Friday, October 30, 2015

This blog is no longer active.
 For my latest writing visit me at MsLake

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What's Mine is Mine

From the Financial times of London comes this delightful excerpt from the forthcoming  Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books  (Yale University Press) edited by Leah Price.
Writers including Claire Messud, Edmund White and Gary Shteyngart, talk about their (usually formidable) book collections, how they store them, shelve them, arrange them and whether or not they give away donate or (gasp!) throw away any volumes when things get out of hand. "I still mourn the books I chucked," admits Junot Diaz, for whom books competed in importance with food when he was young. Each writer gives a list of their ten favorite books.
Messud, who lives with the writer James Wood explains, "Certainly we both know at once which books properly belong to one or the other of us, and by the same token, know which books are somehow shared. I can’t explain how we know this, but as far as I recall, we’ve never disagreed about a single volume.." 
Bibliophiles everywhere understand perfectly.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Interview: Alisa Valdes Rodriguez

Dirty Girl on the Record
by Vivian Lake

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez , a former journalist with the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times, broke into the publishing stratosphere in 2004 with the publication of Dirty Girls Social Club at the dawn of the chick-lit movement.
Her story of six Latina American women's friendship and individual struggles to find themselves and establish careers became a a New York Times bestseller which launched her career as a novelist, but the chica-lit offshoot of chick lit. Seven novels and  later, as the third Sucias [Dirty Girls] novel hits the shelves, Valdes-Rodriquez, also a columnist on,  answered some questions via email from Literati about the new book, her upcoming Kindred series and the impact of the Cowboy, the man in her life, has had.

Q. What can you tell us about Saints of Dirty Faith: A Dirty Girls Social Club Novel?

A. This is the third book in the Dirty Girls Social Club series. It catches up with three of the six women from the first book, in their mid-30s. It's not chick lit, but sort of a romantic suspense novel.

Q. Which girl would you say is most like you?
A. Lauren. She is a grossly exaggerated version of me.

Q. What are the pros and cons of writing a series? Do you get sick of the characters?
A. If I were sick of them, I wouldn't still be writing about them. They're still speaking to me, so I still give them life. The good in writing a series is that so many people love and care about these characters already. The bad is that people like to invent futures for the characters themselves and can be disappointed in where you take them instead.

Q. What made you decide to fly solo with this book -- sans big publisher?
A. I am very intrigued by the freedom and control that new technology offers writers, and I wanted to explore it and see how it went. If it's a resounding failure, I won't go there again! It's all up to the readers now.

Q. How has the digital revolution changed publishing? There is no hardcover edition of Saints; do you think printed books will disappear?
A. There could easily have BEEN a hardcover version if I wanted to release it that way on my own. I chose to release it in paperback from the get-go to keep the cost down for readers during a recession. Printed books will never disappear. Most people who buy e-books seem to buy printed books as well. I think we'll see more people buying both, so they have the beauty and longevity of a paper book at home, and the convenience of reading that same book and hundreds or thousands of others on an e-reader that weighs a couple of ounces. E-readers are perfect for traveling, commuting, etc., but will never replace paper books in, say, the bathtub.

Q. What can you tell us about the Kindred series and what was the inspiration for it?
A. Oh, boy! I am so excited about the Kindred series. I truly feel this is the most innovative and interesting work I've done in my life, period. The books will launch in the summer of 2012, and hopefully the film will come out soon after. It's a teen series, but I hope all ages will read it. It's about ghosts, parallel universes, and the intersection between faith and science. It tells of a ghost boy who meets his soulmate in a living girl, and how they are able to navigate their different dimensions. I've honestly never been so excited or invested in a project in my life.

Q. Were you actively pursuing a film sale? What is working on the film like?
A. I wrote the Kindred series to be films. That was my goal from the start, to write both the books and the films. I am a co-producer on the film for the first book, TEMPTATION (the film is THE TEMPTATION OF TRAVIS HARTWELL). I'm also the screenwriter. So far, working on the film has been wonderful. My fellow producer Harris Tulchin is amazing. Willie Kutner, who has helped me polish the script, is brilliant. And our director, James Foley, is absolutely incredible as a talent, intellect, visionary and all-around nice man. I am super excited to enter the film world. It's somewhere I'd like to stay.

Q. Any chance Sucias will become a film?
A. Highly unlikely.

Q. If you were casting Sucias.....?
A. I don't even go there anymore. I've given up hopes for that project ever making it to the screen. It is under option with someone who doesn't get it, and there is a very good chance that she could own the rights forever, just to spite me. In the interest of my mental health, I simply have to let it go.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Donate to the Occupy Wall Street Library - GalleyCat

Donate to the Occupy Wall Street Library - GalleyCat:
Mediabistro's Galleycat posted an address where bibliophiles can send books to protesters to read during the chilly evenings. Our recommendation? Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Send books (and other supplies) to:

Occupy Wall Street Library
c/o UPS Store
118A Fulton Street #205
New York, NY 10038

Saturday, September 24, 2011


HarperCollins to offer Backlist On Demand

HarperCollins has become the first publisher to cross the digital frontier and offer books to readers as print on demand products, reports .
From the time digital publishing became possible, we all knew the on-demand book was coming the only real question being how.
At launch, HarperCollins will work with On Demand Books, LLC, the maker of the Espresso Book Machine, to enable instant distribution of books that are not currently stocked in stores. With the push of a button, books can be printed, bound, and trimmed to a bookstore-quality, perfect-bound paperback book, with a full-color cover, in minutes.

Oooooh, baby!  Welcome to the 22nd century.