Saturday, June 28, 2008

My fab Utah trip part two and the famous guy

Janette Rallison and some wonderful, marvelous, incredibly talented writers.

After hanging out with Shannon Hale and her fab entourage, I went to BYU to teach at an annual writer's workshop. And really, I don't know when I've had so much fun. Writers are great to hang out with because they totally get me. Not only that, I can go on and on about the sins of misusing point of view or faulty motivation and people actually care about what I'm saying. They write it down. (As opposed to my husband and kids who try to block me out.)

Carol and Cherie, who were in charge of the conference were hilarious. I will never forget them dancing around Stephen Fraser in sunglasses to the song Secret Agent Man. And I'm sure Stephen won't forget it either. Rick Walton and Will Terry ought to be comedians. I want copies of their presentations to cheer me up every time I get to down about this business. I won't detail the entire staff--but they were all wonderful.

Also, it's great to bounce ideas off of other writers. When I was critiquing my class's manuscripts I think I tried to add romance subplots to all of them. So you're writing sci-fi story about the end of the world? It could use a little romance. A coming of age, character driven novel, about a girl coming to terms with her mother's abandonment? Add a neighbor boy. And some raccoons. Because raccoons are really cute and kids love them.

I think I gave the class all my best ideas.

We had lots of fun, and I hadn't anticipated how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to my class. I miss them already, and I want to know how all of their stories turn out.

So Amy, Julie, Susan, Melinda, Laura, Lisa, Elizabeth, Mike, Darlene, Kaye, Kristi, Jared, and Erin, (am I forgetting anyone?) when you get published, I want to know!

Oh, and one more thing--I told my class that I had used Orlando Bloom's name in a shameless attempt to get more hits on my blog. They didn't approve of my methods. They suggested that instead of simply writing Orlando Bloom, Orlando Bloom, Orlando Bloom over and over again that I should write: Shirtless Orlando Bloom, Shirtless Orlando Bloom, Shirtless Orlando Bloom. (You can tell my class consisted of mainly women.)

So here it is ladies: Shirtless Orlando Bloom

Monday, June 23, 2008

my fab trip to Utah--Shannon Hale

I came to Utah to teach at the BYU writing conference, but first I went to ShannonCon. (Shannon Hale kept on insisting that she didn't name the gathering ShannonCon--her fans did, but we know better. As soon as I become famous enough, I am going to have a JanetteCon.)
Here is a picture of Shannon and I. My head for some odd reason looks huge.
Here is another picture of us, where I look normal, but Shannon is closing her eyes. After that my camera battery died, so I don't really have a good picture of the two of us. Maybe I'll photo shop her eyes open . . .

Well, despite the fact that I couldn't find a Shannon Hale costume anywhere, I had a great time. Shannon's fan club (Little Read Riding Hood) are a great group, and I'm not just saying that since some of them are also my fans too.
Nathan Hale, who has illustrated Shannon's new book--Rapunzel's Revenge, also dropped by to tell Shannon stories (He is so funny!) and hand out some very cool Rapunzel paper dolls that he made in conjunction with the book. Now don't you wish you'd gone to ShannonCon?
We went out to dinner and her fans gave me chocolate--which just goes to show you that they know me well.

I can hardly wait until the next ShannonCon!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Utah and Arizona announcements--plus more Orlando Bloom

For all of you in Utah and Arizona I have some events coming up. Please come! Because as you know I hate to look bad in front of book store employees.

Saturday June 21st
Barnes and Noble
330 East University Parkway (1300 South.)
Orem, Utah
Book signing from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00

TEEN NOVEL WRITING FOR ADULTS WITH Janette Rallison • 6:30 pm • Are you interested in writing for teens? Janette Rallison, the author of How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend and eight other teen novels, discusses the differences between YA literature and other books. She’ll teach you how to create main characters that will hold teens' interest, develop story questions, believable motivation, conflict, antagonists and more.

Janette's novels have been put on various states' reading lists, as well as YALSA's Popular Picks lists, and the YA Choices list. Her books have sold over 700,000 copies. COST: $25. Registration and pre-payment required at 480-730-0205.

