There's a new book coming out later this year that's got me super excited! I mean, so excited that I could just DIE.
The book? Gossip Girl: Psycho Killer
No, this isn't a joke. Like other reimaginings of classics like, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Slayre and Little Vampire Women, the author who created the famed series Gossip Girl is taking her beloved UES darlings and turning them deadly. I for one am beyond psyched...I mean, would you look at the book cover? Is there anything cooler than that?
In a move that brings her books to a whole new level, Cecily von Ziegesar has taken the book which first introduced us to Blair Waldorf and Serena Van der Woodsen and given it a darker twist. Instead of backstabbing gossip, think actual backstabbing. As in beautiful, popular serial killers!
Now, I happen to have certain connections that have put a copy of the book into my hot little hands and can't wait to check it out. In the meantime, here's a summary of what you can expect:
Welcome to New York City's Upper East Side, where my friends and I live, go to school, play, and sleep—sometimes with each other. It's a luxe life, but someone's got to live it...until they die.
So begins Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer, a reimagining of the groundbreaking first Gossip Girl novel, featuring all-new, hilariously grisly scenes and over-the-top gore, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author Cecily von Ziegasar.
Just as in the original story, Serena van der Woodsen returns from boarding school hoping to make amends with her BFF Blair Waldorf—things just haven't been the same since Nate Archibald came between them. But here's where our tale takes a dark turn: Serena decides that the only way for her to make things right with Blair is to eliminate Nate. If that means killing him, well, c'est la vie. The attempted murder doesn't go unnoticed by Blair, however, who isn't about to let Serena kill whoever she wants—not when there's Cyrus Rose and Chuck Bass and Titi Coates and everyone else who's ever irritated Blair to get rid of first...
American Psycho's Patrick Bateman has met his match in Manhattan's newest, most fabulous trendsetting serial killers, Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen.
Now this is some gossip, I'd love to hear about! What do you guys think? Pick it up or leave it on the shelf?
By now the whole world's probably heard that Kim Kardashian is about to be made into an honest woman. Yes, after a whopping 6 months of dating (five months longer than the dating time-frame of her younger sister Khloe and Lamar), NBA player Kris Humphries popped the question to the Kardashian Mogul last week on May 18th. Yes, you read that right...they got engaged on MY BIRTHDAY! That makes the news extra special!
The other thing that's special about the engagement? Uh, the 20.5 carats that's now sitting on her finger and the reported $2 mill that Kris paid to get her to say "yes!" After that, I got curious about what other celeb's rings were like. Here's a rundown of some of the hottest celebs and the rocks that made them want to don a wedding dress.
Khloe Kardashian (& Lamar Odom); Cost: $850,000; Carats: 9
Ashlee Simpson (& Pete Wentz); Cost: $150,000; Carats: 4
Reese Witherspoon (& Jim Tosh); Cost: $250,000; Carats: 4
Paris Hilton (& Paris Kasidokostas Latsis); Cost: $4,700,000; Carats: 24
Nicole Richie (& Joel Madden); Cost: $75,000; Carats: 6
Katie Holmes (& Tom Cruise); Cost: $100,000; Carats: 6
Katherine Heigl (& Josh Kelley); Cost: $65,000; Carats: 4
Kristen Bell (& Dax Shepard); Cost: $100,000; Carats: 3
Heidi Klum (& Seal); Cost: $150,000; Carats: 10
Gisele Bundchen (& Tom Brady); Cost: $145,000; Carats: 5
Christina Aguilera (& Jordan Bratman); Cost: $78,500; Carats: 5
Carrie Underwood (& Mike Fisher); Cost: $150,000; Carats: 5
Beyonce (& Jay-Z); Cost: $5,000,000; Carats: 18
Jennifer Anniston (& Brad Pitt); Cost: $500,000
So, which ring is your fave? Leave your answer in the comments below!
