Friday, July 25

Too much of a good thing?????

As it's movie week I decided to put out a question (or three)

Have you ever seen a movie more than once on the big screen?

If so, which one and how many times?

I'll start us off......

1. Yes (often)

2. Love Actually (is the one I've seen most)

3. Eight times!

Ok..... over to you.................

Thursday, July 24

Let's do the Time Warp Again . . .(?)

Okay, I admit, I was definitely one of those teens who stood in line to take in the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (more than once).

Partly because, well, seeing a movie at midnight just felt really cool-- and subversive-- and edgy, which are pretty much all the things I wanted to be (at the time!).

And partly because Tim Curry vamping it up in a garter belt was just too good to pass up!

And while I didn't dress up or bring my own props, I did memorize all of the lyrics to all of the songs and would freely belt them out with the best of them.

And so, when I recently read that MTV was planning a remake, that they hope to be ready by next Halloween-- I felt, well, ambivalent.

I mean, does one of the greatest cult classics ever really need a do-over??

I don't know, what do YOU think?

To read the full article as posted in Variety- click HERE.

Monday, July 21

Ooooh Mamma Mia!

Since this week's topic is movies, it was my blog-given duty to get off my tush, break out the big bucks for a babysitter, gather the usual suspects (my gal pals who tend to be spontaneous and fun), and head downtown to see the Broadway musical-cum-blockbuster Mamma Mia!

If you haven't seen it yet, you've probably heard from somebody in your life that this movie is hilarious. If seeing Meryl Streep in platform boots performing ABBA songs doesn't get you there, maybe Pierce Brosnan actually singing will. (I didn't say he sings well, but it's cute seeing him try.)

From opening scene to well after the credits rolled, my attention was riveted. I felt like singing along (even though I didn't know the words), dancing in the aisle, buying costumes like Meryl and her girlfriends wear, going back in time and redoing my wedding in a "Mamma Mia" theme, seeing it live on the stage, sending Meryl gobs of fan mail, and booking a trip to Greece--in no particular order. I laughed so hard, I won't have to do situps for a week, and I hereby give this movie a "waterproof mascara required" warning. I don't think I've ever seen a movie that's so high energy, and I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite scene or character.

Have you seen Mamma Mia yet? If not, do you plan to?

Saturday, July 19

Valley Girl trailer (1983)

It's movie week here at TFC and what better way to celebrate than with a trailer of Valley Girls. I actually posted this on my own blog a few months ago but can we ever really have enough of Nicholas Cage being all emo and hot? No, I didn't think so (though I'm having problems believing it is 25 years old now. I was obviously two when I first saw it!!!!!)

Anyway, apart from Clueless and The Princess Bride, this is one of my favorite movies of all time and I hear that they might be making a musical of it. Hilarious!!

Thursday, July 17

Writing for Charity

If you happen to live in the Utah area, this might be of interest to you. Even if you live elsewhere, hopefully you'll enjoy reading about this fun charity project and it will inspire you to do something proactive to help people in need.

This summer have unfettered access to professional children’s authors, all in the name of charity! Saturday, July 19 several local authors will host a Writing for Charity event in Salt Lake City, with all profits going to The Wheelchair Project, which provides wheelchairs for people in third world countries. Come hear writers talk about their process, how to write for a young audience, storytelling tips, and the ins and outs of the publishing business. In addition, have your picture book text or first page of your novel (the most important page!) workshopped by professionals.

When: Saturday, July 19, 9 am to 1 pm

Where: Salt Lake Main Library, 200 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah

Cost: $45 (tax deductible!)

Authors include Brandon Mull, Shannon Hale, Mette Ivie Harrison, Ann Cannon, Kristyn Crow, Becky Hickox, Kimberley Heuston, Anne Bowen, Aprilynne Pike, Ann Dee Ellis, Mike Knudson, and Wendy Toliver (me!)

