Saturday, July 10, 2010

The word LOVE

I was recently asked in an interview, "If you were going to a deserted island, what three books would you take with you?" I answered:

1. The Diary of Anne Frank. That was the first book of significance that popped into my head.

2. Any Sidney Sheldon novel (I've read them all)

3. A dictionary because I love words.

I love looking up definitions and I love thinking of different ways to say things. In all of my novels, I use the word love a lot.

You can say I LOVE you. You can also say I ADORE you, I WORSHIP you, I'm IN LOVE with you, I'm DEVOTED to you, I CARE for you, I find you IRRESISTIBLE, I'm FOND of you, I have a WEAKNESS for you, I GO for you, I FANCY you, I have a THING for you, I'm wildly ATTRACTED to you, I have PASSION for you, I DIG you, I'm MAD about you, I'm OBSESSED with you, I'm willing to DIE for you, I'm NUTS for you, and my favorite one, I overwhelmingly psychotically FRANTICALLY DESIRE you.

So instead of telling your guy you love him, go with one of these and see what happens!

By the way, I also asked if I could bring DVD's of the first few seasons of "Sex and the City" to the deserted island.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Life is good... and I'm sorta starting to feel it in my clothes

Life is good...

The book's getting great reviews, sales are coming in nicely, I'm working on my next novel, my kids are great, the weather's been gorgeous, and my boyfriend and I couldn't be better.

I've always heard that when you're happy, you get fat. That just might be the case. I'm just sayin...the clothes are a little snug these days. Not sure if my metabolism's changing or I'm just slacking a little bit on my diet/excercise regime, or maybe I'm just so engrossed in all the fun, exciting things going on that I'm neglecting to realize I'm overeating. Whatever the case, I'm not too thrilled (and neither would you be.)

On the other hand, in the dark days, (a few years ago) when I was miserable and depressed all the time, I was really skinny. So, given the choice, I'd rather be pudgy and happy, than tiny and perpetually gloomy.

BUT, that being said, I will not cave and accept my 5 pound gain! I will overcome! I will persevere! And I will work out harder and stop eating trail mix and Hot Tamales!

If you have any suggestions to help me shed the recent elbs, please feel free to post! In the meantime, I continue to feel grateful and happy for everything I have in my life, most importantly, my health and the health of my kids. Trust me, I've got things in perspective.

The low carb, sugar free blitz starts today! Bu-bye love handles, bu-bye muffin top!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My speech from the HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM launch party benefit at RA

The HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM launch party benefit couldn't have gone any better. Perfect weather, a wonderful crowd, lots of laughing, eating, drinking and celebrating my book, while helping a great cause; the Lynn Sage Cancer research foundation.

The only glitch was that no one could hear my speech! I needed a microphone. But, oh well. It was my first launch party, so you have to expect some mistakes, right?

That being said, I've decided to post my speech, so that anyone who attended the party can actually read what I so wanted to say to my guests that night.

And for those of you who weren't there, you might enjoy it, as well!

Here goes:

The year was 1997. I was dating this guy I was crazy about. As I did with all the men I dated, I built him up to be the greatest guy on earth and was sure we were ending up together. So, one day, we were supposed to go to the Cubs game, and he said he had to cancel because he had to take his mom out for her birthday. The same day, one of my closest friends, Risa Meisner, called and told me she had two tickets to the game, did I want to go. Since I was obviously free, I accepted and was very much looking forward to a fun-filled afternoon with a dear friend at a great place. As expected, we were having a great time. The sun was shining, the crowd was fun, the Cubs were winning, we were drinking beer… And then came the seventh inning stretch. I stood up and began to sing Take me out to the ballgame with Harry Carey, when all of a sudden, something made me glance a few rows over from where I was sitting. There was my guy, who was supposedly with his mother. The worst part was, he wasn’t singing take me out to the ball game. He was kissing a girl, and I don’t just mean a casual peck. Mauling is a better word. But as I stood there with my jaw on the ground, devastated, humiliated and feeling hopelessness that I would never find true love, I could not have known at the time, that there was a silver lining. This and other relationship experiences would provide amazing material for romantic comedy fiction that I would later write.
Stories like these…and trust me, I have lots more… have provided me my best material for the novels I’ve written, including HLSH.

I actually wrote HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM at my kitchen table.
For years, I would wake up at 5am, sitting at my table in my pj’s with a cup of coffee, writing and rewriting HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM and other novels. And while I wrote, I would giggle and wonder if other people would giggle if they read what I was writing. At parts, I would burst out laughing and think, “Would other people think this is funny?” At the sad parts, I would tear up and think, “Surely, this will tug at people’s emotions.” But I wasn’t sure.
I then started sending out the manuscript to agents and publishers. I’ve been in sales most of my life so I was pretty confident I could sell something. Boy, was I in for a surprise. The girl who thought she was a super sales rep, was like a guppie in a shark tank. Selling this book was a total nightmare!
On my computer, I’ve currently saved over 500 rejection emails from publishers and agents.
Over the years, I did have some close calls. I once had a contract from a major NY agent who pitched one of my novels to Random House. That fell through. At one point, Vivica Fox was going to play the lead in a screenplay I wrote. That fell through.
I can’t count the number of nights I cried from frustration, and ate entire pints of Ben and Jerry’s out of nervousness, or sipped red wine to soothe the anxiety and try to cope with the roller coaster the unpublished author rides.
But still, I kept writing. And submitting. And bearing rejection
And then one day, someone said yes. Blackhawk Publishing took a chance on me. And I am so grateful to them. Because they are what brought me to tonight. To all this.
I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen with my books. I hope to publish many others and that I’m on my way. And I hope that this is the first of many book premiere parties. But one thing’s for certain. I worked conscientiously, almost obsessively, for 5 years. I persevered, I stayed the course when the rejections were overwhelming and when agents flat out told me I had no talent. And in return, I got to see the manuscript I wrote at my kitchen table turn into a novel and end up in bookstores. And that’s something that is indescribably amazing to me, something I will always carry around with me in my heart and something of which I will always be proud.

I wrote HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM because I wanted to make people laugh, and I wanted to move them. I chose to write in the male perspective, so here I am, a 44 year old divorced woman writing in the voice of a 30 year old non-commital single guy. The reason it’s moving, is because listening to Jeff tell HIS side of the story, and going along with him on his journey will touch you, I think. It’s a journey that starts with a completely immature, frightened, clueless guy regarding love and relationships, and through starting a business helping other women get their guys to commit, and falling in love through all this, Jeff learns that if you’re willing to put your fears aside, take a chance, and open your heart, a commited relationship (with the right person) can be quite fulfilling and bring true happiness.

We all know a Jeff. I bet every single woman in this room has dated a Jeff. When I was single I dated several of them. That’s how I was able to let him tell the story.

One of my graduate school professors from Boston University, Nancy Day, who is now the Chair of the school of journalism at Columbia College, just finished this book and said to me, “Wow…you really nailed that non-commital guy. He’s my son exactly!”

There are three main Characters in HOOK, LINE AND SINKHIM:

1. Jeff-a pretty likable guy, except you’ll pretty much want to slap him at the beginning of the book. By the end, though, you’ll understand him and you’ll want to hug him.
2. Dave-jeff’s best friend. He’s the guy all girls love to be friends with. Plus, his heart’s the size of Chicago.
3. Anna-We all have a little bit of anna in us. Anna is successful and beautiful and smart. But she’s desperate. Her clock’s ticking and she wants to be married and have babies. You may be a little bit annoyed by her at times, for her desperation and her willingness to trick a guy into marriage, but part of you may cut her some slack because maybe you or someone you know were her at one point in your life.
4. There are so many other colorful characters, all very different, but all with one thing in common; they all want to find true love.
I recently had four work related meetings in a two-day timeframe. One was with an intellectual, artsy 62 year old divorced woman, one was with a 34 year old writer who just broke off her engagement, one was with a 50 year old divorced guy who was very serious and businesslike, and one was with a 23 year old, just out of college, vivacious, fun-loving party girl. All had something in common that verified to me, how true to life HLSH is. ALL of these people wanted desperately to find love. Each one made a point to tell me that! So I think true love is universal. We all want that, and anyone who tells you otherwise is full of it!

I hope you enjoy the book. If you like to laugh, chuckle, get tears in your eyes, and say awww…. A lot, I think you will.

