January 11, 2007

3 Questions: Melissa Senate

YOU HAVE TO READ MELISSA SENATE'S BAD BOYFRIEND STORY IN THIS INTERVIEW. You will be SO sorry if you do not. But first, three questions with me. You can pretend to be me and ask them, and I will pretend to be a guest and answer you as you rpetend to be me. Put on a serious interview face, please.

You, pretending to be me: Will you be blogging on MYSPACE instead of here?

Me, pretending to be a guest: No. I will be here with you always because you are my favorite. But I will prolly put up some entries from the category ESPECIAL PET FAVORITES over there with links back to here to try and lure unsuspecting MySpacers off into the Kudzu. *evil eyebrows*

Y,PTBM: Did You FanGrrl Plotz when Ze Frank checked the yes box on your MySpace DO YOU LIKE ME WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND note?

M,PTBAG: Absolutely not.

Y,PTBM: YOU ARE A GREAT BIG LIAR! YOU DID TOO PLOTZ! Did that smart, funny writer you like, what’s her name, she wrote that book you told me to read that I am JUST about to go buy…what was her name..OH! YES! Laura Florand? Did she ever send you the promised truffles if you told the boobs stuck under the bed in Paris story?

M,PTBAG: Yes. She did. And they were SO amazing and rich and dark with little bits of CHERRY in them that I now am her worshipful slave. In fact I am about to go commit murder, serious bad murder, so that I can come on the blog and say “Well THIS ONE TIME I committed murder, but I am not going to tell about it,” just in the FAINT hope that she will say “OH! If you tell about it, I will send more truffles.”

Now it’s Melissa's turn to answer a 3 questions about her upcoming title,
I Love You to Death.

Senate wrote SEE JANE DATE which was made into a movie starring Charisma Carpenter who played Cordelia Chase on BUFFY and ANGEL which were both JOSS WHEDON projects, and since I am an enormous geek who plays an almost CONSTANT game of 6 Degrees of JOSS WHEDON, and since Melissa Senate is only FIVE degrees from Joss Wedon, I of course heart her forever and will be getting this book next time I leave the house. It sounds like all kinds of good, dirty fun to me anyway, so the Joss Whedon thing is bonus:

I will let Melissa tell you what the book is about in the interview, but know that Publisher’s Weekly said, “Readers will cheer Abby every step of the way as she tries to clear her name and find her prince.”

JJ: What's a day in your life like?

MSWIPBFFWJW**: My four-year-old, Max, is my alarm clock. 7:21 a.m like clockwork! (Bbetween ages 2 and now, he woke up at 5am every day, so I’m grateful for 7:21. He climbs onto my bed, where we play Superman (Max is Superman and I’m either the evil bad guy or someone needing rescuing), then two rounds of hide and seek (he always hides in the same place), and then when I return from dropping him off at preschool at 8:45, I sit down to write. Well, I sit down to answer emails, take care of administrative stuff (like, right now I’m finalizing arrangements for a reading and an appearance at a book festival), read my favorite blogs, and then I write. Till 2pm. Yesterday I got so stuck and couldn’t think my way out of it, so I did three loads of laundry and mid transfer of washer to dryer, the solution came to me! Love how that works. After 3pm, it’s all about my son until his bedtime at 8:30. Then I read until my bedtime, which is boringly early these days.

JJ: What is the relationship between writing and motherhood? (I mean this in a personal way -- for you. Does one feed the other, are they similar for you, does doing one make doing the other harder, do these things compete or come from the same place or? What?

MSWIPBFFWJW**: My first novel was published the very month my son was conceived, and I wrote my second novel during the first six months of his life. I can’t tell the difference, emotionally, between the two books. My writing didn’t change, which is interesting. It seems that I am who I am. That sounds crazy, because surely motherhood has changed me. And my writing would reflect that. But it doesn’t seem to be the case in my writing. I think that’s true because what I like to explore in my fiction seems so separate to me from my son and what motherhood is to me. I’m now a single mother, and lemme tell you, that will inform my writing. Whoo boy.

I do think motherhood, single or not, makes writing harder. When I wrote my debut (childless!), I stayed up till 2 a.m. to write. Hopped out of bed at 4 a.m with an idea. Every spare moment I had went into writing. Now, every spare minute I have is devoted to my son; my writing time is my working time, and I’m lucky that I’m supporting myself with my writing because otherwise I would be writing at night only, after Max’s bedtime and I would be a zombie! I work very hard to keep the two—writing and Max—separate. Otherwise, while playing Superman or hiding, I would be thinking of chapter seven.



