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Archive for September, 2009

Ivy Pochoda’s The Art of Disappearing

September 14, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books

ArtofDisappearing
A few weeks ago Ivy Pochoda revealed intellect, humor and passion in her responses to this post, yet she certainly didn’t tell all. Instead this debut novelist likely left you wondering where The Art of Disappearing would beckon and tomorrow – September 15, 2009, its release day – all readers will be able to fall under Ivy’s storytelling spell.

Simply visit the PRESS page on the author’s website to discover elite critics and peers who have already been beguiled. Here’s a sampling:

“Ivy Pochoda has written a lyrical novel that will enchant you with a love story and with poetic, evocative prose.” 
— Marilyn Dahl, Shelf-Awareness

“Pochoda’s seductive debut novel is a phantasmagoric exploration of the ever-shifting line between destiny and coincidence.” 
— Carol Haggas, Booklist

“Ivy Pochoda has written an uncommonly good first novel about the unlikely love between a lonely woman and a most unusual magician. It’s a magical story, full of passion, heartbreak, and wonder.”
— Peter Hedges, author of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

“The inside of Ivy Pochoda’s head must be a very loud place. In this beguiling first novel, she brings an acute eye and vivid imagination to the ordinary details of life. The result is magic itself.”
— Rebecca Johnson, author of And Sometimes Why

“Ivy Pochoda’s language is hypnotic, her story refreshingly original. Most important of all, the characters she conjured made me ache. Prepare to let go of the mundane and embrace the fantastical in this well-imagined debut. It is utterly spellbinding.”
— Amy MacKinnon, author of Tethered

Amy MacKinnon’s words are what initially attracted The Divining Wand to discover this debut author beyond her pages. After all any Fairy Godmother is required to seek out magic. However, with regard to Ivy, what was found combined practical magic, extreme talent, and characters who talked her through the story.

Raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. by parents involved in publishing, a young Ivy attempted to deny her dream of writing fiction. Her reason: “I was worried people might have perceived my desire to write as something that came from them [her parents] not from myself.”

Another rather telling part of the writer’s background can be found by reading her Athletic biography. Taking up the sport of squash at age eight, only two years later Ivy was on the U.S. Junior squash circuit. And, while majoring in classical Greek at Harvard, she also led their squash team to three national championships and was named a four-time All American athlete. After graduation professional competition followed and the writer, documenting her experiences and observations for Squash Magazine, earned international ranking along with three gold medals in her appearances at the Pan American Federation Cup.

Significant? Absolutely! For the voice of The Art of Disappearing has both a bold confidence and subtle finesse to its tone that promises the reader from page one that it will take this story to the edge without compromising or giving in to traditional expectations. As lyrical, lushly vivid and poignantly philosophical as the novel is, it’s believed that Ivy’s mental discipline and sportsman’s courage makes it so.

Also remember Rebecca Johnson’s praise of the author’s “acute eye” because once the book is opened every page becomes alive to the reader. Whether it’s the neon glitz of the Las Vegas strip, its desert outskirts, rushing rivers, the Red Light District of Amsterdam and, of course, the magical acts, all are as detailed as possible. That may seem like magic in itself but, again, consider an athlete’s trained eye to take note, being aware of everything.

For a perfect example, read an EXCERPT from The Art of Disappearing.

And so begins this exquisite novel of a magician and a textile designer based on the question of whether love can be real if so much else is an illusion.

Since much of the story’s enchantment comes from these two characters, I asked Ivy about their backstory. But, as might be expected, neither has one. According to the author: “Well, both Toby and Mel were born entirely from my imagination. There is no aspect of either of their characters that is in any way inspired by anyone I know. This made it both wonderful and difficult to write them. I could be as inventive as I wished, but I had nothing to fall back on when I was unsure of how they would speak or act. They are a truly strange and interesting pair.”

Strange? Well actually Toby is not the only one who offers up real magic by waving his hands or dipping them into the air around him. He can seemingly create anything, but then there are Mel’s hands. With her touch on fabrics — of any type — she can hear music, voices and even life stories. In fact what the magician’s wife listens to from other’s patterns weave into her crowded being to cause worry as well as wonder.

