About Diana Rodriguez Wallach Diana's Books Diana's Blog For Writers News and Events Contact Diana
 

Monday, September 29, 2008

I’m Reading in the Rain, Baltimore Festival in the Rain

I was a panelist at the Baltimore Book Festival this past Saturday. Three other young adult novelists and I participated in the Book Divas YA Panel, which was held outside in a tent on the festival stage in the midst of other vendors, speakers and musicians. It’s a fabulous festival with a great reputation and looked like a lot of fun, but unfortunately this year we were all greeted by a very unwanted guest—Mother Nature.

Yup, it rained like crazy the entire day. And I’m not talking “a slight drizzle” or “scattered showers.” I’m talking heavy, sopping, make-sure-your-windows-are-closed torrential downpour.



First, let me get down on my knees and thank every single person who came out to support the authors in this less-than-festive weather. You’re awesome! And second, let me thank the Book Divas staff for being so pleasant and organized that we all felt thrilled to be out there—good weather or not.

Now, as you might expect, the turnout for our panel was a little light (okay, my sister and my husband may have made up a good percentage of the audience when we got started). But, in a serendipitous twist, the rain started tumbling down like a hurricane midway through the panel, which ultimately brought in lots of foot traffic seeking shelter. And, thankfully, they all stayed until the end of the discussion and asked some wonderful questions.

I got to talk about the research I conduct for my novels (which included a trip to Puerto Rico for Amor and Summer Secrets); my prior journalistic training (which I think helps the speed and ease in which I write my novels); and my thoughts on writing in a teenage voice (yeah, I still talk like a teenager myself sometimes, so it’s not that hard).

I also got to learn lots about my fellow panelists. For example, Brad Barkley, author of Jars of Glass, writes with a coauthor—each author writing in a different character’s point of view. And they do this without an outline by having one author write a chapter then send it to the partner who writes the next chapter. Suzanne Supplee, author Artichoke’s Heart, speaks beautifully about how the artichoke metaphor applies to the weight her main character peels off throughout the novel. And Robin Wasserman, author of Skinned, talked about how she initially shied away from sci-fi as an author, but is happy to now be writing in a genre she loves.

  

And of course, I spoke about how the main character in Amor and Summer Secrets, Mariana, shares my ethnic makeup (she’s Puerto Rican and Polish) and how I hope her struggle to come to terms with her ethnicity is relatable to teens of various backgrounds.

There was a lot of great advice coming out of the panel, if I do say so myself. :) And I think it turned out fabulously. So if you haven’t read the other panelists’ books, check them out! I know I bought copies.



POP-CULTURE RANT: SNL

How much do I love Tina Fey? Let me count the ways. One is for her hilarious portrayal of Sarah Palin in the Katie Couric Interview. Two is for her requesting a “lifeline” when Sarah’s asked about McCain’s Senate record. And three is for her incoherent rant in response to the $700 Million Bailout question, which was almost verbatim to the nonsensical answer Sarah herself gave during the actual interview. Keep up the political spoofs, SNL! You’re rocking them!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Book Banning, Censorship, Elections….Oh, wait! I’m Getting Political!

Readers of my blog should know that I have an odd fascination with elections. During the primaries, I was completely obsessed with CNN’s fancy touch-screen map and all those convoluted delegates. But since the primaries ended, Wolf and I haven’t hung out much. That’s not to say that I don’t care about the outcome of the race, I’m just waiting for the “playoff” rounds to begin.

So when I heard about this awesome new website put together by Maureen Johnson (author of Suite Scarlett) called YA for Obama, I thought “Fabulous! Sign me up!”

I mean, check out the site. It’s incredibly well done—this cool social networking tool that allows you to have “friends,” post blogs, create your own “page,” and more. And the network of people on it, especially the YA authors, is downright impressive. Judy Blume (author of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Forever; Superfudge, etc.) posted a blog! So did John Green (author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines). And there are tons of other best selling authors, like Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl), Megan McCafferty (Sloppy Firsts), Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You and That Summer, which became the movie How to Deal), Melissa Walker (Violet in Private), Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak) and many, many more.

