Thursday, February 21, 2008

FAB is here - and so is JOSHILYN JACKSON ( and a contest!!)

Eek! It's here. I've been waiting for this week since about July of 2006. No, I'm really not exaggerating!

Most of you already know the history between me and this month's FAB Pick - Joshilyn Jackson. We have been total BFF since forever ago, ok? Don't believe me? Case in point - I once drove hundreds of miles to see her, then she invited me to have lunch with her, AND we got our picture taken together and she posted it on her website. I don't think you can even be more BFF than that. Unless you count that I blatantly, I mean - borrowed- her idea and framed that picture of us and wrote in pink and purple glitter puffy paint "dee and Joss - Best Friends For-evah!" on it, and it now hangs on the wall in my bedroom. Yes. It does.

But we're not going to discuss my stalker tendencies, ok? Because stalking would be bad. And this month, there is nothing bad about FAB.

Joshilyn is, obviously, one of my fave authors. Has been for a few years now. With award-winning books like her debut novel, gods In Alabama, or her follow-up - Between, Georgia, both hitting the #1 spot in some list or another, I'd be really surprised if you haven't heard of her by now. Besides, she's got one of the funniest blogs on the entire web. Don't believe me? Check it out here. Scroll down and read around a bit. She's hysterical.

And she's got a new book that's hitting stores in just a few weeks. It's called THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING, and, well - it's so totally FABulous that of course I have to tell you all about it. I'm going to tell you all about TGWSS, her blog FASTER THAN KUDZU, her other two books, and some other stuff over the next week. There will, of course, be an interview at the end of the week. And a surprise.

We're also going to have a contest. Or two.

The first one is really easy. All you have to do is put this .jpg and this info ABOUT THE BOOK (found below) on your own blog. Once it is there, come over here to Friday's post (dish of TGWSS) and leave me a link. You can also post about FAB week on your favorite group or loop, and come here and comment to me about it. Plus, if you send people this way, you'll get some extra entries. Lots of ways to enter, lots of ways to win. The prize is a personalized, signed copy of the new release, THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING. The contest runs from 2/22 - 2/28. Don't forget to enter, starting tomorrow.
About the book (from the author's own website)

Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the very literal family skeleton stays buried or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neat and on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 14-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne.

The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is inexplicable--an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia's help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family's guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.

So I said TWO Contests, didn't I? The second one is a bit more personal. Here's all you have to do. Tell me, either in the comments here on this post, or on your own blog, what the most extreme thing you've ever done to meet a famous person is. You can use my story about my BFF Joss, or any one of the hundreds of other stories of mine, as a jumping off point if you want (something like - "I'm not nearly as nuts as dee when she drove all the way to SC to see Joss for the second time and made her real life friends go with her". Oops. Sorry. I'm getting ahead of myself. THAT story will happen NEXT week. More info to follow.). I've driven literally thousands of miles in pursuit of a signed book or chance to shake the hand of authors. I've worn certain clothes, I've said certain things, I've shared hotel rooms with certain people, all to meet a person that wrote a book, because as you know - authors are my rock stars. But maybe you just like Rock Stars. That's ok too. Whoever your famous stalker experience is, tell me about it. This contest begins today (2/21) and ends next Thursday (2/28) as well.

So. Two contests. A dish of a brand new book. Chat about previous books. Links to all sorts of places. An interview that will have you smiling. What more could you possibly want?

Keep Turning Those Pages!


T.C. said...

This sounds like a really awesome book. Even though I haven't met a famous person before (not for the lack of trying), I will share one instance where I went pretty far in attempt to meet a band.

Favorite band of mine, Nickelback, was playing at a NASCAR race in Richmond, Virginia. See, we're Texans, so that would've been one hell of a drive. But nosiree, we flew. Little puddle-jumpers here and there, but we got there. We also snagged pit passes. And we wandered around that pit for who knows how long - never saw a glimpse of the band. But I did end up bumping shoulders with Gretchen Wilson unknowingly. I was so bummed about not seeing the band, I didn't even notice her. But I did get to see some of the limited edition NASCARs (the REAL ones) up close in the pit. That was pretty awesome. A failed attempt at meeting a celebrity, but nonetheless adventurous and fun. :) Next on my "stalker" list: Hugh Laurie.