For the romantic reader Mel and Toby are apt to be considered soulmates. Both are lonely, both are searching for a lost loved one and both want to believe in happiness. Yet happiness for one may never feel the same for the other.

After reading about seventy pages of this book, my mind began repeating the phrase, “happiness is just an illusion.” An experience that’s never happened to me before! Mid-way through the story, the phrase became this lyrical sentence: “Happiness is just an illusion filled with sadness and confusion.” And by The End, this had been added on: “What becomes of the broken-hearted who had love that’s now departed? I know I’ve got to find some kind of peace of mind maybe.”

Although familiar with the song, “What Becomes of the Broken-hearted,” I haven’t heard it in years. Yet, since words are powerful and Ivy’s story is filled with magic, could it be that as my hands turned the pages they picked up an appropriate theme song? Maybe.

The Art of Disappearing is brilliantly enchanting. Ivy Pochoda will dazzle you as well as provide pause for reflection on what creates true happiness. In other words this novel is pure magic…no wand required!

As the book appears on local bookstore shelves tomorrow, it can also be purchased from these online retailers: IndieBound|Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Borders

And then there is The Divining Wand’s Book Giveaway. To enter please leave a comment describing a magical reading experience you’ve had. The deadline is this Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner to be announced in Thursday’s post.

Authors in the Media

September 10, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: News

[Note: The Divining Wand congratulates Patti — winner of the Crazy Beautiful Book Giveaway. If you’ll contact me, Patti, with your mailing address, your copy will be sengt on its way. Enjoy!]

Our authors have been out and about in the media recently, let’s discover where some have appeared:

Kristy Kiernan (Catching Genius, Matters of Faith and Between Friends coming April 6, 2010) goes in search for the modern day Fountain of Youth in her article, Saving Face, for Gulf Shore Life Magazine – The Magazine of Naples and Ft. Meyers.

Kristina Riggle (Real Life & Liars) appeared on Take Five Book Club — a local TV show — to discuss her novel.

Masha Hamilton (The Camel Bookmobile) is featured on Author Buzz this week. Read the open letter that Masha writes to the reader about her just released novel, 31 Hours. The “official” release date for this book is at the end of September when a full presentation will appear here. However please don’t wait in checking this out on your own and even entering The Contest for a chance to win a free hardcover copy of 31 Hours

And though this news item was published last year, on August 19, 2008, — when Liz Smith still wrote for The New York Post –, read Saved by the ‘L’. That’s the first buzz about Therese Walsh’s debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, originally entitled UNBOUNDED. Much more about “Moira” will appear here within the next month.

The Revealing of Maud Carol Markson

September 09, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

MaudCarol
Maud Carol Markson debuted with her first novel, When We Get Home, twenty years ago and Andre Dubus wrote, “It may be the best story we have about marital love.” This summer Maud — once again exploring the ever complex relationships of family and love — had her second book, Looking After Pigeon published, garnering the following praise:

“If you love superb literary fiction with a genuine and engaging voice, this book is for you.” __Harriet Scott Chessman, author of Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper

“A story about solitude, and searching, which reminds us that love is sometimes found in the most unexpected places.”__Michele Richmond, author of The Year of Fog and No One You Know

A full presentation of Looking After Pigeon will be posted here within the next two weeks, but let’s now reveal Maud Carol Markson beyond this two sentence bio:

She has taught writing at the University of New Hampshire and Cabrini College. She now lives in California with her husband and son, and her dog Molly, who is her constant writing companion.

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: I certainly need more than 8 words! Or a lot less.

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: “Don’t do to others what you would not want them to do to you.”

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: Having my family healthy, happy, and content.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Something bad happening to my son or my husband.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: I like it right where I am.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: I don’t know who I identify with, but I have always been a big fan of Amelia Earhart. I wish I could be fearless and original like she was.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: “On the other hand….”

Q: What do you regret most?
A: I try not to have regrets, just learn and move on….

