A Christmas chance to win stuff.

Light as a Feather, YA Fiction

If you love Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, here’s your chance to WIN this holiday season!

The junior class at Weeping Willow High School is playing a game of Secret Santa.* If you’d like to play, leave a comment on Facebook, and I’ll assign you the SECRET student from Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board for whom you have to get a holiday gift. You don’t REALLY have to buy a gift, just pick something out online that costs less than $50, and post the gift you’ve chosen in the comments on the contest post on Facebook (if you want to post a picture, Facebook is easier than here). You can mention the gift by name, post a link to it online, or post a picture. With your post, mention the name of the student you were assigned, and why you thought the gift was perfect for them.

From all of the entries received, ONE lucky winner from in between Wattpad and Facebook will be chosen at random and win:

1) a new pair of Sleepover Cotton Pajamas from Victoria’s Secret

2) a selection of TEN holiday nail polishes by Formula X for Sephora

TWO runners up will be chosen at random and win 3 bottles of Formula X each.

Formula X for Sephora

Winners will be chosen on January 1, 2014.

Let’s get this holiday party started!!

For Facebook entries: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Light-as-a-Feather-Stiff-as-a-Board/475835895814438

*If you’re unfamiliar with this game, it’s when everyone puts their name on a piece of paper into a box (or a Santa hat!) and draws one. You’re the “secret Santa” for the person whose name you’ve drawn, and on Christmas, you give them a special gift based on their personality. Usually there’s a cash limit on the prizes so that people don’t go too wild with spending.

** If you live outside the USA & Canada and are chosen as a winner, we may have to substitute your prize as it might not be possible to ship nail polish and we don’t want you to have to pay duties on your prize.

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It’s snowing, and the gnome socks are on

New York

It’s snowing in Brooklyn and it’s almost Christmas, which means two things:

1) Christmas tree “farms” have popped up on sidewalks all over my neighborhood (see below)

and

2) I’m rockin’ my gnome socks, a snow day tradition (also see below w/cameo by Silvio the cat).Xmas tree farm gnome socks Verandah Pl.If this street looks a little familiar, it’s because it’s the street where the scene from Season 1 of Damages was shot where the crazy cop-turned-bad chases David’s sister, Katie, intending to kill her to keep her silent about what she saw in Miami, but then she turns around and confronts him and he chickens out.

I know, I watch too much TV. But this street’s 2 blocks away from my house, and I think about Arthur Frobisher every time I walk past it.

 

Last chance for a free Kindle copy…

Light as a Feather, YA Fiction

This is it, guys. I mean it this time. For real and realsies.

Today’s the last day you can get a free copy of Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board for Kindle. It doesn’t matter what country you live in, as long as your country has Amazon. What are you waiting for?

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000030_00036]

McKenna Brady thinks her junior year of high school is going to be the best ever when she’s welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High School led by blond, gorgeous Olivia Richmond. Prior to junior year, McKenna was known in her small town as the girl whose twin sister died in a tragic house fire, and she’s overjoyed at the prospect of redefining her identity. She has a date to the Homecoming dance with Olivia’s handsome older brother, and a good chance of being elected to student council. For the first time since McKenna’s parents divorced, things are looking up.
But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover birthday party. Violet, the shy, mysterious new girl in town, suggests that the girls play a scary game called Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, during which Violet makes up elaborate stories about the future ways in which beautiful Olivia, brassy Candace, and athletic Mischa will die. The game unsettles McKenna because she’s already escaped death once in her life, but she doesn’t want to ruin her friends’ fun. It’s only a game, she reminds herself.
But it doesn’t seem like a harmless game a week later when Olivia dies unexpectedly in a violent car crash, exactly as Violet predicted. And something begins haunting McKenna’s bedroom at night, leaving her clues that all seem to point to Violet. McKenna enlists the help of her cute next-door neighbor Trey in finding out exactly what kind of curse Violet has put on all of the popular girls in the junior class. As Violet rises to popularity and seemingly steps into the life Olivia left unfinished, McKenna and Trey know they only have a limited amount of time to bring an end to Violet’s game before more lives are lost.
Readers of this book can follow @VioletSimmonsWW on Twitter to continue the story, hear about what’s going on in Weeping Willow, and learn about contests.
For readers ages 13+.

