography to the casting and sound track, the movie is done very well. I will definitely buy it when it comes out in DVD. Apparently, I'm not alone in thinking it's a swell flick. It's up for 4 Oscars, as well as winning and being nominated for many other accomplished awards. I give "Juno" a "Heck, Yeah!" (That's as good as it gets, folks.)

My book's been optioned--just in time for movie week!

Just in time for this week's movie theme here at the Teen Fiction Cafe, I'm thrilled to announce that my two young adult novels, I Was a Teenage Popsicle and Beyond Cool have been optioned by Fresh Entertainment (affiliated with Fresh Animation, producers of the fabu toons 6teen and Total Drama Island)! The Fresh producers are hoping to make a movie first, then a spinoff TV series! They're pretty confident they can attract network interest in both Canada and the U.S., so keep your fingers crossed...

I'm doubly proud because this deal came about upon my own initiative. Usually, these things happen when a book deal is announced in Publisher's Marketplace (which studio scouts read) or when an author's literary agent sends the material to a film agent. My books had attracted some interest at the PM stage, but no deals happened. And the books weren't the type of thing the film agent my lit agent partners with were interested in. After that, I sort of shrugged and thought, Well, that's that.

Then one night when the family was watching 6teen (which we looove), my husband said, "This show sounds like your books. Why don't you send I Was a Teenage Popsicle and Beyond Cool to the producers?"

To which I (the all-knowing editor/writer) rolled my eyes and told him that wasn't how it was done.

To which he said, "Why not?"

To which I had no answer.

But I still didn't want to do it--thought maybe sending the books in myself was amateurish, unprofessional.

To which my hubby said, "I think you writers are all so beaten down by rejection you forget that you can control your own careers."

To which I said, "You know what? You're right."

I sent the book off with a letter telling the producers at Fresh (the address of which we found on the net) what a big fan of their shows I was and pitching my Popsicle books.

They called two days later.

Moral of the story: the conventional paths don't always work. Try the unconventional one when they don't!

Blog ya later,


P.S. Did lunch (yeah, I'm totally going Hollywood!) with the exec producer at the Fresh office--an ultra-cool loft space filled with 130 animators, editors, directors, etc. and got super-excited!

Saturday, February 9

Britney on my mind

This week at Teen Fiction Cafe, we're talking about current affairs and all I can think about is Britney and her very public meltdown with what seems like a mental illness. This isn't celebrity gossip. This is a young woman in torment and it breaks my heart. Especially since, as a writer, my fingers are itching to give her a happy ending and make everything turn out okay. I really hope that happens.

And it's not just Britney. Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose. Amy Winehouse who is up for 6 Grammy awards can't even get a visa to visit the US because of her drug problems and I read yesterday that actress Kristen Dunst has gone into rehab. Is this a celebrity thing or is it an accurate reflection of what happens to regular people, but just played out on a larger stage?

I really don't know, but all I know is that I makes me feel so sad that talented people seem to find that the world they worked so hard to create isn't perhaps everything they thought it would be. What does everyone else think?

Friday, February 8

Oh Please Let It Be True!

In the best turn of current events this week, Disney CEO Michael Eisner said last night that a deal had been reached between the major media companies and The Writers' Guild of America.

Other sources say that the writers are debating the new contract offer, but that it looks like the three-month strike may be over.

Is it too late to rescue the season, or will we see new episodes of House, Grey's Anatomy, LOST, Heroes, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, etc.?

Oh please, oh please, oh please!!!

If the strike is really over, which shows would you want to see rushed back into production?

Tuesday, February 5

All about me!!!!!

So...... current events...... that got me thinking. Could I get away with posting about what's current in my life? Then I thought, there must be something current in my life that is current in other people's lives..... do you see where this is heading yet????

Then I thought (you must be impressed at how much of a thinker I am), what is the one thing that's occupying my mind a great deal at the moment? And, being the superficial person that I am, it isn't world peace, or economic downturns..... it's TV!!! So many of my favorite programs have come back on, that I spend my days with a permanent grin on my face in anticipation of my nightly viewing!!!!

So, in true all about me fashion, here's a round up of my weekly viewing:

Sunday - Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Bionic Woman
Monday - Desperate Housewives, Pushing Daisies
Tuesday - House, Boston Legal
Wednesday - Cold Case, Law & Order
Thursday - Criminal Minds
Friday - American Idol
Saturday American Idol

Is it any wonder I'm in a perpetual state of bliss????

What about you, what's on your mind at the moment?

Monday, February 4

Heard It Through The Grapevine

This week's topic is CURRENT EVENTS, and I have to admit I’m at a bit of a loss. I mean, I suppose I could write about:

1. THE SUPERBOWL—that’s that show about football, right?

2. POLITICS—Super Tuesday, anyone? But since I’m married to a political ANIMAL, I’ll have plenty of that tomorrow so I won’t bore you with it here.