And on a totally unrelated note, check out my new cover. MISS MATCH will be out right in time for Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, July 15

Book Signing & New Video

UPDATE: The signing was a good time! Check out pics @ YA Fresh and there is also a signed copy of Stephanie Kuehnert's I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE up for grabs this weekend!
Hey Everyone! I just wanted to share about a book signing with our Stephanie Kuehnert and myself at Borders Express in Monterey, California tomorrow night, July 16th - 7:00 pm. Steph will be signing I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE and I'll be signing GRAFFITI GIRL. And of course, there will be a giveaway! I'm excited to meet Steph, and we'd love to meet you if you are in the area!

Monterey, Borders Book Signing

And on a different note, I'm happy to share my book video for my next release, INVISIBLE TOUCH!

Thanks for letting me share!


Monday, July 14

Coming soon...

Cover Copyright © 2009 Simon & Schuster. Photo © Monica Stevenson.

It’s promo week here at Teen Fiction Café and I’ve got something to share! (Finally, right?) :)

So, coming over the next few weeks is…CANTERWOODCREST.COM! Yeah! The site is parked and there’s nothing there now, but there will be soon. This is a site just for my Aladdin MIX Canterwood Crest series. Some of the fun things you’ll find on the site:

Downloadable avatars and wallpapers
Never before seen photos of the Canterwood girls
and more!

The contest will be fresh, fun and the tone will follow the tagline for Take the Reins—who says teammates have to be friends?

The Website is in the design process now and I’m suuuuper-excited. When it’s up, there will be an announcement on my Website ( and on my blog.

Happy summer!

Monday, July 7

friends who aren't really friends. sometimes known as enemies.

So, first of all, hi! This is my first post here at TFC, and let me tell you it's an honor. I'm a little nervous, though, because if there's one thing I've learned watching What Not To Wear marathons, it's the importance of first impressions. Right now I'm wearing a fitted jacket. Over my pajamas. Okay not really.

Friends! How many of us have them? Friends! The ones we can depend on? Sorry, sorry, I do have a habit of breaking into Whodini songs.

There are a lot of things I could talk about when it comes to friends. There is my friend, Sarah, who doesn't judge when we're watching Project Runway at her house and I suddenly say, "Do you mind if I unwrap a dozen of these Hershey Kisses, mix them into a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats, and pour milk on top? For the purposes of eating?" I could write about my history with friends who move away, and the one who didn't say goodbye. But I think today I'll write about one of those people everyone seems to have in their childhood, that person who is connected to you in some way and therefore the adults in your life think you should be friends, never considering that you may not only have nothing in common - you may hate each other's guts. Yet social pressures force you to put up a facade and because you're, like, seven years old, it doesn't occur to you to say, "Um, no."

In my life, this girl's name was...Ava. Not really. But I have to protect myself, here! She put up a pretty convincing front as a good girl, but she was bad in ways our parents could not imagine. Have you read Jo Knowles' Lessons From a Dead Girl? It was a little bit like that (but not for the same reasons, as far as I know). Most of the time, we didn't go to the same school, but because of the connection our parents had, we were forced to spend way too much time together. Even more unfortunate was the fact that our birthdays were a few days apart and more than once our moms thought it was a good idea to have a joint party. I've blocked those out.

What I do remember: Ava was blond and pretty and girly - everything I wasn't. When we were little kids, I liked to play make believe Prairie Wagon. She liked to make her Barbies have sex. As we got older, she liked to scare me. If I was sleeping over, as soon as it got dark and we were settled in bed, she'd say in a creepy whisper, "Did you hear that?" or "Did you see that shadow?" or "I think my dad left the door unlocked..." knowing that the rest of the night I would be terrified and wide awake, imagining murderers lurking in the hall. Then, her games got more cruel. One time (another sleepover - I don't know why I kept putting myself through this), I was changing out of my clothes into my pj's. Her older brother had a friend over. In the second I was totally naked, she called for her brother's friend to come in. I fell, screaming, onto the floor behind the bed. Ava thought this was hilarious. "What?" she said. "It's not like there's anything to see." As we both got into our teens and our parents were less involved in our social lives, these episodes became less and less frequent. Still, there were a few scary nights and a lot of compulsive lying on her part. At least, I hope it was compulsive lying. Because if the stuff she told me about herself was true, she was worse off than I thought.