So I joined to show my support for Obama as well as the other authors supporting this initiative. To be honest, I didn’t think much of it. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m going to vote for Barack. It’s not like it’s some deep hidden secret.

And then I asked my husband to post the link on my homepage. His reaction? “Are you sure you want to get political? I don’t think it’s a good idea.” After a few moments of my face scrunching up in confusion, I actually had to argue for him to post the link. Truly, I didn’t get it.

So, finally, he posted it.


View my page on YA for Obama

And within 24 hours, an acquaintance of ours (one of the few McCain supporters we know) emails and says, “Do you really think Diana should be posting her political affiliations on her homepage? That could turn off potential readers.”

Are you kidding me? Are there seriously teens—or people in general—who won’t buy a book because the author happens to support a different political candidate? It’s not like I’m writing nonfiction political tomes, folks. I write fun YA stories.

And regardless, why should I have to censor myself on my own blog or website? I don’t know how many of you follow author Alisa Valdez Rodriguez’s blog, but she gets into a lot of controversial—and personal—topics. And just this week, she blogged about her father asking her to stop posting information about her love life and finances. You know what she did? She posted a blog about how the current economy is forcing her to consider foreclosure.

Because at the end of the day, I don’t think any of us would be very good writers if we censored our books, blogs, websites to only contain generic information that would be good for “marketing” purposes. People want to read the truth, and the more truth you give them, the more interesting the work is.

So, my point is, I’m now a member of YA for Obama if you’d like to join me, please do so. If you support the other guy—hey, that’s what we have elections for!

That said, I wanted to also take a moment and let everyone know that I will be a panelist at this weekend's Baltimore Book Festival. I will be participating in Book Diva’s Young Adult Panel along with fellow YA authors Brad Barkley, Suzanne Supplee, and Robin Wasserman. The festival is FREE and I'll even be signing copies of Amor and Summer Secrets afterwards. So if you're in the area, come out and see me!

Baltimore Book Festival
Mount Vernon Place, 600 Block North Charles Street, Baltimore
Book Divas YA Panel (featuring me): Saturday, 12 pm, Festival Stage


In other news, I wanted to announce the first winner of PART TWO of the Amor and Summer Secrets Back-To-School Giveaway!

Congratulations…Janice Evans!

You have just won a complete Amor and Summer Secrets Prize Pack, which includes a copy of Amor, and ARC of Amigas and School Scandals, two signed bookplates, and two exclusive Amor and Summer Secrets bookmarks!

Janice won, via a random drawing, for posting the following five-star review on Amazon:

“Takes me back to my teen years. Makes me wish and feel like I was there with Mariana! Couldn't put it down! Read it in 2 days and wished i had the next one to keep going! Awesome read Diana, keep it up and keep 'em coming!”

It’s not too late to enter!
I will be giving away another Amor and Summer Secrets Prize Packs next week, so be sure to send me the links to your online reviews for a chance to win! ENTER NOW!

POP-CULTURE RANT: The President Pre-empting “Criminal Minds”

Since I’ve already gone political, I might as well add that I didn’t very much appreciate turning on my DRV to discover that the season premiere of “Criminal Minds,” which I had thought I’d recorded, was actually cut short to hear to Bush talk. Now I’m not going to get into the importance of discussing our economic crisis, but I will say that I hope the networks replay some of those pre-empted programs or I might never know if that ambulance in the hospital parking lot exploded.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bridesmaid, Golden Girl or Bride of Frankenstein?