3. There’s always the latest CELEBRITY DISH—someone entered rehab, someone’s having twins, someone is so exhausted it required hospitalization . . .(Apparently working for several months—in a row—can do this to a person. Who knew?)

4. The latest OPRAH BOOK CLUB pick—I downloaded A NEW EARTH onto my iPod a year ago—if you’re into that kind of thing, it’s amazing! If not, proceed to number five.

5. My NETI POT obsession—if you’re at all squeamish, easily frightened, susceptible to new ideas, have a heart condition, low blood pressure, are under 3’ 8”—then please, ask your doctor before clicking.

6. NEW YORK FASHION WEEK- hint- black is the new black.

But the truth is, I’m under a major DEADLINE (a.k.a.—the most overused though completely valid excuse in any writer's repertoire), which means I’m really not up on any of these things. Though if I were, rest assured, THESE are the subjects I’d be writing about!

What about YOU? What current event has grabbed your attention??

Alyson Noël is the author of 7 books for teens and adults and is currently chained to her computer, feverishly working on number 8. Feel free to visit her at: She welcomes all distractions.

Friday, February 1

We have a winner

Thank you to everyone for their kind comments about Mia and ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH - honestly, your money is in the post today!!! Anyway, the lucky person who gets to win their very own signed copy of THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN is:

Gautami Tripathy

Gautami if you could email me at I'll get that sent out to you asap!

Oh yes! This is the final day of promo week here at Teen Fiction Cafe and I hope you've all been enjoying the characters interviews as much as I have (though it's to my mortal embarassment that Linda and Simone have had such well behaved heroines and heroes who could answer a question in one word!).

Anyway, for my second interview I thought I'd talk to Mia Everett who is the heroine of my upcoming young adult novel, ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH, which is the story of a teenage girl who accidently turns her whole school into zombies and is forced to work with an annoying stuck-up zombie hunter and a best friend who keeps trying to chew off her arm, in order to find a cure before prom night turns into an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Unfortunately, since the book isn't out yet, I can't offer it up as a prize, so instead I've decided to give away a copy of Sara Hantz's gorgeous debut book, THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN - which I hasten to add has nothing to do with zombies, but everything to do with a great read, and all you have to do is leave a comment to be in with a chance of winning it.

1. What is your favorite word? Genius.
2. What is your least favorite word? Zombies. Trust me if you had 500 of them trying to eat you, then you wouldn’t be too fond of the word either.
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Being in the house by myself so I can draw and play the music as loud as I want. Unfortunately, despite the fact my cow of a sister has gone to college, she still tends to turn up ALL the time and I swear it’s just to remind that I’m living in her shadow.
4. What turns you off? Having to watch a group of almost-zombies chowing down on Benny’s burgers. Shudder.
5. What is your favorite curse word? Shit. So multipurpose.
6. What sound or noise do you love? Is it too pathetic to say that I love listening to Ward McKenzie’s accent? He’s this zombie slayer from England and while he can be totally annoying (and by annoying I mean that he thinks the only way to fix the zombie outbreak is to cut everyone’s head off), he does have an insanely cool accent. I could listen to it all day, which is probably lucky, since until we find a cure, we're stuck with each other.
7. What sound or noise do you hate? My biology teacher, Mr Haves has the most heinous laugh you’ve ever heard. Unfortunately, because he’s also dating my mom, I get to hear it far too often.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Well, if I manage to avoid getting chomped by some flesh-hungry zombies, I’d like to be a graphic designer.
9. What profession would you not like to do? Anything too girly. My sister Grace thinks that unless you dress like a Barbie doll, you can’t get ahead in the world.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Hey, Mia Everett. I’ve heard of you...”

And we have a winner!

Sirena, you got it, girl.
Please drop me a note with your address:
and I'll send the book off to you!

Thanks, everyone for playing. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for one more chance to win a book this week.

A Killer Giveaway!

Welcome to the Friday edition of Inside the Character's Studio.
Today's lucky winner will receive an ADVANCED READER'S COPY of my upcoming YA mystery,

Leave me a comment for your chance to win. It's that easy!

Today we'll hear from Seth Mulo, who in my mind looks an awful lot like Rafael Nadal, except with blue eyes and maybe shorter hair. Plus Seth was a football captain and Rafael plays tennis, but still...

  1. What is your favorite word? Yes
  2. What is your least favorite word? Hide
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Freedom
  4. What turns you off? Deception.
  5. What is your favorite curse word? From my dad's country - iqvac. It just means bonehead, but it sounds a lot more intense than that if you say it right.
  6. What sound or noise do you love? The ocean.
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? A sigh of resignation.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? (laughs) Yeah. When I have a profession, I'll let you know.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Work for the government.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates ? Did you have fun down there? Yeah? Then you can go back.

Linda Gerber
Available now!
Now and Zen, Puffin 2006
The Finnish Line, Puffin 2007
Women's Sports Foundation Recommended Read
Coming Soon!
Death by Bikini, Puffin 2008
Death by Latte, Puffin 2008
Death by Denim, Puffin 2009