Brandy said...

The book does sound quite interesting. And as for the most I've done to meet a famous person? My hubs drove me 2 hours to meet Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer a couple of years ago. That would have been fine, if I hadn't froze when it was my time to go up and get an autograph. My hubs and 12 year old daughter pushed me forward and had to ask her for a picture and autograph for me, while I stood there and wanted to disappear. *sigh* Being shy is NOT fun. BUT, thanks to my lovely family, Jenny Crusie signed my favorite book and I have the pictures to prove I was there!

McB said...

Okay, I'm not quite as ... how did that go again? But I did once take a spur-of-the-moment extra long lunch hour to get a book signed by Nora Roberts. I discovered at the last moment that she was going to be at a store reachable by subway.

And I once agreed to go on a long car trip with someone I'd only met in person once in order to see Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer. And, uh, then I drove even further the following year with the same person to see them again and get their second book signed along with 15 or so other people most of whom I'd never met before in real life.

And next week I'm being *made* to go all the way to SC by a friend (now appearing in real life) in order to attend another author signing.

Cheryl said...

The book sounds very intriguing.

I did meet the Kathleen O'Neal Gear but a luck of chance. My mom and me went to the grocery store and when we entered there she was with all her books. I picked up a couple and was able to get them signed.

There is another time where I remember meeting some famous people but they were the Phoenix Coyotes (hockey team). My family and I were vacationing in Scottsdale, AZ and heard that they were going to practice at a ice rink just a few blocks down from where we were staying.

We drove down there and got to watch them pratice and get almost all of the players autographs

dee said...

TC- That sounds like a TRIP! Too bad about Gretchen, but it still sounds like fun. Good for you for trying!!

Brandy - Jenny and Bob were also my first encounter with famous authors! I actually met a lot of good friends through their website. As a matter of fact, a few of them occasionally hang out here and leave crazy comments about trips we've been on together!

Cheryl - yep, that's lucky! You didn't even have to stalk!

McB- Humor. Har. You just think you're soooo funny, don't you? And yeah, I'm sure your arm is really being twisted to go on a trip to a RESORT on the BEACH in SC and get to meet one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE AUTHORS. Just for that, you have to share a room with RSS. :)

McB said...

Well, you know, a friend in need and all that ... ;D

And, yes, I heard that you have accused us of being gigglers. I have no idea where you got that idea. We've decided that you have confused us with two other women.

fldsb: a sound of disbelief, as in when someone accuses you unjustly of unmerited giggling

Ann M. said...

I've gone all the way across country and met up with online friends (none of whom I had met in person) to a SG1 Convention. Did I add this was right after 9/11? Yes, I flew out of Newark Airport - where the plane that went down in PA left from. Talk about your pretty empty flights.

Although what stands out is asking Robert Duncan McNeil a question that was burning on my online group - he told me to get my mind out of the gutter and it wasn't even my question. :)

Hope said...

I went from Indiana to NYC by train (14 hours), with the last 2 hours dealing with a broken restroom on the train. Then navigated my way through Grand Central to meet a friend that I only knew from online. Then we went soap opera actor stalking, hanging outside the studio hoping to catch our favs on the way in for taping, or on their way out.

Marg said...

My post is up here.

About the most extreme thing I have done is taken the day off work to meet an author! Not very extreme I know!

Laura K said...

Here's the most extreme thing I ever did. It goes back to my younger days. I attended the Romantic Times Convention when Nora Roberts was just breaking out- so you KNOW that was a long time ago.

Well, my idol was Iris Johansen. I JUST had to meet her. I went to the bookfair with a girlfriend who knew all about my obession. As I walked to the table to speak to her, I just FROZE. I am a very outspoken woman, but I cannot understand why I did such a thing!

Can't wait until I go to RT this April and see what happens. Hopefully I won't drool!!

Jill said...

I love Joss's books, too, and can't wait for TGWSS to come out!