I’d like to thank everyone for coming here tonight to support me and to support the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation. I’m overwhelmed by all the support from people in my amazing community, offering to help me and call everyone they know and try to hook me up with media contacts and connections. It means the world.
I’d also like to thank RA and all of the local businesses that participated in giving away free stuff for the gift bags. I’d like to thank Gabby Oppenheimer and Lauren Rafael for volunteering.
I’d like to thank Ruby Kang and Jamie Gelb for flying in for this!
There’s a group of people who deserve to be mentioned. The people who I gave my unpublished manuscripts to, asked them to read, and give me their opinions. They spent hours and hours reading for me.
My mom, Frieda Pilossoph, my agent, Tina Tsallas, my sister-in-law, Vicki Pilossoph, and my friends, Jennifer Devine, Liz Becker, Jackie Langas, Sandy Sroubek, Melissa Uhlig, Leslie Resis, John Fitzpatrick, Lynn Bruno, Holly Hamburg, Kristin Portolese, Melinda Boutsikakis, Susan Slutzky, Rachel Siegel, Julie Tucker, Laura Harris, and Chris Reiter. Thank you all so much.
I’d like to thank my family. To have their love has made me able to achieve this.
I’d like to thank my boyfriend, Mark, who I love dearly and who got me over my fear of dating Jewish guys.
And to my children, Isaac and Anna. I’m blessed beyond belief to have them. Thank you guys for being so good. They stuffed the gift bags! I love you.

I want to finish with a story I recently wrote for an interview. I think it’s a good way to show you the passion I have for what I do.

While walking on the beach one day with my sister, she said to me, “Whenever I’m feeling sad, whenever I have a problem I’m upset about, being here on the beach is the thing that makes me feel better.” My response was, “That’s exactly how I feel about writing.”
Writing has gotten me through some really difficult times, including when my dad was sick and during the months I was going through a divorce. Whenever I felt depressed or helpless or anxious, typing on my computer keyboard never failed to help soothe the pain and angst, and make me feel encouragement and optimism about the future.
Writing is my outlet. It does it for me.
What I wish for everyone here tonight, is that you have something that does it for you. Something that has nothing to do with your spouse or your family or your children. Something you enjoy that’s just for YOU. Whether it’s a sport, a hobby, a job, volunteer work, music, theater, or writing, find something you really like. It will help you find peace within yourself. And it will make you happy. And that’s a good thing.
Thank you again for your support, and for coming here to celebrate with me. Have a great time!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Too little sleep is sometimes okay

Okay, so it's Monday and it's dark and rainy and I'm so exhausted I can barely function, but I'm not feeling sorry for myself. Don't most people feel like this at times? The key is to remember that if you had fun and enjoyed yourself, being tired is totally worth it!

Yesterday was a great day. I spent the day working my table at the Printer's Row Lit Fest. How much fun was that?! I sat there with my good friend, Kathy, a fitness instructor who happens to be an amazing salesperson. She was actually calling out to people, getting them over to the table to check out my book. We ended up selling lots of books, and meeting the sweetest, cutest women!

It's funny because they were all different ages, anywhere from 15-70 somethings, but they all had a commonality; they loved talking about love and relationships. So, we talked. And talked and talked and talked. And it was fun to hear all their stories about guys who didn't want to commit, and guys they didn't want to commit to, and ex-husbands, and ex-boyfriends, and current boyfriends and soul mates. Will I ever get sick of talking about this kind of stuff? I don't think so.

So, after leaving Printer's Row in the pouring rain, I ran home to flat iron my frizzy hair and quickly get ready for a Bar Mitzvah party I had to go to with my boyfriend. As tired as I was, and as much as I was thinking I'd rather lay on my couch, watch Sex and the City re-runs and eat popcorn, I have to say, I had THE BEST time! So, I guess what I'm trying to say it, if you push yourself a little and work through the tiredness, everything usually works out pretty good.

Several years ago I was on a ski trip in Vail with three girls. It was pretty late and I was exhausted and wanted to go back to the hotel and go to bed. "You have your whole life to sleep!" said my friend, Linda. I thought about it and then realized she was right. That night, we ended up partying till about 3 in the morning, and to this day, she and I still talk about how much fun we had that night. Fight through it girls! Live your life!!