Why, oh why, do people stay "friends" - or, at least, continue to agree to spend time with - people who terrify them, or belittle them? Why don't parents notice that the two aren't a "good fit," to borrow a phrase so often used in the publishing world? And if any of this sounds familiar to you, you should totally read Jo's book.


Let’s get friendly! Yep, we’re still talking friends here at TFC!

Since I’m a writer, I’ve got writer friends. Some who write books. Some write plays. A few write movies.

Then I’ve got my non-writing friends. Soon-to-be nurses. Students. Future lawyers.

When I talk to writer friends about my work in progress or different aspects of the publishing world, it’s SO different than talking to my non-writing friends.

Here’s how it goes:

Me to Writer Friend: OMG! I’m getting my ARCs soon!

Writer Friend: Yay! That’s awesome!


Me to a Non-Writer Friend: OMG! I’m getting my ARCs soon!

Non-Writer Friend: Your what?!

I’ve only been in the book biz for a year and a half, but I forget how much lingo I’ve learned. When I talk to my NWF (non-writer friends), I forget that not long ago *I* didn’t know what ARCs, galleys or copy edits were.

It’s fun talking to WF (writer friends) who are knowledgeable about publishing, but it’s also just as fun explaining publishing to my NWF.

So, what about you? Are the majority of your friends writers? What do you like about having friends who are non-writers?

Sunday, July 6

Best-Friend Breakups

I’m not gonna lie: This blog is kind of a downer.

When I was in college, I had a best friend. I met her freshman year, and we used to talk for hours. We had nicknames for each other, knew each others' families and shared everything. A year or so after college, we broke up. It was swift and unexpected, and though I won’t go into the complicated reasons for our breakup, I will say that she ended things without ever saying goodbye. I’m still sometimes surprised that I can’t call her to tell her about something that’s going on in my life. I really wish I could say that it doesn’t still hurt, but it does, sometimes.

I’ve written on this blog about what fabulous friends I have—and that’s very true. But I know the pain of the friend breakup, too, and in some ways it’s harder than the end of a romance. Because it’s the end of something that you really never thought would end.

I even bought a book about when girls’ friendships end—I turned to the self-help shelf of all places, looking for a way to deal with how sad I felt. It’s painful in so many ways. Has anyone else dealt with this friendship breakup? How did you get through it? It’s been seven years for me (!) and I’m still finding my way.


Thelma & Louise. Cagney & Lacey. Starsky & Hutch.

OK, so maybe that last doesn't quite fit the direction I was going with this, but I was out late last night celebrating my birthday a day early and I'm just too tired-headed this morning to think up another female-duo pairing. Sure, you've got your Lucy & Ethel, but the show wasn't named such so that doesn't count. (Btw, funniest line of the night last night? One of the guys said, "The older I get, the better Ethel Mertz looks to me." I think that should be on a T-shirt.)

So where am I going with this? Well, I guess I'm going toward this week's theme here at TFC: Friends.

My mom always says you only need one friend. While I think Mom's got something there, I do have more than one friend. On the other hand, I've never been a posse kind of person. Maybe that's why my characters aren't either. In ANGEL'S CHOICE, Angel's got Karin and later Danny; in SECRETS OF MY SUBURBAN LIFE, Ren does have a posse, sort of, but they're all cabdrivers, and she does eventually become friends with two girls who are themselves best friends, T'Keyah and Kiki; and in ME, IN BETWEEN, Lacey's got Margot and later Sam. But with the exception of Ren's developing friendship with T'Keyah and Kiki, none of my heroines seem capable of doing anything with two friends at once.

What have I done to my poor heroines? Have I inflicted lonerism on them?

I'm an odd duck. If put into a situation with a large group of people like last night, I'm happy enough to work the crowd. I do fine at big parties, never hug the walls. But for some reason, whenever I think of putting something together, it's a one-on-one for dinner or a movie etc. I guess that's my natural preference: one on one.