The most extreme thing I did to meet someone famous is when I was in law school in New Orleans in 1999, I flew to Houston to see Bette Midler IN THE MIDDLE OF EXAMS. I flew instead of driving so that I could study for my next exam on the way there and on the way back. Law exams are grueling and it was crazy for me to jet off in the middle of them, but I had a free ticket and backstage pass to the show, and no way I was missing it. I mean I was raised by gay men-- this was practically a spiritual journey for me! ; ) Part of the draw for me was that I was getting to go with my dad and his friends. I met the Divine Miss M and she was tiny, beautiful, warm, and funny. The show was, of course FAB-U-LOUS. It was definitely worth the trip! And in the end I passed my exams, so no harm done. And while I do not refer to her as my BFF, anytime I speak of her, I refer to her as my close personal friend, Bette Midler. I mean, I am trying to be realistic...

jess said...

I'm not sure how extreme this is, but I once wrote a term paper about my favorite band. Thinking it wouldn't work (but hoping anyway), I wrote to the band's producer who put me in touch with the lead singer. He expressed the desire to meet me and I (of course) him, but I always chickened out whenever I had a chance at a face-to-face meeting. Of course...I always thought he was too good to be true and I didn't want to taint my image of him.

Chloe said...

When I was a teenager, I lived in London and my friends and I heard that Harrison Ford was going to be filming in the studios a few miles up the road from my house, and renting a house a few streets over. So, of course, we went on lots of short walks around his block. I guess we were going to tell him that we liked Indiana Jones, but I think I was more interested in finding out if River Phoenix was really nice?

We persuaded my little brother and his friends to set up a lemonade stand outside the house we thought Ford was renting. The agreement was that my friends and I financed the operation (lemonade mix, cups, posterboard), gave the boys a walkie talkie, and hid around the corner at a bus stop. The boys got to keep all the profit (none) if they would call us on the walkie when Ford came out to buy lemonade (he didn't).

I'm pretty sure there was also some talk about faking a bike accident outside his house or similar big, complicated, kid plans. This stalking went on for a couple of weeks every afternoon after school and all day on Saturdays.

Once we'd started trying to convince ourselves that the filming was done and he'd already gone home to the states, I let my guard down. Mom sent me up to the shops for a missing dinner ingredient. At the little grocery, I walked down the narrow aisle for whatever I was picking up and walked past a man at the dairy case. Nothing would have happened if he'd stayed facing the same way, but just as I passed by, he turned, whacked me in the gut with his shopping basket, and dropped a wedge of cheese on my foot.

So instead of getting an autograph or asking about River... instead, I said "Oof!" then turn pink when he apologized, and ran all the way home without whatever Mom needed for dinner. All my plans and hard work were unnecessary, though I'm not sure this exactly counts as "meeting" somebody famous.

Anonymous said...

This is terribly embarrassing (the things I will do for my favorite author). I once faked an asthma attack in order to get "backstage" to see New Kids on the Block. It wasn't a concert, I think it was a DARE rally or something. It didn't work and I missed their performace because I was busy fake wheezing away from the stage.

Of course, Joshilyn is coming to Boston next month. I am certain I have grown in my ability to embarrass myself with age. So ask me again in April ;-)


Kathryn said...

I added the info on my own blog, and put your URL at the end. you can find it at Please enter me in the contest!! PLEASE please please! :)

kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kristen said...

clearly i have no idea what i'm doing - i left a comment here - then thought i had to leave it on friday's post...then i saw on today's post that i should post it here...i'm posting it both places *beam*

here is my post:

and i'm not sure about the story...i have a few...i went all the way to spain and met Martin Sheen. it was outstandingly cool. does it still count that i didn't go there specifically to meet him but rather, went to spain to go to school and saw him there? shook his hand? took a picture with him?

hmm. okay. so, i went to book passage and waited a few hours to get my Couplehood and Babyhood books signed by Paul Reiser. I only had to take the bus from San Francisco to Corte Madera - so not that far.

but i AM desperately hoping to drive 200 miles from Sparks to Corte Madera on March 13th to see Joshilyn and have her sign TGWSS and Between, Georgia (gods in Alabama is already signed).

margalit said...

I don't know exactly where to add this link, but please add me to the contest as well. And maybe a link in your post to the correct place would help?

dee said...