If you're like me, summer used to be a bummer time for me. Beyond the fact that I'm an adult now and no longer get three months off to relax and recoup, the warmer time of year meant that all my favorite TV shows would be going on hiatus and I'd be stuck watching re-runs or crap-TV.
Luckily a few years ago, networks got smart and started to realize that we need our TV year round and began to offer new shows during the summer months. This was a TV lover's dream of course, and I've been in heaven ever since.
So, what shows will I be watching over the next few months? Here are a few I'll be tuning in to:
"The Nine Lives of Chloe King" (ABC Family) premieres June 14th
Chloe soon learns she's part of an ancient race which has been hunted by human assassins for millennia—and that she may be their only hope for ultimate survival.
"Pretty Little Liars" (ABC Family) premieres June 14th
Four teens are being stalked by their dead best friend, while trying to find her killer.
"The Glee Project" (Oxygen) premieres June 12th
From the makers of the show, executives are doing a contest to find the next "Glee" star.
"The World According to Paris" (Oxygen) premieres June 1st
What it's like to be a rich and famous heiress.
"Switched at Birth" (ABC Family) premieres June 6th
Two teenage girls discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital
"Love Bites" (NBC) premeires June 2nd
An hour-long romantic comedy anthology series featuring three loosely connected modern stories of love, sex, marriage and dating. Each vignette will involve an array of guest stars.
What do you think? Are any of these shows going to make it onto your TiVo this summer? Or is your TV watching on hiatus for the summer?
...Gomez if you were wondering.
I'd never really felt strongly one way or another about the "Wizards of Waverly Place" star. I'd seen her when she first appeared on "Hannah Montana" and then watched as she became friends with former Disney star Demi Lovato. I thought she was a bit on the sassy side for the mouse network and always sort of preferred Miley to her.
But as the years have gone on, I've grown to really like the cutie. And not just because she's dating the Biebster (I can't say I've caught Bieber fever yet). Nope. It's a mixture of the projects she's done, the way that she never ends up in the tabloids for anything worse than dating a superstar, how she handles herself in interviews and most recently, the songs she sings. Namely, her latest single, "Who Says." The song's all about how every person's beautiful and that you should never let anyone else tell you that you aren't. I like a young person who can be a role model and try to bring the right kinds of messages to other kids.
So as of right now, I'm officially a Selena Gomez fan. Even though she's dating Justin (we totally saw them locking lips a certain awards ceremony on Sunday, didn't we?)...well, let's just say I won't hold it against her.
For months, I've been teasingly trying to get my boyfriend to go with me on a spa day. Now, I'm not usually the kind of girl who gets regular mani & pedi's—In fact, I rarely pamper myself in this way....partly because it's a luxury that I can't really afford (and would rather spend on a good meal or a good movie)—but the idea of bringing Matt along with me to have my nails done sounded like a good chance to relax while spending some couple time together.
I always brought up the spa thing in a joking manner...Matt being such a manly guy, I never thought he'd actually go. But for my birthday, he surprised me with gift certificates for a couples spa day which included a mani/pedi, a 10-minute leg/foot massage and a 10-minute back massage. I was so psyched that 1) I was going to get a day of pampering; and 2) Matt was going with me to enjoy it!
Though it took Matt about 10 minutes or so to loosen up (a guy was doing his nails and massage and I think he'd been hoping for a girl to be the one touching his troll feet), eventually he relaxed and started to enjoy his metrosexual experience.
Of course I was in HEAVEN. I rarely get a chance to sit back and let someone massage my stress away and paint my nails, so the day was a treat. Did I mention that the chairs that we were sitting in were AMAZING?!?!?! They were massage chairs and once we turned them on to the "automatic A" setting, these invisible massagers popped out of the inside of the chair like little alien fingers. It felt so good and relaxing, that at some point I closed my eyes and thought I could fall asleep.
I picked a glittery polish for my toes (Matt chose clear) and a shimmery gold shade for my fingers (again, Matt chose clear; I tried to convince him to put on some color and I had the female technician on my side too, but he wasn't having it) and relished in my day of beauty.