We’ve all heard the horror stories. You’re asked to be in a wedding and agree to get your hair and makeup done. You sit down on the salon chair and show a strange woman a photo you clipped from a magazine. You say, “I’d like it to look like this. Soft, not too much.” Then she spins your chair around, your back to the mirror. And the next time you see your reflection…

I’m sorry, I’m not sure I’m ready to talk about it yet. Oh, wait, yeah I am. Basically I was traumatized by an evil woman who is more qualified to be working on Extreme Makeover Geriatric Edition than at a salon specializing in bridal parties. You see, I went into a shop on Saturday afternoon holding a photo of this:



And instead of looking like Portia de Rossi, I was transformed into a frightening combination of these:

  

Unfortunately (or fortunately in my mind), I don’t have an actual photo of the assault to satisfy your rubber necking pleasures. The bridesmaids snapping pictures later admitted that as the “hairstyle” got underway, it just seemed wrong to document the atrocity on film. And I, of course, ripped every one of the bobby pins out in the car on the drive from the salon.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why didn’t you say anything? Speak up, woman!

I DID! I swear to you. When the woman turned my back to the mirror, I got a little nervous. I wanted to see what was going on—especially when I felt pins being forced a good six inches above where my scalp ended. So I asked to see it and she said, “Sure, give me second.” And she kept right on pinning while simultaneously unloading the full contents of an aerosol hairspray bottle (the ozone got a little thinner that day, I apologize). After about ten minutes and 30 more pins, I asked her again. Again, she ignored me.

Finally, another employee asked for my “stylist’s” lunch order and I capitalized on her distraction by rapidly swinging my chair around. The sight I saw then caused a reaction in me that looked a little something like this:



I immediately told her it was freakishly too high, I asked her to fix it, I pushed at the giant angular-shaped puffball with my fingers and you know what she said, “Don’t! You’ll mess it up!” She didn’t seem to understand that that was precisely my point. But there was nothing more I could do. She wouldn’t listen; I accepted my fate.

Thankfully, I managed to get a brush through the resulting rat’s nest creating tons of those nasty white hairspray flakes from the can of gunk she had unleashed. It took a couple of bridesmaids, a curling iron, a ponytail holder and five bobby pins, but in the end I was able to somewhat resemble 30-year-old woman living in the year 2008.



The good news is, the wedding was AWESOME! The ceremony was on the beach; it was 75 degrees; the bride looked amazing; the food was fabulous; and we danced all the way through the after-party until 2 am.

The bride and groom even rented an arcade-style photo booth and all the guests got to take as many pictures in it as they wanted. Some went a little nuts (you know who you are, hehe). But I saw the album the next day and it’s hysterical! Fabulous idea! And they offered a candy bar as the favor—you can't beat a bag of Snickers, Twizzlers, Starburst and M&Ms the next morning. Rockin’ wedding, Jen! Congrats!

Plus, don’t forget to enter PART TWO of the Amor and Summer Secrets Back-To-School Giveaway!

I’m giving away two complete Amor and Summer Secrets Prize Packs, so be sure to enter by sending me the links to your online reviews for a chance to win copies of Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and more! ENTER NOW!

POP-CULTURE RANT: TV's Back!

Yay! The new fall shows are all back in full effect! So far, I loved the premiere of How I Met Your Mother. “Relationship” Barney is hysterical. Heroes is blowing my mind—the gun-wielding brunette Claire is scary awesome. But sadly, I think Oprah’s been a snooze fest—she’s been back for two weeks and she’s already had two lame psychologist shows about divorce. Also, I didn’t record Dancing with the Stars because despite having Misty May (whom I love), I can’t commit to watching a program that airs for two hours three straight nights per week. That’s encroaches a bit too much on my DVR space. I try to maintain a life, people.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Contest Results: And the Winner Is….

Thank you to everyone who entered the Amor and Summer Secrets Back-to-School Giveaway! After seven days, I received a grand total of 28 entries—14 on my Blogger blog, and 14 on my MySpace blog! Because of the fabulous response, I decided to increase the prize and give away two copies of Amor and Summer Secrets. So I’m pleased to announce we have two winners—one from Blogger and one from MySpace.


All the Fabulous Entries!

And the winners of Part One of the Amor and Summer Secrets Back-to-School Giveaway are….