You're all entered in the contest. As long as you get in here somewhere on the site to tell me where you posted your stuff, it's all good. I'm very flexible.

Thank you all so much for helping me get the word out about this FABulous book!

MTherese said...

I'd love to be entered to win the fabulous book, but I am apparently a loser who has never met or been close to a celebrity and is too lazy to start blogging. Help a girl out, will you?

Flea said...

I've met mildly famous people, but thrilling for me. I attended a writer's convention in the Blue Ridge mountains a couple of years ago, primarily to meet authors and have books autographed. I made a point of sitting at the tables of my favorite speakers at dinner, thinking up (un)witty questions and conversation before hand. It totally rocked. My favorite favorite person/author was Steven James. Okay, I lie. My favorite fav. person/author is Eva Marie Everson, but I already knew her. I managed to get her to my book club when we read one of her novels. Does that count?

Lola Goetz said...

I wish I had a great stalking story. Alas, not so much.

I tried to follow Keifer Sutherland around the mall in Palm Springs, but I just missed him. (That was over 10 years ago.)

I missed my chance to stalk Alton Brown when he came to town. (Found out afterwards that he'd been here.)

My story is a story of failure. *sigh*

But if I'm ever in the same area as Joshilyn, I will certainly try to meet her. She sounds like she's awesome.

Anonymous said...

Even though I was a bit of a cowardly girl in college, I managed to hook up with people who talked me into doing a lot of questionable things. One of them was to call Luciano Pavarotti's manager a couple of weeks before he was to sing at the Omni in Atlanta. Does anybody remember the Omni? We convinced those in charge that we were aspiring opera singers (one of us actually was), and wound up with backstage passes to meet the Maestro. When he arrived too late to meet us before the concert, they comped us all $125 stage-front seats and told us to come back after. I even managed to find the courage to ask for (and receive!) a kiss. While that wasn't "technically" stalking, it WAS an adventure!

another good thing said...

Hmmm. I want to add my blog into the OTHER contest but can't get back to the Friday link where I am supposed to send it - so will post it here- You can figure it out, right Dee?

I am great at stalking authors. My thing is to get a picture with them- and a signed book. I have a wall of me and the author pix- Joshilyn Jackson, George Singleton, David Fulmer, Roy Blount Jr., AMy Hempel, Scott Turow, Robert Morgan, Alice Hoffman, Geraldine Brooks, Emily Giffin, Patti Callahan Henry, Mary Kay Andrews, Charles baxter, Terry Kay, Cassandra King, Diana Gabaldon, ... I scored a coup de grace by not only getting an autograph and picture with Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler earlier this month- I also texted him when he gave me his card and invited him to join me and friends in the bar later-- yep, he came. See? they are people too.

Anonymous said...

OK, because I love Joshilyn Jackson, I will share my stalker experience. ugh. This is not something I usually tell people. I am a sports NUT. Especially tennis. And I LOVE Mary Carillo a tennis commentator and HBO Real Sports contributor. Two years ago my husband and I were NYC for a wedding and stayed over for the weekend. We had just come out of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Broadway, and waited by the doors and got autographs, so I was pretty hopped up on post show euphoria, when, we were stopped at a corner and my husband said, "Hey there's Mary Carillo." I spun around and told her what a big fan I was, how loved her on Real Sports and was looking forward to the US Open. She politely thanked me then went to cross the street. But she came back and told me to be sure to watch RS that week because she had a great segment. Then she walked away. I thought. My husband and I crossed the street and the whole time I'm gushing, GUSHING, about Mary. "I know other women like sports, but I LOVE them, and Mary! I'm the only person who really loves her! Did you see how we are best friends now, she came back to tell me about her upcoming piece. She totally wants to hang out with me, but I have to hang with you! Really I LOVE her!" I went on and on, in a hyper excited voice and my loving husband let me, until I noticed he was sort of shaking and hiccuping. So I say, "What?" and he kindly points out, Mary Carillo is still right behind us, and has probably heard every word I've said and is now probably calling some type of security because I have lost my mind!

So there, that is my stalker-ish experience. If I didn't love Miss Jackson so dang much I'd've never shared that story!