Wednesday, May 30, 2007

In Which I Photograph the Photographer

In keeping with my effort to share as much of my journey to publication as I possibly can, I'd like you to meet Cliff McBride, staff photographer for the Tampa Tribune. :)

Cliff came by my house yesterday to take my photo for the newspaper article I talked about the other day. I can only hope he's as good at taking those photos as he was about making me feel relaxed and comfortable before he did it. I was really nervous before he got here, but he put me immediately at ease. We chatted about books and the effort that goes into writing them; booksignings and other quirky Florida authors like Tim Dorsey and Dave Barry; our kids and our property taxes. :) He was a great sport about having the camera turned on him for a change - I gave him a tour of my house, and even let him pick the spot where he wanted to be photographed (this is my family room - Cliff thought it was "airy and cheerful"). :)

It was a wonderful experience, and Cliff's a great guy. Considering how much camera equipment he had weighing him down, he must stay in pretty good shape! That belt around his waist went all the way around, and the camera was humongous!

Now I can only hope he makes me look younger, thinner and prettier than I really am. *tee-hee*

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My Five Minutes

I got a really cool phone call last week:

ME: Hello?

HIM: Is this Terri Garey?

ME: Yes.

HIM: Hi, Terri, this is Kevin Walker. I'm the book editor for the Tampa Tribune. I think you're seriously insane, and I need to interview you.

ME: Why, thank you! I'll take that as a major compliment!

Bottom line, the book editor for my local newspaper read the ARC of DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY, and he liked it! He called it "funny and unique". He said some other stuff, too, but I was too busy trying not to hyperventilate to catch it all. :)

So a few days later, we did the interview, and I'm going to be featured on the front page of the Tampa Tribune's "Baylife Insider", in a new column called "Five Minutes With...". As in "Five Minutes with Terri Garey, Local Author".

And he promised to do a review in the book section a little bit closer to the actual release date (August 28th), and wants me to give him a "heads-up" the end of September, so he can do another article on my annual Halloween party/fundraiser, a/k/a MADAME ZELDA'S HAUNTED GRAVEYARD.

Is that cool, or what?

Friday, May 25, 2007

'Scuse Me While I Gush

Ok, if you're reading this, you're just gonna have to bear with me. I've been told that my blog is not a place to place personal information (duly noted), but I'm going to do it anyway (duly ignored).

The Memorial Day weekend lies ahead, and while I'm as patriotic as the next person, this weekend bears a personal significance to me (personally, even). It is, and always shall be, the holiday that changed my life.

Sixteen years ago, my next-door neighbor tried to set me up for a blind date. I say "tried" to set me up, because I was having none of it. I didn't care that the guy she was trying to set me up with was "good-looking", had a "good job", was once a "captain in the Marine Corps", or "loved kids". I didn't care. As in, "blah, blah, blah... whatever".

I didn't need a man. Didn't want a man. Had two little boys to raise, bills to pay and a job to go to. Happily ever after didn't exist, and I was living proof. Thank you, but no thank you. I could manage on my own.

But my neighbor was pushy. And determined. And even after I'd failed to show up at her house for a "impromptu meeting" over the barbeque grill, she didn't let me off the hook. I still remember the phone ringing, and her saying, "Don't you need to borrow the weed whacker or something?", knowing perfectly well I had a perfectly good weed whacker already, and that I knew how to use it. I still remember giving a heavy sigh, looking at myself in the mirror (torn jeans, dirty t-shirt, whiny kid pulling at my leg), and saying "Okay, okay. You win. I'm coming over, but I'm not staying."

And then I remember walking up the front steps to her door, holding one kid, dragging the other, and thinking, "What am I worried about? He'll take one look at us and I'll never see him again." Then a vague memory of her opening the door, and this drop-dead gorgeous guy in running shorts sitting on the arm of the couch in her living room, smiling at me. Talking to me. Talking to my kids. I kept my original promise to myself and only stayed a few minutes. The weed whacker and I were SO outta there.

I went home, fully expecting to never hear from him again. But I did. My friend said he wanted to call me, but I - ever reluctant - agreed to only giving him my work number. Which he called. Which is when I agreed, a little less reluctantly, to meet him for lunch.

