Monday, December 27, 2010

When I've used my words up...

...which, with all the books I've written over the last 5 years, would be often (I've written 8.5. And a screenplay. But who's counting.), I find that getting away from the computer and taking photos really helps me to re-fill the well.

And now that it's the week between Christmas and New Years, and now that I'm snowed in for the day, I decided to do something that I've always meant to do but have never had the time to do -- organize some of those photos on Flickr.

If you click here, you can see them.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry/Happy/Bonne/Feliz etc....

....whatever you celebrate, and whenever you celebrate it, I hope it's a joyful, peaceful time and that the new year brings all good things.

As for me, it's Christmas Eve and I'm curled up on my couch upstate with a cat on either side listening to Patty Griffin and thinking about everything that's transpired this year, and how, yet again, although I like to think I'm psychic and know what's going to happen next or that certain things will NEVER EVER EVER change, I was wrong.

And yet...even as I write that, there are certain things that I'm sure about. Like, say, that I'll NEVER EVER EVER get this Lucy B. pilot outline right for the half-hour sitcom that Nickelodeon is developing based on the book series. Or that I won't get all my writing projects done. And a host of other things.

And yet...if what I said in the second paragraph is right, then I'm probably wrong about those things.

It's been a crazy year. Crazy bad with my mom and her brain aneurysm (she's doing great now, thank God). Crazy good with my new house upstate that I get to escape to on weekends and life I'm creating here with amazing new friends. And as I sit here, I think about how next year will bring a host of other things that I won't be able to plan for. People I will meet who I don't even know exist at the moment.

If I could give everyone reading this a holiday gift, I would take away their ability to worry. I would wish them an entire day spent in the mindset that everything is perfect as it is at the moment; that all is as it's supposed to be...


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010


When I was 21 years old, right after I graduated from college, I moved to Los Angeles because I had wanted to be in the movie business. I had been there a few times before, and it always seemed glamorous, and sunny, and the palm trees didn't hurt, either.

So I got there, and I didn't end up in the movie business - I ended up in the TV business and I had a nice run. But LA never felt like home. Because you have to drive everywhere, it was very isolating, and there was no real sense of community and no downtown where you could walk around and be surrounded by people. I made do, but I always wondered what it would be like to leave. Then I got out of the TV business and I started writing. And because I was writing books instead of screenplays, I realized I really didn't have to stay in LA anymore if I didn't want to. The east coast had always felt like home, and as I got older I felt myself being pulled back there more and more. So I ended up moving to New York City. And the moment I got there, I felt like a duck hitting water. It just fit. And I thought " THIS is where I'm supposed to be." The nonstop activity, the nonstop noise, the fact that within a space of a block you can hear a multitude of languages and see a cross section of people from all walks of life.

It was home in a way that nowhere else had ever been.

Then, this summer, I started itching to go on vacation. First I thought I wanted to go to the beach and I looked around for a place to rent for a week on the Cape or in Rhode Island. Nothing. Well, stuff, but you'd have to be Stephenie Meyer to afford them. Then, one night at around 11pm I stumbled across a little farmhouse for rent for the month of July up in Columbia County, NY which is about 2.5 hours from the city. And my eyes widened and I just knew that was supposed to be my house. Lucky for me, the people who were going to rent it backed out at the last minute, so when I drove up that Saturday and pulled up and saw that, yup, I was right, it was indeed my house. At least for the month of July.

Every Friday morning I'd go to Penn Station and get on the Amtrak train and in two hours I was in the country. Instead of jackhammers, I heard frogs. Instead of waiting in long lines at Whole Foods, I stopped at roadside farm stands for just-picked blueberries and peaches. Instead of being slammed up against someone on the 2 train, I was driving down traffic-less country roads with cornfields to my right and mountains to my left.

My first weekend here I said to myself " THIS is where I'm supposed to be, too."

Which, for a girl who had always yearned to live in the big city was pretty funny. But there's this thing that happens as you get older where, without you even knowing how it happens, you just change. And you like the country. And when you think about what kind of car you'd want to buy if you lived in the country, all you can think of is a station wagon.

A STATION WAGON. And I don't even have kids.

Three weeks later I had found my very own little farmhouse. Up on a hill with views of the Catskills to my left and the Berkshires to the right. The first time my realtor took me there, we couldn't get in because there wasn't a key, but just peeking in the windows, I kind of knew it was mine. And then when we went back again, I definitely knew it was mine.