By the end of the day, I'd decided that a bit of pampering every once in a while wouldn't be a bad thing. Maybe not once a week like some people can afford, but I think that once a month would be doable. And the best part? Matt thinks so too!
It's no secret I'm a Buffy fan...so, when this video was sent to me on my birthday you know I had to watch it. And even though it's a cartoon, I really wish this show would've been made. I woulda been all over it!
And to think this would have been a cartoon I actually would have enjoyed watching with my kids!
Happy Friday, enjoy!
So, every once in a while (Okay, maybe more than once in a while), I'll be sitting around and something will come out of my mouth that will leave Matt saying, "Huh?" And then I'm left thinking, "Is it weird that (fill in the blank here)?"
Here's a list of some things I've been thinking about lately...I'm leaving it up to you guys to tell me if they're weird or not:
IS IT WEIRD THAT...
...whenever I put on sunglasses, I actually think people might mistake me for a celebrity? Sort of like Cinderella and her glass slippers. I even find myself thinking about what it would be like to end up on a page in the tabloids like, "Celebs are just like us!" walking around Manhattan with my Sbux.
...I think that my life would actually make for a great reality show. Only minus the bar fights and crazy hookups and drama-rama. But sometimes I just sit there and think, "I'm really kind of funny...now this would be quality TV!"
...I really hate attention but still think I'm going to be famous one day. Seriously, by the end of my birthday day my anxiety levels were on high because of all the phone calls, FB messages, e-mails and texts—and I actually think I'd be able to handle any kind of fame? Seriously?
...I love orange juice but really don't like the smell of oranges. I don't know what it is, but the smell of the fruit really leaves me with an "ick" feeling, but I'd drink orange juice every day if I could.
...Part of me thinks that I'd make a really good cop. Or doctor. Or actress, karate kid, spy, reality show judge, stunt double, chef, publicist, lawyer or teacher. Apparently there isn't anything I think I can't do, there's just not enough time to do it all.
...I kind of think my dreams are prophetic? One time I had a dream about a specific burger they had at McDonald's, but when I went there to get it, they had never heard of it before. A month later the burger showed up as a special menu item. Coincidence? I think the universe was trying to tell me it was time for a new Value Meal #7.
...I can't stand violence but I love horror films. If I see a fight I panic, cry and feel sick to my stomach, yet I would choose a slasher film over any other genre every time if given the choice.
What do you guys think? Weird or oddly normal. Your call....
On the day of my 32nd birthday, I'm taking some time to reflect on some of the things I've learned over the years. Here are my top-10 life lessons:
1. Life gets better. High school was hell for me. Today, so many kids in high school are bullied or judged for being gay or just simply being different and end up taking their own lives. I wish I could tell them all that things get better. The rest of life isn't like high school. If you can make it through those four years of hell, some really amazing times are waiting for you.
2. Good things really are worth the wait. I didn't have a relationship that lasted longer than four months until over three years ago, but growing up I thought I'd never find someone I'd click with. I actually thought that I would be the one person who would be alone forever. It only took me about 27 years, but I'm in an amazing relationship today. I fully believe that everything happens for a reason...even if you can't see what that reason is at the time.
3. Good relationships don't have to be hard. I have managed to be in a few relationships in the past, however there were reasons why none of those relationships worked out. I won't go into the gory details, but the bottom line was that they were all really hard. Sort of like trying to stick a square peg into a round hole. With my boyfriend now, things have always been pretty easy. Now, we're a normal couple who occasionally butts heads, but when it really comes down to it, the relationship is just—easy. In my experience, when it's right, it's right and you don't have to try and make a relationship work...it either does or it doesn't.
4. Do what you love, love what you do. My parents taught each of us girls to go after a job that we loved to do; that it was more important to have a job that didn't feel like work, but felt more like a passion, than one that made us gobs of money, but that didn't fulfill us. Even though there have been ups and downs and I don't always love all aspects of my job, I can come home at the end of the day and say I'm proud of the product we put out and that I love to write. If I had to do it all over again, I'd still choose the same career path.
5. You can find inspiration anywhere. If you know me, you know that I am a huge fan of Buffy. Sounds silly, I know, but there are things about this fictional character who's a regular teen by day, vampire slayer by night, that inspire me. Buffy is a strong female role model who cares more about those around her than herself; she's fearless, strong-willed and fierce; she has gifts and isn't afraid to use them; she's an outsider but doesn't let it stop her from doing the right thing; and lastly, at the end of the day, she knows that she's impacted the world in a big way. So yes, I know she's a made up character, but I also know what a hero looks like because of her.
6. It's better to be happy than right. This could also be described as not sweating the small stuff. There's so much that stress can affect in us: our moods, physical health, our personal lives, etc., why allow yourself to get worked up over something small and suffer the consequences than just letting it go? Now this isn't something that changes overnight—it takes time—but I'm trying to work toward this mindset instead of holding onto all the stress and anger. What will you choose?
7. If something's not working for you, switch it, change it, rearrange it. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If some aspect of your life is no longer working, that means it's time to change what you're doing in order to get a different outcome. I wonder how many more people would be walking around happy with their quality of life if they were just willing to change.
8. Develop an attitude of gratitude. I don't know about you, but I don't always wake up on the rosy side of the bed in the morning. For the last four years I've been doing a gratitude list with a group of friends. We start our day with lists of what we're grateful for. From the small things (like a great cup of coffee) to the big things (keeping a friend safe during a surgery), doing this one small act a day helps me to stay on the positive side of life.
9. I don't have it all figured out...and that's okay. Life's all about mystery. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow or the next day or even next year, but I'm okay with it, because I know that whatever does happen, I'll either be given the strength to deal with it or the piece of mind to accept it.
10. No one loves you more—or makes you more crazy—like family. I've done some pretty stupid stuff over the years and my family has stuck by me through it all. And although they can drive me nuts (AKA, wedding questions, baby questions), everything they do and say is out of love. And no one has loved me as unconditionally as them.
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!!!!
Okay, I know I'm a little late on this one, but I finally picked up (and read) a copy of Lauren Conrad's young adult book L.A. Candy. And although it by no means knocked my socks off (nor was it anything particularly new), it was a fun beach read.
Now I'm not exactly a "Laguna Beach" or "The Hills" fan—I mean, I've seen a season or two, but I certainly wasn't obsessed with this reality show the way I am with, say, "Tori & Dean" or "Keeping Up With the Kardashians"—but I'm always interested in the books that celebs end up writing. I know that a lot of authors (and various other book types) cringe when they hear that another celeb has published a book. The argument of course is always that the celeb in question didn't write it and is just passing off someone else's work as their own. Another gripe is that celebs are practically begged to write books (whether they want to or have the talent to), when the rest of us aspiring writers have to practically beg someone to even read our query letters.
So, I know I'm probably going to be asked for my author membership card back (metaphorically speaking) for saying this, but I'm usually fascinated with reading a celeb's book. And Lauren's book didn't disappoint. It was enjoyable with a tinge of realism to it....probably because the fiction in this story easily paralleled Lauren's own life. Here's the gist of L.A. Candy:
Jane and Scarlett are best friends and do everything together: they moved to L.A. together, share an apartment together as well as all their secrets...and now they're starring in a new reality show together. As they say, "They're sort of a package deal." So, when a big-time Hollywood producer discovers them in a club and tells them he wants to make them the stars of his new reality show, the two California girls sign on, hoping to take their friendship in a new direction. What they didn't count on though, was that having cameras following them around 24/7 would actually drive a wedge between them. Now, they're discovering things about the other at the same time everyone else in the world is—on the small screen—and the two are getting a heavy dose of reality...their own.
So, like I said...L.A. Candy is a fun, beachy read. If you're looking for a little gossip and even possibly some insight into what life might've been like for LC all those years on MTV, you should definitely check it out.