And sixteen years later, I can honestly say that happily-ever-after isn't over yet. It hasn't turned into "unhappily-ever-after" or even "meh-ever-after".

It's been great. Every year, great. So this Memorial Day, I'm telling you (whoever you are), don't give up on the "happily-ever-after". Hang in there.

And I hope you have a friend or a neighbor who's just as annoyingly persistent as mine was.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Weddings From Hell

Well, I can't hold it in any more - my editor has asked me to participate in an anthology with one of the most awesome paranormal authors out there, the incredibly prolific Maggie Shayne!! The anthology is entitled (in case you couldn't tell from the heading for this post or the Corpse Bride poster) "Weddings From Hell". Two other paranormal authors, Kathryn Smith and Jeaniene Frost, will also contribute.

This is one of a series of "From Hell" books from Avon HarperCollins (if you haven't picked up "Dates From Hell", by all means do! I particularly loved Lori Handeland's contribution, called "Dead Man Dating".) One of the coolest things about being asked to contribute was that I was told "do whatever you want!", as long as I stick with a paranormal theme and um.. weddings, of course!

I do believe my DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY character, Nicki Styx, is in for a major "wedding from hell" experience, in more ways than one!

I'm planning a June contest on my website to celebrate, so look for further details soon. Right now I've got some writing to do!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

We Have A Winner!

Audrey H. of Gulfport, Mississippi is the lucky winner of a signed Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY!

I want to thank everyone who entered the contest, and as a consolation prize I'm offering a bookmark and a signed coverflat to anyone who drops me a line.

Just click on the grave to get your free ghoulish goodies! (and don't forget to include your mailing address - I won't share it, I promise!)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

You're In "The Soup" Now!

Does anybody else watch "The Soup" on E! (Entertainment channel) TV? It's a satirical look at current events, pop culture, reality tv and celebrities (sort of like Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show"), only a lot funnier. It's cheesy, tongue-in-cheek, oft-times downright ridiculous, and hosted by the hilarious Joel McHale.

The hubby and I caught it by mistake one night while channel surfing, and we've been hooked ever since! Skits, ad-lib, and a "SNL" vibe, all mixed in with a review of the current week's TV viewing. A total recap of the madness that is American TV.

Regular weekly features include "Chat Stew", where Joel does a weekly recap of talk shows like Tyra Banks, Dr. Phil, Oprah, The View, etc. What's really funny is that he never makes up any of the clips - the things people say on television are unbelievable! Then there's "Reality Show Clip Time", "What the Kids Are Watching", and my favorite, "Most Disturbing Video of the Week", which is what The Soup's staff choose as the oddest thing that's been shown on television during the past week.

Plus, I'm completely in love with Lou, the little Chihuahua who gets featured in many of the cheesy little skits they do to introduce each segment of the show. (Here he is auditioning for American Idol). Is he cute, or what? (So is Joel McHale, for that matter - I do love a man with a sense of humor!)

Anyway, if you need a good laugh or just want to shake your head at what America considers entertainment, check it out, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Lily or Morticia?

Okay, I have a confession to make: I always wanted to be Lily Munster.

While Morticia Addams was the more overtly sexy of the two women, Lily was my hero. Kind, tolerant of her bumbly husband, Herman, and that hair! Oh, that hair. That streak of white just screamed "coolness" long before the word "Goth" mean anything except a shortened term for an ancient tribe of barbarians. The overly dramatic makeup, the plush interior of her coffin, her eternal optimism in the face of living among those silly, silly humans. Her children were happy, her Grandpa lived in the basement, and dear Spot always got his giant chunk of raw meat on time. She was even kind to her "homely" niece, Marian.

Not to diss Morticia Addams, though. After all, she was rich, sexy and adored by her husband. "Oh, Tish, I love it when you speak French..." but all that arm kissing would have left me wanting to slap poor Gomez into the middle of next week. And who would name her little boy "Pugsley"?

So in the age-old debate of Lily vs. Morticia, (What? You never heard of this debate? Have you been hiding under a tombstone or something?) Lily gets my vote. What about you?