So this is what it’s like on the Amazon Bestseller List

Light as a Feather, YA Fiction

Oddly, life isn’t much different than before, when I wasn’t on the Amazon Bestseller List.

But seeing that people are interested in my book is pretty exciting, I’ve got to admit. And surpassing Twilight Book 1 in the paranormal teen romance list was very gratifying, even if it only lasted a few hours!

Light as a Feather, #3 Paranormal

TV Shows I Volunteer to Executive Produce

Uncategorized, Writing

1.  The F Team

A reboot of the A-Team. A group of really shitty special ops guys bungle every assignment they’re given in the greater Los Angeles area.  The only casting requirement here is that Kathy Griffin must play Murdock. I think it would also be pretty great to see Jay Baruchel as a bumbling explosives expert.

2. Eugene Hwang: Food Poisoning Hunter

In a classic reality show format, a panel of personalities who serve as authorities on bad food experiences (my friend Spencer Wong, maybe Bourdain–what show wouldn’t benefit from a little Anthony Bourdain? maybe Johnny Weir because why not?) challenge my young friend Eugene to eat the most disgusting dishes in the dirtiest, C-rated dining establishments in NYC. There’s no gamification element here; we just wait and watch Eugene suffer.  This is a show that probably only my friends would truly enjoy, but it would be ridiculously easy to produce since it’s a slice of our daily lives.

3.  Tha Hood

This is a reverse concept show based on Diff’rent Strokes. A rich white dude dies and his spoiled brat kids go live with their family’s black maid and her kids in Crenshaw.  All joking aside, I actually wrote a pilot for this situation comedy and won tickets to a weird event at which I met Robert Smigel and Norm MacDonald told me all about his pee saved in bottles when I bummed a cigarette off him. Truth.  I couldn’t even make up the kind of stuff that happens in LA.

4. Situation: California

A nuclear reactor has some kind of scientificky malfunction on the coast of California (just like in Japan) and a weird zombie-like virus infects all of the residents who were exposed to the radiation. The US government seals off the state to prevent the infection from spreading, and those who are trapped within state boundaries have to battle zombies as well as other survivors for power. Think Point Break meets World War Z with a dash of Private Practice and a hell of a lot of guns.

5. Chance and the Big Guy

Chance Munroe, a down-on-his-luck, aging bit part actor in LA, teams up with his college roommate, a divorced single dad living in his ex-wife’s basement, to make a living as bounty hunters.  The first time I started half-heartedly writing a pilot for this, I thought, no one will ever want to see a 1-hr drama about two unsuccessful guys trying to get money. Now, after the wild success of Breaking Bad, I’m not so sure about my original hypothesis!

My fans are the best.

YA Fiction

Please allow me to take a moment to brag.

My readers on Wattpad are so creative, industrious, and intelligent that sometimes I can’t believe that most of them are still in high school. I don’t know what I was doing in high school (OK, I do know, I was drawing cartoons of my teachers and watching Last of the Mohicans starring Daniel Day Lewis at the video rental store where I worked, remember those?) but I sure wasn’t editing book trailers or drawing elaborate graphic novels.

Check out this amazing book trailer for Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board made a girl who’s 16 and in high school. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAwIhleUdg0

 

And these incredible illustrations made a girl who’s 14 and in high school in the UK:

Tatiana's drawing of Trey & McKenna

Tatiana’s drawing of Trey & McKenna

Amazing.

5 Things I Did Not Know When I Moved to New York

Uncategorized

I’ve been here a while now, so it’s okay to admit these things. I am pretty sure I am not alone in these rather humbling experiences. Correction: I really hope I am not alone in these experiences, because if I am, I am a far greater nerd than I thought.

1. I did not know about wasabi. In my defense, I also had never had sushi before moving to New York, so I was a victim of the oldest trick in the book (which is the one where your sushi expert friend tells you to eat a big gob of wasabi straight up, because they insist it is delicious, and then fire comes out of your eyes and nostrils and you pray to Jesus for sweet relief and can’t wait to try that trick on some other unsuspecting doofus).

