Okay...So, a friend sent me this video the other day because the girl on it mentions Wattpad! But the real gem of the video happens about 7 minutes in. So seriously, check it out. Feel free to scroll ahead to the good part. Just do it. Trust me....you won't be sorry.
Before I get to the celeb-studded weekend plans, can I just mention that yesterday I reached #23 on the HOT list on Wattpad, the site where I've been publishing my book, Life's a Witch? This is the highest up I've ever been and it's no surprise that it happens to coincide with publishing the chapter where I reveal who the traitor is in the book? Have you read it yet? What did you think of the reveal? Were you surprised? Did you kinda already know? Were you happy or frustrated? Whatever you thought, be sure to leave your comments below. I'd love to hear what you think.
On to more celeb-related info...I'm about to embark on another weekend in LA for two celebrity photo shoots. The first is with new Disney It-Girl, Debby Ryan. If you have a younger sibling or child between the ages of 5 and 14 (or are an adult who just LOVES the Disney channel....hey, there's nothing wrong with that), you likely know who Debby is. If you don't, Debby spent the last three years on "The Suite Life on Deck" playing Bailey Picket, with twin cuties Dylan and Cole Sprouse. Well, this cutie-patootie just turned 18 and is starring in her own Disney show called "Jessie", debuting this fall. Disney's already toting her as the next big thing and since Miley and Selena have both moved on, it looks like there's a spot open for a new Disney Princess.
We're also shooting Corinne Fox, Jamie Fox's daughter. Now the cool thing about Corinne is that she's actually a cheerleader NOW. And if that weren't enough, she actually cheers on the same squad as Kendall Jenner (can you imagine what it's like to be on that squad?). So, we're going to spend some time with the teenager to talk to her all about her cheer experiences, as well as the fact that her dad credits her as the reason his music career is what it is today. And Corinne herself seems to have a natural talent for the music world...she's been spending a lot of time in the studio behind-the-scenes learning all there is to creating records. So for this shoot, we've been invited over to Jamie's in-home recording studio to shoot Corinne in her element. Jamie's even offered to take a few pics with Corinne for the magazine! How cool is that? I'm going to be hanging out at Jamie Fox's house this weekend! How random.
But the celebs don't stop there. We're also shooting Christa B. Allen (ABC's new show "Revenge"), Jasmine V (Sony/Epic recording artist and Justin Bieber's ex!), Bella Thorne (Disney's "Shake It Up"), Megan Park (ABC Family's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager"), Ayla Kell (ABC Family's "Make It or Break It") and Sasha Pieterse (ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars). It's going to be an INSANE shoot, but I'm beyond excited to see what these girls are like in person!
I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures and I'll be sure to update after the shoots!
I've got some crazy cool news for you next week, but for now, here's something to tide you over.....
I just posted another chapter of Life's a Witch on wattpad. For all of you who've been keeping up, please check it out--this is where you'll finally find out who the traitor is! And you'll never have guessed it!
So log on and then let me know what you think. Were you shocked? Surprised? Or did you kinda see it coming. Leave your comments below and then weigh in on Wattpad with my other fans!
Have a happy Saturday!
Okay, so I'm totally loving Katy Perry's new music video. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. You won't be sorry! Lots of celeb sightings and super fun!
So, this past weekend, Matt and I headed off to Salem, MA to film my book trailer for Life's a Witch. We'd taken a look at a few other author's book trailers (check out one of Meg Cabot's below) and sat down to try and brainstorm what we wanted to accomplish with mine. Being that Matt's expertise is video, I left a lot of the planning up to him in terms of exactly how he wanted to execute the video. But we talked out the general storyline for the trailer and then planned our trip.
Like I mentioned in a past blog, I knew I was using my friend, Alicia Chouinard, as Hadley in the trailer. She's been offering to star in the movie or TV show of one of my books for years and since she's an actress/model/all-around cool chick, I knew if anyone was going to play Hadley, it'd be her. And I've gotta say...the girl didn't disappoint!
So we went up to stay with Alicia and her family for the weekend, since they live less than a half hour away from Salem (Alicia's dad even grew up in Danvers, the actual town where a lot of the trials happened), and then woke up early Saturday morning to go shopping! I had to buy a wig...one that would help transform cute, caramel colored Alicia into the brunette bombshell that Hadley is (check out a pic of Alicia trying on wigs; this isn't the one we ended up going with since it was more Betty Boop than Hadley Bishop, but it was fun trying them on!). I also had to pick out an outfit that was fitting of Hadley's personal style. And of course, we had to find the right shoes. We settled on a fierce pair of bright red patent leather stilettos. Seriously hot.
Anyways, once we had the whole outfit together, we traveled to Salem and went to our first location. We'd decided that our first shot would be at The Witch House, which was the house that Judge Jonathan Corwin, the man who sentenced Bridget Bishop (and over a dozen others) to death because of witchcraft, used to live. The house itself is now a museum with guided tours and is painted a creepy gray/black color. As soon as we saw it, we knew it would make the perfect backdrop for the trailer. And the owners were so nice to let us film in front of it!
Our next location was the Salem Witch Trials Memorial Cemetery. Now, Saturday was drizzly and gray out—the perfect setting for the filming we wanted to do. And when we were all set up at the cemetery, among the headstones, we were able to get a few shots that were nothing short of incredible. We even found a stone bench that paid its respects to Bridget Bishop.
While we were at the graveyard, Alicia's mom, Sue (who should get some serious stylist and momager credits...we never would've found Hadley's outfit if it wasn't for her! Thanks Sue! Your 10% is coming!) got to talking to a few other people who were walking around the graves and made friends with a girl who said she was a practicing witch! We almost asked if we could interview her, but we were losing light and didn't want to stay too long in the cemetery with all our camera equipment (did I mention it was raining and pretty chilly?). Alas, we decided interviews would have to be left for another trip.
All in all, the shoot went awesome and I can't wait to see the finished product! I just hope you all like it as much as I had fun making it!
Hey everyone! In Salem, MA right now, filming my book trailer for Life's a Witch! It was drizzly and overcast today...the absolute perfect vibe for the backdrop of this shoot! My dear friend Alicia Chouinard is starring as Hadley Bishop, and she's doing an amazing job so far. And did I mention that my totally awesome boyfriend is helping me shoot the trailer? He's genius, so I just know it's going to turn out looking incredible! Anyway, I'll be able to give you more details of the shoot on Monday.
But for now, I'll leave you with this, my latest chapter in Life's a Witch. Hope you like it!
Hey all! Lots to catch you up on this Friday! First off, this week I reached 3 million reads of Life's a Witch on Wattpad! I can't even begin to describe how this makes me feel...but I'll try: elated, blessed, honored, exuberant, joyous, excited, proud....well, you get the idea. I never could have predicted that people would latch on to this book the way they have. Sure, I hoped people would enjoy it, but I wasn't expecting this kind of a response. It's truly reinvigorated my feelings on writing. I have the best fans EVER!
So, as a thank you to everyone who logs on every weekend to see what's going on in Hadley's life, here are a few goodies for you. Because I know how much some of you are obsessed with The Salem Witch Trials and Life's a Witch, I've decided to film my book trailer this weekend. And guess where? Yep, good ole' Salem, MA! I've got the whole thing scripted out and my very talented and gorgeous friend, Alicia Chouinard, is going to be playing the part of Hadley. I knew it was only a matter of time before Alicia ended up the star of something I wrote...she's read every one of the books I've written! Anyways, while we're there shooting the trailer, we're going to be taking video, doing interviews with a few of the ancestors of the accused and putting together a sort of documentary of the trip. It should be a lot of fun!
And now, the real surprise...
I'm giving away free books to five lucky fans!
I know how expensive books can be and I'm all about encouraging reading, so I'll be sending out a total of 25 brand new books to winners! Here's what you have to do:
1. Fan me on Facebook and Wattpad (if you're already a fan in both places, encourage a friend to fan me on both and you're in!)
2. After you're a fan, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Give me my books! Leave your name, age, address, e-mail address and the name of your favorite book.
3. I'll pick five winners at random and each will be sent five YA books to the address provided.
Thanks again for all your continued support and can't wait to hear what you think of my book trailer!
I recently did an interview with Blue Crush 2 star—and all-around cool chick—Sasha Jackson for American Cheerleader, all about filming her new surf film (which is on DVD now!). Besides being gorgeous, hilarious and wicked smart, this Jack of all Trades is an amazing actress. So get out your sunscreen and prepare to learn everything you ever wanted to know about this blond beach beauty!
AC: How does it feel to have your new movie Blue Crush 2 coming out on Tuesday?
Sasha Jackson: I don’t really know how to put into words how I feel. I’m proud and excited to see how people will react to Blue Crush 2. I hope they enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it. Basically, it feels rad!
AC: Doesn’t it take a long time to get through the whole process of a movie?
Sasha: It depends on the genre, script, location, etc. Pre-production took roughly three months, but director Mike Elliott and producer Greg Holstein were working on it a year prior to that. We spent three months in South Africa shooting the movie, then post-production took about eight months.
AC: We all saw the original and loved it—so what can fans expect from this one?
Sasha: The only commonalities between the two films is the name (obviously), killer surf scenes and female empowerment. Aside from that, the story is totally different, it doesn’t pick up from the original plot as a lot of sequels do. It’s a brand new cast and location; there’s more intense surfing by some of the top surfers in the world, who are also part of the cast—not just surf doubles.
Blue Crush 2 showcases South Africa at its finest. The audience gets to see parts of South Africa that you’d never be able to see on vacation or on TV. We have everything in this movie: the real Roxy team and competitions, sacred surf spots, exotic animals, friendship and the incredible bond between the most unlikely family.
AC: Did you do your own surfing in the movie?
Sasha: Both Elizabeth [Mathis] and I had three weeks to learn how to surf right at the start of the shoot, but we were mainly taught how to look like we’d been surfing our whole lives. Surfing is made to look so easy, but it was extremely challenging! However, we loved every second. We weren’t allowed to surf after those first three weeks until the very end of the shoot due to insurance purposes, though, which was very tough because we just wanted to catch a wave!
The water week we did at the end of the shoot was awesome and we were surfers by the end of it. We were catching waves and it was a blast. In the movie, anytime you see us paddling and standing on the boards, it’s really us; the rest is mainly our doubles due to the waves being enormous and the conditions being dangerous. There were also moves in there that take years and years to learn, so we could never have done them justice.
AC: What was the hardest thing about surfing?
Sasha: Accepting that you have absolutely no control over the ocean. If a huge set comes and you get held under (unable to see which way is up and being tossed and turned around like a rag doll) there’s nothing you can do about it.
When filming dialogue scenes we’d have to deal with the rip tide, meaning we’d shoot three or four lines of dialogue then have to paddle so hard to get back to the same point so the background was the same. Continuity is very difficult to maintain when filming on the ocean. The ocean definitely controlled our shooting schedule. Days completely changed due to bad weather conditions.
AC: What was it like filming in such a beautiful location?
Sasha: Filming in South Africa was awe-inspiring and incredible beyond words. I feel so blessed to have experienced such a wonderful country. We shot in the winter so it was bitterly cold, which luckily doesn’t come across in the movie. The crew would be in full capestorm wear—gloves, balaclavas, hats, etc.—and we’d be in bikinis, trying to stop our teeth from chattering. But we saw so many incredible things (dolphins would swim around us) and we’d sit and eat lunch while watching the whales breaching. I will never forget it. South Africa is embedded in my heart forever.
Sasha: Ben [Milliken] and Chris [Fisher] were both great guys, and we all became good friends, so there was no awkwardness at all. I was so lucky to get to work with such an incredible cast.
Sasha: I don’t really have any celebrity crushes to be honest—though I do think Eric Dane, George Clooney and Paul Walker are gorgeous.
AC: This looks like one of those girl power movies. What did you learn about yourself while shooting this film?
Sasha: Three months away from my home, friends and family was a big challenge for me. I was in a lot of scenes so I didn’t have as much time to stop and stay in contact with everyone back home or chill with the rest of the cast. It was lonely at times.
Due to the weather, quite a few of us caught bronchitis, lung infections and hypothermia (twice). I fractured my scaphoid bone in my hand and had a tiny hairline fracture on my spine—it was intense. Shooting this film taught me that if I could keep going all day, every day for three months in those conditions, then I can pretty much do anything. The main thing I learned was that sometimes it takes more strength to ask for help and admit that you don’t know what you’re doing, than to deal with it alone.
AC: You had a sick body in the movie…any pointers for getting into swimsuit shape?
Sasha: Swimming is one the best forms of exercise, and yoga was very useful, too. But if you want to get a great body, try surfing!
AC: After being on the beach in paradise, was it hard to come back to the States?
Sasha: Had I been filming for a month it would’ve been so hard to come back. But I was so homesick by the end of the shoot that I was happy to be going home! Plus, I wanted to be in sunny California again.
