Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
BIAS CUT won the Silver medal in the Mystery/Cozy/Noir category of this year's IPPY Awards (Independent Publisher Book Awards)!
I'm over the moon about this. It's my first book award--I've been an ABNA semi-finalist twice, for BIAS CUT and for CHARLOTTE DENT, but this is the first time I've taken home any hardware. Apologies in advance if I'm completely odious for a while.
To celebrate, there will be free giveaways of the Kindle versions of all three of my books scheduled throughout the week of May 13th. Check my Twitter feed for the most current information as to which books will be available on which dates, but here's the schedule:
May 13th-May 15th: BIAS CUT
May 15th-May 17th: WRONG CITY
May 17th-May 18th: BIAS CUT
May 18th-May 19th: CHARLOTTE DENT
Anyway. Thrilled and honored. Huge congratulations to all IPPY recipients, and huge thanks to the IPPY judging panel for their consideration. Help me celebrate, if you wish, by downloading my books for free on the above dates. No Kindle? No worries--Amazon offers plenty of totally free apps that allow you to read Kindle-format ebooks on your phone, tablet or PC.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
My novel Charlotte Dent is now available as a Kindle-format ebook from Amazon. And it's about time, too.
Charlotte was a 2008 semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. In a review of the unpublished manuscript written for judging purposes, Publishers Weekly had this to say:
"Chick lit embraces Hollywood pluck in this perky novel about dreams that come true, with a few nightmares along the way. Charlotte Dent is an aging (she's almost 30!) wannabe actress toiling in a Los Angeles law firm when a hip young director spots her jogging along the boulevard, sweaty in a form-fitting T-shirt. One coffee shop meeting later, and she's cast in a minor but attention-grabbing role as a martial arts warrior in a movie based on a comic book. That's where she meets delicately beautiful Simon Oliver, a classically trained British stage actor in his first major movie role. They fall in love, but the romance is cut short when the young actor (he's only 30!) is crushed by callous reviews and the hurly burly of L.A. life and returns to London. The unrelenting grimness of an aspiring actor's struggles, the stress of cattle-call auditions, the shabbiness of Equity-waiver blackbox theatre, the indulgences that come with big-budget moviemaking and the trauma of being mistreated by a prima donna director on a low-budget art film are all depicted with entertaining authenticity. From start to end, this is a crisp, fun treatment of Hollywood life."It's $4.99 at Amazon. No Kindle? No problem--download a free app from Amazon to enable you to read it on almost any computer or mobile device.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Back in 1984, at the start of his career, Neil Gaiman—the best-selling, award-winning, widely-acclaimed author of Coraline, Stardust, the Sandman comics, etcetera—wrote a book titled Duran Duran: The First Four Years of the Fab Five.
Naturally, I had to get my hands on a copy. This sounded important.
These days, the book is a sought-after collector’s item. The publisher only did a single print run before going bankrupt, and Gaiman has resisted offers to get it back into print. (His feelings on the project seem somewhat less than positive: In an interview with January magazine, he stated, “I spent several months writing a book that I wouldn't have wanted to read.”) The book could’ve used some judicious editing, as it’s riddled with typos throughout (to the best of my knowledge, Duran Duran never released a song titled “Hungry Like a Wolf”), but small stuff aside, you know what? It’s good. Dry, witty, and insightful, it features a comprehensive biography of each band member, plus thoughtful reviews of each song and video, padded out with general observations about the societal influences in England in the seventies and eighties (sample sentence: “To understand Duran Duran, one must understand the scenes and the pendulum swings in the Britain from which they emerged”). The book is short—only 126 pages, and maybe half of those are devoted to glossy photos of the boys—but it’s got some heft.
I’m going to jump right past all the insights and heft, though, and focus on the frivolous, gossipy stuff, because that’s the way I roll. Here we go:
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I've been sorting through a musty box of decaying VHS tapes of: a) my old USC student films, and b) my appearances on E!'s Talk Soup. This is all a prelude to converting them to a format where they can actually be, y'know, viewed. The above screenshot is me with the wonderful John Henson on a Talk Soup episode from 1999. Good times. Fun show, and hands down the best job I've ever had.
There's a short interview/questionnaire thingy with me up at The Daily Duranie, in which I discuss Bias Cut and my link to Duran fandom. Speaking of the latter, I finally laid my grubby paws on a copy of the 1984 Duran Duran biography written by, ahem, Neil Gaiman. It's kind of awesome. I'll be posting a Duranalysis of it here shortly.
Labels: Talk Soup
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Just for kicks: Let’s see if I can get through this entire analysis without ever using the term “Glambert.”
Well, this is new and different: I’m sliding out of the 1980s and moving all the way up to 2009 with a look at Adam Lambert’s “For Your Entertainment” video, which, for this site, is almost cutting-edge. This is untested ground for me! Exciting!
Then again, when you sit down and think about it, maybe it’s not a huge stretch to go from Duran Duran to Elton John to Adam Lambert.
Given my established pop-culture tastes and my well-known soft spot for boys in heavy makeup (ahoy there, Nick Rhodes), it’s probably not a shock to find I kinda dig Lambert. Though I don’t watch American Idol, I was aware of the Lambertian media juggernaut during the show’s eighth season, in which he demolished his way through the competition like a glitter-encrusted wrecking ball before coming up just short at the finale. (I have since caught many of his Idol performances online, and goddamn, the kid can work a stage.) Then last summer I watched his Behind the Music episode, and somewhere around the part where he earnestly explained how the notion to audition for American Idol came to him while he was tripping balls at Burning Man, I was smitten. Adam Lambert, you’re an American treasure.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Let’s shake things up a bit here and move slightly away from Duran Duran for a second to examine one of the most cheerful, colorful, glorious videos of the 1980s. I speak, of course, of Elton John’s 1983 video for “I’m Still Standing.”
“I’m Still Standing” was directed by Russell Mulcahy, and stylistically, it’s very similar to the work Mulcahy did on Duran Duran’s “Rio,” what with all the body paint and brightly-colored pop-art imagery. And, like, “Rio,” it doesn’t have much of a plot. Here we go: