Friday, June 30, 2006

EILEEN: Presenting....Rellie

It seemed only fair that after we put the idea of who Rellie should be out there for you, that we should answer our own question. Actually, Jenny came up with it and sent it to Krissie and me, and we made a unanimous vote, based on this photo. Rellie is this particular Diana Rigg(at least the fantasy of her). Ageless, sensual, but classy-looking, so that no man looking at her would think she was power-mad and voracious. It isn't until the climax of the book when she faces off with the girls, who try to turn her into something harmless like a geranium(you can imagine how well that goes over) , that you realize just what she is.

I wanted Jenny to post the picture, but she's the one putting all the scenes in order, and I don't want to hassle her, or Dee could end up having sex as a hedgehog. And ya know, she has problems, but not that one.

So I hope you approve. I think when you read the book, you're going to be delighted. Jen is even now collecting pictures of other important items, like the house, and oh, the girls. And by the way, yes, that does mean that the first draft is finished. And if I say so myself, after reading the sections written by my colleagues, it's going to be so kick-ass. And when you get a chance, ask either of them about the law firm we've created, Snark, Sex and Whimsy.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

JENNY: Jacket Copy

Authors usually don't get to write their own jacket copy, but we're going to send some in on Friday with the first draft of our book and we thought we'd get some feedback from you all since you were so briliant with Esmerelda (Hello, Diana Rigg):

You are Cordially Invited To
A Weekend
currently on the run and hiding out as
The O’Brien Sisters of Salem’s Fork:

There’s Eileen Dreyer’s DEE, a feisty little redheaded beauty who at sixteen kidnapped her two little sisters from the clutches of their devious Aunt Esmerelda and went on the lam. Now it’s thirteen years later and Dee’s working at a bank during the day and painting at night, trying to control her sisters and her passions and her shapeshifting power, which is a lot more difficult when Danny James shows up one Friday morning, making Dee’s heart beat faster with his dangerous smile and his equally dangerous questions. Dee’s not sure Danny can be trusted, and then she finds out he’s named his motorcycle Esmerelda . . .

And then there’s Anne Stuart’s LIZZIE, the middle sister, ethereally lovely and ethereally dizzy, who at twenty-six is determined to save her family by learning how to turn straw into gold, if she can stop turning forks into purple bunnies and lustful thoughts into marvelous shoes. Then Friday morning a sorcerer named Elric turns up, a little annoyed at the havoc that Lizzie is creating with the fabric of the universe, and even more annoyed with the havoc he finds Lizzie creating in his heart. Lizzie doesn’t trust anybody, but Elric says he can teach her to turn straw into gold . . .

And finally, there’s Jenny Crusie’s, MARE, the youngest sister and self-proclaimed Queen of the Universe, who towers above her sisters in height but whose telekinetic power is dwarfed by their gifts—as Mare puts it, “I’m a human remote control”—and who spends her days tyrannizing everyone at Value Video!! and her nights stretched out on the roof above Lizzie’s workroom contemplating the futility of her existence. But then Friday morning two guys show up—a Value Video!! VP named Jude and her long lost love, a motorcycle mechanic named Crash—and they both seem to think she’s just what they want forever. Mare finds this completely plausible but then things begin to go terribly wrong . . .

It’s the worst weekend the Unfortunate Miss Fortunes will ever have, but the best one, too, when their powers will be tested, and so will True Love and True Sisterhood. Or as Mare puts it, “I always knew that Power of Three stuff was crap.”

You won’t want to miss a minute . . .

Monday, June 19, 2006

EILEEN: Danny and Dee

First of all, great ideas on the antagonist place holder. What say you, girls? I kind of like Angelica Huston, myself. Especially as the mother in Ever After.

But now, about me. Yes, that's me confabbing at the apartment. Is this the sweet life or what? I thought I'd let you know a bit about poor, misunderstood Dee and her honey. Dee has been in charge all her life. She's the oldest, she's the one who kidnapped her sisters when she was just sixteen and went into hiding to protect them from her Aunt Rellie(Angelica). She still sees herself, twelve years later, as their sole protector, even though they're both adults. But while she can't imagine anything else, she's really tired. She feels imprisoned, but of course can't stop, because she loves her sisters so much, and she's so afraid of Rellie, She's the only one who really knows how evil her aunt is. So she works in a bank to bring in money to help keep the girls afloat and paints at dawn when nobody can see her. And she does her best to deny her shapeshifting gift, since it's usually just inconvenient, like when she gets aroused and turns into the guy's....mother. Yeah. That's how lucky she is. She's now the oldest virgin in North America.

So along comes Danny James, who says he's a researcher for a world famous author, and he's researching her family. And she wants nothing to do with his leather-jacket-wearing-vintage-motorcycle-riding-travels-the-globe ass. He scares her to her toes. He also makes her hugely envious, because he's everything she thinks she can never be. So Danny's job is to convince Dee to take a chance. To take those first steps away from her prison. As for her shapeshifting, he doesn't believe in it at all. He's researching a book to debunk the whole idea of paranormal powers. And yeah. He has a few big surprises in store for him, too.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

JENNY: Antagonist Troubles

We still haven't nailed down a placeholder for the antagonist, although we agreed that she turns into Maleficent at the end before something goes wrong and she turns into something else. But we need a lethal, sexual older woman first. Eileen wants Lee Remick. I said, "Susan Sarandon?" because I'm a huge Sarandon fan and I'm a big believer in respecting your antagonist, but Eileen nixed her. I can't remember who Krissie suggested because it was awhile ago, when we were in NYC, but here's a picture of us brainstorming (well, it's a picture of Eileen and Krissie brainstorming, I was taking the picture).
You'll notice it's a garden apartment, hence the basement wall, and we're writers, hence the two laptops, and it's the Village, hence the general all round air of coolness. And no, we still don't have a placeholder. For a long while, mine was Jessica Walters for whom I have tremendous respect, but she's just not the direction we ended up going, so I'm saving her for a later book. Now if I could just think of some dark-haired sultry bitch in her fifties that I have a great deal of respect for . . . You know, besides me.

Friday, June 16, 2006

JENNY: Mare's Weekend

Boy, are we close. This is Mare's weekend; it's all Mare all the time here in Ohio. The outline is in place--yes, Eileen, I sent it to you days ago--most of Mare's scenes are roughed in, and I'm writing the final drafts now. I LOVE MARE. Okay, she's deeply flawed, but I love her anyway. And Crash, well, he's not deeply flawed, he's not deeply anything, he's the simplest hero I've ever written, and that's his strength and I love him. Because as he points out, when you've got a woman as complex and talented and insane as Mare, the last thing she needs is a complex, talented, insane man. You need a Crash, solid as a rock, no magic whatsoever, a guy who can fix a motorcycle or your plumbing or your broken heart, and who can tell your vicious bitch of a shape-shifting evil aunt from a diner waitress when the chips are down. Loving this book. Must go finish my part of it now.

Eileen is on vacation without e-mail. Krissie is finishing up a copy edit. Both will be back on Monday when, fingers crossed, Mare will finished and victorious and in the solid, sure, sane arms of her motorcycle mechanic. Whose real name is Christopher, by the way.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

EILEEN:survival of the fittest

Well, as Krissie said, we've gone to the three winds(after Krissie left her makeup behind at the apartment. You need to email me back, Krissie, so I know what stop to send it to). I"m in Topeka, Krissie's in Albany and Jen's in Richmond, Virginia. So we've survived another round of "What were we thinking?" And it really isn't Jen's falt that she's so good at micromanaging. Or that it sent me into fetal position. Because without her saying, "Okay, exactly what is Dee doing at 1:15 PM" (and me getting way too anatomical in my answers), we never would have brought this baby together. You know that "it sounded like a good idea", well, we've all been writing our parts obsessing about how we were actually going to make it fit together, and darned(Krissie said that nobody says darned in the Northeast), with Jen's brave persistence in the face of truly operatic whining, it looks like it just might do that. And how good are we? We ended up having exactly 16 scenes apiece without any kind of planning. So not only brilliant and witty, but eglatarian, too. Not only that, but the story arcs are elegant, the heroes handsome and the girls sisters in the best of ways. They even have symbol that will unite them. More on that in another post. For now, after spending an entire day just trying to get out of Manhattan, and then another giving a workingshop in Topeka, I'm going to lie down and let my brains slowly seep out my ears. Then, when I drive to Michigan tomorrow to sit on the beach with my extended family, I will get back to writing. (JEN! I need the scene list you promised!!!)And Jen never said "Matrix" even once.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

KRISSIE: Oh ... My .... God ....