THURSDAY, JULY 24, 31, August 7
CREATING STORY LINES with Janette Rallison (For ages 12-18) • 3-4:30 pm • Learn about the elements of writing and plot with Janette Rallison, author of thirteen books, nine of which are young adult novels.You'll learn about point of view and why you need to use it correctly. You'll also learn about character goals, motivation, and conflict. Thursdays, July 24, 31, August 7, $50 for the series.

You can register by phone or by going to Changing Hands.

Changing Hands
6428 S McClintock Dr
Tempe, AZ 85283
McClintock at Guadalupe

Now you may have noticed that I also said I had more Orlando Bloom stuff. I said this because on the day I published my Orlando Bloom story, I had 170 hits on my blog. This is more hits than I've ever had in one day and I imagine it's because I got Orlando Bloom fans who were googling his name. So with that in mind I'd like to say: Orlando Bloom, Orlando Bloom, Orlando Bloom.

I am not exploiting his name because I really do like him. Hey, how many of his fans write romance novels with him in mind?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Fact Checking in the Real World, part 2

When I first decided to write books, I always knew that there would be some story scenes that had roots in incidents from my real life. What I didn't realize was how many times I would write a scene or story line and then have something similar happen in my life (or just as often my oldest daughter's life) Really, it's happened with such regularity that it is a little bit spooky.

For example, there is a scene in Just One Wish (Used to be When You Wish Upon a T.V. Star) where Annika and Steve are driving down a highway in the middle of nowhere and their car stops. I'd barely researched and written that scene when my daughter and her boyfriend had car problems after a visit here when they were driving back to Utah. You'll all be glad to know that apparently I'd written a pretty accurate description of what happens when the transmission goes out. I also asked my daughter what her boyfriend said at the time and then used that as dialogue. (That is the type of loving mother I am--my child is stuck in the middle of nowhere and I want dialogue details.)

I have to say though, that the Orlando Bloom story surprised even me.

In Just One Wish, the main character Annika, goes off to Hollywood to try and track down a famous and incredibly handsome young actor. (And yes, I did imagine him to look like Orlando Bloom when I wrote it.)

But the first time she sees him she doesn't recognize him.

The Bow-tied one did not buy it. He told me that if she was a fan and she'd done any amount of research on the Internet she would know what he looked like, even if he did play a blond guy on the Robin Hood series. (Think Legolas from The Lord of the Rings. Ahhhh. Now stopping thinking of him and get back to reading my blog.)

So not long ago, one of my high school buddies emailed me. Without knowing anything about my conversation with my editor she told me the story of her encounter with Orlando Bloom.

Here it is in Misty's words:

I actually met Orlando Bloom. He was in Louisville filming the movie "Elizabethtown". Paramont had a temp office in the same building where I worked. I walked from one building through a pedway to another building with him and his dog, and we talked the whole time. He was a really nice guy.

The funny part was that I didn't know who he was. I knew the dog was Orlando's dog, because the security guard in the building had told me that they were letting him bring his dog in, but I didn't realize Orlando was the scrub walking the dog. I even asked him if it was Orlando's dog.

He looked at me to see if I had a clue in my head. Seeing that I didn't, he said that yes, it was Orlando's dog.

We got to the end of the hallway, and there was this guys with the movie signing folks in for second call backs for extras. I asked if I could go back to get some autographs, but he said no.

I said, "Well at least I got to pet Orlando Bloom's dog." I petted the dog again, and went on my merry way.

When I got back up to the office I told some folks about it. They asked what the guy who was walking the dog looked like. I described him (in my defense, he was dressed like he just rolled out of bed and grabbed what was on the floor).

This lady I worked with had taken his picture earlier that day with her cell phone. Much to my surprise, it was the dog walker. Another lady I worked with had a brother who was a stage hand working on the movie. She went out with him and some of his stage hand buddies. Apparently Orlando was telling everyone about the crazy chick who didn't know who he was, but knew who his dog was.

You know, he meets a lot of folks, but me, he will remember. Feel free to use this true, but unbelievable story in a future book. It is pretty funny.

Okay, it's me, Janette again. I have to say that it is funny. And just one more example of life imitating my writing. Thanks for taking the hit that time, Misty, and proving to me that yes, it could happen in real life.

(I think for my next book, I should write a story about an author who becomes fabulously wealthy and best friends with Orlando Bloom . . . it could happen.)