So I finally had a house in the country of my own. And now I needed a car to get me there.

A few weeks earlier, I had met a really sweet guy named Tom. And when I ran into him one evening, I mentioned that I needed a car and if he had any leads or suggestions, I'd appreciate it. Turns out that people call him the Car Whisperer. So Tom, because he's a really nice person, did some research for me and sent me links to things that might be of interest. Totally went above and beyond and out of his way to help me, a person who was almost a complete stranger. Even if I had never found a car, the fact that he did that meant the world to me. My dad had joked "What you need is a car that was owned by an older person that has really low miles on it." So the other day, at Tom's suggestion, I called a dealership and asked if they had anything in my price range. Turned out they had a '03 Subaru with 36,000 miles. I called Tom to tell him and even though the place was about an hour away, he offered to go with me. The fact that he was willing to give up his afternoon and schlep over across the river with me to Kingston was so nice, I could barely wrap my head around it. And because the whole buying-a-car thing freaks me out, I took him up on his offer.

The car was exactly what I wanted, and I'm picking it up today.

AND it turns out that it was owned by a woman who just turned 83.

But even more important than the car, was the fact that because it took an hour to get there each way, Tom and I got to talk a lot and I realized that my initial impression of "I'd like to be friends with this guy" was right on the money. Which is way more important than a car.

Yesterday I went to my new house and spent two hours there with my landlord as he walked me through and explained everything to me. Like the WASHER AND DRYER which is the thing I've missed more than anything since I left L.A. And as we stood in the kitchen - a real kitchen rather than a tiny kitchenette that's in the living room, which is how I live in Manhattan - I looked out into my backyard - MY BACKYARD! I HAVE A BACKYARD! - and I saw a deer. We locked eyes for a second and then he leapt off and went back into the woods. Apaprently there are a ton of them, and they like to come eat the apples and pears from my apple and pear trees (I HAVE AN APPLE AND PEAR TREE!). Plus, there are otters. Which feels so random to me that I'll have to see it for myself. And rabbits. Lots of rabbits.

This photo is the view to the right of my house. If I can't be inspired to write looking at this, I don't know what will work.

Virginia Woolf talked about the importance of having "a room of one's own".

Now I have a house of my own. With a washer and dryer. And otters. And a station wagon in the driveway.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Satire? Irony? Parody? Anyone?

As someone wise once said - I don't remember who it was, but it was someone wise - if you're going to believe the good reviews, you have to believe the bad ones, too.


But if you were really smart, you'd avoid reading reviews all together.

As those who read my books know, I tend to write with a significant amount of satire, making some of the characters somewhat bigger than life, as if were...Part of it is the fairy tale aspect of it...and part of it is...well, I can't explain it. It's just what I do.

When GEEK CHARMING came out, there were a lot of reviews on Amazon and Goodreads where people said they disliked Dylan and thought she was spoiled. Which meant that I did my job. Because it was a retelling of The Frog Prince - which is about a spoiled princess - you weren't SUPPOSED to like her. You were supposed to be rooting for Josh a.k.a. the frog, until Dylan began to change because of her relationship with him and she began to soften. That was her character arc.

Then my book LITTLE MISS RED came out last February. Another fairy tale retelling, it's a take-off on Little Red Riding Hod. This one, more than my first two, was a lot more steeped in parody. In the book, Sophie - the main character - is obsessed with romance. Her attitude about it all is over the top, and she's blind to who Jack a.k.a the wolf really is for a long time. Again, that's part of her arc. Because when she starts in that place, only to have the veil lifted as the book goes on and to see him for who he really is, then she has somewhere to go. For me to tell the story I wanted to tell with that one - about a girl who is so clueless about love and romance and so ingrained in the fantasy vs the reality - that's the way I had to tell it. Because to make her super grounded like Cindy Ella was wouldn't work. It's a different story. A different character. Is she silly with the way she compares everything to the plots in her books from the Devon Devereaux series? Absolutely. But does who she is as an overall character make up for that so that ultimately she's endearing and you're rooting for her? Well, that's my hope. Is Jack self-obsessed and narcissistic? Completely. But does his charm and his hotness and the way he makes Sophie feel like she's finally got some adventure in her life outweigh that? I think so. God knows I've lived that with many men in real life.