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: My super hero talent would be the ability to transport myself anywhere– no traffic jams, no airport security. My human talent would be to be able to eat whatever I want and never gain weight.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Raising my son.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: I worry excessively.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: I never hold a grudge and never stay angry.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: Myself, of course.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: I’m nosy and I ask a lot of questions. As for physical traits– my dark brown eyes.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Harriet the Spy

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: No favorites– I don’t like villains.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Impolite people

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: I love to walk my wonderful dog, read, do crossword puzzles, and spend time with family and friends (preferably on a beach somewhere).

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: I sometimes fantasize about being an Olympic athlete.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you? A: Intelligence, loyalty, sense of humor

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: I love pizza, but I don’t think I would want to only eat pizza. A wonderful tomato fresh from the garden with a sprinkle of salt on top is also amazing.

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: This is my list at this moment in time (it changes): John Coltrane’s version of “My Favorite Things,” Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go,” Joni Mitchell’s “All I Want,” Bob Marly’s “Is This Love?” Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years”

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: Almost impossible to only pick 5, but here are some: Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Tomas Hardy, Finding a Girl in America by Andre Dubus, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Nine Stories by JD Salinger, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (made me believe I could be a writer someday), Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt, Someone Not Really Her Mother by Harriet Scott Chessman,
Republic of Love by Carol Shields, Collected Stories by John Cheever

Intrigued by Maud’s revelations? You can learn more by becoming her friend (search MaudCarol) on Facebook and enjoy reading Looking After Pigeon.

[Note: The Book Giveaway for Crazy Beautiful remains open until 7:00 p.m. EDT tonight. Please leave a comment here for a chance to win!]

Books That Made Our Authors, Authors, Part II

September 08, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

Once again here’s an opportunity to discover what one book influenced our authors’ careers, allowing them to dream of writings their own book pages.

Meredith Cole (Posed for Murder): “The book that most influenced my life and career as a writer? I really don’t know. I’ve always been a big reader and loved books. A book that was a huge influence on me as a kid was The Greengage Summer. Rumer Godden is an incredible storyteller. The book would be classified as YA today, but it’s really a romance, a mystery, and a thriller all rolled into one. She described the taste of the greengages so poetically, I wanted desperately to taste them. And I wanted to spend the summer in France.”

Jenny Gardiner (Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, Winging It coming Spring 2010): “The book that probably most influenced me: Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. The first person voice, that protagonist who just splayed himself out there, it just struck a chord with me and have always
loved first person POV since.”

Kristina Riggle (Real Life & Liars):
“Anne Tyler’s Pulitzer Prize winning BREATHING LESSONS taught me that a book could be entirely about inner lives and still be compelling.”

Wendy Tokunaga (Midori by Moonlight, Love in Translation coming November 24, 2009):
“Probably The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. It showed that readers would respond to novels with Asian themes and gave me confidence to take the plunge into writing fiction — first short stores and then on to novels.”

Lara Zielin (Donut Days YA): “My copy of Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawles was so dog-eared and tattered, it hardly held together. I must have read that thing 50 times as a kid. I think this book imparted to me ideas about what a true work ethic was, since the main character had to labor so very hard for everything he had. Plus he loved his dogs, and I, to this day, love animals like a fiend. I also loved the spiritual elements of the book too. God, faith, myths … I think reading this book prompted me, for the first time, to truly wonder about a force bigger and grander than what our eyes could see.”

[Note: The Crazy Beautiful Book Giveaway remains open until tomorrow night so please post your comment for a chance to win this lovely novel.]

Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s Crazy Beautiful

September 07, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books

CrazyBeautiful
Although Crazy Beautiful, the highly acclaimed YA novel by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, celebrates its “official” release day today – September 7, 2009 –, the truth is that it’s been available for the past two weeks. Why the early debut? Well there’s unlikely to be a definitive answer but one might suspect that given the rave reviews found on Lauren’s website page, Books For Teens,, it simply could not be held back.