And I guess I think I'm a really odd duck because, for the most part, I don't do a whole lot of reaching out to other people. Whether it's good news or bad news, I tend to keep it all to myself unless someone asks. But I hardly ever initiate. I don't call. I don't email. On the other hand, if you call or email, I will always reply - unless you are a stalker - and in a timely fashion. And yet I like my friends, love my friends, would die for my friends.

Still, maybe having a solitary nature isn't such a bad thing in a writer. And maybe it's not so bad in a fictional character either. After all, the duos I opened this blog with are all from TV and film. But how often do you get the equivalent of the buddy flick in literature? In literature, it's more usual than not for there to be one protagonist, one person who needs to complete the journey, learning whatever needs to be learned along the way. Maybe that's why solitary has mostly worked for me: I'm the protagonist of my own life story, hopefully even learning something every now and then.

So how about you? Could they make a buddy flick of your life? Are you one of a dynamic duo or a posse person? Do you prefer to go it alone?

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Wednesday, July 2

New Girl on the Blog!

I generally have bad associations with being the new girl. This is mainly because when I moved from St. Louis, Missouri to Oak Park, Illinois in third grade, I had a really hard time making friends. I know now that those girls that turned their noses up at me because I didn’t have the right clothes and was bookish were just snobs and not even really cool anyway. But the fact that it took me about seven years to feel like I’d found my place in my new town left a little bit of a chip on my shoulder and when I walk into new situation, anxiety flares.

However, when it comes to writing and reading related things, I’ve always seemed to fit in right away. When I started school at Columbia College Chicago, I felt comfortable in the Fiction Writing Department immediately, so comfortable in fact that I got a job at the office there and stayed for five years! And when my debut novel I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE sold to a YA publisher and I had to familiarize myself with the YA world, I felt immediately welcomed. I’ve been navigating my new school, if you will, for about a year now, and many of the gals on this blog have been my guides. And now to be invited to hang out with them at the Teen Fiction Café? Well, that invitation pretty much makes up for all those slumber parties I wasn’t invited to in grade school. The people that hang out here are way cooler than the queen bees I went to school with in my book and I know we’ll have wayyyyyyyy better conversations, too.

But I guess now is the time to stand up in front of the class (or in the middle of the café as the case may be here) and tell ya all about myself, right?

So I’m Stephanie Kuehnert and I’m from the Chicago area. My 29th birthday is coming up on July 13th. I’m huge into music and the top five most played artists you’ll find on my iPod are Nirvana, Hole, Social Distortion, Rancid, and Against Me!, but I listen to a pretty wide variety of stuff from punk bands to Pink to legends like Johnny Cash. I swoon over Johnny Depp. My favorite TV shows are Grey’s Anatomy and Degrassi (all of them, I grew up on Degrassi Junior High and High, but I’m totally addicted to the Next Generation, too), but I also like the weirder stuff like the X Files and Twin Peaks. I’m obsessed with pirates and Hello Kitty and big sunglasses and vintage dresses and the city of Seattle. I work an office job now, but I really loved bartending.

Oh yeah, and I wrote a book called I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, which officially comes out from MTV Books on July 8th, but you can already buy it on amazon now (way to throw me off, amazon!). Here is the basic deal about IWBYJR (ie. what you will read on the back of the book):

A raw, edgy, emotional novel about growing up punk and living to tell.

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones.

Punk rock is in Emily Black’s blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back.

Now Emily’s all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn’t it lead her right back to Emily?

You can find out more about the book on my website.

Now, since I was lovely enough to get an invitation to Teen Fiction Café, I would like to invite all the lovely people that hang out here to my cyber release party for I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE. It is a week long party with lots of fun guests and prizes. That’s right a week long! See the lengths I go to to make an impression! I really want you guys to like me and think I’m fun! Lol! But seriously, here is the invite and I hope to see you at one of my blogs next week!