Monday, September 28, 2009

Highlights from Saturday Night's Pen on Fire

It was a defining moment for Author Debra Ollivier (What French Women Know: About Love, Sex and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind), part-time resident of Paris, France and Los Angeles, California, when she watched a French teen pluck daisy petals. "It wasn't 'he loves me, he loves me not'," she said at the Pen On Fire series on Saturday night. "It was 'he loves me madly, he loves me passionately'...[it showed me] that French women have a way of looking at love as possibilities not a goal."

Read more: Highlights from Saturday Night's Pen on Fire

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pleased to meet you!

Photo credit Wax Creative

October is shaping up to be a busy month with my new gig as the Anaheim Literature Examiner, interviews for a big feature story, the Scriptapalooza deadline (wish me luck!) and literary festivals. I'd love to meet you and sign your books, and introduce you to some incredible authors.

West Hollywood Book Fair

Sunday, Oct 4
1:00 - 1:55 p.m.
"Chicas, Chicanas & Latinas: Writers in Action" with Margo Candela, Reyna Grande, Graciela Limon & Josefina Lopez
Moderated by Mary Castillo
People, Places & Politics Pavilion
Book signing at the Libería Martinez booth

Latino Book & Family Festival
Saturday, Oct 10
3:30-4:30 p.m.
CSU Los Angeles
"Chicas, Chicanas & Latinas: A Panel of Contemporary Female Authors" with Julia Amante, Margo Candela, Irete Lazo and Josefina Lopez
Moderated by: Mary Castillo

San Diego County Library's Page One: Celebration of the Written Word
Saturday, Oct 17
1:30 p.m. Romance and Chick Lit Panel with Jennifer Coburn, Linda O Johnston, and Samantha Sommersby
2:30 p.m. Latino Literature Panel with Raphael Lopez, Gil Sperry, Pat Santana, and Norma Bustamante
Bonita Branch Library
4365 Bonita Road
Bonita, CA 91902

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A New Name and a New Book: The Story of Julia Amante

Five years ago there was an explosion of "chica lit;" novels about modern Latina women written by Latina authors. More comedic in tone than their predecessors and set in big cities like L.A., Boston, New York and Denver, the heroines of these books gave voice to Latina women who struggle to untangle themselves from their cultural roots and family to pursue their dreams. Julia Amante is one of those authors who got her start in "chica lit" and has now transitioned to "mujer lit."

She talks about her new novel that will be released Friday, September 25, 2009, Evenings at the Argentine Club, her name change and the challenge of growing as a writer.

Anaheim Literature Examiner: What inspired the idea for Evenings at the Argentine Club and how long did it take to go from manuscript to published novel?

Julia Amante: Evenings at the Argentine Club sort of kept morphing into a larger and deeper story with each rewrite. It originally centered around character, Victoria's weight issues, but as you know a book is a team effort and with agent and editorial input and my own soul searching I realized that the book was really about the dreams of immigrants when they arrive in America and how they are affected as years seem to slip by and reality forces people to accept the difficulty of being successful. Evenings at the Argentine Club took about a year and half to write.

Read A New Name and a New Book: The Story of Julia Amante

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ylse's Back

I actually jumped up out of my chair when I got the email announcing season two of YLSE!!!! It's so exciting to see my friend, Ruth succeed in pulling this off. She's inspired me to think more independently about my future projects.

By the way, the video is probably not safe for work ... unless you're lucky and no one spies on you like they did at my last job.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

How to Start Your Book

Marilyn Monroe Writing at Home @

The second most asked question I get when I do booksignings and interviews is how to get started writing a book. It's a deceptively simple and annoying answer: sit down and write it.

I'm not being facetious or disrespectful. It really is as simple as sitting down and writing your first sentence. It's not rocket science, it's not stopping world hunger or perfecting the health reform bill. It's a story. It's the stuff we did as kids when we played Wonder Woman. (What? You didn't play Wonder Woman?!?)

If you have a story in you and you want to see if you can do it, check out the Three-Day Novel Writing Contest that starts on Saturday morning. (Yes, this Saturday!)

For the prizes alone, I'd do it. But I'm smack dab in the middle of my WIP so I think I'd be cheating if I entered with my book!

No excuses! Your husband, boyfriend, kids, parents will survive without you. The laundry won't slither out of the basket and kill you. If you live in Southern California, the air quality sucks so you're better off inside. ANDALE!