From MySpace….Congratulations, The Not-So-Closet Geeks!

And from Blogger….Congratulations, Paradox!

You have both just won a personalized signed copy of Amor and Summer Secrets and an exclusive Amor and Summer Secrets bookmark!

Please send me an e-mail via MySpace or my web contact form with your mailing address and the name you would like your book made-out to. CONGRATULATIONS!

And don’t forget to enter PART TWO of the Amor and Summer Secrets Back-to-School Giveaway for a chance to win a complete PRIZE PACK!

TWO lucky winners will receive:
--A personalized signed copy of Amor and Summer Secrets
--A personalized signed galley of Amigas and School Scandals
--A signed bookplate of Amigas and School Scandals--A signed bookplate of Adios to All the Drama
--And two exclusive Amor and Summer Secrets bookmarks!

To enter to win Part Two of the contest, all you need to do is write and post a review of Amor and Summer Secrets on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Goodreads, or your blog. Send me a link to where your review is posted via email, comments or the form on my website.

There is no limit to the amount of entries (so if you post your review on five websites and send me five links, you will be entered to win five times).

The first winner of Part Two will be announced next Wednesday, September 24th.

The second winner of Part Two will announced on Wednesday, October 1st.

Congratulations again to Paradox and The Not-So-Closet Geeks! And thank you to everyone who entered Part One! I hope the other 26 of you will order a copy of Amor and Summer Secrets on Amazon or from your local bookstore, and enter Part Two of the contest!

POP-CULTURE RANT: Monday Night Football

I know I’m a little late to be blogging about Monday Night Football, but what can I say? The game was that good. Though the Eagles didn’t win (sad face), they played awesome! They scored first, were up at the half, and were still leading in the fourth quarter. It sucks they couldn’t close the deal, but at the least the game officially proved that McNabb is back (and healthy!) and the Eagles have a killer offense despite not having a star wide receiver. I think this could be a GREAT season! Go Birds!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Book Launch Party Recap! One Word: Awesome

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to everyone who attended my Book Launch Party on Saturday. From former coworkers (thanks Ed Fund!) to family members, high school friends to college friends, industry colleagues to my former teachers—I hope you had as much fun as I did. I appreciate everyone who came out, especially those who traveled across state lines (some with kids!). It was wonderful celebrating with all of you, signing your books, and hearing all your thoughts on Amor and Summer Secrets!

For those who couldn’t be there, here are some of the facts: it was held at Mixto Restaurant in Philadelphia from 3-6pm; we had 102 guests not including kids (and there plenty of babies—future readers!); the empanadas and spicy sausage were a huge hit, as we were the mojitos (preferred 3 to 1 over margaritas, though the margarita glasses were frighteningly huge); and the reading/signing/Q&A went off beautifully without a single glitch.



Top 20 Notable Moments:

1. My husband introduced me and surprised me by reading a very thoughtful note written by my agent, Jenoyne Adams (who couldn’t be there because she lives in a L.A., which is a tad far). Thanks, J! You’re so sweet!
2. I got teared up after he read the aforementioned note, and then I had to immediately hit the podium and speak. Thanks guys, that wasn’t hard or anything.
3. If you drink lots of water all day, it helps when the cottonmouth sets in midway through your reading—though it doesn’t fend it off entirely.
4. My agent’s assistant traveled five hours from Virginia to be at the party! And she’s incredibly nice! Thanks, Taylor, for everything!
5. I tried to lift my book up while reading and had to lower it back to the podium immediately because I realized my hands were shaking.
6. I signed my high school Spanish teacher’s book “Senor LaSalle.” I can’t call him “Jim.” Too weird.
7. My friend’s mom, Mrs. Spuhler, told me, “Maybe I’m at a 15-year-old’s reading level, because I loved the book!”
8. The entire English Department from my old high school showed up, and my ninth grade teacher, Mrs. Lown, brought a picture of me (and my friend Melanie) posing with the “Miss Havisham Wedding Cakes” we baked for extra credit at age 15. The cakes were microwaved. Seriously.
9. My parents gave me a pretty silver pen with my name engraved on it to sign books with.
10. My friend, Krav, bought my book and told me “he will now learn to read.” He was kidding :-)
11. Ling from Book Divas offered to set up a signing after my Baltimore Book Festival panel. Thanks, Ling!
12. Mis amigos from the Madrid Study Abroad program at BU came down from NYC and danced with me at the after-after-party until the bar almost closed. Way fun!
13. People asked me great questions during the Q&A! Some included, “Is Alex based on anyone real?” No. “Am I working anything new?” Yes. I have two sequels coming out! “Did I think adding a gay character was risqué?” No. “Is Mariana really me?” No, and now you can read a new interview I posted between me and Mariana for a better explanation of our differences.
14. We raffled three ARCs of “Amigas and School Scandals” and both my college roommates won (Margit, and Sheri’s husband Chris) and my husband’s Grandma. I swear we didn’t rig it.
15. Michael Kors shoes look a lot cuter than they feel.
16. People were calling my brother Lou “Vicente” (read “Vee-cen-tay”), because they thought he was the brother in the book. He’s not. But it was funny.
17. The restaurant liked our hot pink and lime green balloons so much they asked to keep them after the party. Can I pick a color scheme or what?
18. My husband’s two nephews (his brother Matt’s kids) met two of my nephews (my sister Natalie’s kids) for the first time. They played Thomas the Train.
19. My 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Cavanaugh, asked me to speak to district students in April. Can’t wait!
20. My dad wore a name badge that said “Lou, the dad from Utuado.”



Thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success, especially Guillermo Vega at Mixto, Debbie Rech at Head House Books for bringing the novels, Buddy White at Graphic Arts for printing my posters, Chris Klock for taking photos, and my husband Jordan for designing all the invitations, signs and bookmarks! The day was truly special and I’ll remember it forever. Thank you and click here for more photos from the event!


Plus, don’t forget to enter the Amor and Summer Secrets Back-To-School Giveaway!

I’ve decided to up the ante and give away TWO COPIES of the book on Wednesday, so be sure to enter Part One via my blog (either on MySpace or Blogger) and send in your online reviews for a chance to win Part Two!

POP-CULTURE RANT: Saturday Night Live

Okay, my Tina Fey girl-crush is back in full swing. I loved the SNL premiere’s opening bit of her playing Sarah Palin. Obviously, she couldn’t look more like McCain’s running mate (though Fey is way cooler). Favorite moments: “I can see Russia from my house!” and “Stop Photoshopping my head on bikini pictures!” Then she pretended to pose with a rifle. The whole sketch was dead-on and hilarious. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it! Trust me on this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back-to-School Giveaway! Win “Amor and Summer Secrets” Prize Packs!

I’ve given away copies of my books on other bloggers’ websites, and I finally realized I had yet to offer a contest on my own. So as promised, I’m offering a two-part “Amor and Summer Secrets” giveaway!

Part One will include the following prize!

ONE lucky winner will receive:
A personalized signed copy of “Amor and Summer Secrets”
And an exclusive “Amor and Summer Secrets” bookmark!

To enter to win Part One all you need to do is leave a comment on my blog. The winner will be selected randomly and announced next Wednesday, September 17th. Good luck!

Part Two will include two complete Prize Packs!



TWO lucky winners will receive:
A personalized signed copy of “Amor and Summer Secrets”
A personalized signed galley of “Amigas and School Scandals”
A signed bookplate of “Amigas and School Scandals”
A signed bookplate of “Adios to All the Drama”
And two exclusive “Amor and Summer Secrets” bookmarks!

To enter to win Part Two of the contest, you need write and post a review of “Amor and Summer Secrets” on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Borders.com, GoodReads.com, or your blog. Because this is my contest, and my book, I reserve the right to only accept positive reviews as contest entries (seriously, what do you expect?).