Maybe it's because I'm still relatively new at this thing. Maybe it's because I'm one of those sensitive people, but when I read reviews that make me feel like I missed the mark with my attempt, it makes me want to go find the reviewer and sit her or him down and explain what I was trying to do. Which is totally stupid. So the book wasn't their cup of tea. That's cool. Luckily there are bookstores full of books for them to choose from to find something they DO like.

Ironically, LITTLE MISS RED is my favorite of all the fairy tales. Probably because it's rather personal for me in that I got to work out my own stuff vis a vis my feelings and beliefs about love and romance.

I don't know exactly why I'm writing this. When people ask my why I write, I say it's an attempt to feel understood. And I guess, with RED in particular, I feel like people missed what I was trying to do. Not everyone, obviously, but a lot of people. Not that this is going to change their minds. But it did make me feel like I got my two cents in.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Am I the only blogger...

...who finds it hard to blog?

Maybe it's because I'm not actually a blogger, but, rather, a novelist. Because the truth is I'd rather write an entire novel than one of these. I think it's cause it just feels so...personal. And yet I have no problem whatsoever alerting the Facebook world about my whereabouts in status updates.

Anyway, what can I tell you...hmmm...well, I just handed in a first revision of Lucy 3 to my editor. And now I have to do another draft of Lucy 4. And I handed in a script rewrite to ABC Family.

OH - okay. So here's the BIG news....after three years of threats, I finally got my act together and rented a house upstate. In the country. With a koi pond. And FROGS. And a WASHER AND DRYER. It's only for the month of July, and because I'm one of those people who lives in the future, I'm already sad about the fact that I'll have to give it up at the end. It's totally perfect. Like something out of a fairy tale. Which, for someone who does fairy tale retellings, makes sense. It's in Columbia County which is about 2 hours from the city.

I'm trying to think of what else I can share. As I mentioned, I've been writing a lot lately so my social life--which is tepid at best--has been on the cool side.

God, I sound boring.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Way I Am

The way I am is that, last weekend, when I was too tired to do much more than sprawl out on the couch because I was still recovering from the previous weekend's way-too-social for me agenda, I decided to pop in THE WAY WE WERE.

And yet again, after that first scene between Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand, I said to myself "God, I love this movie."

So I watched it. And I cried while I ate dried apricots. And then I got a stomach ache from the dried apricots. And then I cried a little more. Not because my stomach hurt, but because the movie is so good and I very much relate to it -- more than I'd like to, in fact.

And then after the last scene, when she says to him "Your girl is lovely, Hubbell" which is one of my favorite lines ever, I said again -- out loud this time--"God, I love this movie."


...I have decided, is the perfect excuse for not working on my revision of Lucy 3. It's still writing, but it's not writing-writing. Or, rather, the writing that I will need to hand in soon if I'd like to get some money so I can do things like pay my rent. And buy tea from American Tea Room which is my latest obsession. (When I became a woman who prefers tea over coffee, I have no idea. I think it's an age thing.)

So Memorial Day is this weekend, which means that summer is here. I'm so glad it's finally much as I try not to complain about NY winters because all my friends in L.A., when I told them I was moving to NY, said "Oh, you're going to hate the winters" and I'm too stubborn to admit that they were right, the fact is I do kind of hate them. Mostly I hate the greyness of them. The fact that everyone walks around with their heads down. I'm much more of a sundress kinda girl. Which my recent $200 dry cleaning bill after I took them out of storage can attest to.

I desperately need a vacation, but can't quite decide where to go. I'm thinking maybe the Cape. Or Maine. Somewhere where I can listen to the ocean and eat fried clam rolls.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another great review of LUCY...

from BOOKLIST...

Yours Truly, Lucy B. Parker: Girl vs. Superstar.
Palmer, Robin (Author)
May 2010. 224 p. Penguin/Puffin, hardcover, $15.99. (9780399254895). Penguin/Puffin, paperback,
$6.99. (9780142415009).
Sixth-grader Lucy has been dumped by her two BFFs, is on the alert for the start of her period, and is
basically trying to get through each day without humiliating herself. The last thing she needs is to be
known as the gawky, untalented stepsister of TV star Laurel Moses, the most adored teen celebrity in the
world. But that’s exactly what will happen when Lucy’s mom marries Laurel’s dad. Blending Lucy’s emails
to TV agony aunt Dr. Maude with Lucy’s first-person narrative about how her life becomes
increasingly entangled with Laurel’s, this funny, fast-paced book introduces what should be a promising
new series. Lucy presents herself as just a normal girl trying to survive an extraordinary turn of events, but
readers will recognize that there is nothing average about Lucy, and what she lacks in star quality is easily
compensated for by her honesty, humor, and moxie. Give this to fans of Meg Cabot’s work, who will
enjoy watching Lucy transition from small-town living to life in the limelight.
— Kara Dean

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sadly, it's come to this...

...I had to spend $10 to download this program called Freedom so that I would stop Googling completely random things while I was writing. Or check my Facebook page. Or my Amazon ranking.

But the thing is, my iPhone still has internet capability.

Do you know how frustrating it is to be using your Safari browser on your iPhone to Google when you're sitting in front of your laptop but you can't use that because you don't know how to TURN OFF the Freedom program that you've set to keep you off the Internet for 2 hours?


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lucy B. is here...

So the first book in my new series YOURS TRULY, LUCY B. PARKER is now in stores (and of course I had to go and CHECK because I never believe that it's actually going to happen) you can go to the store and get it, using it as an excuse to buy a bunch of other books; and maybe some magazines; and maybe a new Moleskine notebook (which is what I do at the bookstore...) or you can click here

There was a really nice mention on one of the CafeMom blogs about it here where they refer to it as "it's Are You There God, It's Me Margaret pushed to the new millennium with a dose of angst taken out"....which, as far as I'm concerned, is the best compliment ever seeing that the book is actually dedicated to Judy Blume.

Will be in L.A. this weekend for the L.A. Time Festival of Books, appearing on a panel at 1p on Sunday on the YA Stage and signing after. Good news is that you don't need to get tickets beforehand, but you should get there early so you get a good seat.

Yay Lucy B. Yay LA Times Festival of Books. Yay the fact that it's finally spring.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lucy B. Parker website is up & running...

....and I think it turned out SUPER cute.

Click here to see it.

Lucy B. review!

So the first book in my YOURS TRULY, LUCY B. PARKER series comes out on April 20th, and some reviews are starting to trickle in....I particularly appreciate this one by Stacy Dillon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Come see me!

I'm excited to announce that I'll be on a panel at the 2010 LA Times Festival of Books, held at UCLA. The panel is called Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Writing Today's Teens and it will take place on Sunday, April 25th at 1pm on the YA Stage. I'll be appearing with Lisi Harrison and Amy Goldman Koss, and it will be moderated by Aaron Hartzler Here's a link to all the pertinent info (ie schedule, free ticket info, etc.) And afterwards I'll be signing.

So I just have to say one thing because it's pretty cool. As some of you know, I lived in L.A. for a million years (okay, maybe just 17 but on the bad days it FELT like a million). And for years, when I'd go to the Book Festival, there was this teeny tiny voice inside of me - so faint that I could barely hear it, because what it was saying seemed absolutely absurd - but the voice would say "One day I'll come here as an author. And one day I'll be on one of those panels."

Like I said, I thought the idea of that was insane -- I mean who did I think I WAS to dare to allow myself to think like that?! Well, on the BAD days, I did the "Who-do-you-think-you-are" thing. On the good days, I did the "Maybe there's the slightest chance that there could be the tiniest sliver of a possibility that that could actually come to pass."

Very glass-half-empty of me, I know.

Yeah, well, so guess what? It IS coming to pass.

Just keep that in mind when you try and talk yourself out of thinking your dreams can come true, okay?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lucy B. Parker is Tweeting....

....Click here to follow her.

Let's see if she's any better than I am at this Twitter business.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How to Avoid Writing

I think at last count I had about 7,242 ways to accomplish this, but today the number went up to 7,243.



It's this incredibly cool app you can download for your iPhone that makes it so you can take lomo-like photos. (lomo=short for lomography which you can read about here

So fun. So easy. So much of a time waster!

Oh, and BTW? That black blob in the top right hand corner in the photo of my feet? That's a cat.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm alive....

...Let me rephrase that--I'm coming back to life, like the trees that are finally blooming up and down the streets of Manhattan, after a very long winter, and a pretty horrible March.

The Cliffs notes version is my mom had a brain aneurysm and a brain bleed. Out of nowhere. And she's very, very lucky to be alive. It's weird writing this blog, because when I do (which as we all know isn't all that often...) I have to remember that a lot of the people who come to this site are my readers, so they're younger. But then there's also other authors, or my friends, or my dad, or other people for whom high school was a long, long time ago. So keeping all that in mind, I feel like I have to be mindful of what I say. You know, nothing inappropriate. (Not like I walk around saying inappropriate things.) (Okay, maybe I do occasionally.)

