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Archives: December 2007

Yes, It’s Another Day of Wacky Pet Photos

lolgalleycat-emily.jpg“Emily doesn’t have much to do with my book reviewing,” confesses Jen A. Miller, “except that she sleeps on my lap/chest while I’m reading.” Good enough! I’ve got a few more dog pictures to sort through this morning, and then I think we’ll be all set until next summer.

You might recall a mention a few months back of the interview series with Jersey Shore creatives Miller runs on her blog, Down the Shore With Jen. It appears to be going strong, featuring Q&As with authors like Caroline Leavitt, Chris Grabenstein, and Lord Whimsy, among others.

University Presses Come Together Like Voltron

When the Modern Language Association meets this weekend in Chicago, one of the highlights of the conference will likely be the launch of the American Literatures Initiative, a joint venture between five university presses “to expand the number of books published in literary studies and increase audience reach,” funded in part by a $1.37 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “Each press will continue to acquire and develop titles according to its own needs and editorial criteria,” according to the press release, but they’ll also have “a shared, centralized, external editorial service dedicated solely to managing the production of books in the initiative.” That service will take the manuscripts through the copyediting, design, and typesetting stages up to the point when the book is ready to be delivered to a printer. They will also colloborate on “a high-profile and aggressive marketing program” to help those books, many of which will be written by debut scholars, find audiences.

The five publishers participating are New York University Press, Fordham University Press, Rutgers University Press, Temple University Press, and the University of Virginia Press. But one of the most interesting aspects of the program, at least upon first description, is that it sounds both expandable and replicable—with that latter option having particularly interesting implications for similar (regional?) consortiums.

What Books Brightened Your Holidays?

Novelist Pamela Redmond Satran was wondering what books people gave or received as holiday gifts this year. “I gave my husband, who’s working on a novel set in Revolutionary War-era New York, The Historical Atlas of New York City,” she shares, “and also The Dead Fish Museum by Charles D’Ambrosio, because our friend is always telling him to read more short stories.” Then she gave her daughter Off The Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything In Between. And she got Anne Enright Man Booker-winning The Gathering in return, along with the Shelburne Farms cookbook.

I gave my parents Zen Putting and my aunt two Isabel Allende novels, and another family member gave me The Internet Business Book by James Brausch. (My wife got some knitting books from various sources, so I’m looking forward to a new scarf before the winter’s through.) How about you?

Discussing Aspects of Love, Lloyd Webber Finds Herself High Flying, Adored

imogen-lloyd-webber.jpg“I’ll be the first person in line to see the Sex and the City movie,” Imogen Lloyd Webber confessed when we met a while back. “Carrie Bradshaw was a beautiful fantasy, but she was a fantasy, and you have to appreciate reality first.” Thus The Single Girl’s Survival Guide, a book which tries to speak more directly to the independent lives that Lloyd Webber and her girlfriends were living, by teaching women how to manage everything else—job, family, friends—and get happy about their lives before even thinking about men. We met a few weeks after a Gawker correspondent had attended her book party and commented that “she smells like when you floss your teeth.” She laughed the reference off easily. “It’s not something to be offended by… I enjoyed the attention and it was tremendously gratifying that they came,” she insisted. “There are things in life to get upset about. Bad press is not one of them.” (And, actually, it wasn’t even that bad; he meant it in a nice way, after all!)*

“What’s happened to this book in the last few months has blown my mind,” she said of the attention she’d been receiving—and, based on the press mentions in her blog, has continued to receive since we met—and she was definitely going to write another one, although she wasn’t sure yet whether it was going to be fiction or nonfiction. In the meantime, she said, she was “very much single, very much on the market,” but not that much, she quickly reversed herself: “I don’t want a boy at the moment. And my publishers would freak.”

*And I’m going to miss write-ups like that after next week, along with the other major blows to Gawker‘s talent roster.

HarperCollins/MySpace Synergy Embraces YA Market

Late last week, MySpace and HarperCollins launched a HarperTeen home page that includes blog entries from the imprint’s authors, promotional videos, and information on upcoming releases. The “customized interactive community for teen readers” also features message boards, contests, and a “first look” program that distributes galleys to select readers.

Both companies are divisions of News Corp.

LOLGalleycat: Sophie Is Not Amused

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Sophie may be one of the most photographed pets to appear in a GalleyCat post; Felicia Sullivan‘s posted dozens of pictures in her Flickr account. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll undoubtedly recognize Sullivan’s name. She’s been mentioned in several capacities: as a senior online marketing manager for HarperCollins, as the former editor of Small Spiral Notebook, and as the host and producer of the Writers Revealed podcast. And just before Christmas, I was delighted to receive one of the first finished copies of her memoir, The Sky Isn’t Visible from Here, which is officially coming out from Algonquin in a little over a month.

LOLGalleyCat: Tala Feels the Love

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“Tala is the best editor ever,” emails Carrie Jones, a member of YA literature’s “Class of 2K7” who made her debut this spring with Tips on Having a Gay (ex)Boyfriend. [The sequel, Love (And Other Uses for Duct Tape), comes out in May '08.] “Why? Because whenever she thinks something I’m writing stinks she jumps up on my lap, hugs me and tells me it’s time to take a break. She doesn’t talk about narrative arc. She doesn’t whine about bad dialogue. She just yanks me around outside until it’s time for me to write something decent again. Plus, um, she’s cute.”

The picture comes from Tala’s Christmas tree adventure earlier this month.

LOLGalleyCat: Phoebe Models the Winter Line

lolgalleycat-phoebe.jpgMary Aarons, the marketing and publicity director at Quayside Publishing Group, sent in this picture of her giant jack, Phoebe, getting ready to poke her nose into the latest NY Times Book Review. “She’s on the comp list and gets it a week in advance!” Aarons quips. The argyle sweater comes from a doggie supply wholesaler who’s based in the same office park as Quayside; they were on sale earlier this month for just $2—quite a canine bargain!

Meg Cabot Not Satisfied By Mere Photos of Cats

I’ve featured Meg Cabot videos on the blog before, but this one is special: Cabot introduces readers to her two cats, Henrietta and Gem, and explains how they came into her life. And they’re so cute!

LOLGalleyCat: Ratty Breaks the Dog/Cat Chain

lolgalleycat-ratty.jpg“Rats are as much fun as dogs and cats and very social,” says Judy Gregerson, the author of Bad Girls Club. “They can also help with writing because they’re good listeners and you can bounce things off of them when you need to. Dogs and cats get so much attention. But rats? Who cares?”

I dunno; I think Ratty’s kinda cute. (Or was kinda cute, I should say; domestic rats have short life spans, and Gregerson reports that Ratty’s no longer around to offer constructive silence during writing sessions…)

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