MSWPIBFFWJW**: Abby Foote’s worst ex-boyfriends (the biggest slimes, weasels, asshats) are on someone’s hit list. Everyone, including family and a very hot Portland police detective, thinks that someone is Abby herself. With the hot detective on her trail, Abby sets out to clear her name and find out who’s either trying to frame her . . . or do her a warped favor.

Yes, indeedie, there are a few former boyfriends that I could imagine meeting a grim fate. My worst ex-boyfriend I’ll call Tiny. I needed Tiny to pick me up from the hospital after I had an invasive procedure involving my esophagus and a balloon and anesthesia. Tiny wasn't much of the pick-you-up-from-hospital type, but he finally agreed (oh thanks!). As he helped me (still dazed) outside, he did not say, “Did it go well? How do you feel?” He said: “You know what I don’t understand? You like your hair when you blow dry it straight. And I like your hair when you blow dry it straight. So why did you leave it curly today?” Could he have cared an iota less about me? The answer was no. We broke up that day and I did wish a television would mysteriously fall out a window and land on his head. But then I took it back. Didn’t take him back, though!

**MSWIPBFFWJW means “Melissa Senate who is practically BFF (best friends forever) with Joss Whedon.” In case you were wondering.

Posted by joshilyn at January 11, 2007 9:53 AM

Note to Melissa: I think Tiny totally deserved the TV-on-the-head fate. You were very kind to take it back.

Note to JossJ: Do you ever watch Veronica Mars? I don't get the right station to see the current ones, but I've watched the first couple of seasons on DVD and it's like Buffy/Angel old home week, with "Cordelia" and "Willow" in recurring guest roles and even including a guest appearance by JossW himself in an epi in S2.

Posted by: DebR at January 11, 2007 11:48 AM

Veronica Mars ROCKS as cutesy smart-ass tenny-bopper fluffy fun! You should definitely check it out if you like Buffy et al. AND Joss, because you're a super Joss Whedon dork :), you probably already know that Buffy "Season 8" is coming out in comic book form very soon, a project directed by JW himself.

Posted by: JenA at January 11, 2007 12:53 PM

All this talk of the talented Joss Whedon, and not one mention of Firefly? Yes, it was mismanaged by the network into obscurity before being resurrected as a really awesome movie, and Yes, it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it surely deserves a big mention! Buy/rent/steal/borrow a copy of the first (and regrettably only) season. It's worth it. Well, except if you steal it, and get caught, and jailed. No DVD set is worth jail time. Community service? Maybe. Jail time? No.

Posted by: Jessica at January 11, 2007 12:59 PM

Joshilyn, I so enjoy reading your blog! You're such a whip and I always get a good laugh when I stop by -- a good thing as I struggle with meeting a publication deadline for my 3rd novel in 90 days (gulp)... All the best in '07!

Posted by: Holly Kennedy at January 11, 2007 1:41 PM

Ok, not to start anything over here, but...I bet, if you actually KILLED somebody, then talked about how you wouldn't tell, my very good friend AMY (ok, I'm exaggerating, I barely know her, but I totally adore her already!!), would figure out a very nefarious plot in which you would divulge your crazy story, and we would ALL get truffles from Laura. Really, that's my plan. YOU do the deed, AMY hatches the plan for you to tell the tale, then LAURA sends out truffles to all three of us! Why do I get truffles also? Well, because I'll be standing quietly on the sidelines, heckling everyone! Plus, I'm not good at murder (I've tried, only once though!) and I'm no good at hatching evil schemes (ok, don't ask my daughter about that one!), but I seem to be VERY good at heckling. Laura can confirm that.

Posted by: dee at January 11, 2007 2:01 PM

This gives me a great idea for Melissa's next book! An innocent author-chocolatier keeps receiving anonymous comments on her blog that are all hilarious stories about someone who's been offed in an attempt to win truffles. And the people are really being offed and she has to track them down! Fingers immediately point to Joshilyn Jackson, because of how hilarious the stories are, but then...well, Melissa has to come up with the rest. This could be good.

Seriously, props to Melissa for writing her second book during her baby's first six months. I had to do the rewrites on my second book during the first three months WHILE I had a house full of in-laws for 5 weeks, and I already gave serious props to myself, but a whole book! Wow. And juggling writing with single motherhood is seriously impressive. It makes me want to go try the books just for that, but they also sound great, so that's an extra incentive.

(And in case you are wondering why I get to use expressions like "give props to", yes, I did watch two entire seasons of American Idol and yes, Randy was my favorite judge. Dog.)

