When Hollywood Comes A-Knockin’

About a month ago, shortly after the sale of THROUGH TO YOU to HarperCollins, my literary agent-extraordinaire, Mary Kole, told me there was some “Hollywood interest” in the book. Which, um, AMAZED me. I had no idea people in LA would glance twice at you if you had no book sales or weren’t a YouTube video sensation. So I told Mary that was interesting, and we both agreed we wouldn’t get excited.

Fast-forward to last Friday night, March 18th! I found myself on a conference call with Mary, and film-agent-extraordinaire, Michelle Weiner, of CAA. I don’t think I hung up for good that night until sometime after 9:00pm, but when I did, we’d accepted a film option from Paramount and The Montecito Picture Company with a whole bunch of incredible names attached!

It’s starting to feel cliche to say things like: Someone pinch me. This can’t be real. How did this happen? OMG WAT? …but humor me?

And to be clear, a film option does not necessarily mean TTY will be made into a movie. Many, MANY books are optioned all the time and never go any further than that. But for a girl who didn’t even have an AGENT four months ago, let alone a book contract or a FILM option? This is exciting.


Anyway, I was pretty sure someone would tell me when the official announcement was up, but Monday this came to my attention, so… Here you are, THROUGH TO YOU film option scooped by the LA Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2011/03/like-crazy-team-will-get-through-to-you.html




I never tell anyone I’m interested in reviewing a book unless I mean it. I don’t write a ton of reviews, and often I don’t have time to read at all except for listening to audio books while I’m at work…(reading time cutting into writing time is a cruel paradox for another post).

Anyway, so MONTHS ago, a dear sweet Aussie friend of mine, Tye Cattanach, of The Book Gryffin asked if I’d like to review THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO LIVING, by debut YA author, Lia Hills. The book had just been released in the USA, and she asked if FSG could send me a copy to review if I had the time. I liked the sound of the story, so I told her to sign me up!

Did I mention this conversation happened about a week before I got my agent, a month before I revised TTY for submission to publishers, and two months before I sold my own first novel?

So shortly after the December holidays, which were a blur of revisions, THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO LIVING finally made it to my door. And I was so excited – it looked GREAT! …Annnnd then a rocket took off with me in it, and I have only *just* started to touch back down to the ground.

But what book did I pick up to read as soon as I could see straight again??


Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Seven days after his mother dies in a sudden, senseless accident, seventeen-year-old Will embarks on a search for meaning that leads him to the great philosophers—Plato, Seneca, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche—and to Taryn, the beautiful girl he meets at his mother’s wake. Will is desperate to find, however he can, something authentic, something ultimate, something so true he would live or die for it. But is he willing to risk losing Taryn—losing everything—to seek the answers he craves?

Having written a book about a boy who deals a lot with grief myself, I was really intrigued (and okay a little intimidated) to see how Lia Hills approached the subject…and I couldn’t have been more engrossed by the story. I finished this book in two sittings (FAST for me, ok). Maybe I am a sucker for ~boys in pain~, but I found myself directly inside Will’s head (and sometimes his pants), trying to piece together some meaning out of his mother’s death.

Meaning begins to take shape for Will through cleverly-inserted philosophical quotes he comes upon throughout the book. I’ve always leaned toward the Existentialists when it comes to philosophy, but I never felt like the author was trying to push any one opinion or outlook on life down my throat. Will and I interpreted the lines as they came, and I’m not sure either of us came out with a definitive answer in the end…but isn’t that often the point in philosophy?

The other thing I loved about Will’s journey was how he came to change perspective about his mother’s death based on his interactions with other people…even the times when he seemed to keep making all the wrong choices, you could see that he was adding up his experiences, taking tally, and searching for something greater than oblivion.

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO LIVING had me questioning everything I thought might be right for Will from the beginning, and opened my mind up to the choices and alternatives he was presented with along the way. I love when a book forces me to look at things differently, to reconsider my preconceived ideas about the paths characters should take.

This book was a gem that I highly recommend, and I’d like to thank Tye Cattanach once again for sending it my way!!!


In which things do not get any less surreal…

Just a brief update and some little exciting things:

THROUGH TO YOU is now up on Goodreads! So many people have added it as “to-read” I feel like hugging and kissing each and every one of you…I mean, unless you’d prefer a big THANK YOU instead. That’s okay too!


I also have an official Facebook Author Page. It seemed a little premature, but since I’ve been getting quite a few new ‘friends’ on Facebook, I thought it might be useful for those people more interested in what’s going on with my books than the cute thing my cat did, or what I had for breakfast. If that sounds like you, feel free to “Like” me there!

I also joined The Apocalypsies, a group of 2012 debut YA and MG authors who have written a slew of fantastic books and are just a whole lot of fun! Check the site for interviews and updates on what we’re up to!

While awaiting my first round of edits, I have been been busy trying to figure out Book 2…and playing around with Scrivener for the first time during the process. Since I finally figured out how to use it, I can’t deny it has serious organizational benefits! I might save a whole forest of post-it notes this time around. So now what-could-be-Book 2 is totally organized, the characters have been developed, and if I can just find the button that makes Scrivener WRITE the book for me, I’ll be all set!

The other surreal thing that just seems like a continuation of so much great news is THROUGH TO YOU’s continued sales overseas. Since the initial German deal, Taryn Fagerness has made sales for TTY in Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, and just recently my very first South American sale: Brazil! I am totally overwhelmed and amazed that people all over the world will be reading my book. I don’t even know what to say except…I hope you like it!

Finally, I received my very first contract to sign — which happened to be for Italy. And like a geek, I had S take pics. So here I am, signing my very first book deal…with a little foreign contract advice from Dagny the cat: