The Big Game …

So, The Big Game is a week away.

But, for me, the playoffs are still going on.

Because while football season might be ending, awards season is still going strong.

Don’t get me wrong – I do love good competition. I want to see the Seahawks take on the Patriots. And I’m just as interested to see Redmayne take on Cumberbatch.

The Red Carpet is a gridiron in its own right. Players (actors and actresses) have coaches (PR teams) guiding them toward the other end of the field (the ballroom) while interacting with the other team (interviewers) all within a certain amount of time.

The uniforms might be slightly more glamorous, but I suspect the spirit of competition is just as gritty.

The Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the Producers and Directors Guild Awards? Those are *my* playoffs.

Fashion Police? That’s *my* Monday-morning Quarterback.

The Oscars? That’s *my* Super Bowl.

I’m ready for The Big Game.

Good Decisions

Sometimes, a split-second decision changes the course of your life.

I never planned on having a career in communications. But 20 years ago this year, I figured out that’s exactly what I was meant to do.

Growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer. So much so that my parents said I would pull my dad’s law books off his shelves and “read” them. Glass ceilings were starting to crumble, and I had visions of power suits, high heels clacking on marble courthouse floors and shouts of “Objection!”

Charger Staff

So when some of my friends decided to join our high school newspaper staff, I thought, “Why not?! It’ll look good on college applications. And I love my English and literature classes.” On a whim, I joined the staff, too.

And I haven’t looked back since.

It didn’t take me long at all to fall in love with the Fourth Estate. I loved learning all I could about journalism. I loved learning to gather and share stories. I loved learning to puzzle them together on a newspaper page (yes, by hand – before any fancy design software!).

Two degrees and 20 years later, journalism is still my passion. The stories journalists tell are every bit as important as the stories told by novelists, poets and songwriters. They give us insight into the world around us every single day, and there’s so much value in that.

I may have started out wanting to be like Amal Clooney but ended up becoming more like MacKenzie McHale. And I’m more than OK with that. After all, they both wear fabulous shoes.

Reading Raves: Vol. 3 – Holidays 2014

Confession: My holiday indulgence is not Christmas cookies. It’s Hallmark holiday movies.

I know. But they’re so charming! And they remind me that sharing your favorite stories make a great gift.

I know of a certain book (*cough* Spotlight *cough*) that would be perfect for anyone who is passionate about the entertainment industry and journalism. And here are a couple of others that should make their way under your tree.

R.S. Grey: The Duet

I had the chance to meet the lovely R.S. Grey during the Texas Book Festival. And her writing is a fun as she is! The Duet is her latest … can two very different singers come together for Grammy gold?

Ina Garten: Make It Ahead

This one is for all the foodies (me included!) out there. One day I will throw a dinner party as classy and elegant as Ina’s!

Ruth Clampett: Mr. 365

I mentioned my love of Hallmark’s holiday movies. And Mr. 365 is the e-book version of that same charm. My friend Ruth’s book will definitely put you in the holiday spirit!

The great thing about wrapping up a book during the holiday season is that it’s a gift that keeps on giving. They can read it again and again and think of you each time. Now that’s money well spent!

Giving Thanks

It’s been an eventful year, and I have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

For me, publishing a book was a more-than-one-woman job. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment to share my gratitude.

I’m thankful to the TWCS team – especially Jenn for designing a beautiful cover and the fabulously wonderful editors who helped my words take shape.

I’m thankful to my family for being more than understanding when I was on deadline and for spreading the word about Spotlight when it came out.

I’m thankful to Amanda and Donny for giving me even more inspiration and the rest of my friends for their support and excitement about this book.

I’m thankful to everyone who has purchased and reviewed my book. I hope you’ve enjoyed Lily, Nate and Daniel’s story as much as I have!

And now it’s your turn … what are you giving thanks for this week? Share the gratitude!

Austin = Awesome!

TBF2014Me2

The very first thing my pals at The Writer’s Coffee Shop told me about attending the Texas Book Festival was to save room in my luggage for books.

They weren’t kidding!

My weekend in Austin for the Texas Book Festival was full of lots of book promotion, lots of book talk and lots of … well … books! (Confession: My luggage was, in fact, significantly heavier on the way back.)

I had a blast getting to spend time with two of Spotlight‘s fabulous editors and getting to know some of my fellow super-talented TWCS authors. I also had a chance to sign a few books (see above!). And I even got talk with some amazing writers (R.S. Grey – it was a pleasure to meet you!).

If you’re a literature lover and hear about a book festival in your area – make plans to attend! It’s a fun way to indulge your love of books and support local writers.

And for your writers out there who are participating in NaNoWriMo – good luck!!!

Texas Book Festival, y’all!

Next weekend (Oct. 25 and 26), I – along with several other awesome authors from The Writer’s Coffee Shop – will be attending the Texas Book Festival in Austin.

AND WE’LL BE SIGNING BOOKS!!!

I’ll be at Exhibitor Tent 4, Booths 411-412, at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 26. And my friends and fellow writers at TWCS will be at that same spot throughout the weekend. Come by and see us and get your book signed!

And happiest of happy birthdays to TWCS, celebrating its fourth year. I’m honored to be part of the team! Congrats to all who won prizes during the big TWCS 4th Birthday Party!

Surreal Moments

spotlightatbarnes1We all have those moments where things become … real.

It’s no different for writers.

I’ve had many surreal moments throughout the publishing of Spotlight.

Typing “THE END” after 103,000 words.

Signing my publishing contract.

Approving the final edited version.

Holding the printed copy in my hands for the first time.

But perhaps none have been as surreal as cruising through my local Barnes & Noble and seeing my own book. Right there. On the shelves. For people to buy.

I may or may not have done a little happy dance right there in the aisle. And then captured the above photographic evidence.

If you haven’t picked up a copy, you can get Spotlight from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And if you do, don’t forget to leave a review!

You Know Who I’m Talking About …

Yes, Spotlight is Lily, Nate and Daniel’s story.

But there is another character who has a small but significant role in the story.

You Know Who I’m talking about.

In fact, she didn’t have a name until the very last round of edits. She was simply known as YKW. I didn’t want her maybe-they-are-maybe-they-aren’t relationship with Daniel to be a main focus. I wanted everyone to draw their own conclusions – just like Lily does.

Daniel and Sam never confirm or deny that they are in a romantic relationship. They just … do their thing. And I’m always fascinated by real-life celebrity maybe-couples who choose not to say anything at all.

It’s an interesting PR tactic, for sure. It certainly doesn’t do anything to quiet the curiosity. And many times, it seems to only increase the speculation. But, to me, it’s also a good reminder that it really isn’t any of my business.

Daniel and Sam decided that their relationship is theirs alone. And I can respect that. I truly believe that being in the public eye does not necessarily mean giving up privacy. Some celebrities want to jump on Oprah’s couch and shout to the rooftops about their personal lives. Others don’t. And that’s perfectly okay.

Casting Spotlight: The Movie?!

The first trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey came out this week, and that got me thinking about turning a book (a medium I love) into a movie (another medium I love).

Specifically, I’ve been thinking about casting a movie based on a book since I got my first look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. And I couldn’t help but wonder … who would you cast in Spotlight: The Movie?

That’s probably something most authors think about during the writing process. I know I did – even though it’s wishful thinking. And I actually got (and still get) that question frequently.

That’s such a difficult question to answer. For some characters – Lily, Daniel … heck, even Daniel’s dad – I have a very clear idea of who I would want to play them on the big screen. For other characters, casting would be a bit of a dilemma. For example, I know exactly who *I* would choose to play Nate. But this actor doesn’t exactly have the character’s physical attributes.

And for many readers and audience members, that can be a turn-off. So many times you hear fans say, “Well, that actor is not how I pictured that character …” So even though I have my own casting ideas for Spotlight, I’m sure you have yours, too. Tell me … who could you see playing Lily, Daniel and Nate on the big screen?

Reading Raves: Vol. 2 – Summer Reads 2014

We’re well into summer travel season, and it’s funny how many people have mentioned to me that they’re taking Spotlight on vacation with them to read on the beach or pass the time on very long flights. Loving that my book is so well-traveled!

I just got back from vacation myself, and I thought I’d share what I enjoyed during my getaway.

Alison Sweeney: Scared Scriptless

I love her work on Days of our Lives, and I love her books, too. They’re charming, fun and witty. And, of course, I’m a sucker for the way she weaves in insights into the entertainment industry.

Georgina Guthrie: The Words series

This one is for those of us who truly love words. A romance set against the backdrop of Shakespeare’s words? Now that’s something The Bard would appreciate.

Those are some of my current Reading Raves. But – sadly – I won’t be on vacation again for quite some time. So send me your faves from this summer so that I can still get away … even if it’s just escaping into the pages of a great book.