But when I was thinking about what I wanted to say about this experience, it was this...

I think part of being a mother, and part of being a daughter -- part of being a human being, really -- is that people are occasionally, or maybe even regularly, going to drive you crazy. And you'll fight with them, and complain about the fact that they don't understand you, but the whole time that's happening, in the back of your mind you're always thinking "But it's not like I really have to deal with that now and accept that they're human beings and remember that at the end of the day, we're all just doing the best we can, so why not just cut someone a break...I mean, why should I do that now when I have, oh, I don't know, the next 30 years or so to do that?"

And then someone has a brain aneurysm and almost dies and you realize that, um, maybe you DON'T have 30 years to do that. In fact, maybe you should think about doing that, you know, NOW.

So a few weeks ago I went to Arizona, where my parents live, to see my mom in the hospital. And the first day I was there, she was pretty out of it, but I got to hold her hand, like in the picture, and it was still soft and it was still warm, and amazingly enough, her nails still looked good which I'm sure she would have been really glad to know because she's always had impeccably manicured hands. And then the second afternoon when I got there, she was a little more coherent, and she recognized me which made me happy and relieved. And then when my dad and I went back there that night, she was even more coherent and this time when she saw me, she smiled and the nurse came in and said "Look, she's smiling!" which made me really happy. And even though my dad had told me that while her short-term memory was a problem at the moment because of the aneurysm, her long-term memory was still perfectly in tact. However, I of course had to find this out for myself, lest I leave the next morning for L.A. still worrying, which is pretty much all I had been doing since this aneurysm business started. So I started saying "Hey Mom, remember when we did this when I was little.." and "Remember when we did that..." and interestingly all the memories I had at that moment just happened to be all this really GREAT stuff that happened when I was young. Stuff that, frankly, I hadn't thought about in years. Like how when I was in the hospital for 2 weeks for my back when I was 13, she'd come and spend all day with me.

And as I was talking to her, she looked at me and she said "I was a really good mother" and I squeezed her hand and I said "Yes. You certainly were. And you still ARE."

'Cause she was. And she is.

So the moral of the story is, please remember that as much as you'd like to think you have 30 years to get it all together (or, if you're one of my readers, 80 years), the truth is, sadly, that's not always the case. And if your mom is still around, think about going up to her, or calling her on the phone and saying "Hey Mom--you know what? You're a really good mom." Even if, at that moment, she's driving you crazy or you might not think she understands you. Not only will it make her feel good, but I have a feeling it'll make YOU feel even better.

'Cause here's the thing--your mom? Chances are she's doing the best she can. Just like you're doing the best you can. And I bet she loves you very, very much. And when we can remember that, it seems to make this dealing-with-human-beings thing A LOT easier.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My co-writer

This is Onyx, who, while I'm writing, either (a) sits on my lap or (b) paws at me because she's begging for food because next to throwing up hairballs, her favorite pastime is eating.

I took the photo, but then Carlo (you can click on his website from the link over on the right) used Photoshop to make it look all beautiful and dream-like, which I love. Because when I look at this photo, I can almost forgive her for the numerous trips to the drycleaner I have to make because her favorite place to deposit the aforementioned hairballs is on my duvet cover.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

More videos from my favorite reviewer...

The fabulous and prolific Jenna just posted this of Little Miss Red....and not only that, but she made this video too which completely made me cry.

Thank you, Jenna


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fun news

I feel like one of those pregnant women who waits until she's three months along before officially announcing it..except in my case I'm having two more book babies....

I'm super excited to announce that not only will I be doing another fairy tale retelling as part of the Castle Heights "companionship" -- this one based on Snow White -- but also that I'll be writing one called ALICE À PARIS, loosely based on Alice In Wonderland, about an American girl abroad in Paris.

And you know what that means, don't you?

That I'll obviously have to go live in Paris for a while and do research....

Back when I was young...

(God, I sound so old. Like I'm 80 with Brillo hair and elastic waist slacks.)

Anyway, back when I was young, we didn't have YouTube. We didn't even have computers.