Send me a link to where your review is posted via email, comments or this handy form on my website. There is no limit to the amount of entries (so if you post your review on five websites and send me five links, you will be entered to win five times). It’s only fair—the busy reader gets the prize pack.

The first winner of Part Two will be announced on Wednesday, September 24th.

The second winner of Part Two will announced on Wednesday, October 1st.

Good luck to everyone! And thanks for entering!

Labels:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Book Sales: Take That Dora the Explorer!

Just got back from a lovely destination wedding. I’ve only got two more nuptials in the next four weeks and then my reign as the country’s No. 1 Wedding Guest will come to a close. Let me know if you’d like me to pass the crown onto you.

That said, I must note that the wedding festivities keep getting snazzier as we get older. This past wedding was held in Maine. The ceremony was located on a cliff-side patio overlooking the ocean (and they served wine during the ceremony!). And the reception not only had breathtaking views, but they also had an ‘80s band. You can’t go wrong with “Pour Some Sugar on Me” as an encore song.

Of course, I didn’t leave New England before stopping at a bookstore to sign some stock. So if you’re in the neighborhood of the Portsmouth, NH Barnes & Noble, swing by and get your signed copy of “Amor and Summer Secrets.”

I’ve been trying my hardest not the think too much about sales because 1) my novel’s only been out a week, 2) I have no way of accessing that information, and 3) the thought only succeeds in raising my anxiety levels. Though that doesn’t seem to stop people from asking (again and again) how my sales are going. People began asking me that question the day after the book came out—seriously.

My husband says this is the natural progression of the publishing process, and people merely want to show their interest in my career. I, however, think the question isn’t much different from asking someone what their salary is, how much commission they made last quarter, and how they compare for a promotion against their coworkers.

But okay, okay, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately though, there really is only one way to satisfy their question, and it involves using a very volatile, arbitrary and seemingly unreliable website. That, of course, is Amazon.

Now from my understanding, Amazon only ranks books according to the sales made on its website. What the mathematical equation is for this ranking—I have no idea. Because the numbers are unbelievably inconsistent—rankings can swing more than 100,000 rungs on the ladder in a matter of 24 hours. This seems hardly logical or scientific.

But if you really want to know, I’m happy to report that yesterday was the first time “Amor and Summer Secrets” made it to the 5-digit rankings (somewhere around #86,000). Though today it was back up to the 100,000s again. And a few days ago it was close to one million. So, I don’t put much stock in it.

However, I am happy to report that Amazon has a bazillion little micro-lists and one of them ranks “Amor” as No.18 in the “The bestselling new & future releases in Children’s Multicultural Stories.”

And it’s No. 6 in the "The bestselling new & future releases in Children’s Hispanic & Latino.” This list places me four steps higher than Dora the Explorer!

So take that, Dora y la Princesa de la Nieve! You’re going down!

I’m kidding. Though not about how ridiculous these lists are. (By the way, these rankings change hourly, so depending on when you’re reading this blog, the lists could be completely different.)

Point is, I have no idea how my sales figures are doing, and I probably won’t know for months. Instead, I’m trying to focus on the fact that my book is finally in stores (yay!), and this long difficult process has finally reached its climax, and I’m officially a published author!

Plus, I have more books coming out in the next couple months. I know I promised you guys a contest, and I didn’t forget. I plan to have it up on Wednesday (I got a little behind with the wedding and all). Check back for your chance to win a free copy of “Amor and Summer Secrets” and some fun book swag!

POP-CULTURE RANT: DVR

We interrupt this pop culture rant to give you some Eagles Post Game Coverage! For those of you who don’t know, I’m a crazy Eagles fan. I love football—it may be a holdover from my cheerleading days. That said, the Eagles CRUSHED the St. Louis Rams yesterday 38-3. Donovan was back and looking healthier than ever, the rookies were unstoppable, and the defense almost got a shut out. Great game, right? Well, I wouldn’t know because my DVR decided to flip out sometime while I was away. It recorded nothing. Not one touchdown, not one play. If ABC can show recasts of Desperate Housewives online a few hours after they’ve aired, why can’t the NFL figure out a way to replay games we’ve missed on its website? Somebody has to be working on that, right?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Copyright Cops 911: New Series Coming to Fox

Okay, The Copyright Cops might not actually be a new show in Fox’s fall lineup. But reading all the controversy once again surrounding Stephenie Meyer, it got my imagination working. For those who don’t know, Ms. Meyer has been working on Midnight Sun, a retelling of Twilight from Edward’s point of view. (If you don’t know what Twilight is, might I suggest you lift the rock above you. Kidding. Sort of.)

Anyway, about 250 pages into the new novel, Ms. Meyer apparently sent the partial to some “trusted” people, one of whom leaked it on the Internet. As a result of this blatant copyright infringement, Meyer has decided to put Midnight Sun on hold “indefinitely.” She wrote a long message about it on her website and her subsequent feelings related to violating an author’s rights.

This got me thinking of A) Napster and Metallica; and B) a bunch of men in blue pulling up in black SUVs in front of a shack in some wooded location to kick in the door and find some pimple-faced guy seated at a computer with a copy of Midnight Sun in his lap. Of course, “Bad Boys” is playing the background.

Since I know the latter probably won’t happen (though it would be fun to see), let’s focus on the first. Has the publishing industry finally hit the point where novels run the risk of being illegally distributed on the Internet in a manner akin to Napster?

In one respect, that’s kind of awesome. Because it means fans, and in this case teenage fans, are so excited about reading that they would resort to illegal piracy just to get their hands on those precious words. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to have people eagerly anticipating my work in such a way, so in some regard it’s hard for me to relate to Ms. Meyer’s plight. Though as I writer, I can understand not wanting anyone to read my novel until I was ready for them to see it. Taking the money out of the equation (which in her case is considerable)—early drafts usually are not meant for public consumption. So it must suck for her to have one out there.

However… she’s STEPHENIE MEYER! After the year she’s had, didn’t she anticipate that this was a possibility? That if she sent a bunch of electronic copies out into the world, one might end up somewhere she might not approve of? She wrote one of the most anticipated novels of the year (Breaking Dawn). She’s been living in secrecy, protecting this saga, for five years. Part of me finds it very hard to believe she wouldn’t already have the necessary precautions in place.

Didn’t I read once that an actual person flew to J.K.Rowling’s home to physically bring the final Harry Potter to the publisher? (If I’m wrong, let me know. I sometimes am.)

But regardless, however the partial was leaked, I enjoyed it. I thought it was an interesting exercise to read the story from Edward’s point of view, and then go back and re-read those same scenes from Bella’s perspective. As a writer, it helped spark some ideas to further develop my own characters. And it offered a look into a character’s head that we never got to see before. I hope Ms. Meyer continues to tell the tale. Maybe if she takes a (much deserved) break from it, she’ll be encouraged to soldier on. After all, why punish the fans? It’s their overwhelming enthusiasm for her work that has gotten us to this point, and that’s an amazing accomplishment that deserves a farewell dose of Midnight Sun.

POP-CULTURE RANT: Sarah Palin

Wow, now that’s clever. I was at the gym when McCain announced his hot new female running mate, and the exact reaction of the guy next to me was, “He just double-downed on 16. McCain’s all-in now.” That about summed it up. Now, I don’t want to get all political, but Ms. Palin and I don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues (actually “any” issue might be a more accurate description). But she’s young, charming, charismatic, relatable and patriotic. Very clever, John McCain. Though I am a bit annoyed that The Daily Show stole my bit. Because my initial reaction to Palin was “is that Tina Fey?” Jon Stewart uttered the same sentiment on air that night. What can I say—great minds think alike. (BTW, did I mention that Tina Fey graduated from Upper Darby? A neighboring high school down the street from where I grew up—we played them in sports.)


Labels: , ,


Copyright © 2008 Diana Rodriguez Wallach, All Rights Reserved