Posting today is extra special for me as I’ve just returned from one of the greatest launch parties I’ve ever attended–for Debutante Danielle Younge Ullman’s FALLING UNDER. Not only do I love this book, I had the honor of blurbing it. As a former Deb and Founder, I felt a bit misty watching Danielle read last night. If any of you get the chance to hear Danielle read, take it. Knock the newspaper boy off his bike, drag him inside to watch the kids, and get yourself into the audience toute suite. Danielle is an actress and she does not “read” from her book, she acts out the scenes. Fabulous. I attended the event at the Rivoli with Adrienne Kress (Alex and the Ironic Gentleman) and Lesley Livingstone (Wondrous Strange) and a good time was had by all. Or it was from where I sat.
Okay, on to what’s been going on since I last attended The Ball. First off, I miss you guys! Seriously. Initially my slothful side was happy to put weekly blogging aside but I feel as if I’ve moved away from some great friends. I don’t know, maybe we need to invent some debauched Post-Ball after party where we all sit around in our torn dresses and tarnished tiaras–smoking clove cigarettes, drinking backwash from forgotten glasses we found on the floor, talking about innocence lost and zen attitudes found.
Like Anna, things didn’t happen as I expected. Town House came out quietly in the U.S., but to massive media interest in Canada. It was surreal to this little wannabe-agoraphobe, and I rattled the confidence of photographers all over Toronto as I was shot for various pieces, each time telling them I’m like a ghost who doesn’t appear in a photograph. They’ll shoot away, thinking they’re shooting a regular human, then they’ll look at their shots later and think, “What the F—?”
Town House wound up surprising us all this winter by being a regional finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize–something my editor says has never happened for a humorous book. So that was a happy, sappy, weepy, kneeling on the rug looking up and wailing “I’ll always have this” kind of moment. The whole thing was very James Bond because the finalists are informed two weeks before winners are picked (in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Canada & the Caribbean) and are told they cannot even tell their agent, mother or worst frenemy. There is a news embargo and you’re warned if news leaks you’re forever banned and can never win and go on to meet the Queen. And, well, I kinda want to meet her. So I told my husband and no one else. And now that all of you know I can keep a secret, call me. Spill all. I can take it.
Then, under the heading of “Always Go to Everything You’re Invited To,” I was excited to be auctioned off like a trip to the spa or a bracelet made of swirly goo at a charity event and, as a result, attended a book club meeting with some fabulous ladies in Toronto. I read from Town House, and the next thing I knew I was being called by a producer who loved The Invisible Rules of the Zoe Lama. So the book is in development as a TV series and I’m having a ball as “consulting producer.”
One week ago, Inside Out Girl came out in the US, where Target picked it as a “Breakout Book.” I haven’t seen the display yet, but apparently it’s on a special shelfy thing with a sticker and everything. We’ve had a great review on Bookreporter.com and About.com, as well as Chateleine, ELLE, and Maclean’s magazine. If anyone wants to know more about the book other than it centers around a learning-disabled child who becomes an accidental superhero to the people around her, you can find out on my website, TishCohen.com.
As for the Town House film, we’ve had lots of waiting because of the writers’ strike, but the director’s new script is now final and apparently we’ve moved into casting. John Carney was in USA Today a few months ago talking about the Town House script, and I’ve just heard it’s on its way to me and I couldn’t be more excited.
Other than all this, I’ve just finished my first book for teens (Little Black Lies) and I’m working on the next adult book, which is set in Toronto and Los Angeles. I’m pretty excited about both of these, actually, and hope to one day come up with an actual title for the LA book.
If you’ll allow me a moment to gush about my kids, my younger son, Lucas, is at overnight camp for the first time and just wrote to say his cabin is “sick” (ultimate praise coming from a twelve-year-old). And my older son (who has just reached 6’3″!) won the 2008 Stephen Leacock student prize for his essay “I Hate Mondays.” Max also had special mention in an adult short story contest over at the Smoking Gun for his darker story “Carrion,” and is now working on his first novel.
I’ll say it again, I miss all of you and love hearing all the spectacular things you’re up to!