It was tough to come back and adjust to my normal life again, as South Africa became my everything! It was my home, and my job, and leaving the cast and crew who’d basically become my family was so difficult. I still talk to them every week and I miss them all very much.
Sasha: There was no competition whatsoever; it was actually the polar opposite. Having gone through all the tough stuff together, we were incredibly close and became each other’s biggest support systems.
AC: You’re actually from London, but you have a totally believable American accent in the movie. Do you ever trick people into believing you’re American just for fun?
Sasha: I can easily switch in and out of my accent without thinking about it. People actually think I’m putting on a British accent, not the American one. It’s fun to go into auditions American then say goodbye in my real voice and watch the shock on their faces.
AC: What is it about the U.S. that you like better than your hometown?
Sasha: The weather and the beaches!
AC: At the shoot, you told us you were so over the Prince William/Kate Middleton hooplah. Tell the truth…did you wake up in the middle of the night to watch the ceremony?
Sasha: No I didn’t, but I did TiVo it. When I saw that it was five hours long, I fast-forwarded through everything aside from the arrival, the vows and when they came onto the balcony.
AC: You mentioned that you like to write. Is that something you’d like to pursue in the future?
Sasha: I’d love to. I’ve written two movies and one TV series so far. It’s a great outlet for me to stimulate my mind and escape from everyday life now and then.
AC: What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too afraid to try?
AC: What other projects do you have coming up?
Sasha: I’m shooting a movie this year called Tarantula, starring Billy Zane, Danny Trejo and Rodger Halston.
Sasha: Because the surfing is insane, and you get to see South Africa, cute boys and beautiful scenery. To be honest, it’s just a really feel-good movie. I’ve watched people’s reactions and they all leave with huge grins on their faces. And there hasn’t been a Blue Crush film for 10 years! Isn’t that a reason in itself?
**Be sure to buy your copy of Blue Crush 2 today and stay tuned for the August issue of American Cheerleader to see the cast modeling the best in back-to-school fashion!
I recently decided to film a book trailer for Life's a Witch and after talking things over with Matt, we figured we needed a really intense backdrop for it. And considering there's going to be an epic battle in the book, lots of destruction and some creepy moments, we thought that the perfect setting for the trailer would be an abandoned building of some sort. Something falling apart or destroyed; possibly a structure in ruins. When we started looking into locations, Matt found that Roosevelt Island had an old, run-down hospital, so we decided to go check it out.
On Sunday, we took the subway over to the island, a place neither of us had been before. Turns out that the building (or what's left of it) was no longer open to the public. In fact, it had a huge fence around it with a big sign telling the public that trespassers would be arrested...so that made this location out of the question. What we did find was an island that was even creepier than the ruins we were hoping to shoot at.
When we first arrived on Roosevelt, we started walking in the direction of the old hospital. The island itself isn't that big. We actually walked around it in about a half hour. But as we began to walk, we started to see some crazy things. The first thing we saw when we walked off the subway was a man lying on his stomach and wheeling himself down the middle of the street on a hospital gurney. As he passed us, we saw that he didn't have a body from the waist down and there was a collastomy bag hanging off the side of the bed. It was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen in real life and I felt like I was already in some kind of scary movie.
But, we kept walking, because we were on a mission. And that's when we saw them.
Like, a dozen of them. As we got to the fence of the old hospital, all of these cats (more than half of them were black) started coming out of hiding. Now I love cats—I have two of my own after all—but even I thought this was weird. They were everywhere and looked ferrel (maybe this was my imagination, but after the gurney wheeling guy, I was sort of in an odd mindset) and just kept showing up.
This was about the time when Matt and I decided it was time to get off Crazy Island. If there was ever a place to shoot a creepy trailer this would be it...but I think we need something a little less creepy and more destroyed. I want people to read Life's a Witch, not be terrified by it!
I was a hardcore gymnast from the time I was 8 until about 16. In fact, when I quit, I was training for the Olympics. From the day that I was told that's where I was headed, I started to stress out big-time. I woke up every morning thinking about how I might mess up in front of the whole world. And by this age, I'd also started to realize that if I made a mistake, I could actually die. In basketball you just miss a shot or in volleyball you hit the net. Not a lot of danger there. But in gymnastics? One misstep and you're paralyzed or worse.
But I digress. The point is, gymnastics was my sport. It was my passion and what I trained all my young life for. And I cut my career and dreams short because of fear. Needless to say, I haven't watched gymnastics since. I haven't seen a single Olympics since I've quit. I can't stomach it. It just reminds me of what I could have been...
Because of this, I've been putting off watching the show, "Make It or Break It" on ABC Family ever since it started. But I recently finished watching the entire "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" series and needed a new show to watch. So, at the insistence of several friends, I gave it a go. And although it brings back certain old feelings and I definitely miss those days of training hard for something, I'm actually enjoying the show.
The stars don't exactly have gymnast bodies and some of the drama is a little over the top, but they do get some stuff right. The gymnastics scenes are intense and super fun to watch and the politics that come along with the sport are spot on. I can't help but feel like Jessica Bendinger's movie Stick It helped pave the way for this show in terms of the public's interest in these tremendous athletes. Way to go Jessica!
Either way, I'm definitely getting sucked into "MIOBI" and if you haven't already checked it out, you should--Even if you're mourning the loss of your own gymnastics career. I promise, It'll be worth it!
I talked to two of my family members yesterday and both conversations were eye-opening and enjoyable. Let me clue you in to a typical Geragotelis phone call:
The first talk I had was with my mom, who caught me just when I was on my way out of the office for the day. It had been a week or so since we'd last talked (both of us have been super busy) and we took a few minutes to try and catch up. After chatting about boyfriend/relationship stuff, the conversation turned to my writing. That's when she said it:
"Life's a Witch is getting really good!"
Sounds simple enough, but if you knew my mom, you'd know she's not really a reader. Smartest person I know, but she just doesn't like reading the way I do and doesn't do it much for pleasure. In fact, even though she's my biggest fan, she's never read a book I've written. Not because she doesn't believe in me and/or think I write well, it's just not her thing.
Well, ever since I started publishing LAW on Wattpad.com, my mom's been logging on...and reading! It's been such a pleasant surprise and a joy to hear that she's reading my book (finally) and enjoying it! Because what she thinks matters to me (I mean, come on, she's awesome!), it's been really nice knowing that she's digging my work!
So, that was the first family convo I had. The second was with my little sister. She's 10 years younger than me and is working at a company that is owned by Microsoft, testing video games. Or at least that's what she wants me to believe. Here was our talk:
Me: How's work going?
Her: It's fine. Did I tell you I got put on another project?
Me: No! That's exciting! What kind of a game is it? A zombie game? A driving game?
Her: It's not a zombie game....
Me: Well, what is it?
Me: Can you not tell me about it or something? Matt said maybe you had to sign a confidentiality clause or an NDA or something.
Me: Wait, so you're not allowed to talk about what you're doing at work?
Me: It's like, top secret information?
Her: Something like that. Everyone has different levels of clearance and we aren't allowed to go into certain labs...
Me: Are you sure you're not a secret government agent? It sounds like you're a secret government agent.
Her: I'm sure. But if I were, I couldn't tell you anyway, so....
Me: I know this girl who works for the government and nobody knows where her work actually is. She's not even allowed to bring her cell phone to work with her or surf the internet while she's there.
Her: We're not allowed to have anything with a camera on it.
Me: So you could be a secret agent.
Her: (laughs nervously)
Me: Could they be tapping the phones right now?
Her: I test video games for Microsoft!
Me: Maybe Microsoft is really just a front for a secret government agency. Did you ever think of that?
Her: I'm going to go now.
It's amazing how much I learn every time I talk to my family members. One's reading regularly and the other is a secret government agent...errr, video game tester.
Gotta love family!
While doing some research into celebrities for an upcoming photo shoot, I found myself watching trailers for some of the new shows slated for the Fall season. Now, I'll be doing a Fall TV Preview closer to the time the shows will be airing, but there were a few that I saw today that I just had to share.
Take a look:
The River (ABC)
Scary river goes after a crew of unsuspecting people. From the producers of Paranormal Activity....and yes, you can tell.
2 Broke Girls (CBS)
Quite possibly one of the funniest trailers I've ever seen. One sassy, sarcastic bad-ass girl meets rich-girl-turned-poor-girl. Hilarity ensues.
What do you guys think?
So....to celebrate Wednesday, Hump Day, and to get you through the rest of your (short) week, here's my latest video. In this episode, I address the theory that Hadley and Fallon might be suffering from a bit of a love/hate relationship....well, you're just going to have to watch to see what I'm talking about!