Monday, March 30, 2009

Triple Ds, Scoobies, and the amazing Laurie Halse Anderson

Here we are outside Book People - The Delacorte Dames and Dude Society. We've been getting a bit of press lately. Check out the article Jeff Salamon wrote up in the Statesman. He mercilessly teases me in the very first paragraph, but I forgive him.

Now onto the Scooby. My son, Daniel The Health Nut, brewed me a batch of Kombucha over spring break. Yesterday it was time to harvest the Scooby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). That's the slimy mushroom thingie floating on top. I wasn't sure what to do, so I gave him a call at college.

"Hey Dan, what do I do now?"

"Okay. Pick up the Scooby and set it aside in a ceramic bowl."

"Pick up that slimy, disgusting thing with my hands?"

"Listen Mom, if you send bad vibes to the Scoobie, it's not going to work for you."

Do you see what I'm dealing with? Anyway, I was kind to the Scooby and managed to pick it up and make the kombucha. The bottles are sitting on the counter carbonating. Nice little bottles.

Now the best part. Laurie Halse Anderson was at Book People in Austin, and we got to chat a bit. She's so sweet and humble and amazing. My daughter Korina recently read Speak so I introduced her to Laurie and right away Laurie said, "Friend me on Facebook!" See what I mean? Anyway, we got a signed copy of Wintergirls and I can't wait to read it.
I'd better get back to work. I got my final revision letter on The Less-Dead, and after a couple of new scenes and some tweaking, I'll be done!

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Bud, Leo

Well, enough time has passed since my good buddy Leo went to doggie heaven so I thought I'd post his photo an say what a great friend he was. Believe it or not, this photo was taken only six months before he died of a ripe old age of sixteen. We got him at the pound when my kids were little. He'd been a stray and had every disease in the book, but we nursed him back to health. He stole food off the table and chased the cat and chewed the superhero action figures, but we loved him anyway. We miss you, Leo.

On the book front, my lovely editor sent me the flap copy for the Less-Dead. She's so much better at writing copy than I am. Here it is:

Noah Nordstrom has been getting drunk at parties, eating crackers topped with apricot-hash jelly, and dissing the religious beliefs of his father, a man who hosts a popular Christian radio show. The deaths of two local gay teens intensify Noah’s anti-Evangelical stance, since he’s convinced that the killer is a caller on his dad’s program. And he blames his father for spreading hate.

Then Noah meets Will Reed. He thinks Will is cool; he shares Will’s love of poetry and music. But after finding out that Will is gay, Noah gets a little weirded out. Especially as Will seems really into him. It’s easier to stop being Will’s friend.

The killer, though, is still at large . . . and Noah is the one who finds the next dead victim. It’s Will.

Racked with guilt for giving Will the brush-off, and for not being as tolerant as he thought he was, Noah decides to investigate the murders. He knows the serial killer is targeting gay teens, but only those who live in foster care. Their deaths are not as important to society; they are the less-dead. But Noah determines to prove that someone does care. With the help of Will’s journal, which he pocketed at the scene of the crime, and in which the killer has written clues, Noah closes in on a dangerous opponent. At the same time, Noah must confront his crisis of faith and determine what beliefs to fight for.

Do you think I'll get hate mail?