Posted by: Laura Florand at January 11, 2007 5:17 PM

Hey Joshilyn
(If anyone hasn't read Between, Georgia yet then don't read any further-there's a spoiler about the book and I don't want to ruin it for you) :)

I know this is off topic but I just had to write to you to say that I have just finished listening to Between Georgia narrated by you. I try to walk each morning and your books, Gods in Alabama and Between,Georgia have gotten me up often on a morning when the thing I would love most in the world would be to stay in my warm snuggly bed. I live in a beautiful, but desperately dry part of country Victoria, Australia and this morning I was walking around the empty streets of the little country town where I live (not quite as little as Between perhaps, but only about 1000 people) with my ipod in my ears and tears streaming down my face because .............

Hi Joss here -- I removed a HUGE spoiler but thank you for the lovely compliments -- I cant; stand for the book to be ruined for anyone else :P

................and then I cried tears of happiness. It was the mum in me I think but it was also your writing-listening to your voice and your words just brings the book alive.
Then to hear you thank all the people who supported you to write this beautiful book brought it alive even more and made you seem even more real somehow-that sounds silly cause of course you are real- but it seemed like I knew you somehow. even though I don't. I will now start reading your blog. You sound young and I'm not-though I'm young at heart - with two great kids, 23 and 21. I'm a teacher and love my kids at school as well.
Again I can't wait to 'read' (listen to) your next book. Your blog will now become one of my regular blog feeds. I write a blog as well but it's only about what I do here at school. But I enjoy writing.
So congratulations for this morning making me cry sad and happy tears and for starting off my day in Between, Georgia and ending it in Charlton Victoria. Kind regards Anne.

Posted by: Anne Baird at January 11, 2007 5:28 PM

I sincerely hope Tiny was so named for the obvious reason. And if so, serves him right.

Posted by: Amy-Go at January 11, 2007 6:03 PM

Dee, I adore your adoration, but how about Laura sends Joshilyn truffles for NOT murdering anyone? Unless it's for the sake of literature, of course.

And, okay, the first three months with my first baby I barely got out of the house, never mind did anything productive. (In my defense, it was one thing after another with that kid--colic, intestinal infection, let's nurse on the hour, mama, and then poop on the half hour...naps were unheard of...you get the idea) I managed to get out of the house after the second one was born, but if I had been writing much of anything, it would have been crazy person missives with letters cut out of magazines.

So. Props all around to you mama writers.

Posted by: amy at January 11, 2007 7:15 PM

Anne, you'll fit right in here! We all loved "Between" as well. But honestly, this blog is just too much fun, on an almost daily basis. And now Joss even has a MySpace account. Oh my!!
I have to agree with something else though. I read Between about 4 times, loving it more each time. But honestly, until I had that audiobook (my favorite Christmas present, honestly!) I don't know that I felt it as much. Like Anne, that scene just ripped my heart out. I had to pull over to the side of the road, the tears were flowing so hard and fast, and I already knew what was going to happen!! I only listened in my vehicle, and I found myself coming up with reasons to drive someplace. I don't know that we've had so much milk in the house, EVER.
So Joss, they should let you read ALL of your books. You were amazing. y'know, just sayin...

Posted by: dee at January 11, 2007 7:17 PM

Amy, how on earth are WE supposed to get more truffles that way? And really, it's all about the chocolate for me. A girl has to have her priorities.
Maybe Joss could just 'think up' a really cool murder, then, you know, claim it as her own, or something. Then you could coax the story out of her, and I could beg and whine until Laura sends them out to everyone? Hey, it could work!

And being a Mama? Yeah, been there, still doing that. And any woman that can write with little persons screaming, or even just breathing in the house, deserves MAJOR props. I swear, my six come up with new and interesting ways, every single day, to make sure that I will never finish my book. I'm thinking of taking a two week vacation just to be able to get it all done!

Posted by: dee at January 11, 2007 7:21 PM

Okay, I was one of those people who was never going to read a blog. And then along came Joss...and now I'm hooked. The deal was sealed when she professed love for Buffy. One of my few claims to fame was that Sarah Michelle Gellar answered one of my questions on an EOnline chat! Do I get any props? :)

Posted by: Leandra at January 12, 2007 8:29 AM

May I just state for the record, as in for any possible future police investigations, that I am NOT offering truffles for Joshilyn to commit murder?

Also, I am not offering truffles to everyone who emails me a funny story about how they did NOT commit murder today, either. Because maybe I'm an idealist, but several people who read this blog might NOT have committed murder today, and you know, if I spend all my time making truffles I'll never get this third book done.

What if everybody who didn't commit murder today sent me truffles? If I DON'T get truffles from you now, I'm going to assume things. And maybe notify the police.

Posted by: Laura Florand at January 12, 2007 3:03 PM

Remember the ButtPrint artist you linked to? I just read a news story that he was a high school art teacher. He lost his job after the school board found out about his butt art. Here's a link to the article: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070110/D8MI6FE00.html

Posted by: Linda Sherwood at January 13, 2007 3:33 PM