Here’s a sampling of critical reactions:

“Lauren Baratz-Logsted doesn’t write icky, gooey love. She writes stark, broken, gorgeous love.” ~ Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of Wake

“Written in spare, evocative, prose, Lauren Baratz-Logsted crafts a beautiful story of love and redemption so gorgeously rendered I was enthralled from the very first page.” ~ Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Evermore

“CRAZY BEAUTIFUL is gripping, with moments of sheer brilliance.” ~ Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Impulse

“…a powerful story about recovery and friendship.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

Yes it is categorized as YA fiction, but almost anyone can relate to the book’s universal theme which is based on the “Beauty & the Beast” fairy tale. Brilliant idea, yet what prompted the author to try the adaptation?

In her own words, Lauren explains:

“I just love taking classics and playing with them, seeing how I can make the story contemporary, freshly relevant to a new audience. I’ve always loved “Beauty and the Beast,” it’s the only one where the male is as compelling, if not more so, than the female; in most other fairy tales the male exists as a goal for the female, functioning simply to make her look better. With CRAZY BEAUTIFUL I wanted to look at bullying but also at how through our own actions we are sometimes the architects of our own tragedies, as the Beast was, as Lucius in CRAZY BEAUTIFUL was, and how to find redemption. Oh, and I can’t forget the theme of surfaces: how mere physical features shape how others react to us and how their reaction in turn changes our own feelings and actions.”

And that developed into CRAZY BEAUTIFUL:

In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.

But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

However, in addition to her modern retelling of a fairy tale, it’s also Lauren’s writing style that captures your attention…and heart.

For example, please read a few sneak peek lines from Crazy Beautiful:

If I’d known then what I know now…

I’d have touched everything in sight, everything I could get my hands on. I’d have grabbed the nearest girl I could find and, not caring how crazy she thought me, touched my hands to her face just to know what that feels like.

Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?

I, never having loved before, have no real answer to the question.

Having read Crazy Beautiful, I can only describe it as “insanely gorgeous.” For what an extraordinary experience to be placed into the minds of 15-year olds and believe you’re a part of them by understanding and feeling what they do. Amazingly natural, the sparse, well-chosen words were just enough to allow this reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks, while reading in between the lines. And the swift, sharp pacing also kept the focus on the subjects and their conflict. There’s no need for unnecessary detours here, as “Crazy” and “Beautiful” tell their truths.

Of course within this storyline there are your high school protagonists – the bully and his followers and the need-to-be-popular, judgmental clique –, but they too are presented as genuinely real. For balance and pure pleasure, the author offers two wonderfully developed relationships between Lucius and his sister and Aurora with her father.

A story of finding self-love, then accepting and embracing pure universal love, Crazy Beautiful is not only a keeper, it’s one to gift to so many.

Crazy Beautiful can be purchased at any online retailer or at your local bookstore and you may also enter The Divining Wand’s Book Giveaway. Beginning today – Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT, just leave a comment on this post and your name will be placed into a random drawing for a copy of the novel with the winner to be announced in Thursday’s post. Teen or adult, Crazy Beautiful is for you!

The Passion that Is Lauren Baratz-Logsted

September 03, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

LaurenB-LBy her own admission, Lauren Baratz-Logsted is everywhere. Out here on the Internet you can find her blogging on a weekly basis at her RedRoom blog, Myspace, Amazon and twice a month at Teen Fiction Café. In addition there are her daily comments on Facebook as well as her tweets on Twitter about writing, reading and recognition of other authors. All these public appearances may make one wonder how does Lauren write…because write she does (in several genres for all age groups) with her latest, highly acclaimed YA novel, Crazy Beautiful to be officially released this Monday, September 7, 2009. To honor Crazy Beautiful a full presentation/review will be posted here — along with a Book Giveaway -– this coming Monday but today is the day to discover Lauren and why, how, when, where she masters her passion.

When did your passion for reading and writing begin?

Lauren: “Given the family I was born into, I had little choice but to become a reader. My parents’ idea of a good time was to lie on the couch during the daytime, or in bed late at night, reading books. I also had a brother, two years older, who was a big reader. So I dove right in, although I must confess, a large part of my reading back then was defensive reading since I suspected I’d find myself kicked to the curb if I didn’t keep up.

“As for writing, I suppose that’s been a lifelong love as well, although if I had to pinpoint a moment that triggered the idea that I might write things people wanted to read, that would be when I was twelve years old and an English teacher singled my paper out for special attention.”

You write and/or contribute to four or five blogs on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, Twitter and comment on Facebook, what’s the key to your time management?

Lauren: “I keep a datebook in which I write down what needs to be accomplished each day, including goals for any books I happen to be writing, blog assignments – even things like this interview! Then I simply don’t go to sleep at night until every item has been ticked off the list. In terms of Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites where I regularly participate, such as Backspace for writers and BookBalloon for readers, I swing by all those places first thing in the morning – kind of like other people have their morning coffee – and then revisit during the day as work allows.”

Describing yourself as a “voracious reader,” you average 250 books a year — both good and bad. How do you choose what to read?

Lauren: “I walk into the bookstore or library and just start grabbing stuff! I’m only partly joking about that. Just like I write in several genres and for different age groups, I read eclectically as well. OK, I’m looking at my latest eight-book haul: three YA novels, three adult mystery/suspense novels, one adult comedic novel, one literary novel. All written by women. But next week I could go out and come back with a stack of books all written by men and there might be mountain-climbing books in there. Oh, and I do buy books by all my friends who are writers which is getting to be rather expensive. I think I may need to start being less social. Maybe it’s time to alienate a few people.”

What do you consider the most rewarding aspect of your professional career?

Lauren: “There’s so much I love about what I do, but if you’re holding a gun to my head and making me pick just one, it’d be the actual writing: creating something that entertains me or makes me feel proud even before the rest of the world has seen it and weighed in.”

You’ve proclaimed that your inspiration comes from daughter Jackie, would you elaborate just a bit?

Lauren: “Well, if it weren’t for Jackie, I wouldn’t even have my career as a writer! Back in spring 1999, I’d been married for ten years and we were sure I’d never get pregnant. Then one day – poof! – I was pregnant. While home sick the first few months, the thought occurred to me: “‘What if I write a comedic novel about a slightly sociopathic woman who fakes being pregnant for nine months?'” I sat down and began to write what would later become my first published novel, The Thin Pink Line. Jackie has also been a huge inspiration in terms of The Sisters, the series of books for young readers that I created with Jackie and my novelist husband Greg Logsted.”

And how would describe your life in only 8 words?

Lauren: “I am the luckiest person in the world.”

Indeed Lauren must feel that way by living out her passion.

The Revealing of Ivy Pochoda

September 02, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Debs, Profiles

Ivy
Ivy Pochoda knows how to make an entrance into the literary world and sweep readers off their feet. Simply write an elegant and totally original first novel – complete with a lovely “must open” cover — and then schedule its debut for Tuesday, September 15, 2009 when bookstores await their busiest day in years. The Divining Wand believes that many customers will purchase his book and hers — The Art of Disappearing.

It was that cover, the words “by a debut author,” and Amy MacKinnon’s (Tethered) blurb, “Utterly spellbinding,” that caused my immediate need to discover Ivy. And here is her brief book bio:

Ivy Pochoda graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Classical Greek and English. After graduation, she spent time in the Netherlands, pursuing a career in professional squash. She was the Spring 2009 James Merrill House Writer-in-Residence. Currently she lives in Brooklyn, NY.

A full presentation of Ivy Pochoda and The Art of Disappearing will be posted here on Monday, September 14, 2009, but for now let’s discover more about this debut author beyond her pages.

Q. How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: An intriguing balance of literature and athletics.

Q: What is your motto or maxim
A: Someday we will look back on this and rejoice. (It’s from the Aeneid.)

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: Being able to write unencumbered by the everyday. However, there’s something selfish in this wish.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Fish and pointlessness.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you chooseto be?
A: Frenchman’s Bay, Maine, a cafe in Amsterdam, or on a train.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: I’d like to identify with Edith Wharton, but I’m afraid I haven’t
earned the right.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: I’d admire anyone who takes chances on his or her beliefs or
passions—whether in public or in private.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: Cool. I say it all the time. I usually mean it. Sometimes I don’t.

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Not daring to major in Folklore and Mythology in college.

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A Copyediting, proofreading, self-editing, self-restraint, and tennis

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Writing “The Art of Disappearing”

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Carelessness and impatience.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: I’m always available to my friends.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: Someone or something near water.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: I talk quickly.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Josef Kavalier from “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.”

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes.

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A: SERENA WILLIAMS: I LOVE YOU. I UNDERSTAND YOUR STRUGGLE AND AM THRILLED WITH YOUR VICTORIES.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Indecisiveness and dithering.

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Reading and condiment shopping. I’m also pretty fond of racket sports.

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: I’d like to run a mobile hot dog cart constructed out a 3-wheeled
police vehicle.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Clarity. Reliability. Honesty.

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Anything Indonesian.

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. The Sun Also Rises. The Odyssey. The Age of Innocence. Wings of the Dove.

Fascinated? Captivated? Ivy invites you become her friend on Facebook or follower on Twitter.

Summer Vacations by Our Authors, Part II

September 01, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

Having learned how some of our authors spent — or wished they had spent this summer — let’s hear from more of them beyond their pages.
Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don’t Die):
“What do I wish I were doing this summer? Exactly what I’m doing! Except maybe in a cleaner house. Although I would love to have the chance to visit my brother and his family in Switzerland, but my short deadline doesn’t really leave much opportunity for that. I also wish I were losing a pound or two a week… ha ha.”

Tish Cohen (Town House, The Invisible Rules of the Zoe Lama Juvenile, Inside Out Girl and Little Black Lies YA coming October 13, 2009):

“Right now I’m finishing up edits on the third adult book (due out next summer) and am listening to French jazz and the soundtrack to Something’s Gotta Give – which is all, you guessed it, French jazz.”

Meredith Cole (Posed for Murder):

“I wish I were writing in a quiet vacation home, preferably at the beach. Instead, I’m writing in my half unpacked/half painted house. I’m not very good at writing when everything is packed and in complete disorder, so I’m not getting much done right now.”

Ad Hudler (Man of the House, All This Belongs to Me, House Husband):

“I wish I were exploring the entire state of Oklahoma, border to border, in my truck.”

Jessica Barksdale Inclan (The Beautiful Being coming September 29, 2009):

“I need to teach and I love to teach, but I wish I did not have to teach so much — Five classes much.”

Holly Kennedy (The Silver Compass, The Penny Tree, The Tin Box):

“I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing this summer. I’m spending time with my kids and husband, then sliding off to Hawaii for 12 days to take in a writers retreat and present at the conference (where I’ll hopefully inspire some upcoming writers.” 🙂

Kristy Kiernan (Catching Genius, Matters of Faith, and Between Friends coming April 6, 2010):

“I’m doing what I want to be doing (editing BETWEEN FRIENDS, starting on the new one), but I’d rather be doing it somewhere else…like St. George Island, FL.”

Judy Merrill Larsen (All the Numbers):

“I’m having a great summer–I finished a major rewrite of what I hope will be my next novel on June 30, so now I’m taking some time away from it before going back to tweak it. In the meantime, I’m traveling to Seattle to visit my son and have a reunion with my mom, sister, aunt and cousin (one of those trips we’ve talked about taking for years), and then at the end of August my husband and I are running away to Amelia Island. And of course, I’ll be reading up a storm, trying to catch up.”

Kristina Riggle (Real Life & Liars):

“I wish I had more time to go camping. I miss sitting by a campfire in the still, cool night.”

Allison Winn Scotch (The Department of Lost & Found, Time of My Life):

“Oh gosh, summer really, really makes me wish that I didn’t live in New York City. I am a beach bum at heart, so I’d much rather be loitering on the beaches in Southern Cali than pounding the asphalt pavement here. Just to wake up at a beach house and step outside and inhale the air…oh, I’m getting depressed just thinking about it. But that said, we’re headed out west for two weeks, so I should get my California fix then.”

[Note: Not only did Allison enjoy her vacation, she just heard that Time of My Life paperback edition has gone into its third printing. Congratulations Allison!!].