Anyone else read Lauren's book? What did you think? Leave your comments below!
I've interviewed enough authors over the years to know that everyone has a process. One that works for them and allows them to create the wonderful things they put out in the world. Some write in the mornings before their kids wake up; others have the luxury of writing as their day job and have a set schedule that has them writing in the mid-morning and then again in the afternoon; and then there are those (like me) who write at night once all their other duties for the day are done.
The point is, there is no wrong or right way to write. But in order to be successful at writing, you have to find a process that works for you so that you can do just that: write. If you haven't figured out what your own process is yet, feel free to try what works for others until you hit the jackpot for yourself.
Take a look at my video below where I talk a little about what works for me...and feel free to take what you want and leave the rest.
My totally awesome boyfriend took me away to Ocean City this past weekend to celebrate my upcoming 32nd birthday. I know...32 years old, crazy huh? Sometimes I forget that I'm that old. But still, no stress this year about getting older, because life's pretty good. Living with a guy who's really super, job's going pretty well, I've had more than 1.8 million reads of Life's a Witch so far and have decided to publish it myself in the next couple of months. So as far as where I am at this point in my life....well, I'm pretty darn happy.
And speaking of Life's a Witch...be sure to check out my latest chapter! Things are really heating up in Hadley's life. You won't believe what's going to happen next!
May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month and in honor of it, I'm hoping to shed some light on one of the most undiagnosed diseases in the world. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that affects one in 133 people. Unfortunately, about 97% of those afflicted with CD go undiagnosed—which means there are a whole lot of people walking around in pain and damaging their bodies because they just haven’t been given the proper information. Here’s what you need to know:
• CD is an inherited genetic disease. This means if someone in your family has it, your chances of also having it increases.
• CD affects men and women, children and adults. This disease doesn’t discriminate.
• CD is one of the most common genetic diseases in the world. This disease affects more people than Crohn’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease combined!
• CD is a multi-symptom, multi-system disease activated by eating gluten. When someone with Celiac Disease consumes gluten (wheat, oats, barley, rye), it sets off a reaction where the person’s immune system begins to attack the body. Continued consumption of gluten can result in things as serious as intestinal cancer, Schizophrenia or infertility.
• You can develop CD at any point in your life. Some people are born with symptoms, while for others it’s a stressful event that sparks the disease.
• There is currently no cure for CD. The only course of action for a person with Celiac Disease is for the afflicted to cut ALL gluten out of their diet.
• A blood test is not enough to be diagnosed. If you’re being tested for CD, insist that your doctor perform an endoscopy as well as a blood test. It’s common for the blood test to give out false negatives.
Part of the reason that so many people with Celiac Disease go undiagnosed is because there are a multitude of symptoms, which are often mistaken for other less dangerous conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Here’s a list of possible CD symptoms. If you have any or all of these, you should request that your doctor test you for the disease:
• Bloating, gas or abdominal pain
• Chronic constipation or diarrhea
• Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
• Unexplained anemia
• Behavior changes (depression/irritability)
• Missed menstrual periods
• Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
But every CD story is different. This is mine:
Back in March of 2006, I went on a business trip and had an allergic reaction to shellfish. My throat started to close up and I panicked. From that day on, I grew extremely ill. Within three weeks, I’d lost over 20 pounds (at my lowest, I weighed a scary 86 pounds); I was throwing up multiple times a day; I’d lost my appetite and felt naseaus round the clock; It felt like there was a lump stuck in my throat; my chest and back hurt constantly; I was light-headed and faint; my hair had started to fall out; I was having panic attacks on a daily basis and I thought that I was dying.
