Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Few Shout Outs and Reminders:

Augustana is playing in Eugene at the WOW Theater in May. I’m only telling you this because I bought tickets, which is the highlight of my month. The band broke up over the summer and they had to cancel their summer tour with Jack’s Mannequin (another pretty great band). But, it looks like they’re performing again so check to see if they will be in your area. You don’t want to miss this show.

Counting Crows is on tour with their latest release, Underwater Sunshine (album comes out on April 4). I’m seeing them up in Portland in April, but check and see if they’re coming to your area. Adam’s voice is so wonderful live.

Denver, CO

Thanks to my friend, Leslie, for decorating my twitter home page. It looks fantastic. I might have to actually start tweeting now (@katiekacvinsky). I follow exactly nineteen people and they are pretty much all comedians or Star Wars impersonators. Classy.

I have to thank Carol Chu for her visually creative superpowers and for designing the cover of Middle Ground. She also designed Awaken, as well as First Comes Love.  The art team at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are incredibly talented and I’m always amazed with their artistic covers. I’ll have more information about Middle Ground coming soon.

Finally, this is random, but a friend of mine paints jeans and every few years she designs a pair for me. I’m posting a picture of her latest pair because they’re rad. I’m so impressed with how creative people can be, especially when they take the risk to put their thoughts down on paper, or in a song, or on a canvas, or… on jeans. Thanks, Marcia.  These will go great with all my gray t-shirts.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gray and Dylan? What's up with their names?

A question that I'm often asked by readers is how I come up with the names for my characters. For example, in Awaken I named Madeline after Madeline Island, my favorite place in the world. It's one of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. You catch a ferryboat from Bayfield, Wisconsin, and twenty minutes later you touch ground on a rustic paradise, a place for loners who want to get away from crowded beaches and tourist traps (but who also enjoy some great restaurants and pubs).

Okay, I digress. This post is supposed to discuss how I named Gray and Dylan. It's simple, just listen to Mr. Jones, by Counting Crows.

I'm slightly obsessed with this band and with Adam Duritz for his genius song writing. His influence is partly why I wanted to become a writer. He uses writing to tell stories and to vent and to celebrate the highs and low low lows of life. I even got to meet Adam once, at a bar in Los Angeles. I asked him, "If you were stranded on an island and could only bring three albums, what would they be?" He listed off Miles Davis, Ani Difranco, and Joni Mitchell. (Just a fun fact for you).

In the song Mr. Jones, Adam sings, "Gray is my favorite color," which we have in common. I love the color gray; I wear it almost every day. I own about twelve gray t-shirts and ten gray tank tops and gray jackets and sweatshirts and scarves and hats. It's a gorgeous, calming color and it looks great when it’s complimented with something bright (just like Dylan's bright personality compliments Gray's darker character).

The name Dylan? Easy. Comes from Bob Dylan, the greatest songwriter of all times, and also referenced by Adam Durtiz in Mr. Jones when he sings, "I want to be Bob Dylan."

So, there you have it--a long winded explanation of where their names come from and why they are so dear to me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What's New??

Well, I have a new boyfriend, Jason Segel. Okay, I'm totally kidding, but I did run into him a few weeks ago.

Last month I treated myself to a weekend trip to Los Angeles, where I saw Ryan Adams in concert. He is one of my favorite musicians (he’s even referenced in First Comes Love) so I was thrilled to finally see him live. Other highlights of my trip were:

  • 70 degrees and sunshine (always a treat in February)
  • Cruising around in my friend’s convertible. I’m not a car person, I really could care less what brand a car is, but I will say this: I am now officially a convertible girl. It’s not so bad being stuck in traffic in L.A. when the sunshine is pouring over you.
  • Hollywood Museum (I can’t believe I never went there when I lived in L.A.) The entire second floor featured the Oscars movie nominations for 2012. Definitely worth the time, if you’re ever in L.A.
  • Dinner at the Chateau Marmont
  • And, as the picture above demonstrates, I met Jason Segel on Sunset Boulevard. He was nice enough to take multiple pictures with me until one turned out (the flash on my camera wasn’t working, which made the encounter awkward yet amusing). I own every episode of How I Met Your Mother and Freaks and Geeks so you could say I was mildly excited.

Other items to discuss:

It is on, yo: Book signing/release party at Grass Roots Music and Books, May 8th at 7 p.m. in Corvallis, Oregon. Stop in and pick up a copy of First Comes Love. You have plenty of prior notice, so you have no excuses not to be there. Flights shouldn't be too expensive if you start looking now. It's a great excuse to visit Oregon.

I’m in the process of reading over "Get Unplugged" essays and I’m about halfway through them. It is so inspiring to read these entries. Everyone that participated in this contest has written really thoughtful, reflective responses. I will announce the winners at the end of this month.

I am hoping to do some publicity this spring with First Comes Love. I especially want to get down to Los Angeles and Phoenix, where the novel takes place, so I will keep you updated as events are finalized.

My editor sent me a couple of dust jacket covers for First Comes Love. The cover has this cool finish called gritty matte, so they feel as sexy as they look. I am giving one away, autographed (with a few other treats) in a couple of weeks. To win it, just help get the word out about First Comes Love. Send me a message (either on Facebook, or through my website) letting me know how you are helping to spread the word in your area or online. I'll choose my favorite (and most creative) response in April!