2. I didn’t know that you’re supposed to pronounce Houston Street like Howston Street. Naturally, now when I hear tourists repeat my mistake, I become enraged.

3. Drugs are everywhere. Growing up in the Midwest, I honestly thought drugs were like, super duper hush-hush items of secrecy and that police wearing riot gear with giant German Shepherd dogs were lurking around every corner in the big city just waiting to bust people with drugs. I did not know that approximately 97% of New Yorkers keep marijuana stashed away somewhere in their kitchen. I could not have imagined the possibility of a drug dealer riding his bicycle to your apartment at any hour of the day or not.  The 14-year-old Vanessa Huxtable tattletale that still lives inside me wants to say “awwwwww” in a you’re-gonna-get-it voice every time I smell ganja on the sidewalk.

4. Midtown is not cool. I was under the impression that, thanks to pretty much every single movie I saw as a kid set in New York, all the action was in Midtown. As it turns out, Splash!, Tootsie, Working Girl, and Kramer vs. Kramer were all liars. As it also turns out, my parents probably should not have let me seen a lot of movies I was allowed to see at an impressionable young age. True fact: Kramer vs. Kramer was almost directed by Francois Truffaut. Imagine.

5. There are no secret underground nightclubs featuring magic shows, like the one in Desperately Seeking Susan. Trust me, I’ve searched. This, to me, is a serious failure on behalf of every nightclub owner in this city. I’m sick of fake burlesque shows and “speak-easies” (people, there was this thing called the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment, and it’s been legal to drink alcohol in this country for 80 years, so enjoy that $17 “secret” martini). If you want to really buy an alcoholic beverage and consume it illegally, buy a Tecate and drink it in the alley behind my apartment building with all the other dudes who hang out at the taco stand downstairs.  And let me know if you know how to do any magic tricks or if Rosanna Arquette stops by.

5 Cool Dudes

Uncategorized

A list, in nonsensical order, of some seriously cool dudes that I was thinking about today while waiting for the F train. Pointless? Yeah, but so what? This is my blog and I can make lists of whatever I want!

1) Barack Obama. The dude is like ice. Just cool.
2) Kurt Russell. Seriously, this guy is crazy chill. If I were on a sinking ocean liner, stranded on an island, dealing with some serious BS in Chinatown involving magic, managing a mini-golf in Oregon… pretty much in any situation, Kurt Russell has things covered. Also, I really like this picture of him with like, a time warp effect coming out from behind his head.
3. Shane Black. This dude wrote almost every good action movie you’ve ever seen, and directed Iron Man. Bow down.
4) Jeff Bridges. No explanation needed.
3. Shane Black. This dude wrote almost every good action movie you’ve ever seen, and directed Iron Man. Bow down.
5) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This dude was named NBA MVP 6 times. He was in Airplane! He kicked it with Bruce Lee! He is all-around awesome.

Light as a Feather… let’s play a game

Uncategorized

My paranormal YA book is being featured on Wattpad right now, and as part of the feature we’re playing a little online game of Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.  As much as I loved the role of storyteller within the game when I was a kid, it’s a challenge coming up with more than twenty weird ways for someone to die every day. I try to stay away from predictions that are a little too possible. Back in the days when my friends and I would play the game at slumber parties, half of the fun of the game was that the storyteller would always try to crack everyone up with the absurdity of the death prediction. Killer clowns, angry bears, law mower accidents… these were the ways in which as middle-graders we all predicted we’d go. I found this really cool site that details 350 actual, horrible ways to die. I am a Tycho Brahe fan and had no idea that his bladder had burst! I feel for him, as I feel for the poor gent who laughed himself to death watching The Goodies.

Image

If you loved the game, check out the ongoing fun happening at Wattpad. If you dare, you can ask Hannah Simmons to play the game with you, and enter to win a pair of new pajamas from Victoria’s Secret, a pizza, some Netflix, and a scary book – all the makings of a great slumber party.