In a month’s time, I went to a total of five doctors to try and find out what was going on (given the sudden onset of symptoms and their severity, I thought I had cancer). None of them had any answers for me until I saw an amazing man named Dr. Harrary. As soon as I told him my symptoms, he said, “I think you have something called Celiac Disease. It’s a disease where your body can’t process gluten which is found in wheat, oats, barley and rye.” When he suggested this as my possible diagnosis, I shot it down saying, “I’ve eaten bread my entire life. That can’t be it.” But despite my disbelief, Dr. Harrary scheduled me for an endoscopy (a procedure where you’re put under anesthesia and they stick a tube down your throat to take pictures and samples of your stomach; this is a very easy procedure and totally painless) and took blood to test for the disease.
Over a week later, I received the call: the tests had confirmed that I had Celiac Disease. Feeling numb over the diagnosis, I barely listened as he explained that there was no cure, that I only had to adhere to a gluten-free diet and it would be like my body was in remission. But I soon learned that cutting out all gluten from your diet is much more difficult than it sounds. It calls for a complete life change. Difficult, but not impossible.
It took some time to get used to my new way of life, and to be honest, for the first six months I only ate Amy’s frozen dinners (she has a lot of gf items) and gf pasta. I wasn’t in the right mindset to dive into gf cooking. But eventually I learned all the ingredients I needed to look out for and started being a little more adventurous with my meals.
Today, I love cooking; I can take just about any recipe and modify it to be safe for me to eat. I’m in a relationship with a non-Celiac guy who has become quite the expert on gf food and doesn’t mind eating that way if it means I stay safe and healthy. And there have been great strides in awareness over the past five years, including better labeling of food allergens and mainstream companies like General Mills who've begun to make whole lines of gf food (Betty Crocker sells gf cookie, brownie, yellow cake and devil’s food cake mixes at almost all grocery stores; Chex has a bunch of gf cereals; and Bisquik has a line as well.), which will help to bring the cost of these specialty foods down drastically.
I can honestly say that I feel healthy today. As soon as I went gluten-free, I was able to gain my weight back and start getting those vitamins back in my body that I’d lost while I was sick. I’m more susceptible to getting other autoimmune diseases because of my condition, but I’m more aware of reactions in my body now and I know not to give up until I find out what’s wrong with me when I do get sick. Being diagnosed with Celiac Disease isn’t the end of the world; with a few lifestyle changes and a little know-how you can feel better in no time.
If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above, visit a gastro-specialist who’s dealt with patients who have Celiac Disease before and request they run a blood test and perform an endoscopy. And remember, just because you don’t have all the symptoms or you’re not in enormous amounts of pain, doesn’t mean you’re not doing damage to your body. If you just want to support the cause, please pass this article on to your friends and family, or wear something green in honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month (green’s the color to support the cause; I even had green extensions put in my hair!) or donate money to Celiac Research here. Together we can spread the word and encourage diagnoses.
*For more information on Celiac Disease, please visit celiac.org.
Happy Monday! Just wanted to let you all know that a fellow Wattpadder recently interviewed me (yes, I was on the OTHER side of the story this time), because of all the success I've had on the site so far. People are really loving Life's a Witch so far, and I'm up to 1.6 million reads! This is an amazing feat in itself, but I also know I still have 6-8 more chapters left to write....so, things are looking up!
Thanks to all of you who have continued to support me over the years!
Something awful happened on my way to work today. As I was walking down 28th street as per my usual morning routine, a man popped out from behind some bushes (literally. This area is the Garden District) and nearly ran into me with his big bouquet of flowers. Once he saw me, he immediately began to apologize and then launched into a slew of semi-cat calls.
"Oh, I'm sorry beautiful! I didn't mean to run into you, beautiful..."
And then it happened.
"Have a great Mother's Day!"
What? Seriously? Really? No! But yes, it appears that I've finally reached the age of—GASP!—MOMdom! (Screams, shrieks, cries of disbelief) This realization caught me off-guard considering I often get mistaken for a teenager, and nothing I was wearing could have suggested otherwise. I mean, I was wearing sunglasses, so he couldn't even see my whole face, and it's not like I was rocking mom jeans or have that telling mom pooch that older women sometimes get. So, how then, could this man tell that I'm officially of Mom-age? Did he somehow know that I'm turning 32 in a few weeks? What was it about me that screamed "I'm a Mom, ask me how" to him?
