Monday, July 19, 2010

I kinda followed that ...

Some friends and I saw Inception this weekend, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a man who "extracts" information from people's dreams to use against them or implants info to manipulate them. That's a very tiny nutshell of a plot explanation. When I heard what the movie was about, I got that knot in my tummy that writers get when they hear someone has just published a book that has a plot similar to the one they just wrote. Not good. Cuz, you see, the third book in my Trueology, True Calling, involves spies who "mine" information from the memories of bad guys to help put them away. Sure, Inception centers around dreams, and True Calling focuses on memories, but still. I had a moment. Luckily, the stories are WAY different.

I liked Inception. Took awhile, though. The first 20 minutes or so were tough to follow, until I got oriented. The writer in me thinks the opening was too confusing and viewers would have been better served by a beginning that didn't start at the end of the story. But that's just me. Others in my group didn't have a problem with it.

Visually, the movie was amazing. Because much of it takes place in dream worlds, anything can happen. Landscapes reshape and fold in on each other. Staircases go on for infinity -- or end in mid-air. People can get fatally wounded but not die. A paranormal writer's dream.

One thing that bugged me, and this isn't about Inception but about the previews. We saw four or five previews, and each of them had one thing in common: They all starred well-known actors (Ben Affleck, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Douglas, Shia LeBeouf, Zac Efron) but unknown actresses (with the possible exception of Carey Mulligan, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for An Education).

A couple of the movies didn't appear to have any women in them at all. Are all the actresses out there considered too old to land movie deals? Are they relegated to starring in "chick flicks" or the next cable channel series, like The Closer or Damages? (Not that I would complain about that: I love those shows.)

I get that the previews were aimed at the audience most likely to be drawn to Inception (men). But lots of women like Leo, too, not to mention the idea of a really cool movie. Inception, by the way, also stars Ellen Page, and thank God, her role wasn't to be eye candy. Can't say the same for the previews, though. Clearly, Hollywood still caters to the boys.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who knew? I'm a Versatile Blogger ...

Thanks, Susan Vaughan (the fabulous author of the wonderful romantic suspense Primal Obsession), for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award!

The rules: I'm supposed to list six things about myself that are true and one that's a lie (modified rules courtesy of Nina Pierce, awesome writer of the hot A Touch of Lilly.

I'm going to be a total lemming (Wait. What? There's a cliff?!? Damn.) and join Nina and Susan in their contests. I'll award one commenter a signed copy of my latest release, True Vision. Deadline to enter  is 5 p.m. Friday (July 16).

OK, here goes. Six truths and one lie. See if you can guess the lie!

1. I graduated from high school on a Friday and started college the following Monday.

2. I'm a master griller. Charcoal all the way, baby.

3. I'm addicted to gadgets. iPod, iPad, MiFi, GPS, oh my.

4. I get up early every morning and sit down to write as soon as I've had my coffee.

5.  I wear the same diamond earrings every day that I bought with part of the advance for my first book, Relative Strangers.

6.  I bought a leather jacket from Carmen in the Florence, Italy, street market.

7. A guy friend's grandma caught us skinny-dipping in her swimming pool.

I'm also supposed to point you to some blogs I really like:

Romance in the Backseat


Socks and Barney

Pop Candy

My Book Addiction and More


Don't forget to try to spot my lie! : )

Friday, July 9, 2010

I totally planned it ...

Did you hear that Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? Why is that significant to me? I'm so glad you asked!

Not only is Mockingbird one of my favorite novels of all time, but I make a couple of references to it in my latest release, True Vision.

Charlie Trudeau, my super-empathic heroine, has a cat named Atticus. Charlie named her furry friend after Mockingbird's hero, Atticus Finch, a man who reminded her of her father when she was a kid. At one point in True Vision, when she feels her dad has let her down, she thinks this:

Her throat thickened with the familiar yearning for him to be her hero again, her Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, the tall, handsome man who fought the good fight and protected his children from evil.

Charlie has some of the same qualities as Atticus Finch, too, in that she considers it her journalistic duty to help "the innocent, helpless and screwed" (that's how she puts it). When I read Mockingbird in high school for English class, it might have been the first time I enjoyed, and got into, my homework. I just fell in love with everything about that book: the writing, the characters, Atticus Finch.  

Just for gigs, I've included a picture of Charlie's cat Atticus. Doesn't he totally look like an Atticus? He should also look like a MacArthur, because that was his actual name. He was my bud for 15 catnip-y, purrfect years. He had the Eeyore slouch just like Charlie's Atticus. Not to mention the ability to look really, really smug, as you can tell from his mug here. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hot guy in a cowboy hat

Have you seen Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant? Holy crap!!!!!

Olyphant played Ellen's boyfriend, Wes, in the second season of Damages. I thought he was a pretty hot guy then, but I wasn't hitting "pause" on the DVR. Then a friend recommended I give Justified a try -- and I always listen to my friends. :) So anyway, I tried it, and there was Timothy Olyphant in jeans and a cowboy hat ... my finger found "pause" darn quick. Never knew I had a thing for men in cowboy hats. Thought it was just tool belts. Go figure.

Turns out, Justified is a great show, too, starring intriguing characters with lots of flaws played by fabulous actors. Extremely well-written, it's a writer's dream. Bad guys have somewhat redeeming qualities, good guys have questionable hair-trigger fingers.

If you feel like checking it out, Hulu is showing a few episodes.

Other hot guys in cowboy hats: Tim McGraw. Yum. Who are your favorites?