But I think it's so cool that this fantastic girl named Jenna did these video reviews of Cindy Ella and Geek Charming. So creative. And she's going to do one for Little Miss Red this weekend :)

I have to say, I don't know what other authors' readers are like, but as far as I'm concerned, mine are the coolest. Seriously. They're so unique, with such a sense of self-possession...I'm truly in awe of them.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I am an emotional creature...

And I love, hear me,
love love love
being a girl.

The words above are from one of Eve Ensler's monologues from her new book I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE. You can read the entire thing here and I strongly urge you to do so because it's incredibly powerful. Also, her talk on TED about what she calls "the girl cell" - which you can watch by clicking here is fantastic.

It rained all day today. And it's cold. The kind of weather that makes you want to hang out in a hot bubble bath rather than schlep all the way uptown to 92nd Street - EAST 92nd Street, to be exact - not even WEST - to go hear Eve Ensler give a lecture at the 92nd Street Y, but because I had already bought my ticket, schlep I did.

And I'm so glad I did.

I was so moved, so inspired, so...desirous of getting involved in her new V-Girls organization which you can read about here

It made me really, really glad that I'm a girl.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Take the quiz...

Here's a fun quiz that Penguin put together.

Take it and then comment and let me know which character you are. :)

Oh right.

I have a blog. Where I'm supposed to be writing things about....I don't know...things.

I just handed in the third book in the series YOURS TRULY, LUCY B. PARKER - which feels so weird seeing that the first one isn't even out yet (it will be, on April 20th) - so I'm giving myself four whole days to not write, which feels like an eternity. Unfortunately that time will be spent doing my taxes which is right after "stick needles in my eyes" on my list of Top 10 Ways to Spend My Time.

I figured out I wrote three books this last year. And a rewrite of a screenplay. So I"m a little tired. But beyond grateful to have the work. I received an email from a 14 year old girl in Cyprus a few weeks ago who said that my books made her feel "more normal" which, as far as I'm concerned, is the biggest compliment I could ever receive and better than any award. When I was fourteen, reading did the same thing for me - made me feel more normal. And at 41, it still does that for me, although the older I get, the more I realize that the whole idea of "normal" is kind of a crock. And that, frankly, normal people are boring. But on my not-so-good days, I yearn to be normal because somehow I think that that'll make life easier. Which it doesn't. Life is life and there are good days, and bad days, and boring days, and exciting days and the only thing you can count on is that it's always changing...maybe not as quickly as you'd like, but it DOES change. Usually once you stop trying to make it change and just relax into what's going on in the moment.

(Wow. I'm really rambling. And I'm only halfway into my first cup of coffee.)

So LITTLE MISS RED is out...haven't gotten a ton of feedback on it yet, but what's interesting is that some of the comments are along the lines of the fact that Jack - the hot guy that Sophie falls for - is sort of a jerk. Which, because this is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and he's the wolf character - he's supposed to be. And Sophie's journey is to come to realize that. I don't know how it is for other authors, but for me, the reason I write is to feel understood...and maybe it's just because I haven't been doing this that long, but every time I read a review where I feel as if the reader hasn't quite understood my intention of what I was attempting to do, I want to go over to their house and and bang on their door and sit them down at their kitchen table and explain myself so that I can change their mind and they'll not only get it, but they'll love it.

(Did I just admit that? On a blog? A blog that is public and can be read by everyone?)

But that's not going to happen (a) because it's insane and (b) because I have too many writing deadlines to hit so I don't have the time to traipse around the country ;)

Oh - before I forget. If you live in NYC, as part of the NYC Teen Author Festival, I will be taking part of a panel discussion on Friday 3/19 from 4:15-5 in the South Court of the 42nd Street NYPL (the one with the lions) called The Boy You Can't Have.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Pub Day, Little Miss Red!

Finally - she's here! You can buy your copy on Amazon by clicking here or from Barnes & Noble by clicking here

It's a modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, about a girl who is obsessed with romance and bowled over by a very hot, charming, wolfish guy only to find out he's not all that.

Not that I, um, have any experience with that kind of thing...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

So the cover story of this week's New York magazine is about dogs and how we treat them as family members, and are they even dogs anymore. And it got me thinking about a conversation I had with my father on my birthday last week.

After he wished me a happy birthday he said "I want you to see if you can list every dog we had from the time you were born." I waited for him to tell me what my prize would be if I could do it, but he didn't offer anything up but because I'm always up for a challenge I took the bait. When I was done--listing some that he had completely forgotten about -- the grand total came to 21.

21 dogs in 41 years.

And I wonder why I have problems with commitment.


I've been having blog envy recently.

To be more specific, I was just perusing Neil Gaiman's blog because I kind-of-sort-of have a crush on him (I was also kind-of-sort-of devastated to hear that he and Amanda Palmer got engaged a few weeks ago...who, BTW, is also from Boston, with the same last name as me). Anyway, if you click on the link, you'll see what I mean. Because he's got stuff to say. Granted, at the moment, it's really sad stuff--like how he had to put his cat to sleep--but I envy the way that he talks about himself and his personal life in such a way that it never feels narcissistic or self-indulgent. Then again, maybe it is, and the crush thing just makes it seem all so adorable to me.

Here's my issue: I don't WANT to have every blog entry I do be in the vein of "Hey, go onto Amazon and pre-order Little Miss Red and/or Yours Truly, Lucy B. Parker or - better yet - both!" but when I think about writing about my personal life and stuff that isn't related to my books, I just feel like "Who the hell wants to read about THAT?"

A few years ago there was a story in the New York Times magazine written by Emily Gould about the perils of oversharing. And I remember reading it and thinking "that girl just completely overshared about oversharing..." And I don't ever want to be that kind of girl, you know? But on the other hand, there's probably a happy I can write about stuff that has to do with me and my life without feeling too exposed.

Then again, if I had Neil Gaiman's life, I'd probably have a lot more to say...

More later.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My 15 minutes of fame... least in YouTube land.

As promised, here are the videos I shot in Central Park last week.

You can watch the one about LITTLE MISS RED here and the one about YOURS TRULY, LUCY B. PARKER here.

Let's all be thankful that I spend most of my time in solitary confinement writing rather than in front of a camera. Yikes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Once upon a time...

...there was an author who wrote modern-day retellings of fairy tales. (That would be me). And one day, the fabulously creative Courtney Wood --the senior online marketing manager for Penguin Young Readers, who publishes the aforementioned fairy tale retelling author -- came up with the brilliant idea that instead of sitting in a boring office to do an author profile video, they should do it in a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park because that's a very fairy tale-like thing to do. The fairy tale author loved the idea, especially since she had recently procured a black fur headband over the holidays which made her look very Russian princess-like and would be the perfect accessory to wear during the shoot. So one Thursday morning, on a very beautiful, freeze-your-butt-off January morning, the two -- along with the uber talented filmmaker Lauren Saffa -- went for a carriage ride around the park with a horse named Blackie (a lot of originality in that name) leading the way. Actually, they went around the park TWICE because the author tends to be a bit longwinded at times so they needed more coverage.

The video should be ready very shortly and of course I'll post a link here even though, to be honest, while I have no problem whatsoever talking in front of groups, whenever I see myself on film I want to book a one-way ticket to a deserted island and never return. Let's just say it's a good thing I chose the writing vs. acting path.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Have you ordered your copy of Little Miss Red yet?

...because it comes out ONE MONTH FROM TOMORROW.

So you can click here to order it.

I did my first reading from it on Wednesday and people seemed to really like it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ciao...mi chiamo Robin e scrivo romanzi....

"My name is Robin and I write novels."

That's about the only thing I've perfected so far as I try and learn Italian. I've said it so many times aloud that I swear Onyx, one of my cats, has taken to rolling her eyes.

So I studied French from grade 7 all the way through college. 10 years. And you'd think that after all that time and effort, I would have tried to keep it up. But I didn't. Which is why 20 years later, I can't say I'm fluent in French, and yet it keeps getting in the way of me learning Italian.

And that's why I've decided that I will start a new language...Fritalian. Where we will say things like "Bonjour! Come stai?" (Hi--in French--How are you? -- in Italian).

That being said, Italian is a really beautiful language and there are enough similarities to French that at some point something will click and it'll get easier (at least that's what I tell myself.)

I'm not a big resolution-maker, but learning Italian is definitely on the list of Things-I-want-to-do-in-2010-but-I'm-not-going-to-call-them-resolutions-in-case-I-fail-miserably.

And cooking. Definitely more cooking.

And buying an apartment (which translates to please-buy-lots-and-lots-of-my-books-so-I-can-afford-to-do-that).

AND BLOGGING ON A REGULAR BASIS. That's #1 on the non-resolution list.

Happy happy new year, anyone who is reading this--even the people who post anonymous comments that are obviously computer-generated.