Well, when I got over my initial horror of the situation I tried to look on the bright side...If he was hitting on me, then that at least meant he thought I was a MILF. And hey, that's something, right?
Hey all! Here's an author I recently had the pleasure of interviewing about her latest book! You may recognize her from her series The Clique and Monster High. Her books are über popular and she's super sweet and funny. Take a look at what she had to say about monsters, fitting in and her latest obsession:
Name: Lisi Harrison
Hometown: Laguna Beach, CA
Best known for: The Clique series, Monster High and wash-and-go hair
Fave books: The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Last book I read: A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Brittany: Most readers recognize you for your book series, The Clique. What made you decide to take a break from that series to write Monster High?
Lisi Harrison: I wanted to make a monster series for Clique fans—the kind I would want to read. Ghouls for glams!
Brittany: And now you’ve published the sequel, The Ghoul Next Door. What can we expect from this much-anticipated follow-up?
Lisi: Each new book in the series will feature a new character’s point of view. This book will have Frankie and Melody, but will also include Cleo. Readers will get to know her now. She’s kind of my Massie [from Clique]. Frankie and Melody both have major crushes and the Rads take a stand against the Normies. Unfortunately, this “stand” conflicts with a Teen Vogue photo shoot Cleo lined up and she’s sooooo not happy about it.
Brittany: What are you hoping readers get from the Monster High series? Is there a deeper meaning behind the storylines?
Lisi: It’s about our desire as human beings to fit in and how we tend to hide the things that make us different instead of celebrating them. It’s also about tolerance and acceptance. Oh, and how we’re all kind of m onsterous in high school.
Brittany: Why monsters as a theme?
Lisi: The monsters’ traits are metaphors for puberty and our physical challenges in high school.
Brittany: Are you a monster fan yourself?
Lisi: Generally speaking, I’m not a monster fan, which is why I wanted to try and create a monster world that suited my sensibilities. Something more steeped in pop culture, humor and friendship than we usually find in this genre.
Brittany: Deep down, the Monster High series seems to be about understanding people’s differences and being proud of who you are—no matter what that looks like. What tips do you have for teens who feel like they don’t fit in?
Lisi: Your time to shine will come. Some of us are late bloomers—I was. Be patient, keep calm and carry on. In the meantime, find the people who are most like you and embrace them. Quality over quantity. One amazing friend is better than 20 meanies.
Brittany: Do you have any words of advice for other aspiring writers?
Lisi: Don’t let anyone read your work. Their comments will either make you question your talent or fill you with false hope. You’ll know it’s great when you feel a tingle in your stomach.
Brittany: What are you absolutely obsessed with right now?
Lisi: The feather extensions in my hair, my iPad 2 and doing one nice thing for someone every day (two nice things on the weekend).
Check out The Ghoul Next Door, in bookstores now!
First off, I know I have some serious apologizing to do. My life has gotten crazy insane lately: I've been hot in the middle of writing Life's a Witch, which is coming along nicely, but since I'm publishing it as I go, there's a lot of pressure for me to get things right the first time. I've been having to edit it as I go along, which is new for me, because I usually wait until the end to do this. So, it's taking a lot more of my attention away than usual.
I've also been away the past few weeks on business trips. First, to beautiful Hell-A to do a photo shoot with the beautiful and sassy Francia Raisa from "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." I'd never seen the show before, but when I found out we'd be shooting her for the cover, I gave myself a crash-course in the very popular ABC Family show. At first, I thought it was silly....basically "7th Heaven" only preggers. But the more I watched, the more obsessed I got. So now, I am officially a fan, and meeting Francia (who plays Adrian on the show) was a real treat. She was very sweet, a little sassy (in a good way), and totally up to play dress up. And whereas I've run into some trouble in the past when asking actresses about their personal/love lives (some have basically shut down the interview!), Francia wasn't afraid to dish on this side of herself. You'll have to wait for the feature to read exactly what she said, but it was a great time.
