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September 2007

Caridad Ferrer! Musical Theater!


Caridad Ferrer is a music person. She wrote Adios to my Old Life about a catholic schoolgirl plunging into the world of Latin American music -- and she loves Idina Menzel as everyone rightly should :).

Her new book, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE ACCENT (buy from Books Inc.) is about "boring old Caroline" following in the footsteps of her caliente Cuban grandmother and reinventing herself as "Carolina" when she starts college. To her amazement, the Cuban act works like a charm on the opposite sex -- but will she be exposed as a fraud? And what will she learn about her true Cuban heritage?
(Like Sadye Dramarama, Caroline comes from a small Ohio town and changes her name when she gets to school!)
I can't wait to read it --- and isn't the cover hot?

Anyway, Caridad is the perfect person for the Dramarama Musical Theater Interview. She was Rizzo! AND Miss Hannigan. AND she met the cowardly lion. How cool is that?

1. You were in a play in high school, weren't you? Tell me all about it.

Oh yeah, I was. I was Rizzo in “Grease” and had the BEST time. Whenever I was in plays, I was always a second lead, but often ended up with the parts that tended to have the scene-stealing moments. When I was in “Annie” I desperately wanted to be Annie, of course, but wound up Miss Hannigan— wound up LOVING that part beyond all reason, really. Same with Rizzo— best songs in the whole play are hers-- “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” and “There Are Worse Things I Could Do.” I can still belt out the latter, given the right provocation and a couple of mojitos.

2. Give me song lyric that makes you laugh. Preferably from a show, but I'll cut you some slack if whatever you quote is funny.

I have sort of a demented sense of humor, but I can’t help but laugh every time I hear “Mack the Knife.” Perhaps because musically, it’s so cheerful and upbeat which is in such direct contrast to the lyrics.

Oh the shark babe has such pretty teeth, dear
And he shows them pearly white
Just a jack knife has ol’ MacHeath, babe
And he keeps it out of sight

You know when that shark bites with his teeth, dear
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves though wears ol’ MacHeath, babe
So there's never, never a trace of red

From “Threepenny Opera”

3. If you've seen a show on Broadway, what was your first one? Whom did you go with, who was the star, what did you think of it?

I saw the Wiz with the spectacular Ted Ross as the Cowardly Lion. I can’t remember who else was in the cast that night (I was only about eight years old) but I remember Ted Ross because when we went for dinner after the show, he was there and when I asked, he roared for me. He was a very kind, sweet man to a completely starstruck little girl.

4. What's your showbiz fantasy?

Oh man... it’s a toss up between a starring role in something like “Sunset Boulevard” or in a Broadway review, where I get to sing several songs or to just go into an empty studio with someone like Peter Cincotti or Josh Groban or Raul Malo and simply sit around a piano and jam and sing and have a good time.

5. Which Broadway diva are you, deep inside? And why? Ethel Merman, Carol Burnett, Nell Carter, Kristin Chenoweth, Bernadette Peters, Julie Andrews, Bebe Neuwirth, Audra McDonald, Carol Channing, Mary Martin, Barbra Streisand? Or someone else?

Idina Menzel. She’s got the Broadway chops but can also go pop/jazz.

6. Write me a nice little song lyric for the book you're promoting right now. Please.

Hmm... I really suck at poetry/lyric type writing. Promise not to laugh?

Going off, on my own
Had to find the girl she was
The girl I am
And who we’d both become

Sept 5, NYC Teen Author Reading Night

Be there, babies.

September 5 – Teen Author Reading Night
6-7:30, the Tompkins Square Branch of the NYPL
331 E. 10th Street, off of Ave B

Lauren Barnholdt, Two Way Street
Gordon Korman, Schooled
Carolyn Mackler, Guyaholic
Robin Wasserman, Hacking Harvard
Jessica Wollman, Switched

Plus, don't forget:
September 6 – Megan McCafferty reading
6-8, Borders, Columbus Circle

Girl at Sea & Video Awesomeness

Did you know that our crazy YA author dance video (made for John Green's birthday) has now been watched 7000 times?

If you are missing out, you must be on dial-up.

GirlatseaAnyway, I also want to plug Girl at Sea, by my friend and video-maven Maureen Johnson.

Maureen has an extraordinary ability to think of wild wonderful adventure plots (13 Little Blue Envelopes) that still feel very grounded in human emotion. This one has art student Clio setting off into the Italian ocean in search of a mysterious treasure on a boat full of eccentrics and hotties -- against her will.
It was a page turner, and amusing as only Maureen can be amusing. Meaning, very funny.

Read it!

More great books with Gay and Lesbian content

Via the always amusing Roger Sutton -- So much goodness! KT Hornung, a serious children's literature expert, has a new blog devoted to coverage of GLBTQXYZ books for kids and teens. It's called Worth the Trip.

She writes: "I started this blog to keep track of current LGBTQ books for kids and teens and to provide a forum for all those interested in the subject. The forum is named in honor of the first gay-themed book for teens, I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip by John Donovan, published by Harper in 1969.
In addition to reviewing current books, I’ll also look back at books published in earlier years that are still worth the trip to your library or bookstore; feature occasional interviews with LGBTQ authors, illustrators, editors, librarians and teachers; and keep track of secondary LGBTQ characters and significant gay content in new books."

So if you've already investigated the awesome lists made by Sarah Ryan and Alex Sanchez, and if you like, respect, identify with or crush on Lyle, Demi, Brat and the members of Titus's family (in Dramarama and Fly on the Wall, respectively) -- or if you're a librarian or bookseller looking for the right book for the gay or questioning or transgender teen you know, check out what Hornung has to say!

Watch me Dance.

The awesomeness of awesome that is made of awesome.

Happy Birthday John Green!

Edited to add: okay, now I have time to tell you about this in more detail. It is John's birthday! Maureen Johnson, author of Devilish, Girl at Sea and 13 Little Blue Envelopes, got a bunch of YA authors and DANCE MANIACS together to do a dance video for John's birthday. And this is it!

Watch me, Maureen, Libba Bray, Bennett Madison, David Levithan and Scott Westerfeld shake it like we just don't care. It is totally undignified. And it was the most fun I've had in ages.


Go see Megan McCafferty! NYC

The fourth Jessica Darling novel went on sale last week. I've read it already. It's very bravely different from the others, and the relationship between Jessica and Marcus (which is the focus) is incredibly complicated and marked by time apart rather than time together. It's a really good book, and surprising as well.

Anyway, Megan McCafferty is doing her only New York City appearance in support of Fourth Comings. I will show if I possibly can.
Thursday, September 6th @6-8PM
Columbus Circle

Early News for Teen Read Week

Hey all!
Turns out I'm a 31 Flavorite author for October, which means I'll be
chatting on October 24th at the readergirlz group forum about Dramarama, The Boyfriend List, whatever else!
(I'm telling you early because some of you are librarians and teachers! And you can take the word out to the teens in your libraries.)

It's all on MySpace. Just friend ReaderGirlz and their group forum (you have to do both!) -- and then every SINGLE NIGHT IN OCTOBER, you can chat with a different teen author. It's a celebration of
YALSA's Teen Read Week.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here are the dates, and the amazing line-up:

Week One
1. Meg Cabot
2. Tiffany Trent
3. Brent Hartinger
4. Lorie Ann Grover
5. K.L. Going
6. Nikki Grimes

Week Two
7. Ellen Hopkins
8.Justina Chen Headley
9. Chris Crutcher
10. Ann Brashares
11. Sarah Mlynowski
12.Cecil Castellucci
13.Kirby Larson

Week Three
14.Tanya Lee Stone
15. John Green
16. Sara Zarr
17. Deb Caletti
18. Rachel Cohn
19. Kirsten Miller
20. Mitali Perkins

Week Four
21. Sonya Sones
22. Lisa Yee
23. Carolyn Mackler
24. E. Lockhart
25. Janet Lee Carey
26. Gaby Triana
27. Lauren Myracle

Week Five
28. Holly Black
29. Cynthia Leitich Smith
30. Dia Calhoun
31. Stephenie Meyer

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Amanda Ashby! Musical Theater and Dead People!

Halo_cover_2In Amanda Ashby’s first book, YOU HAD ME AT HALO (adult but YA friendly -- she also writes YA coming up Spring 2009 -- buy it here from Flying Pig), Holly Evans has just seen her own body laid to rest.

But Holly has some mortal baggage to unload first, starting with the matter of how she died. Yes, she drowned in her bathtub under suspicious circumstances, but she did not kill herself. Holly had too much to live for, from her recent promotion to taking the next big step in her relationship. Okay, her life had a few loose ends, but whose doesn’t?

Publishers Weeky says "“It’s The Lovely Bones meets Bridget Jones" -- sounds good, yes?

Amanda's blog is here, and her upcoming YA book is about ZOMBIES.

I coerced her (since she's on the GCC with me) to do the Dramarama interview - and despite her demurs (demuralls? too lasy to look it up; demurring?) she writes funny lyrics!

The Dramarama Musical Theater Interview
with Amanda Ashby

Do the Dramarama Musical Theater Interview
1. You were in a play in high school, weren't you?
Tell me all about it.

For the good of mankind I have kept my singing and
acting talents to myself. Actually, I’m not even sure
our school did school plays, let alone musicals.

2. Give me song lyric that makes you laugh. Preferably
from a show, but I'll cut you some slack if whatever
you quote is funny.

It took me ages to think of a song that makes me
laugh, but then I remembered an old favorite of my
father-in-law called Fanlight Fanny.

'She looks well in the lime, a queen all the time, you
get your money's worth.
By day you'll say "It's her second time on earth".
She waltzes in the west end shops, then waltzes out in
between two cops.
Fanlight Fanny the frowsy night club queen.

She's a peach but understand
She's called a peach because she's always canned.
Fanlight Fanny the frowsy night club queen.'

3. If you've seen a show on Broadway, what was your
first one? Whom did you go with, who was the star,
what did you think of it?
I’d better confess that I’m
not a big fan of musicals, apart from Once More With
Feeling and even then it was only because I love Buffy
so much that I can watch it!

3. What's your showbiz fantasy?
Okay, so there is a
scene in Angel where David Boreanaz is singing Mandy
on karoke - anyway, despite the fact the singing is
bad, he is so gorgeous and he is saying my name, so
it's only fitting that I should be sitting in the
audience and he can serenade me.

5. Which Broadway diva are you, deep inside? And why?
I do have a great fondness for Julie Andrews and if I
can look like that when I'm her age, I'll be happy!!!

6. Write me a nice little song lyric for the book
you're promoting right now. Please.

You Had Me at Halo,
I don't look like J-Lo
Make sure you don't die
And here's the reason...

(hmmmm, I've just been advised not to give up the day