Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Author Jane Green talks "Falling" and writing tips

Author Jane Green may be familiar to many thanks to a stack of books bearing her name and millions of copies sold, but she was new to me when I heard she was doing the rounds promoting her new book, Falling. I always enjoy events like this, even when I’m not familiar with the author. It’s inspiring to hear about their writing process, how they got a first book deal, and other little tips they know every aspiring author in the audience (aka 99 percent of the crowd) longs for.

These talks rise to a new level if you’ve read the author, however, so I made use of my library card to snag Second Chance. I saw it listed somewhere as one of her most popular titles, and it was in at the library – my selection process was no more challenging than that. It dates back to 2007, but her newest book, Falling (released July 19), wasn’t on shelves yet when I started my advance reading to prepare for the main event.

Unfortunately, I didn’t finish Second Chance before the talk, but I’d read enough to know I definitely wanted to see it through to the end. Now, after attending the event and later finishing the book, I’ve happily joined her fanbase. Nothing so lovely as finding a new author you enjoy and learning she’s got a shelf full of books for you to catch up on!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Ray Romano is a golden god on Vinyl

Ray Ramono on Vinyl
Ray Ramono on HBO's Vinyl.

Ray Romano plays a coke-snorting, foul-mouthed, scene-stealing schmo on HBO's Vinyl, and I could scream with joy. Joy, I tell you!

It's not just that it's hilarious to see him play a record company promo guy in full-on '70s finery and facial hair, it's that he's a riot at it. He gets the funniest lines, he knocks 'em out of the park, and he absolutely rocks being a bit of a d-bag/loser with a fancy job title. He kind of makes it look badass. Ray Romano! Badass! Just by being so damn awesome in the role!

Last night's episode ("The King and I") featured Ray getting down and dirty with some lovely ladies in Vegas. And, I mean, on my god, he was being a coked-up douche without a thought to the family back home, and I realized: This is the "Ray Barone" we could never see on Everybody Loves Raymond. He was not the world's greatest father or husband on that show, but you loved him anyway, because how could you not? And now it's like seeing how dark things really got on his out-of-town trips for the sports column. It's like stepping through the looking glass, and it is way messed up on the other side.