Next, we headed over to Universal Studios for a shoot for our back-to-school fashion with the cast of Blue Crush 2. I'll let you in on a little secret....usually when you go to celebrity shoots, the stars are perfectly nice and professional. We have a great time, but in the end we all know that they're doing a job and we never really connect in a real, meaningful way. Don't get me wrong, with some of the people we've shot, I really would have loved to become friends with them outside the realm of the entertainment world...but it doesn't happen often. This shoot was totally different.
So, the star of the movie is Sasha Jackson, a beautiful blond from the UK. I met her for the first time when she came into the office with my contact at NBC/Universal for the Bring It On movies. Right away, I knew she was different than most actresses. Sasha was HILARIOUS (in an amazingly inappropriate way), she has THE best accent, but can switch to an American accent seamlessly. She's gorgeous, has this teeny-tiny little figure, while not looking like skelatore. In short: the girl is freaking awesome!
But again, I didn't know if this was just her doing her job promoting the film or really just her coming through in the meeting. When we eventually got to the shoot at Universal, I realized that this is just Sasha. She's friendly. She's outgoing. She's real. Sasha will be a total professional when the situation calls for it, but when she gets to know you, she's got a dirty kind of humor and won't censor herself around you. This kind of honesty had us in stitches and to be honest—we all sort of had girl crushes on her. While on set, we goofed around, hung out, talked about dating, our personal lives, dancing around our rooms to loud music and bonded over our mutual love of McDonald's. This time, when we left the shoot (and our new fave starlet) behind, I think we actually had a friend. We're now friends on FB and I have the luxury of getting bits and pieces of her wit and talent on a daily basis. How lucky am I!?!?!
But the awesomeness didn't stop there. Because after we wrapped that shoot, we headed over to Kendall Jenner's house—yes, her ACTUAL house. The one she lives and tapes in! We followed her cheer coach over to their gorgeous house (if only I had the money to get a place like theirs....sigh.), and waited (nervously) in the dining room for Kris, Kylie and Kendall to join us. Our staff were all nervous (I mean, how often do you get to hang out at the Jenner house?) and I was just hoping Kendall and her momager, Kris, would like the cover and her feature. As we waited, we checked out a wall full of black and white family portraits over the years. This was truly amazing; to see how the whole fam changed year after year was really cool. We even saw the infamous half-naked pic of Kourtney when she was preggers! Getting a glimpse into their personal lives off-camera was unbelievable.
We'd set things up so E! would come by to cover the unveiling and waited for everyone to arrive. When all the introductions had been made, we got straight to the interview with E! and then dropped the cloth that was hiding Kendall's first magazine cover EVER! Her reaction was perfect; you could tell that she genuinely loved it and was so excited to be honored for something she loves to do. And Kris was gushing over it (this was a far cry from the nightmares I'd been having for weeks that included Kris finding something she hated about it and threatening to sue me. In actuality, Kris was SO nice and complimentary of the magazine and cheerleading.). You could tell that Kris LOVES her kids and is their number one fan. On another note, you have to respect her for being such a great business-woman. She really took charge during the shoot (but not in a control freak sort of way) and knew what she was doing the whole time. It was very impressive just being around her. Oh, and Kylie was there too....a little bundle of energy and was so excited to talk about how she wanted to join the cheer squad next year. Of course, I offered to shoot her for the magazine when she finally does become a cheerleader. Now if we can only get them to let us shoot at their house.....
To round up this little celebrity update, one of my co-workers went to comic-con last weekend and, knowing that I'm a big Buffy fan, got me autographs of the actresses who play Harmony and Glory. He also got pics of them holding up signs for me! How sweet is that?!?! (And expensive...apparently it costs $35 apiece for the signatures and pics!).
So, again, sorry for being MIA....I'm going to try and be better about this from here on out. I hope all these pics made up for it!