So we're arguing like mad. Jenny's typing up a master list of everyone's scenes and harrassing poor little Eileen and me, trying to get us to behave professionally, and we've been fighting her like rebellious teenagers. I can be holier than anyone since I'm the one who's finished my draft, except they're making me add all sorts of scenes. But since they slogged up twenty blocks in the rain to go to City Quilter with me I guess I'll forgive them, even though we then went to Eileen Fisher where all the clothes were for sylphs.
Italian food for dinner, then work work work, and my eyes are beginning to cross, and it's 11:23 pm and Jenny and Eileen are night people and I'm a morning person. Tomorrow we scatter to the four winds (or three winds, since there are only three of us).
But it's coming together. I'm learning to be left-brained (under duress) and I'll probably take a little nap before Jenny starts beating me about the head and shoulders to come up with a more cogent description of my scenes.
Ah, the glorious life of a writer. Tomorrow we go to Bloomingdales (shopping is part of our bonding experience), then to lunch and a mini-shower at Jenny and Eileen's agents (for our darling editor -- if we bring her nice enough stuff maybe she'll forgive us for being a month late).
Pray for us.

JENNY: We Got Ourselves A Plan

After much discussion, Eileen, Krissie and I have a scene list! In chronological order! On color-coded post-it notes! On the apartment kitchen cabinets!

Next up: Scene descriptions. And lunch

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

EILEEN: new york, new york

When last you heard from Jenny, she was on her way here. Well, here she is along with Krissie and me, and we're kicking butt. Well, we are after I finally recovered my underwear after my luggage went MIA all day yesterday, and after we got official appointments out of the way.
Now we're cloistered in the apartment with tea, cookies and chinese food and have the whole book on a time line---color coded. Jen is quite amazing. She keeps saying, "Now, what time does this happen?" And I'm afraid my answer is usually, 'Oh, about then." "Is that 3:00 then or 3:30 then?" The best note of all on the chart is "5:00PM Lizzie and Elric: Nightgown fight." And yes, you have to read it to find out what that means.
``Oh, and now Jen's demanding more times from me, and I"m distracted by you. So I have to go now and tell her when Dee eats dinner. More later.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

JENNY: New Month, Different Plan

Okay, so the two-hour thing? Not going to work for me.

But now, I'm against it. Well, actually I'm in Madison, Wisconsin, flying home tomorrow night and then out again the next morning to that New York City where Eileen, Krissie, and I will assemble the Unfortunate Miss Fortunes. So I'd better get the rest of it written, huh?

I'm in a hotel room working while the rest of the conference plays, but that's okay because I don't do Saturday nights anyway. The good news is, I have Mare completely blocked out, I have her arc, I have most of the scenes written--I still haven't written Crash's but I know what they are and they're short--and we're going to block them out for each other and probably read them to each other which should be interesting, particularly the erotic ones, and I'm thinking a lot of this book is going to get done the first four days of next week.

But now I have to get some serious typing done now. Time to get these scenes out of my head and into the computer. One great thing about writing in your head, you can pretty much dictate to yourself when the time comes. And then rewrite four thousand times, but there's no staring hopelessly at the screen, wishing you were smarter or somewhere else.

Much typing between now and Monday. Mare 24/7. (Except for the teaching I have to do tomorrow. Oh and that plane trip back home. And the one to NYC. But otherwise, all typing. Plan ahead, people. Do not be like me.)

Stay tuned. I really will be back soon. No, REALLY.