Can I go take a nap now? Uh...I don't think so.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A great weekend

Is it really sad that I feel like I'm good friends with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte?!

This weekend, two girlfriends and I went to see Sex and the City 2, which I'm pretty sure got bad reviews. I just don't understand it. How could anyone be disappointed by anything these girls say and/or do?

My opinion is, does the movie deserve an acadamy award? No. But was it hilarious, heartwarming, fun and very entertaining? Absolutely! The outfits, the scenery, the dialogue, the chemistry between the characters... it's all there. I don't care what the critics say, I was completely entertained for two and a half hours (yes, it's really long) and I still didn't want it to end.

Other fun things I did this weekend: I went for a long bike ride with my kids, and I took my kids to the pool. The weather was awesome, so for once, mommy actually went in the pool and played.

We also went to a really fun party at my friend Susan's house, where I met all kinds of great people I didn't know. It's funny, as I was introduced to a lot of them, they would say, "Oh, nice to meet you. I read your book." That was kind of interesting. I would say, "Thanks! Nice to meet you, too" when instead, what I really wanted to say was, "Oh my God! What'd ya think?!"

And then yesterday, I spent the day with my cutie pie boyfriend. We hung out in front of the tv, listening to the rain all day. It was nice to do nothing. Oh, except I did work on one of my manuscripts for awhile.

So all in all, I have to say, the weekend was lovely. Tell me about yours!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The New Author Attends Her First Book Club Meeting

Thursday night, around 7:55 pm, I sat in my parked car, in front of this girl's house, so so nervous and scared. My first book club appearance as an author would be starting in five minutes. Twelve girls I didn't know and me. What if they didn't like the book? What if they didn't like ME? Yikes!

Well, I have to tell you, that night was nothing like the scary scenario I'd conjured up in my head.

As the girls started to arrive, the first thing I noticed how attractive they all were. It was obvious that every one of them had put time and effort into her appearance. I just love that! It's so endearing to me when I see girls dressing up for other girls.

I began talking to them and realized quickly how extremely intelligent these women were. But, they were also fun and energetic and down to earth.

All lived nearby, and had been getting together for four years. In total, they'd read 40 books, HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM being 41.

Every one of these wonderful women made me feel instantly like their friend. They were gracious and sweet, but I also felt comfortable joking around with them within the first few minutes.

What touched me the most about this group was, the cohesion and the bond between them. They had probably talked over the years for thousands of hours. Wine drinking, giggling, laughing, teasing each other and tearing up at times was what I saw, not to mention the genuine respect they all seemed to have for each other.

As for HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM, it was so much fun hearing their thoughts and listening to their discussions regarding how the book may pertain to their own lives.

Time flew by, and I did not get home that night until 11:30! What a wonderful night. My first book club under my belt, and I have to say, if all book clubs are like this, I'm looking forward to many, many more!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hook, Line and Sink Him "catching" on!

Things are certainly heating up. It's really exciting. I can actually sense the momentum building up, and starting to feel that the word's getting around about HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM! It's so much fun!

Yesterday was an amazing day. I got invited to attend another book club, I got three emails from people who read HLSH, who told me they loved it (and they weren't friends of mine, they were people I didn't know!), and I had a lovely meeting with one of my professors from Boston University, Nancy Day, a beautiful and VERY smart woman, who is now the Chair of the school of Media Arts and Journalism at Columbia. Who would have known that this extremely intellectual, intelligent and gifted journalist was also a fan of the romantic comedy genre? See? I rest my case. EVERYONE in life has a romantic side. Don't try to tell me otherwise!

Also, the HOOK launch party is really taking shape. I just secured the place and am now in the process of putting together the gift bags! More info to come later...

Today I'm off to meet my dear friend Mike Hammernick, awesome weatherman for WGN and CLTV for lunch, and then I'm going to check out Printer's Row for the upcoming book fair.

Yes, I feel like HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM is on a good path. The word's getting out. Fun, fun, fun!

Here's the thought I'll leave you with: "Why do guys do everything in their power to avoid confrontation at all costs? My theory is, talk it out dudes! It's so much better that way!" Let me know what you think!