Friday, June 29, 2007

Psychic Disconnect?

I don't have alot of time for TV. So it peeves me when I've been following a show only to have it yanked around on the schedule or suddenly vanishing.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, NBC's highly acclaimed but little viewed offering from Aaron Sorkin was one of the few shows I watched religiously--or tried to. It was gone, supposedly cancelled, then back, then gone again only to show up on another night for its final episodes before it really was cancelled.

I loved this show--not just the witty dialogue that drives any of Sorkin's work, but the characters. It was funny, it was charming, it was serious, it was clever, it was controversial, it was why didn't people "get" it?

I think because there was a disconnect in the marketing of the show. First it was billed as a comedy about the "behind the scenes of Saturday Night Live". But there was another comedy debuting at the same time, 30 Rock (notice the similar titles), that truly WAS a comedy about behind the scenes of SNL.

And Studio 60 was so much more than a comedy. Then it was billed as a "romantic drama"--what was that? NBC's answer to Grey's Anatomy? And Studio 60 isn't a romance.

The final nail in the coffin was when the show was condemned for taking current events and using them. Not in the comedy sketches, not to poke fun of (like the real SNL) but as part of a story line affecting the characters.

Hello? A TV show that can't use real life events and see how its characters would respond? Guess that would make it either a comedy or a soap opera, right?

Studio 60 was a well written, highly entertained show that was poorly defined and marketed. It was cross genre, refused to its dying breath to be pigeonholed.

And now it's dead.....why do I care? Because my books are, you got it, cross-genre. Poorly defined and unpigeonholeable.

They'll be shelved in general fiction--that large mass of books that encompass everything from Homer's Odyssey to speculative meta-fiction. They're a blend of women's fiction/medical suspense/and thrillers with romantic elements.

They're different from anything else out there. Which makes me wonder if I should be worried.

People are always asking for different, but when you give it to them, like with Studio 60, they turn away and don't want it, instead choosing the same old, same old.

Hmmm....think maybe Aaron Sorkin would take my call if I asked him for advice? What do people really want from their entertainment?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blind as a...

So, I finally made it to my eye doctor for my checkup today. New doctor since I moved last year. And he did that eye drop thing--you know, the dilation where bright lights hurt and everything goes fuzzy for a while?

As I'm leaving, he says I'm fine to drive but not to read until the afternoon.

"Sure," I say, thinking about the bifocals--excuse me, "progressive" lenses--that I've been forced to get. Yep, I'm getting old.

So I'm driving home, squinting despite the clouds and sunglasses, and it hits me--what's he mean NO reading??? Is he nuts? I spend maybe 12-14 hours a day reading, either for fun or research or while writing, answering emails, checking out blogs, news online, more writing, etc, etc......

NO reading???

I got home and thought, to heck with this, and immediately sprang to my computer intending to catch up on emails and then plow into the new scene I dreamed up.

Big mistake. Not only couldn't read a darn thing, I got a splitting headache from trying.

Maybe it was the glare from the monitor....tried a book. Whoa, no way!!

It was only 11am what the heck was I gonna do for the rest of the day until I could read again? Clean the house--yeah, right, in your dreams.

So I did the next best thing and had my own private film fest. Popcorn and all. Watched What Women Want with Mel Gibson and some actress, then saw Braveheart with Mel Gibson and some actress....anyone seeing a trend here?

Lethal Weapon was up next when I realized I could read the writing on the case, so thought I'd best get back to work.

So, what would you do if you couldn't read for a day?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mirror, Mirror

I spent last week in Toronto, filming. Yes, I said filming. No, it's not that exciting, it was a DVD on healthy eating for children.

Still, when I saw myself on film, it was weird. I mean—that's not really how I look, is it? Do I really bob my head like that? And my voice, it's not really all breathy like a school girl's?

Is it?

Made me think. There's the way I see me. The way others see me. And then there's reality.

And who's to say which is the real me?

This was an ah-hah moment for the new book I'm writing. What if you're a health care professional who has devoted your career to helping others survive trauma and illness?

What if everyone sees you as a nice, good-hearted person, but you know different? You know the reason behind your career choice, your dedication, is because of a secret buried in your past, a secret that you seek redemption for, making the life you live everyday a lie….

And what if this secret was exposed?

Hmmm….gave me a whole new take on both my main character and the badguy. I realized they're basically the same: living a lie, hiding a secret.

The fact that they share the same secret should really liven things up as well!

What do you think? Do we all live secret lives, hide our real selves?

Or is what you see in the mirror what you get?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Power of a Word

Ever notice how many novels, TV shows and movies have one word titles? I love that, the way they find a single word that conveys the power and emotional essence of their work.

Some random examples:


Well, you get the point. One word can have more power and impact than a dozen.

Now I'm pleased to announce that my first title from Berkley will also join this illustrious group. After months of discussion and considering over 70 titles, my new medical suspense will be titled….drum roll, please….


I love it! An intern in my editor's office came up with it and I will be forever in debt to him.

It says it all, doesn't it? That this will be a book where no one is immune to danger, everything is at risk, and the only things that can save the characters are the bonds they forge with each other…their LIFELINES.

So, what do you think? About my new title or about other titles that just say it all to you as a reader?

Thanks for reading!